October 23 2023
The 2023 16s and 18s boys and girls national representative fixtures showcased some of the best young rugby league talent throughout the four matches held at Auckland’s Bruce Pulman Park. Both Aotearoa Whaanui boys and girls teams produced wins over the Auckland invitational sides, while the Clubs v Schools matches saw the boys Clubs and girls Schools teams emerge as winners.
Aotearoa Whaanui 16s Girls v Auckland Invitational Girls
Aotearoa Whaanui 38-0
The Aotearoa Whaanui girls team portrayed much skill and strength in their convincing win over the Auckland Invitational girls side. Scoring for the match was opened by Whaanui winger Prayer Playle who crossed the white line off the back of an expert long ball by halfback Hera Maihi. Maihi was dependable with kicking duties throughout the match, successfully kicking four conversions and one penalty goal. The Whaanui side proved too strong for the Aucklanders going on to score eight unanswered tries, finishing the game as victors 38-0. Centre Te Maia Sweetman finished the match with a double, with her teammates Prayer Playle, Bailey Edwards, Ava-Lea Maxwell Ogilvy, Kayshana Rapana, and captain Mihikorama Kerr all crossing for tries.
Aotearoa Whaanui 16s Boys v Auckland Invitational Boys
Aotearoa Whaanui 20-10
Spine-tingling hakas set the scene for the Auckland v Aotearoaa Whaanui 16s Boys clash at Auckland’s Pulman Park. However, the first forty was one-way traffic for the Aotearoa side. South Island’s Azaniah Roebeck opened the scoring, followed by consecutive tries to South Island’s Torino Jackson, Waikato’s Fine Fale and Wellington’s Shae TeKauri Taitua. The half-time hooter worked wonders for the Auckland side as they regrouped to find their comeback form. Auckland’s Charleston Te Rore set the scene for the second half, earning the 09’s first points through a barging run up the middle. Consecutive Auckland tries to Peter Faaleaga, and Steven Moala followed, but the clock rang full-time, and the comeback was cut short. An impressive second-half Auckland effort wasn’t enough for Whaanui’s first-half dominance, final score 20-10. New Zealand Resident Clubs Boys vs National Secondary Schools Boys
New Zealand Resident Clubs Boys v National Secondary Schools Boys
New Zealand Resident Clubs Boys 30-22
This intense clash saw heavy contact and excellent ball play from both 18s boys sides as they battled for the full 70 minutes. The Clubs team came out firing, with Captain Rodney Tuipulotu-Vea scoring first after an opportunity created by a kick from half Maui Winitana-Patelesio. Winitana-Patelesio was also successful for three conversions in the match. The NZ Resident Clubs side continued to dominate the first half, scoring three more tries bringing the score to 20-0 at halftime. The Schools side made a resurgence in the second half after prop forward Malachi Filipo crossed to put their first points on the board. They maintained momentum scoring two more consecutive tries but were ultimately outlasted by the Clubs boys, who went on to win the game 30-22.
New Zealand Resident Clubs Girls v National Secondary Schools Girls
National Secondary Schools Girls 32-28
Fullback Jessica Patea put first points on the board for NZ Clubs, but NZ Schools had the upper hand for most of the first half. Containing the Schools’ middles proved challenging as field position swayed heavily in favour of the Secondary Schools side. Schools led 20-6 at the break through tries to Shafenior Lui, Evelyn Roberts, Danii-Nicole Gray and Josinah Filisi Tauilili. Filisi Tauilili scored a double to kick off the final forty before Schools’ hooker Evelyn Roberts barged over for her second shortly after. NZ Club captain Braxton Sorensen-McGee cleverly found space on the line, injecting momentum into her side as they bridged the gap 32-12. That momentum carried as the return set saw winger Danii Mafoe crash over after a full-field effort from NZ Clubs with the deficit now 16. The Clubs began to find space as their comeback edged closer and closer. Consecutive line breaks saw winger Elenoa Havea barge over, making it a ten-point game with ten to go. More metres down the middle from an inspired Schools side saw it become a four point game with two minutes to go. A powerful kick-off from NZ Schools kept their lead alive as they got the ball back on the return set, but a knock-on soon after gave Clubs one final shot. A last-ditch attempt from Clubs to score a 100m try fell agonisingly short as the full-time hooter rang; NZ Schools held on to victory, 32-28.
October 19 2023
The 2023 16s and 18s boys and girls representative fixtures boast an extreme amount of top talent from across the motu. New Zealand Rugby League is proud to announce the return of the Clubs vs Schools match-up as well as the return of Aotearoa Whaanui vs Auckland Invitational. This 16s clash puts the top talent from around Aotearoa up against the melting pot that is Tāmaki Makaurau, whilst the 18s Clubs vs Schools fixture is a combination of the best players from both the NZRL National Secondary Schools and National Youth Tournaments. All matches are set to take place at Auckland’s Bruce Pulman Park on Monday 23 October.
NZRL General Manager of Football & High-Performance Motu Tony stated, “Another successful year of the National Secondary Schools and NZRL National Youth Tournaments gave our rangatahi and rugby league community a fantastic opportunity to come together.
“The tournaments showcased the enormous talent we have playing and participating in rugby league, and our expanded female National Youth Tournament showed that the future of the Kiwi Ferns is bright and exciting.
“The efforts of those who performed exceptionally well in our tournaments have been recognised. They will get another opportunity to connect and compete with the rugby league talent throughout the motu.
I am excited about the talent we have that will compete in these fixtures and also proud that we can offer our young female players another representative opportunity.”
All games are free to attend at Bruce Pulman Park, Takanini, and will be live-streamed on the NZRL YouTube channel: youtube.com/playlist
Aotearoa Whaanui 16s Girls v Auckland Invitational 16s Girls
Monday 23 October Bruce Pulman Park 10:05 am
2023 NZRL AOTEAROA WHAANUI 16S GIRLS SQUAD
Aotearoa Whaanui 16s Boys v Auckland Invitational 16s Boys
Monday 23 October Bruce Pulman Park 11:35 am
2023 NZRL AOTEAROA WHAANUI 16S BOYS SQUAD
NZRL National Secondary Schools Boys v NZRL New Zealand Resident Clubs Boys
Monday 23 October Bruce Pulman Park 1:05 pm
2023 NZRL NATIONAL SECONDARY SCHOOLS BOYS SQUAD
2023 NZRL NEW ZEALAND RESIDENT CLUBS BOYS SQUAD
NZRL National Secondary Schools Girls v NZRL New Zealand Resident Clubs Girls
Monday 23 October Bruce Pulman Park 2:45 pm
2023 NZRL NATIONAL SECONDARY SCHOOLS GIRLS SQUAD
2023 NZRL NEW ZEALAND RESIDENT CLUBS GIRLS SQUAD
15 March 2023
The New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) is proud to announce the ‘RISE’ Talent Development Programme, in partnership with the NRL, will now be delivered in New Zealand to young aspiring wāhine players.
The NRL’s RISE programme, which has been highly successful across Australia, aims to better prepare young players for the rigours of high-performance environments such as the NRLW, targeting female players aged 17-19 years of age.
The programme enhances skills, teaches the fundamentals of strength & conditioning, and emphasises the importance of player wellbeing.
The NRL extended the invitation following a successful year of female participation in the rangatahi age group here in New Zealand.
2022 saw the introduction of the first National 16 & 18 Girls 9s Tournament, National Secondary Schools Girls Tournament, National Youth Tournament and the first National Representative fixtures for 16s & 18s Girls age groups.
With the NRLW growing from six to 10 teams in 2023, female players have more opportunities to be recognised and establish themselves as elite athletes.
The RISE programme is the next step for young aspiring Kiwi players to become NRLW players and future Kiwi Ferns.
GM of High-Performance for NZRL Motu Tony says, “Thank you to the NRL for inviting our New Zealand players to participate in such a successful programme.
“It’s exciting that our young wāhine will get to experience the benefits of RISE, which will aid their growth and development into future elite athletes.
“Our women’s game has experienced incredible momentum over the past couple of years, and we look forward to seeing this continue as more development opportunities are made available to our rangatahi across Aotearoa.”
October 14 2022
The 2022 Boys representative fixtures boast an extreme amount of top talent from across the motu. New Zealand Rugby League is proud to announce the return of the Clubs vs Schools match-up and the inaugural 16s Boys Auckland Invitational vs Aotearoa Whaanui. This 16s clash puts the top talent from around Aotearoa up against the melting pot that is Tāmaki Makaurau, whilst the 18s Clubs vs Schools fixture is a combination of the best players in both the NZRL Secondary Schools (SS) and Youth (YT) Tournaments.
The 16s Auckland Invitation is headlined by Akarana Falcon and Youth Tournament MVP Kaawyn Patterson. A team that possesses strike across the park, centre Taipari Wikitera and winger Ezekiel Tavita were electric for their sides in the Youth Tournament. The Aotearoa Whaanui outfit is one dominated by the South Island Scorpions. Exciting young talent Ezekiel Faga’ieti leads the Southern side, whilst Wellington Orca Maui Winitana-Patelesio directs them around the park.
Auckland Rugby League’s Thaine Ashford said, “The quality of rugby league across the Secondary Schools and Youth Tournaments has been exceptional.
Plenty of players outside the Auckland Invitational 18 were unlucky to miss out, but that shows the quality of talent in the ARL competitions and pathways.”
The Clubs vs Schools fixture is littered with outstanding talent across both teams. NZRL SS MVP Waisake Salabiau returns to the rugby league field alongside teammate Malakai Cama; they are joined by St Paul’s Sio Kali and South Island half Oliver Lawry. Not to be outdone, the School’s pack includes Malachi Tony, Elijah Salesa Leaumoana and YT Final MVP Rodney Tuipulotu-Vea. After a strong Youth Tournament, Counties contingent Kayliss Fatialofa, Phranklyn Mano-Le-Mamea, Jarome Falemoe and Ben Peni lead a versatile Clubs side. Scorpion Makaia Taufa slots in at dummy-half, and Team of the Tournament half Afaese Fa’avae leads the squad around the park.
NZRL General Manager of Football & High-Performance Motu Tony stated, “The return of the National Secondary Schools and NZRL National Youth Tournaments, after a Covid-19 enforced hiatus, gave our rangatahi and rugby league community a fantastic opportunity to come together.
“The tournaments showcased the enormous talent we have playing and participating in rugby league, and our inaugural female National Youth Tournament showed that the future of the Kiwi Ferns is bright and exciting.
I am excited about the talent we have that will compete in these fixtures and also proud that we can offer our young female players a representative opportunity for the first time.”
All games are free to attend and live on Sky Sport!
Auckland Invitational Boys 16s versus Aotearoa Whaanui Boys 16s; Monday 24 October, 2 pm. North Harbour Stadium
16s AUCKLAND INVITATIONAL VS AOTEAROA WHAANUI
AOTEAROA WHAANUI 16 BOYS
AUCKLAND INVITATIONAL 16 BOYS
18S CLUBS V SCHOOLS
New Zealand Schools Boys versus New Zealand Clubs Boys; Monday 24 October, 4 pm. North Harbour Stadium
18 BOYS NZ CLUBS SQUAD:
18 BOYS NZ SCHOOLS SQUAD:
NZRL would like to acknowledge the selection of Leti Jeff Samuela (De La Salle College) who, after an awesome Secondary Schools tournament was named in the NZ Schools team but has unfortunately been to withdraw due to injury.
August 11, 2022
In collaboration with Auckland Rugby League (ARL), New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) will present representative games for boys and girls in the 16s and 18s age groups.
The 16s age group will feature an inaugural ‘Auckland’ versus ‘Rest of New Zealand’ contest whilst the ‘Clubs vs Schools’ match-up returns for their 18s counterparts. These games will be played in Auckland over labour weekend, the 23rd and 24th of October and will consist of the best young talent across the motu.
The 16s Auckland teams will consist of players from the ARL competition, Region of Origin development programme and representative teams that include; Akarana, Counties-Manukau and Auckland. The ‘Rest of New Zealand’ squads will be selected from Zonal teams that consist of Northland, Upper Central, Mid Central, Wellington and South Island.
ARL’s Football Development and Programmes Manager Viggo Rasmussen had this to say, “Auckland Rugby League is extremely excited to test ourselves against the best rangatahi talent in our county. The 16s age grade is a significant area for us, as we focus on building pathways and attractive development pathways for our juniors.”
The 18’s representative clash sees the ‘Clubs vs Schools’ return after a year hiatus and will include the debut of a girl’s match. NZRL will select the Schools team from their performances at the NZRL National Secondary Schools Tournament, which runs from the 30th of August to the 3nd of September. Clubs squads will be selected from the 16s and 18s NZRL National Youth Tournaments that will take place from the 4th to the 12th of October.
NZRL General Manager of Football and High Performance Motu Tony added, “NZRL has focused on developing the female game, and presenting a girls 18’s Clubs vs. Schools match is another step towards enhancing the wāhine space. This event offers our young women an opportunity not seen before, creating more pathways for females to develop their game.”
“As for the boys, the Clubs vs Schools match-up was a huge success in 2020, and we are looking to build off that this year. A plethora of young talent have found homes in NRL clubs from the previous contest, showing a genuine pathway rangtahi can take towards the professional game.”
Auckland U16 Boys vs. Rest of New Zealand U16 Boys
Auckland U16 Girls vs. Rest of New Zealand U16 Girls
New Zealand Schools Girls vs. New Zealand Clubs Girls
New Zealand Schools Boys vs. New Zealand Clubs Boys
21 October 2021
Auckland Rugby League and the New Zealand Warriors with the support of NZRL are excited to announce the launch of our newest venture for the U16|U18 boys grades with the hope of introducing girls in the future.
In 2022 there will be a newly developed preseason programme/competition U16 Shaun Johnson Shield and U18 Dean Bell Cup.
Players will be invited to register to participate in 3 development camps as well as a trial to represent 1 of 4 teams in the Auckland region. Tamaki ki te Raki – Auckland North, Tamaki ki te Rawhiti – Auckland East, Tamaki ki te Tonga – Auckland South, Tamaki ki te Uru – Auckland West. Players can register here;
for U16s – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8X2QGP2
for U18s – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8NTL2QT
These development camps will be based at the New Zealand Warriors facility at Mt Smart Stadium.
U16s Johnson Shield: 27th November | 11th December | 15th January U18s Dean Bell Cup: 28th November | 12th December | 16th January
If you are interested in being considered for a coach | manager | trainer position please apply here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/L25BNKW
The competitions will be a mini pre-season competition to be run over four weeks:
12th March | 19th March | 26th March | 2nd April.
Post competition, a Warriors U18 Development Team will be selected as well as an Auckland U16 Team to tour Australia during the April School Holidays.
If you have any questions please feel free to send them to Rugby League Development Officer TJ Ashford – email@example.com
01 June 2021
New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) is pleased to confirm a busy NZ16s and NZ18s representative schedule for the year in liaison with New Zealand Māori Rugby League (NZMRL) and Auckland Rugby League (ARL).
NZRL recently announced the selection of an NZ18s Girls Schools team off the back of the inaugural NZRL Secondary Schools Girl’s Competition in August. The NZ18s Girls will take on the Auckland 18s Girls on Sunday, 3 October.
The Auckland 18s side will be selected off the back of the Auckland Rugby League (ARL) Region of Origin. The ARL Region of Origin provides a pathway for players unavailable to participate in the NZRL Secondary Schools or NZMRL Rangatahi Tournaments to represent Auckland in a trial game against New Zealand Secondary School Girls.
ARL CEO Greg Whaiapu says: “It’s really exciting to be able to offer up these opportunities for our local Auckland players and we’re looking forward to being part of the NZRL’s annual competitions.”
“The girls-specific grades are the fastest growing area of our game right now and it’s an important next step that we continue to offer more opportunities for our players and coaches in those grades to earn honours at a higher level.
“We also want to encourage and help the other districts around New Zealand to keep growing the female game.”
New Zealand Māori Rugby League (NZMRL) will select a squad to participate in the Pasifika Aotearoa Collective Tournament (15th – 17th October) off the back of their NZMRL Rangatahi Tournament over Queen’s Birthday weekend in June.
John Devonshire, NZMRL Chairman, says, “This is an outstanding opportunity for our seven foundation member nations to come together in an inaugural Pasifika Aotearoa Collective (PAC) rangatahi side.”
“For so long we have competed against each other at many levels, the opportunity for our Cook Island, Fijian, Niuean, NZ Māori, Samoan, Tongan and Tokelauns to play together side by side is incredible. We are grateful to Motu Tony and the NZRL for this opportunity to create our own PAC history.”
From there, NZMRL will then finalise their 18s Kotiro team to take on the NZ18s Girls at the NZMRL Tuakana Tournament in Rotorua on October 23rd.
John Devonshire, adds, “For our Māori Kotiro 18’s side to participate in this historical match is right. NZ Māori, along with the ARL have been the key drivers in the kotiro space. The match is a reflection of the momentum that kotiro rugby league is having in NZ. Well done Lui and the NZRL; this has been a long time in the making, it is here now – bring it on!”
The NZMRL Tuakana Tournament will also play host to a clash between the NZ Resident 16s and the Pasifika Aotearoa Collective 17s (Boys).
The NZ Resident 16s team will comprise of the best players from the NZRL National Youth Tournament held in early October, while the Pasifika Aotearoa Collective 17s will be the merit team selected from the Pasifika Aotearoa Collective Tournament.
Luisa Avaiki, Head of Women’s Rugby League at NZRL, says the new representative clashes are huge milestones for the game.
“It’s so exciting to provide these playing opportunities which reflect the hard mahi going into growing and developing our women’s space across the country.”
“Thank you to ARL and NZMRL, who have pioneered the girls game for many years now. It’s exciting to come together and provide opportunities for girls to play rugby league at a representative level. It adds a layer of incentive and fosters further pathways that encourage participation growth and player development.
“I can’t wait to see what the girls produce come the end of the year.”
NZ18s Schools v Clubs also returns for its second year, which will see the best 18s players from the NZRL Secondary School Competition and NZRL Youth Tournament face off in October. NZRL will release further detail on the clash in due course.
29 January 2021
New Zealand Rugby League will kick off its inaugural National 20s Competition on Saturday 27 February 2021. The round-robin competition will play over five consecutive weeks with the two top placed teams set to face off in the final the weekend of April 2.
The NZRL National 20s Competition involves six teams from across New Zealand with Zones and appropriate Districts represented.
Auckland hosts two teams as Auckland Rugby League, Akarana and Counties Manukau join forces to create an Auckland Blue and Auckland White team. Other teams represented include Northland; Wai-Coa Bay, with the inclusion of Waikato, Hauraki, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Coastline Districts; Central Districts, including Manawatu, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay and Wellington; and South Island, including Tasman, Canterbury, West Coast, Aoraki, Southland and Otago Districts.
The NZRL National 20s Competition will showcase future Kiwis from across the country as this inaugural comp looks to shine a spotlight on New Zealand’s development talent as they pave their way for elite professional contracts.
All games will be televised live on Sky Sport, Sky Sport Now and for Australian viewers, Kayo and FOXSPORTS Linear.
December 16, 2020
The 2020 NZRL Community Award recipients have tonight been announced with Mangere East Rugby League Club taking out NZRL Grassroots Club of the Year.
What was a truly testing year, Mangere East shone through as a servant for its community, going above and beyond to provide a safe space, while continuing to promote and grow the game of rugby league despite the year’s challenges.
Mangere Easts’ weekly ‘Life Soup Kitchen’ provided free hot meals throughout the year in a safe environment for families that were struggling to make ends meet. The club responded quickly to Auckland’s second lockdown by providing a free Covid-19 testing station in their car park, encouraging members within their community to get checked.
Gala days, school holiday programmes and free meals for local families, are only a fraction of the work Mangere East have been doing off the field to continually serve the needs of their people, epitomising NZRL’s More Than A Game.
The 2020 NZ 16s Player of the Year was awarded to Marists’ Tre Fotu. He was a standout against the NZ Māori 17s scoring a double and continually asking questions of the defence.
NZ 16s Head Coach, Phil Gordon says; “Tre is a young man who epitomised the meaning and value of wearing the Black and White jersey. He was a focused trainer, disciplined in his approach and committed to executing game plans and structures at the highest level.”
The NZ 18s Player of the Year for 2020 was awarded to Northcote Tiger and NZ 18s Clubs captain, Sam McIntyre. Sam captained the NZ 18s Club team in the inaugural Schools v Clubs match, scoring one try and leading his side to a 34-22 victory.
NZ 18s Head Coach, Tusa Lafaele says; “Sam has always displayed a high skill level, technique and ability as an athlete. Often what separates the talented from the successful, is the attitude and fortitude to work hard and be prepared to make sacrifices. Sam has always applied himself in this manner, striving for success and competing with true grit.”
Akarana veteran, Francis Leger, was awarded NZRL Domestic Men’s Player of the Year due to his outstanding season captaining Akarana to their fifth straight NZRL Premiership victory, as well as the NZ Residents.
Harata Butler took home NZRL Domestic Women’s Player of the Year after a successful season in Counties Manukau colours, earning her MVP of the Sky Sport Women’s Premiership as well as her international Kiwi Ferns debut.
NZRL Domestic Coach of the Year was awarded to Phil Gordon after he coached his undefeated Akarana side to an impressive fifth NZRL Premiership, as well the NZ Resident 16s to a convincing 42-6 victory over the NZ Māori Resident 17s.
NZRL Match Official of the Year was awarded to veteran Paki Parkinson after a successful season officiating the NZRL Premiership, NZ 16s and the NZ Residents v NZ Maori Residents.
Pirtek’s 2020 Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Takahiwai’s Shayne Wassel. Despite several disabilities including mild deafness, speech impediment and blindness in one eye, the single father of four never lets that get in the way of his ability to go above and beyond for his local club, whanau and community – Read more about Shayne’s story here.
NZRL would also like to give a special mention to runner up clubs for Grassroots Club of the Year, the Eastern Eagles and Timaru Outlaws.
Despite financial difficulties, the Eastern Eagles immediately switched focus to supporting its club members and the wider community through the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeking support from local businesses, the Eagles procured and co-ordinated the receipt and delivery of hundreds of food packs and other essentials items, reaching pockets of the community that were often missed.
The Timaru Outlaws, just four years old, had only one U7s team in 2018, as of 2020 they now have five junior teams playing under the senior side equating to around 100 registered U13 players. Based in a non-traditional rugby league area, with no club rooms, it’s the collective efforts of the community and their strong whanau values-driven approach that has seen this club flourish with momentum only continuing to rise.
NZRL CEO, Greg Peters says, “These awards recognise exceptional work in our grassroots, domestic and community space both on and off the field. We congratulate each recipient on their outstanding achievement.
“Thank you to those in our rugby league communities who continue to go above and beyond for our game. In what was a challenging year for most, it’s the dedication of our people that keep rugby league thriving – thank you.”
2020 NZRL Community Award Winners
To watch the NZRL Community Awards, please click here.
The NZRL High-Performance Awards will be broadcast tonight Sky Sport 4 at 7:30 pm.
October 25 2020
New Zealand’s future Kiwi talent was on display at the New Zealand Māori Rugby League Tuakana Tournament yesterday where the NZ Resident 16s came away with a convincing 42 – 6 victory over the NZ Māori 17s at Rotorua International Stadium.
Two spine-tingling hakas echoed throughout the stadium setting the tone for what would be a tough and passionate affair.
The game commenced with an even match up the middle, but it was the NZ Resident side that scored themselves an early 10 – 0 lead. Kyson Kingi for the NZ Maori side scored what would be their only four-pointer of the night which kept the game within six points, but the NZ Residents were too classy running away with a 22-point lead at half time.
The second forty saw the NZ Resident 16s mount an extra 14 points but an improved defensive performance by the NZ Māori went astray as the 22 point half time lead proved too costly.
The NZ Resident 16s too good for the NZ Māori 17s with a 42 – 6 victory at Rotorua International Stadium.
NZ 16s five-eight Cassius Tia earned 14 of the Residents 42 points with five conversions and a try and NZ Resident centre Tre Fotu earned himself a double.
NZ Resident 16s (42)
Try scorers: Dickie Terepo, Nathaniel Tangimataiti, Tre Fotu (2), Cassius Tia, Te Hurinui Apanui Twidle, Jacob Laban, Demitric Sifakula.
Conversions: Cassius Tia (5)
NZ Māori 17s (6)
Try scores: Kyson Kingi
Conversions: Tea-Rani Woodman
October 7, 2020
New Zealand Rugby League wishes to congratulate the following selected in the 2020 New Zealand Resident 16s squad who will face the New Zealand Māori Rugby League 17s on the 24th October at Rotorua International Stadium.
The fixture will be live-streamed on NZMRL and NZRL Facebook pages and will bring a close to Day One of the annual New Zealand Māori Rugby League (NZMRL) Tuakana Tournament.
17 players will be named from the below 19 to take the field on the day, congratulations to the following:
Head Coach – Phil Gordon (Akarana)
Asst Coach – Peter Butler (Mid Central)
Asst Coach – Alex Parker (Upper Central)
Manager – Clarissa Percival (Mid Central)
Head Trainer – Ben Collins (Akarana)
Asst Trainer – Clayton Amer (Wellington Rugby League)
NZMRL will select an U17s team from their Rangatahi Tournament just been which celebrated its 20th year over the weekend.
The highly successful NZMRL Rangatahi Tournament has provided a pathway for many young Kiwi players over recent years; 2020 NRL debutants Jordan Riki, Jackson Ferris and Matt Timoko have all previously played in the NZMRL Rangatahi Tournament.
In 2017, now Brisbane Bronco, Jordan Riki, captained the NZMRL U17s against NZ Resident 16s in a close game, where the NZ Resident 16s came away with the win 32 – 28.
John Devonshire, NZMRL Chairman says, “The 2020 season has been a huge challenge for all sectors across our code. To be able to stage a representative game for our elite players is awesome.
“We the NZMRL are happy to accommodate the NZRL in what we see as an exciting match up. We are very proud of our NZ Māori 17’s Rangatahi team and wish them well. It is one thing to play for your country, it is another to play for your people, kia kaha te tima Māori.”
There was not a cloud in the sky at St Peters College in Cambridge as the NZRL Development U16s took on the Vodafone Warriors 16s to mark the final day of the CCL: Revera Talent Development Camp for 2020.
The NZRL Development squad kicked off the points scoring with a runaway try down the right edge to Akarana centre Tre Fotu off the back of some dominant meters by the NZRL forward pack.
Handling errors by both teams saw key scoring opportunities go astray with the first quarter siren sounding 4 – 0 to the NZRL Development squad.
The Vodafone Warriors hit back, but good scramble defence by NZRL saved any scoring opportunity. More handling errors by the NZRL Development squad gifted the Warriors another chance on their goal-line; however, NZRL’s Nathaniel Tangitimaiti shutdown the crossfield kick as the score remained 4 – 0.
The NZRL development squads’ goal-line defence was nothing short of impressive saving back to back tries in the second quarter; however, a fourth handling error gifted the Warriors yet another repeat set in which they finally capitalised to bring the score to four apiece.
Wasting no time, Vodafone Warrior Paula Latuila backed up the points crossing over in the corner to make it 8 – 4. Warriors with the momentum and meters, Dorian Lotaki crashed over the try line shortly after to make it 12 – 4 to the Warriors 16s.
The NZRL Development squad then hit straight back off some dominant meters down the middle; winger Jayden Harris crossed over in the corner in the final seconds to make it 12 – 8 at half time.
Second half underway and an unlucky error under the highball gifted the Vodafone Warriors their fourth try pushing their lead out to 16 – 8. Another handling error from the NZRL development squad saw powerhouse prop Ben Peni steamroll over the line to extend the Warriors lead to 20 – 8.
NZRL’s Dallas Hurrell-Jones ran down the left edge to score for the Development squad after a clever intercept lessening the gap to 20 – 12, however, the Vodafone Warriors were quick to hit back with big metres down the middle scoring shortly after, the twelve-point gap remains, 24 – 12.
Warrior winger Paula Latuila ran down the right edge after a clever cut out pass to score his second making it 28 – 12. A good restart kick gave possession back to NZRL in which they earned a repeat set, Khalan Clyde only centimetres away from scoring before the third quarter siren. The score remains 28 – 12.
The NZRL Development squad kicked off the final quarter with a try on their first set to Samuela Vakadula making it 28 – 18. Cantebury’s Felix Fa’atili ran through the middle to score off the back of some good hit-ups from the NZRL forward pack, with teammate Dallas Hurrell-Jones crossing over in the corner shortly after for his second, making it 28 – 24 with ten to go.
NZRL Hooker Joseph O’Leary jumped on a loose ball running into open space; however, the NZRL Development squad couldn’t capitalise on the momentum. An impressive comeback was unfortunately cut short with the Vodafone Warriors U16s taking out the match, 28 – 24.
Players from both teams will be selected for the NZRL U16s wider squad set to be announced in the next three weeks. Our young Kiwi talent was certainly on display here in Cambridge and safe to say after this close-fought battle – selectors will be spoilt for choice.
Due to the ongoing implications of the Covid-19 outbreak, New Zealand Rugby League regrets to advise that all NZRL run representative competitions and tournaments have been called off for the remainder of the year.
Community and Club competitions and trainings are still currently postponed until May 2 with that date to be reviewed in due course.
Due to the current uncertain revenue lines, these representative competitions would place too big of a financial burden on the Zones. International rugby league has also been cancelled for the foreseeable future, and NZRL has ceased all non-essential expenditure.
Greg Peters, NZRL CEO, “We are extremely disappointed that these competitions will not happen in 2020, but unfortunately, it was a decision that had to be made for the financial longevity of our game.
“Due to the extensive consequences of this pandemic across the code, we have had to make some significant short term sacrifices in order to see the game thrive long after this virus is contained.
“The impact and influence rugby league has is felt widespread both on and off the field. Although unprecedented, this decision was made fully with the longevity of our game in mind and the important role it plays within our communities.”
NZRL will provide a further update on club and community competitions in due course. Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, the focus will be on getting the grassroots game operating as quickly as possible.
On Sunday afternoon a very sunny and hot Pulman Park saw three international showdowns played out, showcasing the best under 18s rugby league talent across New Zealand and the rest of the world.
First up the New Zealand Resident 16s would face the TOA Samoa 16s, a tight contest between the two nations proved Samoa was more than prepared to take on their big brother counterpart.
New Zealand looked to be in the game after a decent first half, with tries across the field from the boys in white. Cassius Cowley and New Zealand Captain Jaedon Wellington would put the team in front going into the second half 14 – 10.
Samoa went into the sheds trailing by four, but complacency, a lack of discipline from the New Zealand team and pure passion from the Samoans lead them to take the win over the hosts in the end 26 – 20.
The French team who faced the New Zealand 18s earlier in the week, arrived ready to finish their tour of Aotearoa on a high, with only Auckland U19s standing in their way.
While the first half was a grind – with France kicking a penalty on the siren to lead 14-12 at the break – the second stanza saw 38 combined points scored.
A big second half saw Auckland U19 get past France U19 38-26 in their one-off representative clash.
Fresh off the back of their win against France on Thursday, the NZ18s were keen to finish their campaign undefeated, however, if the Toa Samoa 16s performance was anything to go by, this wasn’t going to be an easy task.
Both teams came out firing but it was NZ who capitalised on early possession to get first points on the board. That momentum, however, was short-lived as Samoa fired straight back with an overlap to the right as centre, Sam Taunga, went over for Samoa’s first points. Neither side was able to convert making the score four a piece after ten minutes
A tackle in the air from NZ put Samoa in the lead as they took the two penalty points soon followed by a try to Vaiala Tamati off a clever cross-field kick extending their lead 12 – 4.
NZ answered straight back as Semisi Sikei dived on a kick in goal to make it 12 – 8. Poor discipline from NZ gifted Samoa further field possession as hooker Jeremiah Schuster dived through the defensive line making it 18 – 8 at the break.
The Kiwis had no choice but to come out firing if they were to remain in the game, and that they did, NZ opened the second half with a try to Vaka Sikahele in corner to tighten the gap to 18 – 12. Kina Kepu then steam-rolled the Samoan defence to score a great solo try making it 18 – 16 with a kick to come. Sione Moala was having a less than ideal day with the boot missing another conversion; the Kiwis still trail by two.
The NZ forward pack were proving hard to handle breaking the Samoan defensive line two more times, yet handling errors by the Kiwis cost back to back try opportunities. NZ then caught Samoa napping and finally capitalised on their possession as Jordan Coleman scored under the posts making it 22 – 18.
Samoa gained momentum off poor discipline from the Kiwis yet a try went begging as Samoa’s chasers were caught offside. NZ went straight back on the attack as William Fakatoumafi skillfully caught a highball and offloaded to winger Semisi Sikei who extended the Kiwis’ lead to 26 – 18.
Fakatoumafi then defused Samoa’s last play option catching yet another high ball to run 100m untouched adding an extra four for NZ, Moala was unable to convert keeping the score 30 – 18. Feao Tongia crossed for the Kiwis eighth, and final try making it 36 – 18 at full time.
An impressive second-half performance by the Kiwis concluded an entertaining day of footy at Auckland’s Pulman Park. Congratulations to all involved.
New Zealand Rugby League is pleased to announce a series of international fixtures that will see our brightest future league talent on display from up and down the country.
The NZ Resident 16s and 18s are set to take on TOA Samoa 16s and 18s at Auckland’s Pulman Park on Sunday 6th October, while the NZ Resident 18s will also come up against France’s U19s on Thursday, October 3rd at International Stadium, Rotorua.
As well as the NZ Residents 18s fixture, French Rugby League will embark on a historic tour of New Zealand facing the South Island 20s, Waikato 20s and Auckland 19s.
Full list of fixtures in date order (all times are NZT):
Friday 27 September 2019 – Nga Puna Wai, Christchurch
Canterbury Invitation XIII vs. France U19s; 5pm kick off
Monday 30 September 2019 – Ngaruawahia, Waikato
Waikato 20s vs. France U19s; 4pm kick off
Thursday 3 October 2019 – International Stadium, Rotorua
New Zealand Resident 18s vs. France U19s; 6:30 kick off
Sunday 6 October 2019 – Pulman Park, Auckland
New Zealand Resident 16s vs. TOA 16s; 10:30am
Auckland 19s vs. France U19s; 12:15pm
New Zealand Resident 18s vs. TOA 18s; 2:00pm
New Zealand Rugby League is pleased to announce the following successful players have been selected to represent the New Zealand Resident 16s and 18s teams for 2019.
New Zealand Resident 16s:
Head Coach: Bejay Hewitt (Akarana)
Assistant Coaches: Chris Langley, Eugene Davis (Upper Central)
Manager: Junie Shelford (Northland)
Trainers: Sean Witanga (Counties Manukau), Iripa Rangi (Vodafone Warriors)
Physio: Quentin Hokianga (Vodafone Warriors)
Wellbeing Support: Te Iwi Ngaro Wairau (Southern)
New Zealand Resident 18s:
Head Coach: Tusa Lafaele (Counties Manukau)
Assistant Coaches: Daniel McEwan (Wellington) and Cody Walker (Akarana)
Manager: Tania Harris (Counties Manukau)
Trainers: Lee Paru (Southern) and Jasen McCarthy (Akarana)
Physio: Allan Horn (Counties Manukau)
NZRL CEO, Greg Peters, says these fixtures are a teaser of the international rugby league to come.
“What’s really exciting about these matches is that we get a glimpse into the future of New Zealand Rugby League. These National Teams provide a platform for players to springboard their future opportunities in the game and are an essential part of the NZ pathway.
“The fixtures are also a display of the impressive domestic talent developed through our Clubs, Districts and Zones and having our future Kiwis come up against quality competition such as TOA Samoa and France will be exciting to see.”
Geoff Brown, Rugby League Samoa Executive said: “We are thankful for the opportunity to come up against the NZ Residents, and at the same time, continue to strengthen our international relationships as these fixtures are vital to the development of Samoan rugby league.
“To play for your country is the ultimate goal and we’re always working to provide elite pathways for our young players to achieve this at a range of age levels. Thanks to New Zealand Rugby League for their ongoing support, we look forward to the upcoming clashes.”
Marc Palanques, Executive Chairman Federation Français Rugby a XIII said: “We are looking forward to this historic U19’s tour of New Zealand with a distinct vision of preparing a competitive squad capable of mixing it with the world’s best in the future.
“The current rep cycle means we are preparing for a World Cup every four years and this is our first step in giving our players the experience they need to compete against the world’s best players. The four-match program we have is ambitious while providing a wonderful mixture of games and community engagements for our young players.
“Mixing sport with the local culture and experiencing their first haka, will be a life-changing experience and we hope to be able to reciprocate this with the NZRL when they visit next. A special word of thanks to our rugby league hosts in the South Island; Canterbury Rugby League and the North Island; Waikato Rugby League, Auckland Rugby League and New Zealand Residents.”
Details on how to view each fixture will be released in due course.
Image – Photosport
After a highly successful 2020 Talent Development Programme held in Cambridge last month, New Zealand Rugby League wishes to announce and congratulate those players who have been selected in the New Zealand Resident 16s and 18s, 26-man squads.
80 of the best 16s and 18s players in the country were put through their paces both on and off the field at the three-day camp, with everything they learnt culminating in two trial matches on the final day. The talent on display left selectors with some difficult decisions to make as players battled it out in hopes of catching the coaches’ eyes.
These squads will assemble on the first Monday of the school holidays, 15 April and 8 July, with a game in October to be announced in the coming months.
New Zealand Resident 16s Wider Squad 2020
AKARANA; Benaiah Ioelu, Zion Maiu’u, Paaua Papuni-Abbott: AUCKLAND; Nathaniel Tangimataiti, Nathaniel Cama, Stanley Iongi, Heneli Luani, Sione Vaihu, Filipo Whitehouse-Opetaia Tovio, Sione Fotuaika: COUNTIES MANUKAU; Ali Leiataua, Ben Peni, Carlos Tarawhiti, Salesi Ataata, Francis Manulelua. MID CENTRAL; Arama Kite, Fatiauma Moeahu-Leota: NORTHLAND; Tea-Rani Woodman-Tuhoro: SOUTHERN; Felix Fa’atili, Jaedon Wellington, Ethan Faitaua, Nikau Waikato, Uriah Tuli: UPPER CENTRAL; Manaia Ngataki-Matthews, Cassius Cowley: WELLINGTON; Joshua Williams.
Head Coach: Bejay Hewitt
Assistant Coaches: Eugene Davis and Chris Langley
Trainers: Sean Witanga
New Zealand Resident 18s Wider Squad 2020
AKARANA; Caleb Pese, Luani Tavake Naufahu Whyte, Moala Graham-Taufa, Jyris Glamuzina, Lani Graham-Taufa, Matthew Palu, Temple Kalepo, Totive Junior Tuileisu: AUCKLAND; Eteru Ropati: COUNTIES MANUKAU; Otukinekina Kepu, Peesi Vailangi Kepu, Semisi Sikei, Taniela Otukolo, Paea Fotu, Quinnlan Tupou, Semisi Tapa, Sione Moala, William Fakatoumafi: MID CENTRAL; Brooklyn Herewini, Tyson Chase: SOUTHERN; Jordan Coleman, Levi Pascoe, Caius Fa’atili. UPPER CENTRAL; Sean Field, Tukimihia Simpkins. WELLINGTON; Dallas McEwan.
Head Coach: Tusa Lafaele
Assistant Coaches: Cody Walker and Daniel McEwan
Trainers: Lee Paru and Jasen McCarthy
Manager: Tania Harris
Physio: Allan Horn
Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Honey Hireme reign supreme at the 2018 New Zealand Rugby League Annual Awards announced on Sky Sport’s Kiwi League Show tonight.
Waerea-Hargreaves (Kiwi #755) had one of his best seasons in the black and white jersey, accumulating over 130 run metres for all four end-of-season Test matches in England, and proved crucial in the Kiwis historic 26-24 win over Australia.
Michael Maguire says: “As a senior player within the Kiwis camp, Jared put a lot of time into discussing the growth of the Kiwi team. He has immense passion towards where he wants to see the black and white jersey and this is a real quality of his,”
“Off the back of his brilliant season in club land, he was in a good position to play his best footy for the Kiwis and that’s exactly what he did. His experience has been invaluable in mentoring younger players to step up into international rugby league,” Maguire says.
The powerhouse prop capped off his 2018 NRL season with his second NRL premiership win, a title he was able to share with Kiwis teammate Joseph Manu (finalist for Kiwis Rookie of the Year).
In one of the biggest years to date for women’s rugby league, Honey Hireme was hard to go past when it came to crowning the Kiwi Ferns Player of the Year, an award she won back in 2012. As co-captain of the Kiwi Ferns alongside veteran teammate Laura Mariu, she crossed the ditch to play for the St George Illawarra Dragons in the inaugural NRL Women’s Premiership, an experience she says has benefitted her game.
“The addition of this year’s NRL competition was great for the women’s game. The fact that we could all come together in Kiwi Ferns camp following four weeks of competing in the elite space, was hugely beneficial when it came to pulling on the black and white jersey against the Jillaroos,”
“The more we can play at the top level, the better our game gets. I’m grateful for receiving this award but would also like to recognise the efforts of the other finalists (Kimiora Nati and Aieshaleigh Smalley) and our Kiwi Ferns teammates, my family for their undying support, management and coaching staff,” she says.
The Kiwis Rookie of the Year award was picked up by Kiwi #810 Ken Maumalo, a player who earnt his Kiwis call-up in June at Mile High Stadium before going on to play in all five 2018 Kiwis Test matches, scoring four tries. His impressive season with the Warriors and Kiwis attracted high praises from coach Michael Maguire and rightfully so, given he amassed 15 tackle breaks and 801 run metres over the three Tests he played against England.
“Both Ken and Jared are two players that are hungry for the Kiwis jersey to reach new heights and that’s pleasing,”
“It has been really enjoyable coaching Ken, the more he plays, the more he grows so I look forward to seeing what he does next year,” Maguire says.
Joining Maumalo in playing her first Test at international level, Onjeurlina Leiataua has been rewarded for her break out season with the Warriors women’s team, and the stellar part she played in the Kiwi Ferns narrow loss against the Jillaroos at Mt Smart Stadium this year. These achievements saw her pick up Kiwi Ferns Rookie of the Year.
Promising youngster, Isaiah Papali’i wins Junior Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, having been awarded Warriors Rookie of the Year and receiving his Kiwis debut in England after leading the Junior Kiwis in their match-up against the Junior Kangaroos in October.
This year’s award winners showcase players and match officials performing at the pinnacle of rugby league, as well as community representatives and volunteers who prove to be the backbone of grassroots rugby league in New Zealand.
New Zealand Rugby League wishes to congratulate the award winners from all 13 categories below:
Pirtek Female Volunteer – Karen Gibbons Karen Gibbons (Akarana, Auckland)
Pirtek Male Volunteer – Lawrence Erihe (Mid Central, Manawatu)
Grassroots Club of the Year – South Pacific Raiders (Southern, Otago)
Domestic Coach of the Year – Keith Hanley (Akarana, Auckland)
Match Official of the Year – Paki Parkinson (Upper Central, Bay of Plenty)
NZ 16s Player of the Year – Sione Moala (Counties Manukau, Auckland)
NZ 18s Player of the Year – Tyler Slade (NZ Warriors)
Domestic Premier Player of the Year – Francis Leger (Akarana, Auckland)
Kiwi Fern Rookie of the Year – Onjeurlina Leiataua (NZ Warriors)
Kiwis Rookie of the Year – Ken Maumalo (NZ Warriors)
Kiwis Fern Player of the Year – Honey Hireme (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Kiwis Player of the Year – Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (Sydney Roosters)
The New Zealand 16s come back from a 6-2 deficit at halftime to beat the Toa Resident 16s, 24-10.
It was a double act from the twins, Lani Graham-Taufa and Moala Graham-Taufa who both bagged four pointers aided by tries from both Jarney Proctor-Harwood and Mase Carson too. However, only one twin will take home bragging rights – Lani Graham-Taufa picking up Most Valuable Player for the New Zealand 16s side.
But, if the first 20 minutes were anything to go by, the NZ 16s were in for a tough run against a firing Samoan side. The first set saw the Toa Resident 16s five metres out from New Zealand’s try-line as a result of their powerhouse forwards providing the muscle up front. However, close wasn’t close enough, New Zealand regaining possession to make up the metres lost earlier.
New Zealand’s first attempt at crossing the line was plagued by nerves and jitters when the ball was finally lost forward a metre out from the line. Fortunately, five minutes later the boys in black and white put first points on the board with gun half, Sione Moala kicking a successful penalty goal. That was then matched minutes later with a penalty goal to Samoa booted over by Joshua Setefano.
Two points turned into six when the Toa Resident 16s crossed for the first try of the match when Evander Tere-Rongotaua scored off the back of his left wingers ground-work punching a hole in the home side’s defence.
New Zealand had the opportunity to score another two penalty points right on the halftime hooter but Moala’s kick was unsuccessful sending his team into the sheds with the score sitting at 6-2 to Samoa.
Whatever Head Coach Bejay Hewitt said to his team at halftime must have worked as New Zealand came out with a vengeance crossing for the first try of the second half in Mase Carson, score 6-all. With a conversion from Sione Moala, New Zealand took the lead for the first time, 8-6 and never looked back.
After a break on the bench, local Pikiao hooker, Dayna Bidois got a hometown cheer as he stormed back on the field to bring his team home.
The lead gave the NZ 16s the boost they needed to take intensity levels up a notch. Some fantastic work from New Zealand’s right edge saw them cross the line three more times to push their lead out to 24-10 come the final whistle.
New Zealand 16s 24 (Lani Graham-Taufa, Moala Graham-Taufa, Jarney Proctor-Harwood, Mase Carson tries; Sione Moala 3 goals; Sione Moala Penalty Goal) Toa Resident 16s 10 (Evander Tere-Rongotaua, Jeff Tatapu Leilua tries; Joshua Setefano Penalty Goal)
Evander Tere-Rongotaua – Toa Resident 16s MVP
Lani Graham-Taufa – New Zealand 16s MVP
NZ 16s give back to local community in Rotorua
The New Zealand 16s team has been named to take on the Toa Resident 16s tonight at 6pm, Puketawhero Park, Rotorua.
Watch the video below:
The New Zealand 16s put the Bay of Plenty 14s through their paces in a training session the players constructed to pass on their knowledge and values.
NZ 16s captain Quinnlan Tupou and Dayna Bidois, Pikiao local talk about what it means to give back to the local community and their thoughts going into tomorrow’s match against the Toa Resident 16s, 6pm Thursday 12 July (livestream available on NZRL Facebook page).
This Thursday (12 July, 6pm kick-off) the NZ Resident 16s go head-to-head with the Toa Resident 16s at Puketawhero Park, Rotorua.
Eight players from the Counties Manukau 16s team that took out the National Talent Development Final in March and seven players from the runners-up Northern side will be putting their best foot forward in the black and white jersey.
The side will look to bag their second win in as many years after the cliffhanger against the New Zealand Maori 17s which they narrowly won 32-28.
Catch the livestream for this game on the NZRL Facebook page.
Note: There will be no gate charge for any spectators who wish to attend.
New Zealand Resident 16s v Toa Resident 16s
Thursday, 12 July – 6pm
Puketawhero Park, Rotorua
2018 New Zealand Resident 16s listed by Zone/District:
Akarana: Asolelei Fretton, Lani Graham-Taufa, Lleyton Finau, Naufahu Whyte, Samuel McIntyre, T.J. Devery, Moala Graham-Taufa; Counties Manukau: Quinnlan Tupou, Sione Moala, Mase Carson, Jarney Proctor-Harwood, Jeremiah Margraff, Otukinekina Kepu, Taniela Otukolo, Valingi Kepu; Bay of Plenty (Upper Central Zone): Dayna Bidois, Legacy Katene; Wellington: Blaine Betham-Taape.
Assistant Coach: Chris Langley
Assistant Coach: Eugene Davis
Manager: Wayne Boyes
Trainer: Sean Witanga
The New Zealand Rugby League are pleased to announce the 18 successful players who have been selected to represent the New Zealand Resident 16s.
This team will go head-to-head with the NZ Samoa 16s at Puketewhero Park, Rotorua on Thursday 12 July, 6pm kick off.
Bejay Hewitt, the New Zealand Resident 16s Head Coach says: “To be successful in this campaign we need to deliver and execute at the highest level. We believe we have selected a group of extremely talented young men who we feel are ready for this challenge. We are all excited about representing our country with passion & pride.”
Akarana: Asolelei Fretton, Lani Graham-Taufa, Lleyton Finau, Luani Tavake Naufahu Whyte, Samuel McIntyre, T.J. Devery, Moala Graham-Taufa; Counties Manukau: Quinnlan Tupou, Sione Moala, Mase Carson, Jarney Proctor-Harwood, Jeremiah Margraff, Otukinekina Kepu, Taniela Otukolo, Valingi Kepu; Bay of Plenty (Upper Central Zone): Dayna Bidois, Legacy Katene; Wellington: Blaine Betham-Taape.