Let battle commence between codes

23 October 2014

League or union - the eternal debate.

The two rival codes are set for another war of words, but this time under the control of radio sports expert Tony Veitch, as an all-star cast defends our good name against the "other" game at Dunedin's Glenroy Auditorium on November 7.

That's the eve of the big NZ Kiwis v England Four Nations clash at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

In "League v Union - The Great Debate", Sir Peter Leitch (aka The Mad Butcher) will lead a league team of former Kiwi Tony Iro and Rugby League International Federation chairman Nigel Wood that is well equipped to expound the virtues of our great game.

With sporting memorabilia and fantastic prizes up for auction, there will be plenty of opportunities to contribute to two great causes - the League For Life Foundation and New Zealand Rugby Foundation.

Tickets are available at $145 each or a table of 10 for $1350, which includes a two-course meal, refreshments and entertainment.

You can book tickets by phone (03 479 2823), email (tickets@dunedinvenues.co.nz) or in person at Forsyth Barr reception (Gate J).

Great Debate Ticket Application Form

Beale, Hoffman in for DWZ

22 October 2014

NZ Kiwis utility Gerard Beale will replace injured Dallin Watene-Zelezniak on the wing for the Saturday's Four Nations opener against Australia in Brisbane.

And Brisbane Broncos fullback Josh Hoffman has joined the squad, after the teenage sensation was ruled out of the campaign with a broken bone in his foot.

Yesterday, Watene-Zelezniak was named to debut at Suncorp Stadium, subject to fitness test on his injured foot and further tests showed the suspected sprain was actually a break.

"He's obviously very disappointed and we're gutted for the young lad," says Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney. "Dallin has already been a wonderful contributor to the early stages of our campaign with his energy and enthusiasm.

"But he's a special talent and at this stage of his career, we need to be very careful to take care of him.

"Dallin's now had a taste of what it's like to be a Kiwi and I think we'll see him play many tests for us going forward."

The amended Kiwis line-up against Australia is:

New Zealand:1-Peta Hiku, 2-Jason Nightingale, 3-Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 4-Dean Whare, 19-Gerard Beale, 6-Kieran Foran, 7-Shaun Johnson, 8-Jesse Bromwich, 9-Thomas Leuluai, 10-Adam Blair, 11-Simon Mannering (captain), 12-Kevin Proctor, 13-Jason Taumalolo, 14-Lewis Brown, 15-Greg Eastwood, 16-Martin Taupau, 17-Tohu Harris, 18-Suaia Matagi

Varsities named for South Is clash

21 October 2014

NZ Univerities coach Kenny O'Brien has chosen a team of good youth and experience from more than 60 nominations to play the South Island as a curtainraiser to the Kiwis v England Four Nations test next month.

"In the end, he has chosen an exciting young team," says NZ Universities Tertiary Students Rugby League Council chairman Rodney Moore.

The team includes four players - Dexter Buchanan, Marrin Haggie, Denzil Hokianga and Nicholas Read - who went to England last year as part of the New Zealand Student World Cup side.

The remaining 14 players will all be making their New Zealand Universities & Tertiary Students representative debut from eight different university and tertiary institutions, including six from the Auckland University of Technology.

Moore says the game is especially significant for the team, given that Dunedin is the spiritual home of student league in New Zealand, where the first university club was formed 60 years ago, along with being the city where the first ever New Zealand Universities side played in 1967.

The team captain will be named when the team assembles in Dunedin on November 6.

The squad in alphabetical surname order is:

Name Institution
Chaz Brown Auckland University of Technology
Dexter Buchanan University of Otago
Marrin Haggie Waikato Institute of Technology
Tumoana Halkyard New Zealand Institute of Sport
Denzil Hokianga Wellington Institute of Technology
Theo Lalakai Auckland University of Technology
Isaac Misky University of Otago
Jordon Norton Auckland University of Technology
Nicholas Read Waikato Institute of Technology
David Saumolia Wellington Institute of Technology
Solomona Sio Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation
Elifasa Sopi Auckland University of Technology
Tyrone Tangata-Makiri Auckland University of Technology
Uta Toea'ana Auckland University of Technology
Ken Tofilau University of Canterbury
Manu Weepu Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology
Jason Whareaitu University of Waikato

Coach: Kenny O'Brien (Wellington)
Manager: David Marsh (Auckland)
Event manager: Marama Puketapu (Wellington)
Trainer: Johnny Herewini (Dunedin)

Two debutants in Kiwis line-up

21 October 2014

Blockbusting forward Jason Taumalolo and teenage wing Dallin Watene-Zelezniak have been named for their NZ Kiwis debuts in the 2014 Four Nations opener against Australia at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium.

Coach Stephen Kearney has also re-united Keiran Foran and Shaun Johnson in the halves, with veteran utility Thomas Leuluai starting at hooker.

Watene-Zelezniak's inclusion is subject to a fitness test on a foot injury picked up in training early this week. He continues a proud family tradition in the Kiwis - great-grandfather Steve Watene is a former national team captain and lends his name to the NZ Player of the Year award.

"Dallin is an exciting young prospect, who we think will play many tests for the Kiwis in the future," says Kearney. "He'll be looking for to this opportunity to step up to the next level, but we'll have to wait and see how his foot mends up."

Taumalolo finally gets his chance to take the field for the Kiwis, after filling a non-playing role at the 2012 Anzac Test.

"His performances over the past year, but particularly over the last two months of the NRL, have been very consistent," says Kearney.

"Jason's always been there or thereabouts. He had an opportunity to get picked for the Anzac Test before he injured a shoulder and he's also been a Junior Kiwi."

Utility Lewis Brown also returns to the side, coming off the bench, after a three-year absence.

"I feel like this group has a good balance about it and we've certainly trained very well over the last couple of days, so you can feel the combinations starting to come together." says Kearney.


Saturday, October 25

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

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, 17-Chris Hill

Samoa: 1-Tim Simona, 2-Antonio Winterstein, 3-Ricky Leutele, 4-Joey Leilua, 5-Daniel Vidot, 6-Ben Roberts, 7-Kyle Stanley, 8-Sam Tagaetese, 9-Michael Sio, 10-David Fa'alogo, 11-Frank Pritchard, 12-     Leeson Ah Mau, 13-Josh McGuire, 14-Pita Godinet, 15-Jesse Sene-Lefao, 16-Isaac Liu, 17-Mose Masoe, 18-Dunamis Lui

Referee - Gerard Sutton, touch - Jason Walsh, Anthony Elliot, video - Henry Perenara


New Zealand: 1-Peta Hiku, 2-Jason Nightingale, 3-Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 4-Dean Whare, 5-Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 6-Kieran Foran, 7-Shaun Johnson, 8-Jesse Bromwich, 9-Thomas Leuluai, 10-Adam Blair, 11-Simon Mannering (captain), 12-Kevin Proctor, 13-Jason Taumalolo, 14-Lewis Brown, 15-Greg Eastwood, 16-Martin Taupau, 17-Tohu Harris, 18-Suaia Matagi

Australia: 1-Greg Inglis, 2-Josh Mansour, 3-Michael Jennings, 4-Dylan Walker, 5-Daniel Tupou, 6-Daly Cherry-Evans, 7-Cooper Cronk, 8-Aaron Woods, 9-Cameron Smith (captain), 10-Sam Thaiday, 11-Beau Scott, 12-Ryan Hoffman, 13-Greg Bird, 14-Robbie Farah, 15-Aidan Guerra, 16-Josh Papalii, 17-Corey Parker, 18-Boyd Cordner, 19-David Klemmer, 20-Sione Mata'utia

Referee - Phil Bentham, touch - Robert Hicks, Grant Atkins, video - Ian Smith

In the news - No panic for Kiwis

20 October 2014

David Long, Stuff

There's none of that panicking around the Kiwis camp this week that's usually there before a big game in Australia.

For the Anzac test each April, Kiwis coach Stephen Kearney has to cram in as much as he can in the two training sessions he gets, but with a longer lead-in time, the team have settled in well on the Gold Coast in preparation for Sunday's test against the Kangaroos in Brisbane.

So much so that, after a strenuous 100-minute training session yesterday, they boys were let off the leash to try out the rides at the Dreamworld theme park with the 19-year-old sensation Dallin Watene-Zelezniak the keenest to try out the stomach churning ride, the Claw.

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Learn more about the NZ Kiwis' Four Nations campaign at stuff.co.nz #goodstuff