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New Zealand Heartland Provincial Champions 2010

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Rugby Extra

Old Boys and Valley head the Citizens Shield ladder after wins in the second round on Saturday. Old Boys battled to dominate Kurow but  eventually ran in four tries in its 24-16 win, while in a scrappy game Valley  although outscored three tries to two, saw the boot of Mark Roney carry them to a 21-17 win over Athletic Marist. Excelsior retained its unbeaten record with an 18-7 win over Maheno. 

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North Otago Rugby Review

OAMARU: Valley made an impressive start to its 2013 Citizens Shield season with a 34-7 win over Maheno in a belated first round game at Weston. But the opposition indicated that they won’t be the easybeats of last season holding Valley for the first 35 minutes before player changes later in the game saw side lose a little of its structure.

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North Otago Rugby

OAMARU: The North Otago Heartland side will be looking for a new coach after Barry Matthews announced that he would not be available for the 2013 season.Matthews a farmer/stock agent has decided to take time out with his young family after  three seasons with North Otago, which included a Meads Cup victory in 2010. Over that three year period under Matthews, North Otago played 30 matches including two Ranfurly Shield games, won 21,drew one and lost eight for a 70% success rate. The highlight being the Meads Cup victory over Wanganui in 2010 and two Meads Cup semi finals, but on both occasions lost to East Coast,17-23(2011) and 15-26(2012).

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Club Rugby Preview 20 March 2013

Athletic Marist Liquorland

Coaches: Wayne Kinzett/Mark Watson.

Athletic Marist should field a powerful forward pack this season with prop Palenapa Mafi, lock Jason Greaney, Maka Lea returning to the fold, while big number eight Tevita Fifita is preparing for another season after an Achilles tendon injury. Add to that veteran lock Aisake Fonua, flanker Willie Tahitua, Jo Fifita, Ian Cooney an under rated player, and Dylan Winter who, under a Meridian scholarship, played the last six months captaining the Olney club in England. A couple of new Tongan midfielders have joined the club which welcomes back first five eighth, Ed Keohane who last played in 2010 but who has been playing for the London Irish Academy team in England. Winger Adam Halkett has returned from Australia while Kasanova Soane in midfield will be the key to the backline.

Subway Excelsior

Coach: Jason Forrest

There have been more losses than gains for Excelsior. Tyron Davies and Kaituu Kaufana are both in Dunedin, while veteran half, Ray Gutsell, has retired and key midfielder Billy Guyton is trying his luck with Tasman. Dan Sinnamon has departed to Australia, Finlay Robson has headed to Dunedin, prop Jamie Rhodes is out with a thumb injury, while 2012 number eight, Fikita Teu is taking a season off. Experienced Joe Mamea has returned to Spain while prop Karl Cunningham is not playing.

Lock Jason Millns is out for three to four weeks after an elbow injury against Harlequins, while the Shields brothers Thomas (prop) and Isaac (lock) are there. But there are some new faces. Shale Baldwin is a possibility at six or seven, Ryan Duff and Pita Sinamoni are additions to the forward pack. Two Welsh players will join the club for the season with speedster Ryan Lee in the back three and Daniel Jones, a ten or a twelve.

Maheno

Player/Coach: Ross Hay

Maheno started off the season with a preseason 20-17 win over Green Island last weekend. The side has been bolstered by the arrival of three overseas players, Emerson Sergile and Justin Turner from Florida. Both are midfield/fullback players and first five eighth Daniel Jones from Wales. Other contesting places in the backline are Leo Mills a first five eighth, Michael Hore, Ricky Chellew, Nathan Lock, Kyle Beck and Rodney Bungard with James Symes at halfback.

The forward pack will be led by Ross Hay, backed up by Brenton Scott, Andrew Fisher, Hayden Tisdall, Simon Thorpe and Isaac Webster, while the front row will be Johnny Rusbatch, Kevin Burns and Paddy Brand.

Old Boys

Coaches: Kilifi Fangupo and Tai Halelele

After being an almost permanent fixture in North Otago rugby, prop Atalea Katoa has retired. Atalea played 58 games for North Otago in the first five years of the new decade and played for the Kurow, Maheno and Old Boys clubs as an experienced prop. Midfield back Adam Barnard has remained in England, winger Steven Kiki has moved to Lawrence, winger Ofa Fatafehi has retired, halfback Tala Fagaosia has returned to Samoa, Finn Bloxsom is in China and Sam Spivey has shifted to Christchurch. Newcomers are Ashley Miller (loose forward) from St Kevin’s College, James Pillay, from Waitaki Boys High School and three-quarter Joel McErlane, formerly from Kurow, who will join up with Lemi Masoe, Sale Pi’i, Hamish McCulloch and Jeremiah Shields, who will be available after the cricket season.

Kurow

Coaches: Richard Pledger and Regan Laughton

Kurow returned from a two match tour of Northern New South Wales earlier in the week after playing two games. The first was a double header. Kurow played 40 minutes against Gunnedah and drew 7-7. Gunnedah then played 40 minutes against Dubbo and Kurow then played Dubbo winning, 14-0. In the other game Kurow lost to Moree,15-20. Kurow this season will be without goal kicking first five eighth, Willy Tree, but his place has been taken by former Geraldine player, Willie Hand. Other losses are Fred Manthe who has returned to South Africa and English prop, Elliott Booley. Kurow will have added sharpness in the backline with two for the 2012 Waitaki Boys First XV, midfielder, Levi Fogarty and speedy winger Dean Fenwick, along with Tim Anderson. An injury to North Otago hooker Mike Paterson will see him away from rugby for possibly a month. Wally Milne, Marshall Smith and John Mathias will be in the pack which could do with an injection of some propping material. The side will probably be captained by Carl Taiarua, an opensaide flanker.

Valley Plunket Electrical

Coaches: Nathan Cunningham and Barry Fox

Prop Daniel Groundwater, Matthew Mather, first five eighth Walker Jacobs, flanker "BJ" Oliver and winger Leo Tupou are all missing from last season. Newcomers in the forwards are prop Hamish Wade who played with Eric Duff at Lincoln College, Blair Liddington a prop from Palmerston North and front rower Cameron Schultz who missed last season after a shoulder operation. Newcomers are second five eighth, Cameron Mitchell, utility Brad McKenzie, Mark Gold, Tom Squire and Phil Wilson. The forwards look a strong unit with Brad Morton, Scott Rowland, Rob Mafileo, Schultz, Bruce Newlands, Eric Duff, Blair Malcolm, Sean Conlan , Cameron Rowland and possibly Josh Collier, who will be joined by new open-side flanker Phil Hayman.

Rowan McKenzie, Jason Mavor, Mark Roney, Hamish McKenzie, Nick Webster and Daniel Keno will be the basis of the backline with Craig Kingan moving on to refereeing.