Kiwis 16s have world at their feet

31 October 2014

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 with?

"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 league.

"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 through.

"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 Aileone

Head coach - Jeff 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. 18-Wayne Sio

Head coach - Graeme Fariu
Assistant coach - Frank Fuimaono
Technical advisor - Tagaloa Rudy Roebeck
Trainer - Ray Telea
Physiotherapist - David Close
Team manager - Shaun Tautali
Campaign manager - Sene Atafu

Risk-free betting offer with TAB app

31 October 2014

Download the new TAB Mobile App here, sign up a new account and bet up to $20 risk free on the Kiwis v Samoa match this Saturday.

If you lose, the TAB will refund your bet. Available to new TAB account customers only.

Terms and conditions apply.

Win with Pirtek at the Four Nations

30 October 2014

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 house.


Revera signed Kiwis jersey giveaway

Kiwis sponsor Revera is giving away a signed Kiwis jersey. Visit for competition details.

Look after your legendary mates

30 October 2014

NZRL and Cheers! are all about having a great time, looking after yourself, your mates and watching all 80 minutes of the game.

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 airfares included.

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.

Matagi to debut against Samoa

28 October 2014

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 Australia.

The only other change from victory over the Kangaroos comes on the wing, where Manu Vatuvei replaces Gerard Beale.

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, Whangarei

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, 18-Bodene Thompson

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, 18-Dominique Peyroux

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, 17-Chris Hill

Referee - Gerard Sutton, touch - Robert Hicks & Jason Walsh; video - Bernard Sutton