Expect to do some talent spotting in the curtainraiser for the
Kiwis v Toa Samoa Four Nations game at Toll Stadium in Whangarei,
as the NZ 16s face Samoa 16s team.
National 16s coach Jeff Whittaker is over the moon that his side
has the opportunity to be the build-up for such an important Kiwis
game. He's also pleased with the progress his players have made on
an off the field, maturing as players and individuals.
"It's outstanding - such a great opportunity for the boys and a
great initiative for them to be involved in, being a curtainraiser
for the Kiwis is exciting," says Whittaker.
"It's also great for the Samoan boys to be recognised. Our boys
are excited to play.
"There are going to be so many people there, supporting Samoa as
well. It's going to be exciting for our players and they will feel
privileged to be a part of it."
As for individuals in his side, he states that the whole team is
a tight unit and will rely on teamwork, but with every team, there
are still some players who stand out.
"The whole 18 [players] are an exciting bunch of boys, which the
public will hear of in the future.
"Rory Ferguson is going to be the captain. He's from Dunedin and
the first player from that city to play for New Zealand.
"Viliami Tosi and Lewis Soosemea are a couple of others people
should watch out for too."
Is it the most talented 16s team Whittaker has been involved
"In 1996, I was part of a 16s tour of Australia, and the team
had Wairangi Koopu, David Vaealiki and David Fa'alogo, so that was
pretty special. This team has some of the players have spent two to
three years at the league academy in Rotorua. These boys are
physically strong and they are mentally strong too."
Keeping his players thinking about their future is something
Whittaker is especially firm on. He says that not every player will
make the NRL, and it's important they have other attributes to
their character and other life skills aside from just playing
"I'm really impressed with the work that Dean Watkin and Tony
Iro are doing at NZRL." he says. "They have done a great job
educating the players, beyond just playing the game.
"I'm hoping education is a part of their future. It can't be
discounted, as not everyone will make it in league and even then,
it can be a short career at times."
As for the game against Toa Samoa 16s, Whittaker believes his
players must stay focused, but that playing for their country will
overrule nerves and the skills of his young charges will show
"I've been pretty much coaching 16s the last four years and the
world's their oyster.
"They will wear the jersey with a lot of pride. It's a big
honour for me and for the players too. I can't wait to see them
play footy on Saturday.
"It will be a great game."
NZ: 1-Morgan Harper,
2-Steven Marsters, 3-Tarquinn Alatipi,
4-Lewis Soosomea, 5-Etene
Nanai-Seturo, 6-Hayze Perham, 7-Boston
Hakaroa, 8-Kenese Kenese, 9
-Tuteauru Maipi, 10-Viliami Tosi,
11-Dylan Clarke, 12-Jerome Mamea,
13-Rory Ferguson, 14-Donovan Briggs,
15-Enoch Tautolo, 16-Chanel
Harris-Tavita, 17-Wesley Veikoso, 18-Josh
Head coach - eff Whittaker
Assistant coach - Peter Rikiriki
Manager - Anita Smith-McKinnon
Head trainer - Greg Davis
Assistant trainer - Junior Mautairi
Medic - Bobby Vercoe
Physio - Skye Renes
Samoa: 1-Caleb Clarke,
2-Janavan Marsh, 3-Junior Malau,
4-Alfred Smalley, 5- Fa'atupu Lisati,
6-Dylan Tavita, 7-Jordan Tagoai,
8-Fuifatu Asomua, 9-Phoenix Hunt,
10-Soane Hufanga, 11-Eka Sanele Tuafafo,
12-Tanielu Tele'a, 13-Javvier Pitovao,
14-Michael Hunkin, 15-Liam Pakau,
16-Thomas Mikaele, 17-Wesley Patu.
The first 1000 people in Whangarei, 2000 people in Dunedin and
3000 people in Wellington will receive a Pirtek fluid transfer
system ie. a Pirtek/Four Nations-branded cup for your drinks.
These cups will have a sticker with a unique number.
Visit our e-news sign-up page and complete the form with your
unique ID into the "City/Answer" field to be in the draw to win a
signed Kiwis jersey.
Pirtek Best Seat in the House
Two lucky people will be chosen from the crowd by our Pirtek
promo people to sit down on the sideline near the team benches to
watch one half of a test match.
Two people will be chosen for the first half and, at half-time,
a second pair will be invited sideline.
This will happen at all three NZ games.
Come along to the ground in your cool Kiwis kit, maybe bring a
banner saying "pick me for Pirtek Best Seats in the House", watch
out for the Pirtek promo people moving among the crowd and you
might get to join the team sideline for the best seats in the
Revera signed Kiwis jersey giveaway
Kiwis sponsor Revera is giving away a signed Kiwis jersey. Visit
www.revera.co.nz/about/sponsorship for competition details.
NZRL and Cheers! are all about having a great time, looking
after yourself, your mates and watching all 80 minutes of the
To celebrate you and your mates enjoying the 2014 Rugby League
Four Nations responsibly, we're offering an incredible prize for
one lucky winner.
Simply post a photo of you all having fun, but taking
responsibility, on the "Legendary
Mates" Facebook page.
You and your best mate could be in the best seats in the house
at the 2015 Anzac Test.
The location for this has yet to be confirmed, so you could be
flying to Australia or Auckland, with one night's accommodation and
Just start posting pictures of you and your mates enjoying a
Four Nations test match (live or on TV!), and you could be enjoying
the legendary prize.
Vodafone Warriors prop Suaia Matagi is poised to play his
first test for the NZ Kiwis against his old team-mates, Toa Samoa,
at Whangarei's Toll Stadium on Saturday.
Showing utmost respect for the Samoans, who went close to
upsetting England in their Four Nations opener last Saturday, coach
Stephen Kearney has stuck largely to the line-up that defeated
Australia 30-12 in Brisbane.
Matagi (26), who represented the Pacific nation at last
year's Rugby League World Cup, is the only rookie in the playing
line-up this week, replacing Greg Eastwood on the bench, although
second rower Bodene Thompson also takes a step closer to his first
international outing, as 18th man.
Hooker Issac Luke returns in place of Thomas Leuluai,
after serving a two-game suspension that comprised South Sydney
Rabbitohs' NRL Grand Final victory and last week's encounter with
The only other change from victory over the Kangaroos
comes on the wing, where Manu Vatuvei replaces Gerard
Whangarei-bred prop Adam Blair will also wear the black
jersey for the 29th time in his hometown.
Saturday, November 1
NZ Kiwis v Toa Samoa, Toll Stadium,
NZ: 1-Peta Hiku,
2-Jason Nightingale, 3-Dean Whare,
4-Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5-Manu Vatuvei,
6-Kieran Foran, 7-Shaun Johnson,
8-Jesse Bromwich, 9-Issac Luke,
10-Adam Blair, 11-Simon Mannering
(captain), 12-Kevin Proctor, 13-Jason
Taumalolo, 14-Lewis Brown, 15-Suaia
Matagi, 16-Martin Taupau, 17-Tohu Harris,
Samoa: 1-Tim Simona, 2-Antonio Winterstein, 3-
Tim Lafai, 4- Joey Leilua, 5-Daniel Vidot, 6- Ben Roberts, 7- Kyle
Stanley, 8-Isaac Liu, 9-Pita Godinet, 10-David Fa'alogo (captain),
11-Frank Pritchard, 12-Leeson Ah Mau, 13-Josh McGuire, 14-Dunamis
Lui, 15-Jesse Sene-Lefao, 16-Sauaso Sue, 17-Mose Masoe,
Referee - Henry Perenara; touch - Grant Atkins & Anthony
Eliott; video - Ian Smith
Sunday, November 2
Australia v England, AAMI Park, Melbourne
Australia: 1-Greg Inglis, 2-Josh
Mansour, 3-Michael Jennings, 4-Dylan Walker, 5-Sione Mata'utia,
6-Daly Cherry-Evans, 7-Cooper Cronk, 8-Aaron Woods, 9-Cameron Smith
(captain), 10-Sam Thaiday, 11-Beau Scott, 12-Greg Bird, 13-Corey
Parker, 14-Boyd Cordner, 15-Robbie Farah, 16-Aidan Guerra, 17-Ryan
Hoffman, 18-Ben Hunt
England: 1-Sam Tomkins, 2-Josh Charnley,
3- Kallum Watkins, 4-Michael Shenton, 5- Ryan Hall, 6-Gareth
Widdop, 7-Matty Smith, 8-George Burgess, 9-Josh Hodgson, 10-James
Graham (captain), 11-Liam Farrell, 12-Joel Tomkins, 13-Joe
Westerman, 14-Daryl Clark, 15-Brett Ferres, 16-Tom Burgess,
Referee - Gerard Sutton, touch - Robert Hicks & Jason
Walsh; video - Bernard Sutton
The NZ Kiwis have put in a complete performance to demolish
Australia 30-12 in their opening game of the Four Nations, played
at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Initially, Australia made all the running, as the experienced
Cooper Cronk laid on a great ball for Beau Scott to score in the
Not to be outdone, the Kiwis attacked and it looked like Jason
Nightingale had scored, but he lost control of the ball when
attempting an acrobatic touch down, after taking an excellent
cut-out pass from Kieran Foran.
Kevin Proctor put the Kiwis in the game with a bursting charge
to the line for a try that was converted by Shaun Johnson to equal
the scores at 6-6.
Proctor then seemed to have scored a second, but the pass from
Johnson was ruled forward, before Greg Inglis raced over for the
Aussies in the 18th minute.
Coming off the interchange bench, Lewis Brown scored with his
first touch of the game and after Johnson kicked the goal, it was
12-12. The score remained unchanged at half-time, but the Kangaroos
lost Daly Cherry-Evans and, for a substantial time, Inglis as
The Kiwis then really started to dominate down the middle of the
park, thanks to powerful runs by Proctor, and the combination of
Johnson and Kieran Foran, which led to Greg Eastwood's break and
eventually some clever follow up by Johnson to his own grubber kick
for a try.
Dean Whare plucked a ball from the sky above Michael Jennings to
give the Kiwis a 24-12 lead heading into the final quarter, before
Nightingale made amends for his earlier lapse to score and give the
Kiwis a five-try-to-two victory, plus a five-from-five kicking
performance from Johnson, who the Kangaroos found almost
The Kiwis will now face Samoa on Saturday in Whangarei in their
second match of the Four Nations. The Pacific Islanders gave
England they could handle in the first game of the Brisbane
doubleheader, before falling 32-26.