Kiwis score narrow win over Samoa

01 November 2014

It should be noted that in any sport all that matters is getting the W on your side. More point than the opposition is what it takes.

It may not have been beautiful, but it was a victory for the Kiwis who survived a big scare by scoring a late try to defeat Samoa 14-12 in a Four Nations test at Toll Stadium in Whangarei.

Toa Samoa led up until the last two minutes of the game as Shaun Kenny-Dowell scored to take the lead and the victory. The conversion from Shuan Johnson missed, but the try was enough to give the Kiwis the win. Both teams scored three tries a piece, but Johnson kicking the conversion of Kieran Foran's close-in try was the difference between the two teams. Samoa were unable to convert any of their three tries.

The victory means the Kiwis are guaranteed a place in the Four Nations final in Wellington in a couple of weeks time, no matter what the result in the clash against England in Dunedin this coming weekend.

Samoa were led by a strong performance by Joey Leilua who scored a try in teh 43rd minute and proved a handful for the Kiwi defence and delighted the 16,912 crowd.

Tautau Moga scored in the fifth minute when he lateched on to a loose Kiwi pass and sprinted 75 metres for a try.

Foran then replied with a try beside the posts before Daniel Vidot dotted down from a Ben Roberts grubber.

Samoa went to the break 8-6 ahead, although tries to Jesse Bromwich and Manu Vatuvei were disallowed for the Kiwis in the first spell.

It took until the 63rd minute before Jason Nightingale scored in teh corner for the Kiwis as the home side threw the ball around looking for gaps in the tough Samoan defence.

There were a few more scares for the Kiwis before Kenny-Dowell scored from a string of passes and broke the hears of the Samoan side, who have now had two close losses in the Four Nations. The Kiwis comprehensively beat Australia last weekend and now look forward to facing England.

Kiwis 16s have world at their feet

31 October 2014

Expect to do some talent spotting in the curtainraiser for the Kiwis v Toa Samoa Four Nations game at Toll Stadium in Whangarei, as the NZ 16s face Samoa 16s team.

National 16s coach Jeff Whittaker is over the moon that his side has the opportunity to be the build-up for such an important Kiwis game. He's also pleased with the progress his players have made on an off the field, maturing as players and individuals.

"It's outstanding - such a great opportunity for the boys and a great initiative for them to be involved in, being a curtainraiser for the Kiwis is exciting," says Whittaker.

"It's also great for the Samoan boys to be recognised. Our boys are excited to play.

"There are going to be so many people there, supporting Samoa as well. It's going to be exciting for our players and they will feel privileged to be a part of it."

As for individuals in his side, he states that the whole team is a tight unit and will rely on teamwork, but with every team, there are still some players who stand out.

"The whole 18 [players] are an exciting bunch of boys, which the public will hear of in the future.

"Rory Ferguson is going to be the captain. He's from Dunedin and the first player from that city to play for New Zealand.

"Viliami Tosi and Lewis Soosemea are a couple of others people should watch out for too."

Is it the most talented 16s team Whittaker has been involved with?

"In 1996, I was part of a 16s tour of Australia, and the team had Wairangi Koopu, David Vaealiki and David Fa'alogo, so that was pretty special. This team has some of the players have spent two to three years at the league academy in Rotorua. These boys are physically strong and they are mentally strong too."

Keeping his players thinking about their future is something Whittaker is especially firm on. He says that not every player will make the NRL, and it's important they have other attributes to their character and other life skills aside from just playing league.

"I'm really impressed with the work that Dean Watkin and Tony Iro are doing at NZRL." he says. "They have done a great job educating the players, beyond just playing the game.

"I'm hoping education is a part of their future. It can't be discounted, as not everyone will make it in league and even then, it can be a short career at times."

As for the game against Toa Samoa 16s, Whittaker believes his players must stay focused, but that playing for their country will overrule nerves and the skills of his young charges will show through.

"I've been pretty much coaching 16s the last four years and the world's their oyster.

"They will wear the jersey with a lot of pride. It's a big honour for me and for the players too. I can't wait to see them play footy on Saturday.

"It will be a great game."

NZ: 1-Morgan Harper, 2-Steven Marsters, 3-Tarquinn Alatipi, 4-Lewis  Soosomea, 5-Etene Nanai-Seturo, 6-Hayze Perham, 7-Boston Hakaroa, 8-Kenese Kenese, 9    -Tuteauru Maipi, 10-Viliami Tosi, 11-Dylan Clarke, 12-Jerome Mamea, 13-Rory Ferguson, 14-Donovan Briggs, 15-Enoch Tautolo, 16-Chanel Harris-Tavita, 17-Wesley Veikoso, 18-Josh Aileone

Head coach - Jeff Whittaker
Assistant coach - Peter Rikiriki
Manager - Anita Smith-McKinnon
Head trainer - Greg Davis
Assistant trainer - Junior Mautairi
Medic - Bobby Vercoe
Physio - Skye Renes

Samoa: 1-Caleb Clarke, 2-Janavan Marsh, 3-Junior Malau, 4-Alfred Smalley, 5- Fa'atupu Lisati, 6-Dylan Tavita, 7-Jordan Tagoai, 8-Fuifatu Asomua, 9-Phoenix Hunt, 10-Soane Hufanga, 11-Eka Sanele Tuafafo, 12-Tanielu Tele'a, 13-Javvier Pitovao, 14-Michael Hunkin, 15-Liam Pakau, 16-Thomas Mikaele, 17-Wesley Patu. 18-Wayne Sio

Head coach - Graeme Fariu
Assistant coach - Frank Fuimaono
Technical advisor - Tagaloa Rudy Roebeck
Trainer - Ray Telea
Physiotherapist - David Close
Team manager - Shaun Tautali
Campaign manager - Sene Atafu

Risk-free betting offer with TAB app

31 October 2014

Download the new TAB Mobile App here, sign up a new account and bet up to $20 risk free on the Kiwis v Samoa match this Saturday.

If you lose, the TAB will refund your bet. Available to new TAB account customers only.

Terms and conditions apply.

Win with Pirtek at the Four Nations

30 October 2014

The first 1000 people in Whangarei, 2000 people in Dunedin and 3000 people in Wellington will receive a Pirtek fluid transfer system ie. a Pirtek/Four Nations-branded cup for your drinks.

These cups will have a sticker with a unique number.

Visit our e-news sign-up page and complete the form with your unique ID into the "City/Answer" field to be in the draw to win a signed Kiwis jersey.


Pirtek Best Seat in the House

Two lucky people will be chosen from the crowd by our Pirtek promo people to sit down on the sideline near the team benches to watch one half of a test match.

Two people will be chosen for the first half and, at half-time, a second pair will be invited sideline.

This will happen at all three NZ games.

Come along to the ground in your cool Kiwis kit, maybe bring a banner saying "pick me for Pirtek Best Seats in the House", watch out for the Pirtek promo people moving among the crowd and you might get to join the team sideline for the best seats in the house.


Revera signed Kiwis jersey giveaway

Kiwis sponsor Revera is giving away a signed Kiwis jersey. Visit for competition details.

Look after your legendary mates

30 October 2014

NZRL and Cheers! are all about having a great time, looking after yourself, your mates and watching all 80 minutes of the game.

To celebrate you and your mates enjoying the 2014 Rugby League Four Nations responsibly, we're offering an incredible prize for one lucky winner.

Simply post a photo of you all having fun, but taking responsibility, on the "Legendary Mates" Facebook page.

You and your best mate could be in the best seats in the house at the 2015 Anzac Test.

The location for this has yet to be confirmed, so you could be flying to Australia or Auckland, with one night's accommodation and airfares included.

Just start posting pictures of you and your mates enjoying a Four Nations test match (live or on TV!), and you could be enjoying the legendary prize.