As seen on https://www.nrl.com/news/
A stunning display from Joey Manu led the Kiwis to a 26-6 win over Tonga in front a sellout crowd at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday.
Carrying on the form that has made him a standout for the Roosters in 2022, Manu ran for 398 metres and had seven tackle breaks as New Zealand made a strong statement ahead of this year’s World Cup.
The emotion of the pre-game Haka and Sipi Tau had barely subsided when Kiwi playmaker Jahrome Hughes stepped ojn the gas from 10 metres out and carried three defenders over with him for the game’s opening try.
Four minutes later the Kiwis were out to a 12-0 advantage after veteran winger Jordan Rapana finished off great lead-up work by Kenny Bromwich and Test debutant Dylan Brown.
A mistake from Jesse Bromwich handed Tonga field position and they capitalised in the 15th minute when young halfback Talatau Amone found Kotoni Staggs who delivered to Sione Katoa to cross for his first Test try.
The Kiwis extended their lead in the 23rd minute when Sitili Tupouniua was pinged for a strip and Rapana knocked over the penalty goal to make it 14-6.
Rapana then broke clear and looked set to snare his second try before Staggs cut him down with a classic cover tackle but Christian Tuipulotu slid in and prevented Rapana from rising to his feet and was sin binned by referee Grant Atkins.
The Kiwis were quick to capitalise on the one-man advantage when Brown put Ronaldo Mulitalo over in the left corner with a long cut-out pass.
After a tense struggle to start the second half Hughes stamped his class on the match with an inch perfect kick from 50 metres out that pulled up on the dead ball line.
From the ensuing line dropout the Kiwis grabbed their fourth try when James Fisher-Harris put Isaiah Papali’i over from close range to make it 26-6 and that’s how the score remained.
08 June 2022
Are you passionate about making a difference and having your say in shaping the future of rugby league in New Zealand?
New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) are looking for 4 to 5 passionate youth (aged between 16 to 20 years old) to support and co-design the establishment of a Youth Advisory Group.
The aim is to work with selected youth to co-design the Youth Advisory Group, ensuring it is a meaningful and impactful foundation that works for youth before looking to expand the group further in 2023. We know our youth have vital insights, knowledge and experiences that will be invaluable to creating greater opportunities for our community and the future of rugby league in New Zealand.
What we are looking for
Selected youth will be expected to provide and share their experiences and knowledge, contribute towards set tasks created through meetings, and work collaboratively with all members of the group and NZRL.
Youth would be expected to meet monthly to complete the following objectives below in collaboration with NZRL before expanding the group in 2023.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in being a part of, please fill out this form here.
Expression of interest will be open until Friday 17th June. If you have any questions or queries, please feel free to email [email protected]
as seen on https://www.broncos.com.au
The Broncos have added outstanding power and experience to their forward pack with international Neta Nu’uausala joining Brisbane’s NRLW squad for the 2022 season.
The 27-year-old prop joins the Broncos off the back of a strong NRLW season for the Knights where she was awarded Player of the Year, making five appearances for more than 450 running metres – 190m of those post-contact, as well as 14 tackle busts, five offloads and a try.
The hard-running forward was a standout against the Broncos in Round 2 running for 127 metres with four tackle busts and three offloads.
A Kiwi Ferns representative representing New Zealand from 2016-19 including a World Cup, Nu’uausala brings power and leadership to a pack already boasting Amber Hall, Chelsea Lenarduzzi, Tallisha Harden, Kaitlyn Phillips, Sara Sautia and Lavinia Gould.
Nu’uausala becomes the 15th player to be announced for the Broncos’ 2022 NRLW campaign, with Jaime Chapman, Ali Brigginshaw, Julia Robinson, Tarryn Aiken, Shenae Ciesiolka, Amy Turner, Emily Bass and Jada Ferguson also part of the squad.
Broncos NRLW Coach Kelvin Wright said, “Neta has always been one of the best front rowers in the game and brings a great deal of power, she makes a really big impact in attack and defence.
“It’s really exciting to have her on board and I have no doubt that her best footy is ahead of her. She had a fantastic season for the Knights, picking up their Player of the Year award so it’s great to have her come and join us up in Brisbane.
”Neta will be leading from the front and taking us forward and she is a great addition to our club both on and off the field.”
The Broncos’ NRLW preseason will begin in mid-July with the NRLW season to kick-off on the weekend of August 20/21.
Canterbury Rugby League is pleased to announce the appointment of Malcolm Humm as CRL’s new Chief Executive Officer.
Malcolm’s acceptance of the role renews his association with Canterbury Rugby League, having played for Halswell over a ten-year period which cumulated in two premiership wins in 1985 and 1988. Malcolm represented Canterbury U18’s and Victoria, Australia. In the early 2000’s he was also the strength and conditioning coach for the Canterbury Bulls.
Malcolm has over 20 years’ experience in sport leadership roles with peak bodies, government sporting agencies, franchises and clubs.
He has business experience where, more recently he has been delivering strategic planning and leadership services to regional, national and international sports organisations out of his own business Humm Consulting Ltd.
In his role as High Performance Director Malcolm led the NZ Paralympic high-performance programme to three Paralympic Games (Beijing, London and Rio).
Additional key leadership roles he has held have been Interim CEO at Paralympics New Zealand and GM Performance at Netball Mainland.
In conjunction with Malcolm’s work and rugby league experience he has a Bachelor of Physical Education (BPhEd) degree from University of Otago and in 2016 completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) through University of Canterbury.
Canterbury Rugby League feel fortunate to obtain Malcolm for the role where he will bring rugby league, sport and business knowledge to the game. He will be graduating his hours from 16th May through to Tuesday 7th June 2022 when he will then be aboard full-time.
Please join Canterbury Rugby League and the CRL Board in congratulating and welcoming Malcolm into the CEO role.
The Akarana Falcons have been crowned 2022 NZRL National 20s Champions after upsetting South Island 34-5 in a dominating finals game.
The Akarana Falcons were dominant throughout the first half as Sebastion Su’a opened the scoring account for Akarana in the first 10 minutes of the game. Moments later, Akarana secures two back-to-back tries from Josh Tanielu and Esom Ioka.
With five minutes left in the first half, South Island desperately tried to find their momentum in the game. Makaia Tafua powered over the Akarana defence to secure South Island’s first points.
With seconds left in the first half, Akarana bounced back with another try from Tanielu to give his team a 22-6 lead into the sheds.
South Island forced their way back to attack in the first minutes of the second half. Their winger Kiardyn Hatch busted through the Akarana defence to go over the line and secure their first points in the second stanza.
Akarana was too strong and bounced back with another set of back-to-back tries from Ioke and Faith Kalekale to put Akarana further in front.
The late try from South Island’s fullback Mata Halbert-Pere gave a chance for a comeback, but Akarana held on until the final whistle to become the 2022 National 20s champions.
Congratulations to the Akarana Falcons, the 2022 NZRL National 20s Champions and holders of the Ruben Wiki Cup.
Akarana – 34
Sebastian Su’a, Josh Tanielu x2 Esom Ioka x2, Faith Kalekale
Tuipala fa’aee (3/4)
Josh Tanielu (2/2)
South Island– 16
Makaia Tafua, Kiardyn Hatch, Mato Halbert-Pere
Mato Halbert-Pere (2/3)
12 April 2022
as seen on https://home.nzcity.co.nz
Plenty of the Roosters’ NRLW side experienced a rollercoaster ride in 2022, but nobody rose from the depths quite like halfback Raecene McGregor.
McGregor, a two-time premiership winner with Brisbane and a seasoned New Zealand international, was without a club through much of the NRLW pre-season.
Despite the competition expanding to six teams, and with players of her talent in the halves hard to come by, no team managed to find room for the cunning halfback.
McGregor was resigned to missing out on the season before Roosters coach John Strange reached out to add her to his play-making stocks.
Courtesy of that last-minute chance, McGregor has now become the first player to win NRLW premierships with two different clubs after the Roosters’ 14-4 win over St George Illawarra in Redcliffe.
“Originally I thought I wasn’t going to get picked up. I hurt my shoulder last year, so I was going to miss some time, but Strangey called me up the day before All Stars. He just offered me an opportunity and I took it, and here I am now,” McGregor said.
“I knew the Roosters had a strong side. When he reached out I was really grateful, because I didn’t think they needed another ball-player.
“I knew they were already strong. But he still asked me, so it was awesome.
“For me, this is probably the best premiership. I really enjoyed the whole season, nobody made me uncomfortable coming in late.”
Like many of the Roosters, McGregor grew into form as the season went on.
Her two best performances of the year came in the preliminary final and the decider, with her experience and sharp kicking game shining through on the biggest stage.
The victory was just a little bittersweet given McGregor’s sister Page was playing in the centres for the Dragons, but to the victor goes the spoils.
McGregor’s big-match experience was crucial to the Roosters’ resurrection in recent weeks, with her composure helping them stay the course as the heat ramped up, especially on the season’s biggest day.
“That was one of the toughest games I’ve ever played in my life. It was so fast, I don’t think people understand how quick it was, and when we were down that early we had to dig deep to get the win,” McGregor said.
“We knew it was going to be physical, we knew we had to be aggressive, and especially after half-time, we had a chat in the sheds about how we had to come out tough.”
There will be no late start for McGregor for this year’s second season, which is expected to kick off in September.
She’s found a home at the Roosters and is desperate to stay, and the Tricolours would do well to make her a priority retention.
Her combination with wily five-eighth Zahara Temara will only improve given the Roosters have now had a taste of success.
“We just had to keep the noise out, focus on us and our own game. There was a few girls who got nervous, but we brought it all together,” McGregor said.
“This is my home now, so hopefully the Roosters want me back.
“I love playing with Z [Temara], being picked up by the Roosters was an opportunity to play with her, so I really appreciated it.”
09 April 2022
Counties Manukau Stingrays emerged 72-4 winners over Waikato in the final round-robin of the NZRL National 20s competition at Bruce Pulman Park.
Ben Peni from Counties drew first blood strolling over the try line within the first ten minutes of the match. Waikato quickly answered back with points of their own through winger Ramsay Finau who scored from a superb dive in the corner.
Counties did not take long to bounce back with four tries. A beautiful offload saw Stanley Hingano over the line. Counties benefiting off Waikatos error saw Zedric Timai scoring another four-pointer to put Counties further in front.
Waikato desperately tried to gain the momentum back, but Counties were too strong, passing the ball across the right edge to find Jarney Proctor-Harwood, who weaved his way back into the middle to find the scoreline. With 2 minutes left in the first half, Pesallili Ma secured one more try to give his team a 30 – 4 lead.
Counties continued their dominance into the second half with seven tries.
Teariki Ford scored the first for Counties in the second stanza, opening the floodgates for the Auckland outfit. Tyson Lelefu Sang-Yum, Jacob Hollobon, Timai, Franck Baniani Temanu, Antony Naitoko, and Ben Peni all got on the score sheet, with Peni and Timai chipping in with their second tries for the game.
A complete performance from the Stingrays saw the final scoring being 72-4 in favour of the Auckland side. Outstanding performance from Counties, Teariki Ford successfully converted all 12 tries.
Counties Manukau Stingrays – 72
Ben Peni x2, Stanley Hingano, Zedric Timai x2, Jarney Proctor-Harwood, Pesallili Ma, Teariki Ford, Tyson Lelefu Sang-Yum, Jacob Hollobon, Franck Baniani Temanu, Antony Naitoko,
Teariki Ford (12/12)
Waikato – 4
07 April 2022
As seen on https://www.1news.co.nz
Wairoa’s Madison Bartlett is leading the Dragons to their first NRLW grand final on Sunday as the competition’s leading try scorer.
When the Warriors women’s team was cut as a cost-saving measure, Bartlett was one of a number of Kiwi Ferns who feared their NRLW dream was over.
“Six months ago, I didn’t know if I was going to play at all in the NRLW,” she said.
Bartlett was part of the Warriors squad that was last year stunned to learn they’d been cut so the club could save on costs. Some moved to other teams while others weren’t so lucky.
“I just reached out to a few clubs and said I’d be interested in playing. and then I sent through footage and video and stuff, and I was just lucky the Dragons took a chance on me,” she said.
The Kiwi Ferns winger hasn’t looked back, scoring more tries than anyone else this season.
Her season was rocked momentarily by a biting charge that was downgraded so she could lead the grand final favourites this weekend against the Roosters, which features a handful of Kiwis.
Bartlett is keen to stay wearing the famous Red V beyond this season.
“I think I’d like to come here and play, I know the Warriors aren’t in for the next season at the end of the year, but I’m not sure what their plans are for the year after,” she said.
Besides, Bartlett says she has a new family in the form of the six teammates she lives with.
The group call her the Gordon Ramsay of the house.
“She is Gordon Ramsey, she makes out that she’s this sweet little thing, as soon as she gets in the kitchen, it’s like a new person,” captain Kezie Apps explained.
02 April 2022
Akarana Falcons put on a dominant 36 – 14 win over Waikato at Auckland, Bruce Pulman Park.
Akarana opened the scoring with an offload pass to Tuipala Fa’aee to put Akarana in the lead. Minutes later saw winger Esom Ioka busting through two Waikato defenders to add another four to Akarana’s scoring account.
Waikato forced their way back with a superb try from fullback Western Tehuri who found himself stretching over the scoreline to secure their first points before the whistle. Akarana leads Waikato 10-4 at halftime.
Two minutes into the second stanza, an error from Waikato found Joshua Tanielu catching a loose ball and taking it over the line to open the scoring account for the Akarana. Moments later, Akarana attacks again, with Tyson Davies powering over the Waikato defenders to put Akarana further in front.
With Akarana dominating the game, Waikato managed to find a four-pointer from winger Noah Wood, sprinting up the left wing and over the line to open their account in the second half.
Still, Akarana were too dominant across the park scoring a further back-to-back try from Elam Payne and Kenneth-Seth Henry-Taua. But Waikato bounced back with another four points before the full-time whistle. Benefiting from Akaranas errors saw winger Noah Wood easily barge over the line for his second try of the game.
Doux Fiatau-Kauhiva scored his first try in the final minutes to secure Akaranas win over Waikato 36-14.
Akarana Falcons – 36
Tries: Tuipala Fa’aee, Esom Ioka, Joshua Tanielu, Tyson Davies, Elam Payne, Kenneth-Seth Henry-Taua, Doux Fiatau-Kauhiva
Conversions: Tuipala Fa’aee (4/6) Doux Fiatau-Kauhiva (1/1)
Waikato – 14
Tries: Western Tahuri, Noah Wood x2
Conversions: Jardyn Stillmvich-Watene (1/3)
30 March 2022
As seen on newcastleknights.com.au
Annetta Nu’uausala has won the inaugural nib Newcastle Knights NRLW Player of the Year award.
In a season of firsts for the Club, the awards night was held at Wests Mayfield, where Nu’uausala was presented the award in front of her teammates.
Annetta was also crowned the Player’s Player, a huge recognition of her efforts during the 2021 NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership.
Knights NRLW coach Casey Bromilow presented Nu’uausala with the award.
“In all of our games, she was outstanding and our best player,” Bromilow said.
“She’s been reliable, and she’s very humble and quiets away from the field, but as soon as she crosses that line and steps onto the field, she leaves nothing out there.
“She led from the front really well, and every time she carried the ball, she ran with intent.”
A Kiwi Fern international, Nu’uausala played all five games for the Knights during the rescheduled 2021 campaign.
Leading from the front in the front-row, ‘Netta’ averaged 91 running metres per game and had 14 tackle breaks for the season.
The former Warrior left it all on the park in each game to take home the prestigious and inaugural award.
29 March 2022
The regular season of the rescheduled 2021 NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership has wrapped up. The St George Illawarra Dragons, Gold Coast Titans, Brisbane Broncos and Sydney Roosters have all secured their spots in the semi-finals this weekend.
Let’s look back on our Kiwi Fern talent in round five.
Dragon’s winger Madison Bartlett racked up 117 metres to go with a try and two tackle busts. Her intercept effort during the second half broke the spirits of the Roosters, who had the momentum for most of the contest. Bartlett, week in week out, continues to prove she is dangerous in and around the ball and definitely one to watch in the upcoming NRLW Finals.
Amber Hall had another powerhouse performance we’ve come to expect. Hall was at her rampaging best at Suncorp Stadium, charging her way over the line in the second half while racking up 214 metres with four offloads and four tackle busts.
Five-eight Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly played a massive part in the match’s opening try. A high kick from Stephens-Daly bounced over the Titans defender, and debutant Paige Parker was on hand to score her first try in the NRLW. Katelyn Vaha’akolo played one of her best games of the season. Vaha’akolo posted up a total of 143 meters, 22 post-contact meters and the most line breaks in the game. She showcased her speed as a winger and attacking threat, scoring her first try of the season. Charlotte Scanlan was immense for the Knights, topping the game’s most tackles and fantasy points. Veteran Annetta Nu’uausala showed her veteran class and savy, racking up 126 meters, a staggering 42 post-contact meters, six tackle breaks and 19 tackles in the game. The Knights end their campaign for the 2021 season, focusing on the 2022 campaign at the back end of the year.
Playmaker Raecene Mcgregor continues to prove her skilled ability as a halfback, racking up a total of 107 kicking metres.
Kiwi Fern prospect Leianne Tufuga had a chance in the 35th minute of the game, swooping on a loose pass to streak 30 metres downfield, putting the Roosters in great field position. She also ended the game without missing a single tackle. Tufuga has made her claim as one of the best young players in the competition and will be one to watch in the finals.
The NRLW ladder after round 5
Dragons vs Titans – Sunday 3rd April, 2:00 pm NZT
Broncos vs Roosters – Sunday 3rd April, 3:45 pm NZT
Counties Manukau Stingrays put on a dominant 56 – 6 win over Upper Central.
Upper Central opened the scoring with a try from Rawhiri Matthew, who powered through the Counties defence, stretching over the line to take the lead.
Counties wasted no time in hitting back. Hooker Jarney Proctor opened their account, and only minutes later, winger Timothy Tiatia’s superb break down the right edge set up teammate Teariki Ford who grabbed the second. Stingrays fullback Lelefu Sang-Yum found himself in open space, weaving through the defence to go untouched under the posts.
Upper Central forced their way back into the game, but Counties winger Timothy Tiatia took control and hit teammate Maddison Tekeu for his first of the evening, widening the gap to 16.
Counties continued their dominance into the second half with six tries.
Zedric Timai scored the first for Counties in the second stanza, opening the floodgates for the Auckland outfit. Heneli Luani, Tiatia and Pesalili Ma all got on the score sheet, with Ma chipping in with a hat-trick.
A complete performance from the Stingrays saw the final scoring being 56-6 in favour of the Auckland side.
Counties Manukau Stingrays – 56
Jarney Proctor, Teariki Ford, Lelefu Sang-Yum, Maddison Tekeu, ZedricTimai, Pesalili Ma x3, Heneli Luani, Timothy Tiatia
Teariki Ford (5/7), Lelefu Sang-Yum (2/2), Anthony Naitoko (1/1)
Upper Central – 6
Xavier Mitchell-Winsor (1/1)
March 19 2022
Counties Manukau Stingrays tie 26- 26 with Akarana Falcons in round 2 of the NZRL National 20s competition at Auckland Trusts Stadium.
Counties opened the scoring with a try from Maddison Tekeu on the 2min mark. Followed by another try from Pesalili Ma, who was able to find space up the right edge and, with a ton of pace, sprinted from one end of the field to the other to put Counties in front with a two-score lead.
Akarana hit back with a superb play spreading the ball left to right through Joshua Tanielu’s offload pass to teammate Sebastian Hindt to put Akarana on the board.
Counties gained back their momentum as they steamrolled down the field before Teariki Ford chipped the ball into space, beautifully bounced for him to catch and score under the post. Akaranas wing, Tuipala Faaee, found himself in trouble, diving in with his legs after Ford had grounded the ball resulting in a yellow card and an 8 point try for Counties.
With 3 mins to go for the first half, Akarana were desperate for more points before heading into the sheds. Benefiting from two errors from Counties, Akarana saw Ratima emerge from the scrum up the right edge to secure them four more points before the whistle. Counties Manukau Stingrays led Akarana Falcons 20-8 at halftime.
Counites momentum continued into the first few minutes of the second half as Ford grubbers into open space, closely followed by Samuel Hansen to catch and score.
With the score margin increasing, Akarana continued aggressiveness, leading to 3 back-to-back tries. Captin Doux Fiatau-Kauhiva busted through the solid Counties defence to score their first points of the half. Minutes later, Akarana capitalised again, scoring another through Kenneth-Seth Henery-Taua, who quickly went over the line untouched to close the point gap slightly.
With 5mins left, the Counties defence fought hard to hold their ground, but Akarana were too aggressive and saw prop Paaua Papuni-Abbott with an extraordinary run to close the score gap.
After a tough back and forth contest in the last 2mins of the game, the final hooter sounded 26-26.
Counties Manukau Stingrays – 26
Maddison Tekeu, Pesalili Ma, Teariki Ford, Samuel Hansen
Teariki Ford (4/4)
Akarana Falcons – 26
Sebastian Hindt, Ratima, Doux Fiatau-Kauhiva, Kenneth-Seth Henery-Taua, Paaua Papuni-Abbott
Tuipala Faaee (3/5)
March 15 2022
Into round three of the NRLW competition, the Kiwi Ferns continue to stamp their mark on the game.
The Roosters were too much for the Knights earning their first win of the season. Playmaker Raecene McGregor looked much sharper this game. Her excellent decision-making created the space that led to both the Roosters’ opening two tries. Mya Hill-Moana continues to make an impact every chance she gets on the field.
It was a tough loss to take for the Titans, as they fell short against the Eels, but that didn’t stop Georgia Hale from being her best out on the field. Hale managed to make a 100% efficiency tackle rate with her 65 meters again, demonstrating why she is among the game’s elite.
A brave Brisbane Broncos outfit dug deep to fight off the Dragons 22-18 in an enthralling top-of-the-table clash. Amber Hall once again showcased why she is one of the best forwards in the game—managing a team-high 164 running metres in her 50 minutes of action.
The Newcastle Knights suffered their third defeat against the Roosters. Despite the loss, Charlotte Scanlan was immense for the Knights, topping their tackle chart with 36 tackles and a 97.3% efficiency rate. One of Newcastle’s most consistent performers, Annetta Nuuausala, led from the front again with a try, 85 running metres, four tackle busts, three offloads and 18 tackles. Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly made two crucial tackles in both halves. Late in the first half, a crunching tackle on one of the Rooster’s standouts, Jessica Sergis, leading to a Roosters mistake. Stephens also made another strong fifth play tackle on the Rooster’s try line to force another error close to the line.
The NRLW ladder after round 3.
Round 4 Matchups:
Titans vs Broncos – Saturday 19th March, 2:50 pm NZT
Eels vs Roosters – Sunday 20th March, 2:00 pm NZT
Knights vs Dragons – Sunday 20th March, 3:45 pm NZT
March 14 2022
A group of family-orientated rugby league enthusiasts banded together to start the Papamoa Panthers (now Papamoa Bulldogs) junior rugby league club in 2003. The Papamoa Bulldogs Senior Men’s side was established as the number of members grew and demand increased for junior players to stay. The Papamoa rugby league was thriving, consisting of over 18 teams across the club.
Fast forward to today, like many other sports clubs, the Papamoa Bulldogs Rugby League & Sports Club Inc (PBRLSC) are struggling to recruit players and volunteers to keep the club going. According to veteran Bulldog Teia Dunster, “The Club has been doing it quite tough the last few years; finding volunteers is getting harder by the year.” The PBRLSC are looking for ways to re-engage with the community to gauge interest back into the club, not only for memberships within the club but also for the community to become more involved.
In hopes to restore the club, Dunster and his team at WEON put together an event, Operation getting Bryce Dinneen to the top of Papamoa Hills 3118.
Bryce Dinneen is an inspirational man who, unfortunately at the age of 29, had a diving accident, which resulted in him becoming tetraplegic.
Regardless of his circumstances, Dinneen is resilient and strives to push on with the hope that he can continue to achieve great things in life. Dinneen is the driving force behind his charity “wish4Fish’, which provides individuals with a physical or mental disability and illness the opportunity to enjoy the freedom and pleasure of Aotearoa ocean waters.
While helping others to achieve their goals, Dinneen has his own goals he wants to achieve. One of them is to have the ability to reach the top of Papamoa Hills.
With Dunster and WEON’s operation, the Papamoa Bulldogs Rugby League Club and community aim to band together to help this extraordinary man achieve his goal. This operation will also help lift the club’s profile, re-build the connection with the Tauranga community, and hopefully attract interest to the Rugby League Club. It is also an excellent way to channel pre-season fitness training for the Bulldogs.
“This is a way I thought we could build interest and try and get a buzz happening around the place. I’m a firm believer if the vibe is good, the people will come,” Dunster shares.
The day of the event is set to happen on Saturday 26th March. There will be organised teams of six rotating in carrying Dinneen to the top of Papamoa hills. They will be joined by a local kaumatua, Quentin Bidios, who will korero about the significance of Papamoa sites and Maori historical battles that happen. The day will end with a wind-down BBQ and cold drinks back at the Papamoa community centre.
Teia Dunster expresses, “We would love for as many people as possible to be involved!”
To get behind this inspiring event, feel free to donate here
All funds will go towards the Papamoa Bulldogs Rugby League & Sports Club to pay for ongoing expenses this season.
For more info about the event, visit
12 March 2022
The Upper Central Stallions emerged 48-12 winners over Waikato Mana in Round 1 of the NZRL National 20s Ruben Wiki Cup at Davies Park, Huntly.
Trevel Garninner-Hano opened the scoring on the left edge after five minutes of play as Xavier Mitchell-Windsor slid between the Waikato defence and found the winger to get on the board.
Stallion’s winger Jericho Yorke found himself in space after a superb break, finding Gardner-Hano for his second after a quarter of the match gone. Minutes later, Upper Central capitalised again, scoring another through winger Bailey Mohi Lyttle to grow their advantage.
Desperation from the Waikato side saw Te Poria Marsh stretch himself over the line to claw the Mana back into the contest.
With seconds left in the half, Upper Central captain Dayna Bidois crossed over, wrestling the game back into the Stallion’s favour as they went into the break up 18-6.
The Stallions imposed their will to start the second stanza as Xavier Mitchell-Winsor went over after the restart. Keanu Watson-Tautau then backed him up, using his footwork to score another try to give his team a commanding 30-6 lead.
With the Stallions dominating the game, Waikato managed to find a four-pointer against the run of play through Jardyn Watene, opening their account in the second half.
Upper Central hit right back through winger Jericho Yorke and moments later, Gardner-Hano, who completed his hat trick. Stallions full-back Ravyn Whetu sliced through Waikato with only minutes remaining to secure their first win of 2022.
Upper Central Stallions 48 (Trevel Garniner-Hano x3, Bailey Mohi Lyttle, Dayna Bidois, Xavier Mitchell-Winsor, Keanu Watson-Tautau, Jericho Yorke, Ravyn Whetu
Waikato Mana 12 (Te Poria Marsh, Jardyn Watene)
March 2, 2022
The NRLW is underway, and over 20 of our Kiwi Ferns are taking the field for their respective clubs throughout the season. Each week we will be highlighting a few of our Kiwi Fern standouts and how they performed over each round.
The Dragons opened their 2022 NRLW season with a tough victory over the Titans, 20 – 12.
Madison Bartlett is one of the few Kiwi Ferns playing for the Dragons this season and produced another consistent outing. Always dangerous in and around the ball, Bartlett added a four-point for St George in the 26th minute after a superb line break.
A gallant Titans go down fighting in a historic NRLW opener, losing 20-12 against the St George Illawarra Dragons.
Shannon Mato, the powerful prop, polled the most fantasy points ending the game with 45 points. Mato was efficient, showing her prowess in only 43 minutes on the field, making 24 tackles at an 89 per cent clip while being rewarded with a try late in the game.
Kiwi Fern veteran Georgia Hale was given a late chance to start the match and repaid the faith with her trademark effort on defence. Hale made 22 tackles at an incredible 96 per cent efficiency rate, another imposing performance by one of the world’s best.
The Broncos were immediately in impressive form after a dominant 20 – 4 season-opening win against the Roosters.
Amber Hall was her dominant self with 107 metres, 24 tackles, four tackle busts and four offloads and continues to stamp herself as one of the best forwards in the game.
With a line break in the 24th min, Roxy Murdoch – on debut, managed to spin her way over the line, scoring her first try of the season.
The Sydney Roosters have come away with a spirited performance against the Brisbane Broncos.
Leianne Tufuga, another Kiwi Fern on NRLW debut, ended the game without missing a single tackle in her 70 minutes on the field, showing why she is deserving of her NRLW start.
The Newcastle Knights side has suffered a heart-breaking 13 – 12 loss in their opening round clash against the Parramatta Eels.
Annetta Nu’uausala did not disappoint, coming up big for Newcastle in both attack and defence and showing why she is regarded highly in the NRLW.
Katelyn Vaha’akolo, on debut for the Knights, had an incredible try-saving moment in the 23rd minute of the game. Busting from her wing, across the field to chase down superstar Botille Vette-Welsh before the try line.
This Sunday’s triple-header will be played at Wollongong, WIN stadium.
Round 2 matchups:
Knights vs Broncos, 2:00 pm NZT
Roosters vs Titans, 3:50 pm NZT
Dragons vs Eels, 5:40 pm NZT
1 February 2022 as seen on https://amp.nine.com.au
Georgia Hale is expecting fireworks from the entire NRLW competition come February 27.
With the last elite women’s match over 15 months ago and three new teams – including the Titans – ready and raring for the big stage, the three-season campaigner believes the long hiatus has ignited the motivational flame among the playing groups.
“I’m expecting everybody to be coming out with a bit of a hiss and a roar,” former Warrior Hale said.
“Having missed footy, I can imagine everyone gunning for it, which is exciting because I think this is what the NRLW has kind of been missing. We haven’t had such long stints away from the game.
“I think there will be a bit more fire in the belly for everyone to be returning and returning in good shape, hungry to not only take the field but some success again on the footy field.”
Joining the Gold Coast as one of the club’s marquee players, the Kiwi Ferns International is relishing her time in Queensland after crossing the ditch in March 2020, continuing to grow under a different female pathways system Australia has to what she’s experienced in the past.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in Aussie so far and it’s been really good,” Hale said.
“I’m very used to how we do things back home in New Zealand coming through the system, especially from a grassroots system to our international Kiwi Ferns side, so it’s been really nice to connect with players, coaches, and staff on the side to see how the game operates over here within the women’s space.
“I’ve learnt heaps from players I get to take the field with and also coaches we are currently training under, so it’s been a great experience so far and I look forward to more.”
Always seen with a smile on her face at pre-season training, the Titans enforcer has been leading the charge with setting the team’s morale, inspired by having the squad reunite after the long wait for the club’s debut season following its postponement due to COVID-19.
“Energy is one of the words that’s thrown around the Titans club so it’s great we’re bringing it to training so far,” Hale said.
“There’s great energy. The girls are just fizzing and bubbling to be back really.
“Just to be back on the paddock and back in the gym lifting some weights. I think what we’ve missed the most is – well we’ve all been training but it’s doing it together – it’s that unity, the connection within the group, so it’s been really nice to be sweating next to each other and getting to work.
“Even on the tougher days, training isn’t easy, but it’s much easier when you’re doing it alongside your mates.”
As one of the side’s senior leaders, the 26-year-old said the healthy mix of youth and experience is a huge strength given every player has something to offer.
“We definitely have a young squad but there are a few older girls within the group. That’s going to be the difference within our team looking at the others within the campaign,” Hale said.
“[Our aim is to] bridge the gap between our youth and senior players, regardless or whether you’re 18 or 38 – everyone has got something to contribute to the side.
“For me personally, I’m going to keep leading by example doing my thing and getting around the girls as much as possible.”
As Round 1 approaches, so does the mighty Macca’s NRLW local derby, which will also happen to be first-ever game at home for the newest women’s team in Queensland.
And the clash will be special for Hale for a number of reasons, who didn’t understand the hype around the fierce rivalry between the Titans and Broncos until she arrived in the sunshine state.
“There’s a special feeling when you go to Cbus. There’s a really nice presence so I’m really looking forward to taking the field for that game,” Hale said.
“It’ll be Titans versus the Warriors which is my old club, so there will be a bit of excitement around that for the men’s, and then for us to set the tone for the day, coming up against the Broncos, they’re definitely a team most NRLW sides will put their hand up and say they’re looking forward to.
“The Queensland clash… I didn’t know much about it till I touched base here on the Gold Coast, but I really do hope our Gold Coast girls get up on the day.
“It’ll be an exciting game day for us all.”
19 January 2022 as seen on https://amp.nine.com.au
Newcastle rookie Autumn-Rain Stephens-Daly gets asked the same question all the time.
With one of the more unique names in rugby league, the fresh-faced rookie from New Zealand offers a grin when asked if there is any meaning behind her name.
“People always ask if was I born in Autumn and if it was raining and I laugh because it was actually in winter and not raining,” Stephens-Daly tells NRL.com.
“Originally my dad just wanted to call me Rain but mum said no. When I was born she was watching TV in the hospital and on the news there was the topic of autism being discussed.
“She got the idea of Autumn from there and my dad said we’ll call her Autumn-Rain and they agreed on that.
“My last name is just both my parents’ surnames so it is a bit random. It’s not usually what people expect when I tell them.”
Stephens-Daly may have to get used to telling people her story more often with the former New Zealand rugby sevens player one of the most exciting rookies to watch in 2022.
Born in Rotorua, the 25-year-old is among a rare group of players who have represented their country before an NRLW club after she starred for the Kiwi Ferns on debut in 2020.
“I was in Japan contracted for sevens but a couple of years earlier my uncle asked me to play in a national Maori tournament,” Stephens-Daly said.
“I didn’t know the rules of rugby league but really enjoyed it so last year was the first time I had a lot of time dedicated to the code.
“I want to have a good crack at everything now with the All-Stars, NRLW, and World Cup at the end of the year.”
Stephens-Daly arrives at Newcastle alongside eight of her Kiwi Ferns teammates for the club’s inaugural campaign including possible halves partner Charntay Poko.
After starting her short journey in the game as a winger or fullback, Stephens-Daly wants to continue to build on her craft as a playmaker.
“There are a lot more skills I need to learn in the halves but it’s been a good learning curve, I’m enjoying that position,” she said.
“It feels like I’ve jumped from the bottom to the top playing for New Zealand but with the NRLW it’s a seven-week competition so that will test the kind of player I am.
“I’m just looking forward to playing for the Knights, they’ve looked after us, from when we were there during the pandemic to now.
“I want to give back to the club by playing my best.”
Stephens-Daly was named in an extended New Zealand Maori All-Stars squad last year and remains in the mix for a debut on February 12.
19 January 2022 as seen on https://amp.nine.com.au
The Raiders have signed former NZ National 20s and U16s playmaker, Stanley Iongi, who could be the answer to the club’s long-term hooking dilemma.
With question marks over the Raiders’ two first-choice hookers, Josh Hodgson and Tom Starling, the club has pounced on the Kiwi youngster Stanley Iongi.
Now 19, Iongi actually signed with Melbourne feeder club Brisbane Tigers late last year.
But when he was approached by the Raiders last week, Iongi’s manager Dixon McIver asked the Tigers for a release.
“They were great about it,” McIver told Wide World of Sports.
“They wanted Stanley in their club but they recognised he had a much better opportunity at Canberra and let him go – I can’t speak highly enough of them.”
Iongi will start the new season in the SG Ball but will be closely monitored by the Raiders’ coach Ricky Stuart.
With Hodgson’s future the subject of constant speculation and Starling having off-field issues, the youngster could be the future Raiders’ number nine.
“He is a real goer in the Brandon Smith mould – Canberra have got themselves a great kid,” McIver said.
National 20s Ruben Wiki Cup Competition kicks off Saturday, March 12th, with the final taking place over Easter weekend.