North Otago vs Wanganui Preview
For the ninth time in the eighteen years since the introduction of semi-finals and finals in Heartland rugby, North Otago will host a final, this time for the Lochore Cup. North Otago has played for and won a Lochore Cup final, when in 2009 it defeated West Coast in Greymouth, 35-17. In 1993 North Otago playing with only local players won two of its ten games played. The following year “loan” players began to appear in North Otago sides. Kevin Kirkman, Allan Oldham and Glen Porter from the Eastern club made appearances in 1994.1995 saw the numbers increase with players like Hunter Darry and Matt Blair followed in 1996 by Jeremy Barton, Jason Bird, Billy Laing and Tom Curtis.Read more...
Heartland Review 11 October 2014
North Otago with a five try plus bonus point fought its way into the Lochore Cup semi-finals next Saturday with a 45-5 win over East Coast at Whitestone stadium on Saturday in a scrappy mistaken ridden exhibition from both sides. North Otago coach Mike Mullins was a relieved man after the game.
“We’re happy with the five points. We went into the game knowing that we had to have a couple of other games go our way and as I speak to you I know that we’ll be in the semi-finals but we’re not sure of whom we’ll be playing. We missed two tries at the end of the game but we’re happy with the result. East Coast have had a tough season and they had nothing to lose but we came away with the bonus point which is what we needed.”
Former Fijian Sevens player Simeli Koniferedi who has played on the wing in the other games was shifted to fullback against East Coast.Read more...
North Otago vs East Coast 11 October 2014
North Otago and East Coast will meet for the twenty ninth time on Saturday in the final qualifying round of the Heartland championship in Oamaru prior to the top four qualifiers playing off for the Meads Cup and the middle four qualifiers playing for the Lochore Cup.
North Otago is currently lying in ninth position although tied on 15 points with Wanganui which goes ahead because of a better points differential. North Otago’s opponent on Saturday in Oamaru is East Coast, a side which has all of its seven games to date and in those seven games has scored only 62 runs, an average of 8.9 per game. North Otago however would be on dangerous ground if it goes into this final game expecting a walkover for a bonus point win. East Coast will come south knowing they’ve got absolutely nothing to lose and it wouldn’t be the first time it has caused an upset in Oamaru.Read more...
Excelsior prop Sione Palaa looks set for a promising future on the rugby paddock.
He is a strong front rower who enjoys playing either side of the scrum and was North Otago’s sole representative in the Heartland U19 team that competed at the national Under 19 tournament in Taupo last week.
The Heartland team, a second side from Auckland and all 14 provincial unions took part at the tournament played at Owen Delany Park in Taupo which is a new incentive introduced by the NZRU.