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New Zealand Heartland Provincial Champions 2010

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Citizens Shield Rugby

Excelsior caused a minor upset on the opening day of Citizens Shield rugby when it beat last season’s finalists, Valley 32-26 at Weston. Athletic Marist pulled away from Kurow in the second half with a 31-13 victory in Kurow while Old Boys going for four titles in a row piled on 24 unanswered points to beat Maheno, 43-5 at the Maheno Domain.


Rugby Club Preview, 2014


Coaches: Kilifi Fangupo/Atelea Katoa

Old Boys will be out to make it four in a row in Citizens Shield rugby when the competition kicks off on March 22.  Under Kilifi Fangupo (backs) and Atelea Katoa (forwards) the side appears to have real depth and numbers. Ralph Darling, Unga Kefu and Jeremiah Shields will form a strong front row while Sale Pi’i and Paea Ala will lead the second row.  There is a big line-up in the loose with Samisoni Tongotongo, Leo Havili and Palavi Tahaafe and they will be backed up by two players from England in 18 year old Wadye Hodgkins, a hooker/seven and another 18 year old Greg Powell, who is equally at home as a loose forward or in the backs.  The experienced Manu Taiti completes the line-up.  Former St Kevin’s College half Jackson Reid will be behind the scrum with Tai Halalele and Seti Talalelei vying for first five eighth.  Hamish McCulloch, Chris Perry and Lemi Masoe will form a solid midfield with former Christchurch player Kapeli Latavao also in the line-up. Isotola Hafoka, Una Ofa, Harry Frost, James Pillay and Omega Masoe will compete for places in the back three.


Coaches: Jason Forrest/Dan Keno

Excelsior is struggling for players at this stage but have a number of promising additions to senior ranks.  Former Waitaki Boys forward Don Lolo will lock the scrum with Jason Millns.  Thomas Shields will captain the side from the front row along with Andy Matoto.  Richie Wilson will be part of the loose forwards again with newcomer Malu Falepaini and flanker Matt Duff who made a big impression with the Heartland side last year is out with an ankle injury at the moment.  Jordan Flutsma is a newcomer who plays at six or eight and Zac Walker a prop from the Life University in the United States also joins the club.  Glen Robertson and Will Kofoed are back from last year and will be joined in the backs by winger Matt Day, Kane Middleton a first five eighth or fullback who is an accurate goal kicker, halfback Cameron Keenan who comes from the English club, Olney, where Chris Talanoa has played over the last six month and former South Canterbury winger, Aporosa Tabulawaki.


Coaches: Campbell Mackenzie/Jon Sinclair

Athletic Marist has had a six week fitness build up and it is expected that it could be a strong contender for the Citizens Shield.  The side has lost first five eighth/fullback Ed Keohane who has returned to England and  fullback Craig Sneddon. Gains include flanker Steven Banks, Isileli Fine, winger Nick Cuttance and first five eighth Sani Foliaki.  The club has an abundance of props with Palenapa Mafi, Toetuu Hausia, Tevita Fifita , Junior Taufa, Simi Prescott and James Taufa all possibilities. Dylan Winter, Aisake Fonua, Viliami Leo, the ageless Maka Lea and Jared Whitburn make up the forward pack while Sione Pangata’a, Kasanova Saone, Ed Latu, Willie Tahitua, Nick Cutmore and Simi Fuluasou will form the basis of the backline.


Coaches: Richard Pledger/ John Mathias

Kurow has lost three key players from last season. Clayton Rowlands , a prop, has gone overseas, Willie Hands has transferred to Mackenzie in South Canterbury and Kyle Jarvis is building in Queenstown.  To counter the losses coaches Richard Pledger and John Mathias have Tyler Sturgess, a first five eighth, and  a prop from last year St Kevin’s College first XV. Winger Simeli Koniferedi will return from Fiji for another season and Viliami Uhatasi ,a prop, will join the ranks as well. Halfback Ross McCone, midfielder Levi Fogarty, and forwards Michael Paterson, Marshall Smith and Wallace Milne are back with the side.


Coaches: Nathan Cunningham/Barry Fox

Blair Malcolm, Bruce Newlands, Cameron Rowland, Dan Keno and Brock Hamilton will be absent from the Valley line-up this season.  These losses have been compensated by the arrival of Aaron McKay(lock/six), Keegan Murphy(lock/flanker), Ryan Ambler(lock/six),  Dylan Edwards      (2nd5/8/centre)and Jason Tennant.  Valley will not lack experience with Nick Webster, Cameron Schultz, Scott Rowland, Brad Morton, Eric Duff Sean Conlan, Rob Mafile’o, Hamish Wade, Mark Roney, Brad McKenzie, Dean Paterson, Hamish Gold, Cameron Mitchell  and Matt Iwikau who comes from Dunedin all lining up for 2014.


Coaches: Josh Clark/ Dallas Newlands.

For the first time in a decade and a half there’ll be no Ross Hay on the team list.  The New Zealand Secondary Schools representative, a first class centurion and a N.Z. Heartland representative has indicated he won’t be available.  But there is an air of confidence in the club with for the first time in years it has a backline running with everyone playing in position.  There is a solid group of experienced players in Andrew Fisher, Hayden Tisdall, James Symes, Mike Hore, Jamie Robb, Josh Clark and Robbie Smith, who will return from overseas for the second round of Citizens Shield rugby. Newcomers include Joe Marston from England who can play in the three quarters, hooker Chris Darby from Green Island, halfback Mark McCaslin, first five eighth Chris Jennings from Dunedin, Jed Kennedy, Adam Johnston and Regan Smith from Waitaki Boys High School, prop Grant Donnelly while it is hoped that Carn Parata from Ranfurly will join up.

Maheno Sevens 2014

Happy new year to all our supporters and sponsors!

We are already counting down the days until the start of the new club season and soon we will have our first taste of rugby in 2014 with the Maheno Sevens taking place on Saturday February 15th.

The sevens will feature a full day of exciting club rugby sevens action from all of North Otago's top club teams.

Entertainment for kids will be provided with a bouncy castle, while food and drinks will also be available for purchase throughout the day. Hot drinks and other beverages will also be available from inside the Maheno clubrooms.

The action starts at 10:00am with prizegiving to be held in the clubrooms following the final match.

For any queries or information regarding the event, or if you would like to enter a team please contact James Symes on 0275226470.
See you there!

North Otago Rugby Review/Results

Meads Cup Final North Otago vs Mid Canterbury

There probably won’t ever be another rugby final to match Saturday’s Meads Cup final between hometown, Mid Canterbury and North Otago which was chasing its third Meads Cup win.  A gale force north-westerly which roared down the ground, made lineouts a lottery, and kicking, whichever variety was in the control of the weather gods, who were patently absent on the day.

Mid Canterbury took the Meads Cup deservedly with a 26-20 victory in a game in which both teams rose above the conditions.  For Mid Canterbury coach, Glenn Moore the win produced a mixed reaction.

“It was an unusual feeling for me going up against North Otago which I coached for six years.  I’m pretty passionate about what we achieved over those years but I was asked to come here and do a job and I’ve done it.  The boys have been getting a little better every week but it’s been a big thing for the whole Mid Canterbury community.”

The Mid Canterbury trio of number eight John Dampney, half Will McKenzie and first five eighth Murray Williams called the shots for the side.  Whilst making astute use of the blindside, Mid Canterbury and North Otago were both prepared to move the ball wide.

Appropriately North Otago half Robbie Smith was the key man for the side while in midfield J’ndre Liebenberg and Lemi Masoe were devastating defenders and prepared to test the Mid Canterbury defence.

The forward packs slogged out a huge physical encounter with the scrums even.  It simply developed into a war of attrition.

North Otago co coach Mike Mullins believed that even late in the game there was hope.

“We were still thinking about a setup where we could score a try under the posts with two minutes remaining, but they deserved their win.  We just made too many mistakes and missed too many tackles.  We just weren’t good enough on the day but we’re wrapped to have made the final after losing our first two matches.  The boys should be extremely proud of their efforts and keep their heads up.”

But the wind was atrocious.  Ed Keohane the North Otago fullback who has kicked goals from 55 metres out this season, in converting Liebenberg’s try from  in front and fifteen metres out from the posts saw the ball curving back towards him after it had crossed the bar and just dropping into the in goal area.

In restarting from the middle of halfway after a Mid Canterbury try, Keohane’s dropkick reached the ten metre line but then curled back over his head to land on the full inside the North Otago twenty two and then bounce over the dead ball line.

Playing into the wind in the first half, North Otago opened the scoring when after a series of breaks motivated by Masoe; Liebenberg split the Mid Canterbury defence to race 40 metres to score for Keohane to convert.

Six minutes later big Mid Canterbury centre Dwayne Burrows outflanked the cover defence to score for Williams to convert and level the score.  Williams who scored 16 points then added penalties, one from 62 metres out, in the twentieth and twenty second minutes to take Mid Canterbury out to a 13-7 lead.  Number eight Dampney finished off a break down the left flank.  Williams duly converted and added a penalty three minutes before halftime giving his side a 23-7 lead at the break.

Keohane kicked penalties in the fifty second and fifty sixth minutes to reduce the deficit to ten points but William’s added another three pointer seventeen minutes from fulltime.  North Otago kept attacking and prop Ralph Darling floated a long pass to left winger Alex Brown who scored wide out for Keohane to convert.  Mid Canterbury held on for a 26-20 win much to the jubilation of the large crowd of local supporters.

Mid Canterbury 26 (Dwayne Burrows, Jon Dampney tries; Murray Williams 4 pen, 2 con), North Otago 20 (J’ndre Liebenberg, Alex Brown tries; Ed Keohane 2 penalties, 2 conversions) HT: 23-7 Mid Canterbury