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
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