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
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
The team captain will be named
when the team assembles in Dunedin on November 6.
The squad in alphabetical
surname order is:
Coach: Kenny O'Brien
Manager: David Marsh
Event manager: Marama Puketapu (Wellington)
Trainer: Johnny Herewini (Dunedin)
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,
Learn more about the NZ Kiwis' Four Nations campaign
at stuff.co.nz #goodstuff
Canterbury Bulls have scored a seven try to two over the
Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions in the Pirtex National Premiership final at
Mt Smart Stadium.
The Bulls eventually won the game 40-8, but it wasn't as easy as
most first thought and Wai-Coa-Bay battled strongly in testing
There had been plenty of contention over who should be in the
final before kick-off, with the Bulls strong favourites for the
title and showing why in the first 20 minutes of the game.
In torrential rain, the Bulls scored first through Erwin Sauni,
followed by Toi Sepuloni and then Bruce Havea for an 18-0 lead
after 20 minutes.
Showing strong resolve, Isaac Robinson replied for Wai-Coa-Bay
in the corner to signal his side was in the game.
Canterbury came back with a try through some good hands to Ken
Tofilau, converted by Sepuloni for a 24-4 lead.
Not to be outdone, the Stallions came back for an unconverted
try to John Koko, via a nice darting run and a dummy.
That was the end of the first half, and it, no doubt, gave the
Bulls a big scare and the Stallions plenty of pride.
The second spell saw another try to Sepuloni and also to
talented teen Cyrus Timo-Latu. Sepuloni converted them all for six
in a row.
He couldn't quite convert the seventh try, scored by Manu Weepu
in the 64th minute, but he had a game that was worthy of the praise
from coach Darrell Coad.
"Sepuloni has done a lot of work off the field and outside of
normal practice hours, and it shows today," said the first-time
"We started well, but dropped intensity near the end of the
first half. All-in-all, I'm really happy with the completion rate,
and so happy for the boys and for me too.
"League is in my blood and I'm so happy with the win."
PIRTEK NZRL NATIONAL PREMIERSHIP FINAL
Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Saturday, October 18
Canterbury Bulls 40 (Toi Sepuloni 2, Manu
Weepu, Cyrus Timo-Latu, Ken Tofilau, Erwin Sauni & Bruce Havea
tries; Sepuloni 6 goals) Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions 8
(Isaac Robinson & John Koko tries); HT: 24-8
The Junior Kiwis showed great resolve in their annual showdown
with the Junior Kangaroos, coming out on top 15-14 in an absolute
nail-biter at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium.
Right from the start, the stage was set for a classic
trans-Tasman tussle, as both sides stood eyeball-to-eyeball during
the traditional pre-game haka.
Despite the cold, greasy spring conditions, it took barely five
minutes for the Junior Kangaroos to open their account. Ex-Junior
Kiwi Valentine Holmes powered over the line to set his team-mate
Clint Gutherson up for the conversion.
Just over 15 minutes later, a gaping overlap allowed Watson
Heleta room to find the in-goal area for New Zealand, but Zach
Dockar-Clay's conversion attempt went just to the side.
The burst of enthusiasm was kept alive, when Chance Peni lunged
for the right corner and scored a desperate try.
Five minutes into the second half, it appeared the wind
had left the sails of several players - not so for Kiwi
fullback Kodi Nikorima, who sprinted to the ever-popular right-hand
side to score.
In typical green-and-gold fashion, the Aussie onslaught resumed
shortly afterwards, when Holmes grabbed his second four-pointer of
the night to even the score 14-all.
As the match carried on, neither the rain nor the brutal
Minutes out from the final whistle, the Junior Kiwis attempted a
field-goal, which was nudged off past the paintwork. Down the other
end, Gutherson responded with his own similar attempt that turned
out to be fizzer.
Barely a minute from the last siren, Dockar-Clay broke the line
and tore off for the posts, only to line Te Maire Martin up for an
easy field goal.
"We don't have to practice things like that. These kids are
professional footballers, they know it's a one-point situation and
the message has gone out," Junior Kiwis coach Brent Gemmell said on
the field-goal situation.
Just when it looked over for all money, the New Zealanders were
penalised for a late shoulder charge on halfback Ryan Matterson.
Gutherson's shot from 40 metres out was painfully close to going
"There's enough football talent on the field. We just strung
those posession stats the right way," he said.
Despite the trying weather conditions, Gemmell said he was very
pleased with his side's ball play and execution.
Junior Kiwis 15 (Watson Heleta, Chance Peni
& Kohi Nikorima tries; Zach Docker-Clay goal; Te Matre Martin
field goal) Junior Kangaroos 14 (Valentine Holmes
2 tries; Clint Gutherson 3 goals)
West Tigers forward Bodene Thompson has received a late call-up
for the NZ Kiwis' Four Nations campaign, after prop Sam Moa
withdrew due to family illness.
Thompson (26) was touring Queensland with the NZ Maori side,
when he was added to the national side and will assemble with the
Kiwis on the Gold Coast tomorrow.
Originally from Tauranga, Thomspon moved to Australia as a
teenager and played three seasons for the Gold Coast Titans, before
joining the Tigers in 2013. He has now made 85 NRL first-grade
appearances, scoring 16 tries.
He joins centre Sosaia Feki, prop Suaia Matagi, second row Jason
Taumalolo and wing Dallin Watene-Zelezniak as rookies in the
national side, although Taumalolo was a non-playing member of the
2012 Anzac Test squad.
The Kiwis open their Four Nations account against Australia at
Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, October 25.
The NZ Kiwis squad for the 2014 Four Nations tournament is:
Gerard Beale (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Adam Blair (Wests Tigers)
Jesse Bromwich (Melbourne Storm)
Lewis Brown (Penrith Panthers)
Greg Eastwood (Canterbury Bulldogs)
Sosaia Feki (Cronulla Sharks)
Kieran Foran (Manly Sea Eagles)
Tohu Harris (Melbourne Storm)
Siliva Havili (Vodafone Warriors)
Peta Hiku (Manly Sea Eagles)
Shaun Johnson (Vodafone Warriors)
Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Sydney Roosters)
Thomas Leuluai (Vodafone Warriors)
Issac Luke (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Simon Mannering (Vodafone Warriors)
Suaia Matagi (Vodafone Warriors)
Jason Nightingale (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Kevin Proctor (Melbourne Storm)
Jason Taumalolo (North Queensland Cowboys)
Martin Taupau (Wests Tigers)
Bodene Thompson (Wests Tigers)
Manu Vatuvei (Vodafone Warriors)
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Penrith Panthers)
Dean Whare (Penrith Panthers)