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.
North Otago vs South Canterbury
North Otago reserved its most impressive display of its Heartland season when with its season looking exceedingly shaky it toppled second placed South Canterbury, 22-19 to build up its hopes for the last two rounds of play. North Otago took the game to its northern neighbour with aggressive attacking play and a dedicated defensive display.
North Otago captain Josh Clark reproduced the form he had against Poverty Bay in the second game of the season. He took valuable lineout ball, he was powerful with the ball in hand and he marshalled his troops with aplomb. Up front he was complemented by hooker Ralph Darling with his instinctive ability to link with his supporting backs, redoubtable props Rob Mafile’o and Palenapa Mafi and later in the game by Hayden Tisdall and KilioniTaufa, as the bodies wore out. Locks Sale Pi’i and Sione Teu were an admirable pairing, both powerful on the tackle and powerful with the ball in hand. The loose trio of flankers Manu Taiti, Clark and number eight Samisoni Tongotongo, were powerful with Tongotongo putting real pressure on the South Canterbury defence from the back of the scrum. Half Robbie Smith had his best game of the season; Ben Palmer and later Stephen Fenemor were astute at first five eight, but it was in midfield that the Sauileoge brothers Ekeroma and Tenina ruled supreme. Their spot tackling was deadly efficient and especially on attack Tenina who scored a superb individual try was a handful for the opposition defence. Wingers Simeli Koniferedi and Joe Marston were aggressive workhorses while Brad McKenzie and in the second half Chris Perry were accomplished at the back.Read more...
Written on September 26 2014
North Otago Vs South Canterbury
The Forsyth-Barr stadium will be the venue for the Heartland rugby game between North Otago and South Canterbury on Saturday at 2.30 with the Development XVs playing the curtain-raiser.
South Canterbury (25) will come into this game sitting in second place in Heartland rugby behind unbeaten Buller with both teams having progressed through from Lochore Cup successes. Buller took the Lochore Cup defeating South Canterbury in 2012 but last year South Canterbury reversed North Otago, Meads Cup finalist in 201,3 is currently sitting in eighth place and is struggling to hold its place in the Lochore Cup playoffs. North Otago which has won only two of its five Heartland matches to date will play South Canterbury tomorrow. The following week it will play 2013 Meads Cup winners, Mid Canterbury in Ashburton , while the following week it will play bottom team East Coast in Oamaru. With Wanganui, another former Meads Cup winner just two points adrift of North Otago the pressure is on the Old Gold’s. Read more...