NZRL Schools - MAGS tumble

02 September 2014

Mt Albert Grammar - runners-up 12 months ago - have become the first major casualties on Day Two of the 2014 NZRL National Secondary Schools Tournament at Papakura.

After falling to archrivals St Paul's College in an opening crossover match, MAGS suffered a second and more crippling defeat at the hands of Aorere College, 23-14, today.

Leading 10-4 at halftime, they seemed to have the contest well in hand, but were unable to hold off the resurgent South Aucklanders down the stretch.

With defending champions Kelston Boys High barely surviving a shock from Manurewa High on Day One, this latest result showed a closing gap between the top seeds and their challengers in the tournaments premiership.

With just one game remaining in pool play, winless Mt Albert cannot reach the semifinals, after Aorere's second victory of the week.

Kelston made no race of their contest against tournament hosts Papakura High (54-0), while St Paul's College and Manurewa also lived on to their rankings.

But the West Auckland side will face another tough task tomorrow, when they meet a rampant Otahuhu College, 38-4 winners over Rotorua Boys High today.

Wesley College have emerged as the team to watch in the development grade, overrunning Mt Roskill Grammar 44-12. They are now the top scorers after two rounds of the event (112 points).

Francis Douglas College, Papatoetoe High and Aranui High are the other unbeaten second-tier sides.

Tournament webpage


Bruce Pulman Park, Papakura

Tuesday, September 2


Otahuhu College 38 (Ariel Tusiane 3, Joseph Afemui, Phoenix Hunt & Nicholas Aiga tries; Tusiane 2 & Richard Nikau 2 goals) Rotorua BHS 4 (Viliami tosi try); HT: 12-4

Kelston BHS 54 (James Mafi 3, Charlie Kaipati 2, Peter Scanlan, Tipu Lisati, Delaney Chaney, Utah Ioka & Nick Iui-Tosi tries; Zion Ioka 4, Austin Mausitama 2 & Braden Brown goals) Papakura HS 0; HT: 28-0

Manurewa HS 42 (Michael Saili-Motu 2, Feleti Naeata 2, Kenneth Mataafa, Nanga Iloa & Henry Fata tries; Denzel Tutakitoa 7 goals) Western Springs College 22 (Ahotau Kali 2, Malrick Lavea & Nikheil Bhana tries; Mikaere Marshall 3 goals); HT: 22-16

Tokoroa HS 22 (Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano 2, Haukainga Menhennet & Montell Maea tries; Manuia Alaelua 3 goals) Westlake BHS 16 (Nafe Helu, Zae Wallace & Zane Carbines tries; Wallace 2 goals); HT: 12-10

St Paul's College 26 (Fina Payne 2, James Manoa, Sam Filimoeatu & Chris Sio tries; Cody Mahuika 2 & Payne goals) Southern Cross Campus 16 (Sili Ulugia, Gordon Petersen & Unaloto Vaipulu tries; Jan Sepuloni 2 goals); HT: 16-10

Aorere College 23 (Ezra Pange, Maka Faingaa, Tyler Mohi & Lene Paila-Tito tries; Frost Mika 2 & Peteroni Lilomaiava goals; Aluji Pange field goal) Mt Albert Grammar 14 (Tereimana Parangi 2 & John Talisa tries; Hakaraia goal); HT: 4-10



Whangarei BHS 26 (James Cherrington 2, Caleb Aekins, Michael Williams & Tipara Jobe tries; Journee Cassidy 3 goals) Pakuranga College 16 (Gerald van Wyk, Luke Armiger & Rohand Sund tries; Armiger 2 goals); HT: 8-4

Northcote College 18 (Nat Law, Willie Fokokalafi, Shawn Kumar & Isaiah Rouslton tries; Taine Neho goal) Rosehill College 16 (Edge Tuatineiti-Watson, Raymond Alonui & Darryl Hemopo tries; Nathan Linford 2 goals); HT: 10-10

Papatoetoe HS 42 (Iese Aigs 2, Nuku Ngere 2, Kelepi Holi, Charles Makasani, Foga Autagavaia, Michael Laulu & Robert Meleisea tries; Autagavaia 2 & Aiga goals) One Tree Hill College 6 (Gabriel Aerenga try; Walima Vila goal); HT: 18-6

Wesley College 44 (Wetere Pompey, Sam Halunga, Ma Latai, Isaac Underwood, Daniel Vili, Sione Koloamatangi, Xavier Johanssn & Ilaisa Loholoho tries; Aria Cerei 6 goals)
Mt Roskill Grammar 12 (Jonah Nafahu, Tom Ale & Aloisio Lui tries); HT: 20-12

Aranui HS 34 (Cyrus Timo Latu 2, Oli Tailua 2, Junior Peneli, Fa'aaliga Tailua & Clark Morgan tries; Timo Latu 3 goals) Greymouth HS 12 (Trent McMillan 2 & Bailey McPike tries); HT: 18-12

Francis Douglas College 44 (Jonathon Fidow 2, Henry Miles 2, Tyler Feakins, Josh Perrett, Brandon Martin & Bryn Chard tries; Eli Kneepkens 6 goals) Taita College 14 (Jarvis Tuia-Mendoza, Ezra McCulloch & Nathan Hermans tries; Ryan Pene-Stevens goal); HT: 30-10

Sideline stars inspire Aorere upset

02 September 2014

Just a few weeks ago, Aorere College were battling to make the field for this year's NZRL National Secondary Schools Tournament.

Playing in the second tier of the Auckland competition, they lost the plate final to Southern Cross Campus and snatched the final of four qualifying spots available to Counties Manukau schools.

After two days of the national event, the Mangere outfit (2-0) have emerged as dark horses, belying their own expectations with victory over last year's runners-up, Mt Albert Grammar, and already booking their passage through to Thursday's semifinals.

Trailing 10-4 at halftime, they seized momentum in the second half, taking the lead with a field goal and clinching the 23-14 upset with two tries down the stretch.

"I'm told this is the first time we've beaten them, although we've come close in previous years," says coach Trent Silbery. "I knew we were very capable, but we just needed to play with some confidence and the right focus.

"Our big goal was to get here and now we're here, the boys are taking full advantage."

Aorere are also taking inspiration from the presence of Junior Warriors Viliami Kaveinga and Marata Niukore around their group.

Kaveinga is a former Aorere College student, who has been asked to help mentor the current crop of athletes, while Niukore has been unable to take his place on the field through commitments to the Warriors playoff bid.

"Having them around the boys and sharing their knowledge has made a big difference," says Silbery. "We've also had great leadership from our Year 13s, which has been a big influence when they take the field."

Aorere face Southern Cross again in a crossover fixture on Wednesday, but even if they lose and pool rivals Tokoroa High (1-1) also topple MAGS, they enjoy the benefit of a hard-fought 8-4 decision over the Waikato side on Day One.

Champions Kelston Boys High take on Otahuhu College in the biggest game on the final day of pool play. Each are unbeaten in Pool A, but while Otahuhu have dominated both their opponents so far, the West Aucklanders barely survived a crossover scare from Manurewa on opening day.

In development grade, Papatoetoe High and Francis Douglas College also will put their unbeaten records on the line in Pool G.

BTL 3 cover

NZRL National Secondary Schools Guide (September 3)



Bruce Pulman Park, Papakura

Wednesday, September 3



Field 6       Papakura HS v Western Springs College

Referee - Simon Buttery     Touch - Tane Kaiwai & Nick Gibson



Field 1       Manurewa HS v Rotorua BHS

Referee - Mike Smail             Touch - Nathan Barker Pringle & Kiko Puhipi Hibbs

Field 3       Kelston BHS v Otahuhu College

Referee - Jason Wilson       Touch - Rochelle Tamarua & Okena Simon

Field 5       Southern Cross Campus v Aorere College

Referee - Chris Baker         Touch - Henare Chadwick & Graeme Hill



Field 1       Mt Albert Grammar v Tokoroa HS

Referee - Kiko Puhipi Hibbs Touch - Mike Smail & Nathan Barker Pringle

Field 3       St Paul's College v Westlake BHS

Referee - Rochelle Tamarua          Touch - Simon Buttery & Jason Wilson




Field 2       Northcote College v Greymouth HS

Referee - Sonny Whakarau  Touch - Chris McMillan & Kena Waikai

Field 4       Pakuranga College v Aranui HS

Referee - Tony Arnel          Touch - Noel Woods & Peter Sherwood



Field 2       Taita College v Mt Roskill Grammar

Referee - Kena Waikai Touch - Sonny Whakarau & Chris McMillan

Field 4       Papatoetoe HS v Francis Douglas College

Referee - Noel Woods         Touch - Tony Arnel & Peter Sherwood

Field 6       Whangarei BHS v Rosehill College

Referee - Tony Cuccurrullo  Touch - Tane Kaiwai & Nick Gibson



Field 5       One Tree Hill College v Wesley College

Referee - Okena Simon       Touch - Henare Chadwick & Graeme Hill


1.30pm                      Leadership school visits

NZRL Schools - Seeds survive

01 September 2014

Defending champions Kelston Boys High and perennial powerhouse St Paul's College both passed early tests on opening day of the NZRL Secondary Schools National Tournament at Bruce Pulman Park, Papakura.

But Kelston had to rally from far behind early to prevail 26-18, as rivals Manurewa scored the first three tries of their first-up encounter.

St Paul's had a slightly easier time of it against Mt Albert Grammar, emerging 16-4 victors to avenge their defeat in last year's semifinals.

With the premiership and development grades both reconfigured to 12-team draws, the top four teams collided early in crossover fixtures that may hold clues to games at the business end of the event.

Otahuhu College issued their challenge for a semi spot, with Vincent Tofilau crossing for three tries in a 48-8 win over Papakura High.

Rotorua Boys High, who won the development grade last year, stepped up to the top level, coming back from eight points down at halftime to defeat Western Springs College 28-20.

Southern Cross Campus and Aorere College were the other premier winners, while South Island travellers Aranui High and Greymouth High were rewarded for their journey with opening wins in the development grade.

Rugby union powerhouse Wesley College hinted they would be a force to contend in the 13-a-side coade, with a big 68-6 result over Taita College.

Tournament Homepage



Bruce Pulman Park, Papakura

Monday, September 1


Kelston BHS 26 (Junior Pauga, Peter Scanlan, Zion Ioka, Nic Lui-Toso & James Mafi tries; Ioka 3 goals) Manurewa HS 16 (Kenneth Mataafa, John Tusiane, Erin Clark & David Tusiane tries); HT: 4-12

Otahuhu College 48 (Vincent Tofilau 3, Koli Oneone, Carl Ohuafi, Ulumago Fatu, Raymond Taumalolo, Brandon Nangaiti & Richard Mikau tries; Tofilau 2, Koniti Vetemotu 2 & Nikau 2 goals) Papakura HS 8 (Tutaki Brown & Jordan Morrison tries); HT: 16-8

Rotorua BHS 28 (Latu Vaeno 3, Jaz Flavell & Viliami Tosi tries; Nerehana Tarei 4 goals) Western Springs College 20 (Jamie Dennis, Malrick Lavea, Ramo Solomona & Ahotau Kali tries; Nikora Ngaro 2 goals): HT: 6-14

Southern Cross Campus 22 (Viliami Ma'amaloa 2, Fuiva Takitaki, Jan Sepuloni & Peni Mafileo tries; Sila Ulugia goal) Westlake BHS 0; HT: 4-0

St Paul's College 16 (Finau Payne, Sam Filimoetatu & Beau Cordtz tries; Cody Mahuika & Gerar Vili goals) Mt Albert Grammar 4 (John Talisa try); HT: 4-4

Aorere College 8 (Tyler Mohi 2 tries) Tokoroa HS 4 (Cleveland Poko try); HT: 8-0



Aranui HS 24 (Jinho Mun 2, Luke Holland, Sea Muamalale & Fa'aaliga tries; Mun 2 goals) Whangarei BHS 16 (Shane Paraha, Caleb Aekins, Manaaki Tawhiwhirangi & Journee Cassidy tries); HT: 10-10

Greymouth HS 18 (Riley Coleman, Jordan Campbell, William Coghlan & Josh Bell tries; Arthur Southeron goal) Rosehill College 14 (Sione Ahokovi, Darryl Hemepo & Edge Tuaineti-Watson tries; Nathan Linford goal); HT: 8-10

Pakuranga College 18 (Jesse Keven, Gerald van Wyk & Luke Armiger tries; Keven 3 goals) Northcote College 10 (Warati Matenga & Sion Talilotu tries; Adam Roberts goal); HT: 12-6

Francis Douglas College 22 (Caleb Wheatley, Josh Perrett, Henry Miles & Bryn Chard tries; Eli Kneepkens 3 goals) One Tree Hill College 12 (Wallave Teaurima & Pimi Lavlavu tries; Michael Joe 2 goals); HT: 18-0

Wesley College 68 (Esera Brown 2, Ma Latai 2, Aria Cerei 2, Sam Aki 2, Isaac Underwood, Falani Lovo, Xavier Johansson, Royston Tu'uta tries; Cerei 9 & Tui Tauaaika goals) Taita College 6 (Aaron Maxwell try; Ryan Pene-Stevens goal); HT: 34-6

Papatoetoe HS 22 (Iese Aiga 2, Kelep Holi & Nuku Ngere tries; Foga Autagavaia 3 goals) Mt Roskill Grammar 12 (Otu Maka Mausia, John Taito & Ken Fa'aoso tries); HT: 0-12

More about journey than destination

01 September 2014

Winning a trophy is nice, but sometimes there's more to attending the NZRL National Secondary Schools Tournament than victory on the field.

Consider the efforts of those teams that have overcome great distances or adversity to compete for the silverware this week.

Greymouth High School have probably travelled further than any other school to make their debut at the event this year, continuing a proud rugby league history into a new generation.

They've had to "adopt" a couple players from local rivals John Paul II College to make up the numbers - a concession generously allowed by their development grade rivals - but there's no doubting they're playing with a community squarely behind them.

It also helps that they have their very own living league legend in town - Kiwi #503 Tony Coll presented the team with their jerseys last week.

"West Coast rugby league will celebrate 100 years next year and most of these boys play club league down there," explains coach Phil Campbell.

"This tournament is a huge undertaking for them and they've had to be committed. It's good for them to see what happens outside of the Coast - it will be an eye-opener for them.

"We want to perform well, but at the end of the day, there will be benefits outside of football."

The Coasters showed their spirit on opening day, with a come-from-behind 18-14 win over South Auckland opponents Rosehill College.

Greymouth aren't the only team to beat the odds to be at Bruce Pulman Park. Hours before the event, Whangarei Boys High were on the verge of pulling out, before they were rescued by local entrepreneur Doug Andrews.

The Northlanders' fundraising efforts had fallen short of targets and they faced the disappointment of not making the trip down State Highway One for the schools tournament.

But Andrews, whose MultiKai Cooker enterprise is naming-rights sponsor to the Northland club premiership, stepped up to guarantee the shortfall and offer the boys a chance to pay it back.

"I'm a big believer in helping people help themselves," says Andrews. "That's part of the culture that's built the success of the MultiKai Cooker brand."

That generosity may allow some local athletes to fulfill their rugby league aspirations.

"The boys would have been devastated if they couldn't have gone to the tournament," says WBHS manager Willie Cooper. "We went last year and what an event it was.

"We have some boys that want to make league their careers and this tournament is definitely the place where dreams can come true."

But one team will play with an absent friend very much in their hearts. On the eve of the tourney, Taita College management had to put one of their players back on a plane to Wellington, after a death in the family.

"Our hearts go out to the Taita team, who are part of our extended family this week," said NZRL football general manager Tony Iro. "We'll be doing our best to support them over the coming days."

btl 2 cover

NZRL National Secondary Schools Guide (Sept 2)



Bruce Pulman Park, Papakura

Tuesday, September 2



Field 6       Otahuhu College v Rotorua BHS

Referee - Chris McMillan     Touch - Chris Baker & Graeme Hill


Field 2       Papakura HS v Kelston BHS

Referee - Tony Cuccurullo   Touch - Tane Kaiwai & Simon Buttery

Field 4       Western Springs College v Manurewa HS

Referee - Tony Arnel           Touch - Kena Waikai & Henare Chadwick

Field 5       Westlake BHS v Tokoroa HS

Referee - Kiko Puhipi Hibbs Touch - Peter Sherwood & Eric Kneepkens



Field 2       Southern Cross Campus v St Paul's College

Referee - Chris Baker         Touch - Kena Waikai & Henare Chadwick

Field 4       Aorere College v Mt Albert Grammar

Referee - Tane Kaiwai        Touch - Tony Cuccurullo & Simon Buttery




Field 1       Pakuranga College v Whangarei BHS

Referee - Sonny Whakarau  Touch - Jason Wilson & Okena Simon

Field 3       Northcote College v Rosehill College

Referee - Nick Gibson         Touch - Nathan Barker Pringle & Noel Woods



Field 3       Papatoetoe HS v One Tree Hill College

Referee - Graeme Hill        Touch - Sonny Whakarau & Chris McMillan

Field 1       Wesley College v Mt Roskill Grammar

Referee - Mike Smail                    Touch - Nathan Barker Pringle & Noel Woods

Field 6       Aranui HS v Greymouth HS

Referee - Rochelle Tamarua Touch - Jason Wilson & Okena Simon


Field 5       Francis Douglas College v Taita College

Referee - Peter Sherwood   Touch - Kiko Puhipi Hibbs & Nick Gibson


6.30pm      Leadership module (It's Not OK!")

Stingrays off to commanding start

31 August 2014

After a belated start to the 2014 Pirtek NZRL National Premiership, Counties Manukau Stingrays showed they will again be a force, with a season-opening 46-6 romp over Northern Swords in Whangarei.

The South Aucklanders went unbeaten through last regular season, only to stumble against Akarana Falcons in the title game.

While everyone else kicked off their campaigns last week, the Stingrays sat idle with the first-up bye, but rocketed from the starting blocks for a 28-0 halftime advantage against their northern rivals.

Eight different players eventually crossed for tries, with only second row Eko Malu able to double up.

Teenage five-eighth Daniel Fulop provided the hosts' only response, with a second-half try.

Meanwhile, Canterbury Bulls are the only team with two wins from the first two rounds, overpowering Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions 38-20 on the road in Huntly.

The guests were quickly on top with three converted tries in the opening half, but the Stallions stayed in contention, when the halftime hooter malfunctioned and the home side scored on an extra tackle.

But there was no switch in momentum and the Bulls scored the next three tries to put their rivals away.

Bulls front rowers Manu Weepu and Chris Bamford had two tries apiece, while winger Isaac Robinson matched that feat for the Stallions.

Defending champions Akarana enjoyed the bye and could be back to full strength next week, with the Fox Memorial club final played yesterday.



Sunday, August 31

Toll Stadium, Whangarei

Counties Manukau Stingrays 46 (Eko Malu 2, George Edwards, Ray Taimale, Atelea Nafetalai, Zebastian Luisi, Paul Tapaevalu, Pakisonasi Afu & Sione Feao tries; Taimale 4 & Paulos Latu goals) Northern Swords 6 (Daniel Fulop try; Joel Freeman goal); HT: 28-0

Swords: 1-Tumoana Halkyard, 2-Sharif Mangu, 3-Israel Tahere, 4-Moses Cooper, 5-Rikki Tarau, 6-Daniel Fulop, 7-Sam Henry, 8-Chris Apoua, 9-Joel Freeman (capt), 10-Jordan Hool, 17-Alex Salase, 12-Patrick Tane, 18-Te Tuhi Tipene, 14-Adam Donaldson, 15-Elliot Pomare, 16-A Lennox, 17-K Harding

Stingrays: 1-George Edwards, 2-Raymond Taimale, 3-Atelea Nafetalai, 4-Paulos Latu, 5-Filipine Jacob Aki, 6-Zebastian Luisi, 7-Carlos Hotene, 8-Palu Tapaevalu, 9-Jethro Friend, 10-Pakisonasi Afu, 11-Dion Snell, 12-Sione Feao, 13-Jamal Hunt, 14-Eko Malu, 15-J Price, 16-L Feagaiga, 17-T Aoake

Referee - Eric Kneepkens              Touch - Tane Kaiwai & Grant Wharehuka


Davies Park, Huntly

Canterbury Bulls 38 (Manu Weepu 2, Chris Bamford 2, Ken Tofilau, Toi Sepulani & Corey Lawrie tries; Darren Tonihi 4 & Cyrus Tomo Latu goals)  Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions 20 (Isaac Robinson 2, Caleb Heke & Mounga Molisi tries; Hayden Karena 2 goals); HT: 18-10

Stallions: 1-Caleb Heke, 2-Mounga Molisi, 3-Hamiora Mihaka, 4-John Koko, 5-Isaac Robinson, 6-Johnson Peri, 7-Hayden Karena (capt), 8-Hone Love-Henry, 9-Raureti Grace, 10-Callin Tereu, 11-Terry Kopua, 14-Cody King, 12-Jason Whareaitu, 17-Riki Collier, 16-Mosese Mafi, 15-Tupare Tupare, 13-Marrin Haggie

Bulls: 1-Ken Tofilau, 2-Will Tafua, 3-Erwin Sauni, 4-Vinnie Paul, 5-Jade Hoy, 6-Toi Sepuloni, 7-Darren Tonihi, 8-Paul Sauni, 9-Maun Weepu, 10-Chris Bamford, 11-JJ Smith, 12-Corey Lawrie, 13-Agaese Fiso, 14-Alani Kakoi, 15-Kyle Leka, 16-Paradise Mann, 17-Cyrus Timo Latu

Referee - Tony Arnel                     Touch - Tai Hepi & Gina TeRongomau