Latest News

HAKA READY TO ROCK MARRARA

Joe Albert (pictured above) has swapped a mouthguard for a clipboard to take on the coaching role of Team New Zealand ahead of tomorrow night’s Country of Origin Match against Team Australia at Land Rover Rugby Park.

After a distinguished playing career Joe hung up the boots following last Season’s Preliminary Final and took on the Assistant Coaches Role with the Mosquitoes for their emphatic victory over Townsville and Districts in September.

Team Australia will be coached by revered backrower Braedon Early whose representative career included playing Number Eight for the Northern Territory against Scotland 25 years ago next month and was co-coach of the Mosquitoes in 2011 for a home series against Queensland Country and South Australia.

The Country of Origin fixture was reintroduced to the NT Rugby Union calendar in 2015 after an absence of more than a decade as a celebration of the centenary of ANZAC.

The Kiwis won that spirited clash well but the ledger was squared last year with a convincing win by the Aussies.

The match is scheduled to commence at 7.10pm which concludes a Gala Day of Rugby featuring Junior Boys and Junior Girls Matches, a Trial for the NT Goannas plus the Mercure Cup between Katherine and Central Australia.

Team Australia: T Roe, E Lewis, E Erickson (vc) R Oakley, B Parkes, F Goldrick, B Hogan, S Tua, R McMurray,  Z Phillips (cpt) J Fitzgerld, D Tobin, B Booth,  J Hockney, B Condon Reserves S Fullen, J Krook, D Tohifolau, J Rutherford, J Norris, N Maher, C Court, J Morrison Coach B Early

Team New Zealand: E Anguna, J Lawrence, M Peni, F Fauetea, I Aokuso, B Foliola, F Kiutau, C Paseka, N Barlow (cpt) K Hart (vc) D Penetito, W Kuka, S Sala’a,  A Heal, A Atunaisa Reserves P Ruri, A Bretherton,  T Fakaalofa, A Paito, T Forbes, F Aumua, 2 x NTBA Coach J Albert


Photo: Copyright NT News

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.


 

 

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CLAIRE ROWAT TO PREPARE GOANNAS FOR SINGAPORE TOUR

Claire Rowat has been appointed Head Coach of the NT Goannas XV for next month’s history making tour of Singapore.

It will mark the first time a Northern Territory Women’s Representative Team has toured overseas when they play two matches against Singapore.

Claire’s distinguished playing career includes touring Britain with the Black Ferns in 2009, a Player of the Year Award for Wellington in the Women’s NPC in 2007 and a decade of provincial Rugby in New Zealand.

In Darwin last season she was presented with the Naomi Roberts Medal, her second Player of the Year award in succession.

Primarily a development tour it will be the first stage of the Goannas preparation for the 2018 Women’s 15-a-side National Championships.

Claire’s vast experience at elite level Rugby will be a great benefit and an incentive for players to be part of the squad

Training has commenced on Mondays 6.30pm-8.00pm at Rugby Park and are open to all players.

The team will have a trial on the Country of Origin program, Saturday 22nd April.

East Arnhem’s Sean O’Connor has been appointed Assistant Coach.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.


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SOUTHS ALL SET FOR TITLE DEFENCE

The 2017 Darwin Club Rugby Season gets underway at Land Rover Rugby Park this weekend with a Grand Final replay between South Darwin and Palmerston the highlight.

The Rabbitohs have recruited well in the off-season compensating the loss several key players including loose forwards Misioka Timoteo and Tom Hiramatsu plus the now retired Tim Atkinson and Lepani Nabuliwaqa who has returned to Fiji.

Their 2013 Eric Johnston Medallist David Boyle returns after an injury enforced lay-off of 18 months and blockbusting centre Henry Burns is back at the Warren after spending last season in Cairns.

Souths:”X” factor could be Abele Atunaisa, nephew of Coach Setefano Cakaunivalu who hails from the Wardens Club in Fiji and would not look out of place in a Super Rugby Jersey.

Palmerston who went from Wooden Spoon to Runner-up in the course of twelve months have gone down in both Pre-Season Cup matches and will sorely miss the services of inspirational captain Michael Killiner who has relocated to Perth while work commitments have prevented Coach Ravin du Plessis taking on a second term as coach.

Casuarina are to be co-coached by Sam Batty and Joe Albert after Peter McGrath stepped down after eight years at the helm. 

Both Batty and Albert played under McGrath for several years and the transition is likely to be seamless.

Amongst several key gains for the Cougars is backrower Tani Fakaalofa from New Zealand while the mercurial local product Ryan McMurray returns to the side after missing 2016 through injury and should provide plenty of spark at half-back.

Casuarina’s season projection is to make the Grand Final as a minimum.

Darwin Dragons will again look to Drew Tobin as their one field general and the return of representative player Nigel Maher is a boost while talented teenager Jet Norris has moved across from Palmerston.

Wayne Robinson has been appointed captain again at University under the coaching of Hone Edwards and after missing the finals for the first time in over decade the Pirates will be hell bent on finals qualification.

Much interest this season will centre of the performance of the Rural Area based Swampdogs whose simple goal for the season is to successfully field First and Reserve Grade teams for the first time since the last wet season competition in 2001/02.

Blessed by an abundance of youth the Doggies have picked-up Reece Manning, a hard running prop from the Moree Bulls in Country NSW.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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TAMINMIN CLAIM SCHOOLS CHAMPIONSHIP

Taminmin College have emerged as Darwin’s premier Rugby School after winning the inaugural Greg O’Mullane Shield at Land Rover Rugby Park last week

The Rural Area based school defeated St Johns College 26-5 in an entertaining Final of the four-week Round Robin with ten players per side that also featured teams from Darwin High School, Marrara Christian School and Casuarina Clontarf Academy.

Taminmin have previously won the only two High School 7s Tournaments that were held in 2012 & 2013 and then represented the Northern Territory at National Championships.

The NT Rugby Union recognised the extraordinary contribution of Greg O’Mullane to Schoolboy Rugby by naming the Trophy in his Honour.

The NT Rugby Union is hoping to develop the Greg O’Mullane Shield into a prestigious First XV Competition played on School Ovals and featuring district qualifying matches.

There was also a Middle School Gala Day on March 17th with Combined Catholic Schools winning the Year 7/8 Boys Division and the Year 9/10 Boys Division was won by Roseberry.

Clinics and non-competition matches were also held for teenage girls.

There were 162 participants at the Gala Day with a further 96 playing in the Greg O’Mullane Shield

The Junior Club Rugby Season commences tonight at Land Rover Rugby Park with two Under 17 Matches scheduled to kick off at 6.30pm.

Many of Taminmin College’s Squad will be in action for Swampdogs against Casuarina while South Darwin take on Darwin Dragons.

All remaining Junior Divisions will commence on Friday Night.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.


 

 

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KATHERINE AND ALICE SPRINGS ANNOUNCE REP SQUADS

The Katherine and Central Australian Rugby Union’s have announced provisional Squads for next month’s Mercure Country Cup to be played at Rugby Park Marrara on Saturday 22nd April from 5.30pm.

The clash will be the primary Curtain Raiser for the annual County of Origin Match between Team Australia and Team New Zealand on an eight hour Gala Day of Rugby that will also showcase Junior Boys, Junior Girls, Women’s and Military Teams from Under 12s upwards.

The Mercure Country Cup followed by the Country of Origin Match will provide Land Rover NT Mosquitoes Head Coach Peter McGrath the opportunity to assess the credentials of over 90 of the Northern Territory’s best players in a three hour period in preparation for the Mozzies Match against the Townsville & District Brolgas latter this year.

Katherine; Dean Watson, Livingston Jacobs, Jordon Cole, John Arnfeldt, Kira Perron, Kallum Peckham, Clinton St Clair, Patrick Bird, Zac Herron, AJ Sutton, Clancy Needham, Errol Dare, Toby George, Michael Dalton, Tom Curry, Mark Ross, Ian McLellan, Tom Whalley, Matt Brennan, Josh Boyle, Nick Elliot, Devin Lines, Martin Strachan, Steven Talitimu, Paul Jennings, Jarrod Northam, Dane Edwards, Anthony Busch, Stephen Fairweather, Shannon Toby-Lee, 

Alice Springs; Baden Ford, Schaylen Parai, Chris Logo, Peter Nash, Corom Hippolite, Jethro Tessmann, Zane Smith, Victor Te’o, Kai Simpson, Alex Munro, Rai Heremaia, Patrick O’Donnell, Kairo McClean, Mark Mitchell, Lance PoChing, Laurie Hereora, Frank Emani, Jayden Prior, Joel Ross, Guy Hodgeman, Tuakura Jr Ford, Isaac Salei, Dusty Briscoe, Ben Ashton, Joel Goldring, Hami Goldsmith, Adrian Shelford, Pahou Whakaruru, Troy Faaoa

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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ELEVEN JUNIORS QUALIFY AS REFEREES

Eleven Junior Rugby Players earned Refereeing Qualifications at Rugby Park last weekend in a series of courses facilitated by the NT Rugby Unions’s  Development Team in conjunction with Alex Richards, the Referee Education Coordinator for the NSW Rugby Union.

There were four courses delivered across the weekend targeting different levels of participation with twenty nine participants.

The “Refereeing Kids Rugby’’ Course designed specifically for Under 8-12 Matches received fourteen enrollments of which ten were players under the age of eighteen (Ryan Otto, Talia Holt, Ethan Muller, William Latu, Aidan Holt, Cody Akers, Catherine Burns, Charlotte Elcoate, Jayden Carpenter and  Jonah Wistrand) 

With Refereeing numbers significantly depleted in 2017 and a spike in participation in Women’s Rugby it was poignant that nine persons under-took the Foundation Course for Referees of which five were female (Rebecca Dunbar, Sue Stanway, Ellie Hills, Anita Lew-Fatt and Caitlin Ryan)

Along with Junior Representative Player Matthew Maurice and three others, graduates of the Foundation Course are eligible to Referee both Junior and Senior Matches. 

Elizabeth Stedman completed both the Refereeing Kids Rugby and Level 1 Assistant Referee Courses.

The weekend also featured a Foundation Course for Coaches with Damien Carey, Kelvin Muller, Sam Dodds, Stuart Litster, Angus Johnstone and Anita Lew-Fatt seeking qualification.

The next stage of Coach Education will be two “Coaching Kids Rugby” Courses at Moulden Oval on 16th March and Land Rover Rugby Park on 23rd March.

The newly accredited Referees will receive Coaching and Mentoring during the season and a chance to earn some pocket money while still hands-on and playing  Rugby on Friday Nights.

Remuneration is also available to those who referee Senior Matches.

The above  photo from 2009 depicts a thirteen year old Declan Howard who was assessed by the ARU’s Paul Marks, a Test Match Referee who was quoted in the NT News as follows”

“Declan did an outstanding job,”

“He has a very good feel for the game. He picked up very quickly infringements and also developed and allowed play to go on for the infringements that didn’t have any affect.

“I find that outstanding in a 13-year-old.”

Anyone interested in Refereeing and Coaching Courses and Accreditation can still get involved by contacting;

Caitlin Ryan

Pathway Development Manager

Northern Territory Rugby Union

Ph: +61 (0)8 8945 1444

M: +61 (0)447 264 391

Or 

Josh Phillips

Participation Development Manager

Northern Territory Rugby Union

Ph: +61 (0)8 8945 1444

M: +61 (0)403 525 349

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

 

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VIVA 7s TO KICK START WOMEN'S RUGBY SEASON

The Northern Territory Rugby Union will launch what is hoped to be a breakout season of Women’s Rugby with a Foxtel Viva 7s Event at Mindil Beach on Wednesday 8th March, not coincidentally, International Women’s Day.

Viva 7s is non-contact Rugby 7s and designed to encourage people who wouldn’t normally play rugby to come and try.

It is hoped the Event will be a recruitment opportunity for Darwin’s Rugby Clubs to boost numbers on the eve of the Club Rugby Competition.

The cost to play is $10pp covering insurance, a bucket hat and some finger food. Players and Prospective Players can register and pay online in advance via or register and pay on the day between 5.30pm and 6pm. 

Matches will start at 6pm and go until about 7pm.

There will also be a Tackle Clinic on the sand for women and girls who would like to learn correct technique on a soft surface.

Three days later a Women’s Exhibition Match will be held in conjunction with the 2nd Masters Tens at Little Mindil.

The NTRU will host a Pre-Season Round Robin at Land Rover Rugby Park featuring five Darwin Clubs on Saturday March 24th 

The Regular Season will commence on Saturday April 1st.

Last Season’s competitors, University, South Darwin and Palmerston will be joined by Swampdogs and Casuarina with matches reverting to Saturday Afternoons.

Accentuating the spike in interest for Women’s Rugby attributed to Olympic status and Australia’s success, there is demand for the NTRU to program seven-a-side competitions for Under 13, Under 15 and Under 17 Girls that will played on Friday Nights at Marrara.

Pathways exist for Open Age Women and Youth Girls (Under 17) to participate in National 7s Championships while representative tournaments are sourced for the younger youth female participants.

It is expected that the Northern Territory Goannas will be invited to a National 15-a-side Championship in 2018.

For more information on how to get involved in Women’s and Junior Girl’s Rugby contact;

Caitlin Ryan

Pathway Development Manager

Northern Territory Rugby Union

Ph: +61 (0)8 8945 1444

M: +61 (0)447 264 391

caitlin.ryan@ntrugby.com.au

Josh Phillips

Participation Development Manager

Northern Territory Rugby Union

Ph: +61 (0)8 8945 1444

M: +61 (0)403 525 349

josh.phillips@ntrugby.com.au


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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PALMERSTON'S LATONIYA NORRIS SELECTED IN YOUTH COMMONWEALTH GAMES WIDER SQUAD

Australia’s next generation of Rugby Sevens talent have begun their campaign ahead of the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games to be held in the Bahamas from July 19-23. 

The 31 Girl Squad includes Palmerston’s Latoniya Norris who is one of five 15 year olds who have the opportunity of attending three intense training camps before final selection.

The Australian side will be looking to defend their predecessors’ Gold Medal from the tournament held in Samoa in 2015 that proved to be a springboard into the senior program for Dominique Du Toit, Hannah Southwell, Demi Hayes and Shanice Parker.

The squad includes 12 New South Wales players, nine Queenslanders, four from Western Australia, three from the ACT and a representative from the Northern Territory, South Australia and National Indigenous team respectively. 

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “Previous Youth Games tournament graduates include Gold medallists Charlotte Caslick and Evania Pelite, and half of the current squad progressed through this pathway. 

“This is a great opportunity for aspiring young women to develop and enhance their abilities as Rugby Sevens players and push for selection in the Commonwealth Youth Games.

“To see the young talent coming through the Rugby Sevens pathway and with the Aon National University Sevens Series launching this year, this really is an inspiring time for Women’s Rugby Sevens players and supporters in Australia. 

“We will be observing and challenging all the squad members in their upcoming training camps and want them to enjoy the experience of this wonderful game.” 

The young Women’s side was selected following National Youth Sevens Championship in December 2016, that was won by the Queensland Reds Girls.  

The wider squad will have three training camps, before a final squad of 12 will be selected to head to the Caribbean to represent Australia in July. 

Latoniya still has the opportunity to represent the Northern Territory at two  more National Youth 7s Championships and is likely to be seriously considered for selection in the open age NT Goannas side.

The Team is to be coached by former NT Rugby Union Development Manager Dale Roberson

 Australian Youth Commonwealth Games 2017 Wider Squad: 

 Georgia Hannaway (State: QLD, DOB: 28/12/00)

 Lily Dick (State: QLD, DOB: 26/12/99)

 Alysia Lefau–Fakosilea (State: QLD, DOB: 5/11/00)

 Meg Gemmell (State: QLD, DOB: 18/6/99)

 Kobe Nona (State: QLD, DOB: 18/2/99)

 Terri Anne Egan (State: QLD, DOB: 28/4/00)

 Ngaupoko Sabine Marsters (State: QLD, DOB: 10/11/00)

 Rebecca Goulding (State: QLD, DOB: 30/03/99)

 Veteronnica Tafito (State: QLD, DOB: 10/02/00)

 Hannah Southwell (State: NSW, DOB: 4/3/99)

 Page McGregor (State: NSW, DOB: 11/3/99)

 Brydie Parker (State: NSW, DOB: 25/10/99)

 Abby Holmes (State: NSW, DOB: 14/10/00)

 Arabella McKenzie (State: NSW, DOB: 1/03/99)

 Rikeya Horne (State: NSW, DOB: 14/9/99)

 Sariah Paki (State: NSW, DOB: 12/10/01)

 Jakiya Whitfeld (State: NSW, DOB: 11/06/01)

 Emma Bradford (State: NSW, DOB: 29/01/01)

 Mia Woods (State: NSW, DOB: 16/02/99)

 Layne Morgan (State: NSW, DOB: 20/04/99)

 Maddison Ashby (State: NSW, DOB: 22/01/01)

 Courtney Hodder (State: WA, DOB:08/07/00)

 Kennedy Cherrington (State: WA, DOB: 05/01/99)

 Turiti Galiki (State: WA, DOB: 06/01/00)

 Langley  Sasaga (State: WA, DOB: 09/04/00)

 Lily Rose-Bennett (State: ACT, DOB: 10/08/00)

 Sophie Quirk (State: ACT, DOB: 22/09/99)

 Piper Duck (State: ACT, DOB: 02/04/01)

 Rhiannon Revell-Blair (National Indigenous Team, DOB: 23/03/01)

 Latoniya Norris (State: NT, DOB: 18/03/01)

 Leah Phillips (State: SA, DOB: 11/11/99)

 Head Coach: Dale Roberson (Australian Sevens)

 Assistant Coach: Lachlan Parkinson (Queensland Rugby Union)


Photo Credit: Andrew Mayberry

 

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East Arnhem The Epitome of Grass Roots Rugby

The idiom punching above one’s weight can be accurately bestowed upon the members of the East Arnhem Rugby Union.

Based in Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsular the 2011 census had the town with a population of 3,933 and a median age of 32. The closure of the alumina refinery in May 2014 resulted in 1,100 workers being redeployed or made redundant, substantially reducing this population.

The Union is the most remote in Australia.

At last month’s Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World in Darwin they were one of only two NT Rugby affiliates to enter a team in each of the three Competitions (Men, Women & Youth Boys) and were additionally represented by a second mem’s team comprising of past players who now reside in Darwin.

There is no Rugby Competition in Nhulunbuy!

However a committed and qualified group of people conduct regular training and  coaching sessions, fundraising and  social events for both Senior and Junior players.

Such is the respect given to their program, selection in Northern Territory Representative Teams is done sight unseen, purely on the recommendation of East Arnhem’s Coaches.

The Senior Men’s Team regularly competes in the prestigious Singapore Cricket Club 7s and the Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World since its inception and are never seen to be out of their depth.

In 2016 players from East Arnhem were selected in all five Junior Boys Representative Teams.

Under 12 Dan Hillam - National Primary School Carnival Port Adelaide.

Under 14 Lamon Forbes - Queensland Rugby Junior State Championships

Under 16 Jake Parfitt, Josh Winderlich - Queensland Rugby Junior State Championships

Open Schoolboys Koby Snowden - National Schools Championship

Youth Boys 7s. Koby Snowden, Josh Winderlich – National Youth 7s

At the recent Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World the EARU Women’s Team finished in eighth position which was the highest ranking of the five Territory Teams and need to be considered for selection in the Goannas Squad for the Nationals later this year.

While much of the credit for the emergence of East Arnhem can be attributed to the dedication of people such as Colin and Alison Snowden, Sean O’Connor, Hayden Rickard, Eddie Mulholland amongst many others but unbridled commitment to player development stretches back to people like Paul Ngamoki in the early ‘90s.

The next challenge for East Arnhem will be to embrace the burgeoning Youth Girls Pathway and have players battle ready for Representative selection

In August the East Arnhem Rugby Union was recognised with the inaugural “Vince Kelly” Regional Achievement Award at the Eric Johnston Medal Dinner.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.


 

 

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STALLIONS GALLOP TO CROC VICTORY AT HOTTEST 7s

The Darwin Stallions won the 29th Annual Coco-Cola Hottest 7s in the World in an absorbing 14-5 win over Fiji’s Eagle Warriors in the Croc Final before a boisterous crowd at Land Rover Rugby Park last night.

Stallions were captained by former All Black Zac Guildford and the 7th seeded team emerged a serious finals contender early on Day One.

Their line-up was well balanced and experienced elite level Rugby 7s players.

Defining moments in both the Semi Final and Final earned Penitoa Fiinau the Men’s Player of the Tournament award.  With both matches in the balance Final’s combined speed and brute strength to score decisive five pointers.

The Semi Finals were low scoring but as gripping as the decider. Stallions defeated Tribe 7s in there’s while 9th seed Eagle Warriors qualified with a 15-12 over 4th seed Intercept Spurs.

The Buff Competition which determines 5th position overall went to the Australian Men’s Sevens Development Team who were clinical in their 31-5 victory over the Land Rover Northern Territory Mosquitoes, the highest finish registered by the Mozzies in the events history.

The Women’s Competition was arguably the best yet with the class of the Australian Women’s Sevens Team prevailing.

The Aussie Girls comprehensively won the Jabiru Final 35-0 over first time visitors to the Top End Iconz 35-0.

Earlier Iconz defeated a rebuilding Tribe 7s 19-5 in the Semi Final while the Aussie Team took until the last play of the match to defeat Sydney University 14-10.

Sydney University finished 3rd after defeating Tribe 22-17 in another wonderful match.

Georgina Friedrichs was presented with the Women’s Player of the Tournament Award.

Central Queensland Dingoes defeated Singapore 17-12 to finish 5th.  The other visiting team, BMW (Bowen, Mackay, Whitsundays) defeated East Arnhem who the best performed of the Northern Territory Teams 22-0 to finish 7th.

In the Men’s Barra Competition newcomers 3D Narraro defeated Gumatj Cavaliers 10-5 to finish 9th overall.

The Cavaliers aspirations for top honours were rocked late in the week when five players from Namosi had their Visas denied.

Local Team Honkers won the Gecko Final 21-19 over Central Crewsaders from Alice Springs and finished 13th overall.

The inaugural Jug Competition was won by another local team in Northern Warriors to effectively finish 17th while Katherine Brahmans defeated Kununurra Smashed Crabs and won the Spoon to finish 25th in the 30 team Men’s Team Tournament.

The Cockatoo Competition for Youth Boys was won for the third time in a row by Swampdogs from Darwin’s Rural Area.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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Stallions and Spurs Emerge as Croc Favourites

Day One of the 2017 Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World delivered some magnificent Rugby 7s to Land Rover Rugby Park at Marrara.

Darwin Stallions emerged as a serious contender for the Croc Final when the 7th seed defeated the Australian Men’s Sevens Development Squad 17-12 to top a tough Pool B.

The Stallions line-up included for All Black Zac Guildford and a plethora of elite 7s players.

Tournament top seed the Gumatj Cavalier were rocked by late withdrawal of 5 players from Namosi in Fiji and despite securing quality replacements at the 11th hour the Cavs went down to the NT Mosquitoes and Eagle Warriors.

Tribe 7s amassed 116 points and kept a clean sheet to top Pool C ahead of Turagu from PNG who ousted number 6 seed Iconz from the Croc Quarter Finals.

Intercept Spurs 7s are another definite title hope coming through Pool D with a win over Brisbane Fiji in a replay of last year’s Buff Final.

Alice Springs stood up and were counted with Central Crewsaders and Team CSS topping Pools E and E respectively while Palmerston won there three matches Pool H.

Local leaguies On Point Cutters finished on top of Pool G.

The contest for the Jabiru is going to be fierce with Tribe 7s and Aussie Women’s Development Team look the most likely finalists although Sydney University and Singapore will provide stiff opposition.

Singapore are a much stronger unit than the one that played here in 2015.

The Cockatoo Competition for Youth Boys is shaping up as the best yet. 

With Round Robin matches still to be played Swampdogs are a big chance to win their third consecutive tournament. 

Play resumes at 9.00am this morning with the Croc Final set to get under way at 8.00pm


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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Gumatj Cavaliers Hoping It's 4th Time Lucky in the 7s

After being runner-up on two occasions and semi-finalist on another, no-one would begrudge the Gumatj Cavaliers taking out the 2017 Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World at Land Rover Rugby Park this weekend.

The Cavalier will be led by the incomparable Setefano Cakaunavalu, the former Fijian 7s Captain who led Tabadamu to victory last year, is the current Eric Johnston Medallist for Best & Fairest in the Darwin Competition and played an integral part of the Mosquitoes 4th placing at the National 7s.

The Cavaliers have recruited Emori Waqavulagi, Jone Vota, Teri Temani, Samu Bale and Apenisa Cakaubalavu from the Namosi Rugby Union in Fiji.

The line-up includes Kepueli F’au Lokitui, Paula Balekana and Jale Seninawanawa from the Hamilton Hawks Club in Newcastle. 

The Hawks are the current Newcastle and Hunter Premiers.

The Cavaliers always include a few Northern Territory based players and this year have secured Wise Sekitoga, Poasa Naivalu, Joseva Tuisuva along with George Morseu from Yam Island in Torres Strait.

Lai Tora will coach the Team with Andrew and Jock McLeod managing.

The Cavaliers are in Pool A and will play the Eagle Warriors from Fiji, Northern Territory Mosquitoes and Cancer Council NT Cougars from Darwin.


Ticketing

Supporters Pack - 4 x Weekend Tickets $80.00 (save $20.00)

Weekend Pass - $25.00 per ticket

Saturday Only Pass - $10.00 per ticket

Sunday Only Pass - $20.00 per ticket

Under 18 years FREE

Tickets can be purchased at the gate or at Land Rover Rugby Park, 71 Abala Road Marrara 


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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Mosquitoes Name Squad for Hottest 7s

The Land Rover NT Mosquitoes enter this weekend’s Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World with a real chance of a Top 4 finish for the first time.

The Mozzies are the Tournaments 8th seed and will line-up against two-time runner-up Gumatj Cavaliers. Eagle Warriors from Fiji and the Cancer Council NT Cougars from Darwin.

The 12-man squad contains seven players who represented the Northern Territory at last year’s National 7s Tournament in Adelaide two months ago where they finished fourth after defeating NSW along the way.

Coming into the squad are Territory players Drew Tobin who has represented the Mosquitoes on numerous occasions, Clancy Needham from Katherine Brahmans and new arrival Kanae Goidubu who will link up with the Rabbitohs this season.

Cassidy Holland  coach of Tribe 7s Women’s Team will again play for the Mozzies after making a valuable contribution last year while Sydney University’s Matthew Hood will also be a boost to home sides chances of success..

The Land Rover NT Mosquitoes Team is;

Ben Parkes - Uni Pirates

Bobby Nurse – Cougars

Ryan Oakley - Uni Pirates

Drew Tobin - Dragons

Clancy Needham - Katherine Brahmans

Vinny Mehn (c) - Souths

Robbie Butcher - Uni Pirates

Rhys Mulholland - Souths

Zac Phillips - Cougars

Kanae Goidubu - Souths

Cassidy Holland - Tribe 7s

Matthew Hood - Sydney Uni 7s

Coach - Tim Atkinson

Trainer - Chris Miller

Dr/Physio - Nathan Trist

Manager - James de Dassel

Ticketing

Supporters Pack - 4 x Weekend Tickets $80.00 (save $20.00)

Weekend Pass - $25.00 per ticket

Saturday Only Pass - $10.00 per ticket

Sunday Only Pass - $20.00 per ticket

Under 18 years FREE

Tickets can be purchased at the gate or at Land Rover Rugby Park, 71 Abala Road Marrara 

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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Stallions Add All Black to Stable

Darwin Stallions have recruited former All Black Zac Guildford to spearhead their assault on the 2017 Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in World at Land Rover Rugby Park this weekend.

Guildford is 11 times capped for the All Blacks and was in their 30-man 2011 World Cup Squad.

The 27-year-old winger has played 86 Super Rugby matches for the Hurricanes, Crusaders and most recently the Waratahs.

Guildford is no stranger to Rugby 7s having been a member of New Zealand’s 2010 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal Team in Delhi.

The Stallions won’t be relying solely on Guildford with Samoan 7s International Savelio Ropati and former All Black 7s player Luke Masirewa in the side.

Stallions are seeded 7th and will take on Australian Development, Central Queensland Dingoes and Fijian team 3D Nararo in Pool B on Saturday.


Ticketing

Supporters Pack - 4 x Weekend Tickets $80.00 (save $20.00)

Weekend Pass - $25.00 per ticket

Saturday Only Pass - $10.00 per ticket

Sunday Only Pass - $20.00 per ticket

Under 18 years FREE

Tickets can be purchased at the gate or at Land Rover Rugby Park, 71 Abala Road Marrara 


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

 

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Tribe 7s Set for Threepeat

Tribe 7s who are the top seed in the Jabiru Division for Women have named a strong yet developmental squad as they search for a third successive Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World crown.

The Team has been put together with rebuilding plans in place for the program and working with providing a pathway to high levels of rugby. 

Tribe has always had a great tradition in finding young talent. 

A player to watch is Lauren Brown who had an outstanding 2016 Rugby 7s  culminating in the Queensland Reds National Championship Queensland’s Reds winning team. 

Another Player worth watching is Tiarna Molloy who has been with the Tribe program since she was 15 Years of age. Molloy was a part of the 2016 Australian Youth Team that toured New Zealand and the Captained the Tribe touring team to Noumea. 

Coach Cassidy Holland “I’m excited by the group we have put together for the Coca-Cola Hottest 7s tournament. It is a real eye opener for the group to come to a high-level event like this with such a young group. But we have made sure we have picked Girls that will no quit when the going gets tough”

Wallaroos Liz Patu and Dutch International Jannicke Ijdens bring some experience to the team that includes six under 18 representative players from 2016.

The Tribe will play BMW (Bowen, Mackay, Whitsundays) Singapore and local outfit Palmerston in a competitive Pool.

The Squad is;

Liz Patu 

Jannicke Ijdens 

Veteronnica Fomai 

Tiarna Molloy 

Portia Bourke 

Jailyn To’o 

Laura Waldie 

Lauren Brown 

Marioulla Belessis 

Ashleigh Walker.  

Georgia Hannaway

Emily Bass 


 

Ticketing

Supports Pack - 4 x Weekend Tickets $80.00 (save $20.00)

Weekend Pass - $25.00 per ticket

Saturday Only Pass - $10.00 per ticket

Sunday Only Pass - $20.00 per ticket

Under 18 years FREE

Tickets can be purchased at the gate or at Land Rover Rugby Park, 71 Abala Road Marrara 


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

 

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Aussie Women Name Strong 7s Squad for Darwin

The Australia Women’s 7 Team have announced a strong line-up to contest the Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World next week.

Olympic Gold Medalist Evania Pelite will spearhead seven other contracted players plus four development players at next week’s 12-team tournament.

The Aussie Girls are seeded 2nd behind two time champion Tribe 7s.

The NT Goannas squad won’t announce their final twelve until the eve of the Tournament and will play the Central Queensland Dingoes first up on Day One.

The Prize Pool for the Women’s Competition has been increased by 167% to $24,000 recognising the significant growth in participation in Rugby since its inclusion as an Olympic Sport.

Pool I; Tribe 7s, BMW 7s, Singapore, Palmerston

Pool J; Australia Development, CQ Dingoes, NT Goannas, Blackout

Pool K; Iconz, Sydney University, East Arnhem Swampdogs.

Australian Women’s Development Squad

Evania Pelite – Gold Medalist

Hannah Southwell - contracted

Demi Hayes - contracted

Lily Dick - development

Brooke Anderson - contracted

Brooke Walker - contracted

Page McGregor - development

Dom Du Toit - contracted

Shanice Parker - contracted

Darcie Morrison - development

Georgie Friedrichs - contracted

Shenae Ciesiolka – development


(AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.


 

 

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Mosquitoes Draw Tough Pool

The Land Rover Northern Territory Mosquitoes have been drawn into a tough pool at next week’s Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World.

The Mozzies are seeded eight and will face two time runner-up Gumatj Cavaliers, Eagle Warriors from Fiji and Turagu from Papua New Guinea in Pool A matches on Day One.

While local fans know what to expect from the Gumatj Cavaliers the surprise packet of the tournament could be the Suva based Eagle Warriors who will be playing in their first tournament outside their homeland.

The Warriors have three National 7s Representatives in their side including Abele Yalayalatabu who was part of Ben Ryan’s 2016 Squad.

David Batiratu and Mosese Luveitasau bring plenty of experience to the side and will act as co-coaches.

In three domestic tournaments last year Warriors made the Cup Final of the Moala 7s, won the Bowl at the Veivatuvatuloa 7s and the made the Cup Semi Final of the Vutia 7s.

PNG’s Turagu Rugby 7s Team is no stranger to the big stage having played at the SCC 7s in Singapore and also came to Darwin for the 2007 Hottest 7s and develop players for national selection.

The Mosquitoes finished 4th at the National Championships in November, claiming the prize scalp of NSW along the way and the nucleus of that side will line-up again.

Coach Tim Atkinson is yet to finalise his 12-man squad but will be without Setefano Cakaunivalu who will play with the Gumatj Cavaliers and Greg Tobin who is injured while 2-time Player of the Tournament Lepani Nabuliwaqa is also battling injury. 

Six of the Top 16 ranked teams will be participating in the Hottest 7s for the first time.

Eagle Warriors are joined by compatriots Savuiqali, Covenant Brothers and 3D Narraro. 

The West Coast Drifters are playing their first tournament outside of Western Australia while the Central Queensland Dingoes are debuting in the Northern Territory.

The Dingoes have included Preston Springhall who represented the Mosquitoes at the Nationals plus Shannon Johnson and Alex Thrupp who play from Waikato and Bay of Plenty respectively.

Pool A: Gumatj Cavaliers, Northern Territory Mosquitoes, Eagle Warriors, Turagu

Pool B: Australian Development, Stallions, Savuiqali, West Coast Drifters.

Pool C: Tribe 7s, Iconz, Covenant Brothers, Cancer Council NT Cougars.

Pool D: Spurs 7s, Brisbane Fiji, 3D Narraro, Central Queensland Dingoes.

The Men’s Tournament features 32 Teams which is up from 20 in 2016.

There will be some extra pressure on the Top Half of the Competition this year with the lowest placed team at the end of the Pool Stage replaced by the  winner of Pool E which comprises the Dalby Wheatmen (QLD), Barraba Rams (NSW) East Arnhem (NT) and Honkers (NT)

Ticketing

Supports Pack - 4 x Weekend Tickets $80.00 (save $20.00)

Weekend Pass - $25.00 per ticket

Saturday Only Pass - $10.00 per ticket

Sunday Only Pass - $20.00 per ticket

Under 18 years FREE

Tickets can be purchased at the gate or at Land Rover Rugby Park, 71 Abala Road Marrara 



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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Position Vacant - Head Coach Swampdogs

SENIOR COACHING POSITION AVAILABLE


Swampdogs Rugby Union Club NT

The Swampdogs Rugby Union Club is seeking applications for the role of a senior men’s coach for the upcoming 2017 season and beyond.

The motivated individual must hold an ARU Level 2 qualification or equivalent, together with relevant experience.

The club will assist with a relocation allowance and provide support with seeking local employment opportunities to long haul/interstate or international applicants.

All inquiries and applications should be addressed to the ‘President’ swampdogsrugbyunionnt@gmail.com

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NT Rugby Unleashes its Girl Power

The Northern Territory will be represented by two teams of teenage female Rugby 7s players in Perth this weekend featuring two daughters of Eric Johnston Medal recipients.

The Under 17s will contest the National Youth 7s Championships while an Under 14 outfit will compete in a WA Rugby Union Invitation Event.

The ten team Under 17s Tournament consists of two pools of five with the NT pitted against NSW Rugby Blue, Queensland White, Western Australia and National Indigenous on Day One.

This year has been a breakout year for participation in Rugby 7s by teenage girls in the Territory following the successful innovation by Palmerston in 2014 to include a girl’s component in their five week off season junior competition.

This year during the regular season matches were played each Friday Night for Under 15s and Under 13s while an Under 17 division featured in the Summer of Sevens during October.

Joyce Ruparanganda and Katelyn Blake return to the side having played for the Northern Territory at the 2015 Championships.

The Team is Ivana Schober, Grace Warren, Joyce Ruparanganda, Macy Winston, Talia Holt, Tara Cole, La Toniya Norris,  Katelyn Blake, Tadisha Bush, Breeana O”Neil, Teka Voysey, Cody Akers Coach Caitlin Ryan Manager Clancy Stanfield, Trainer Bridie Duggan.

If genealogy has any bearing on success the Under 14s are destined for greatness.

Charlotte Elcoate and Elisa Niki’s fathers both won NT Rugby’s highest honour, the Eric Johnston Medal for being the Best and Fairest Player in the Darwin Premiership.

Charlotte’s father Frank Jennings won his medal in the 2001/02 season while Elisa’s dad Bernard won his in 1995/96.

The Team is Macala Shaw, Charlotte Elcoate, Shanell Tanonef, Kara Langtree, Darci Bellis, Allison Hunt, Tara Stanley, Tirani Urirau, Ngametua, Aukino, Kaila May, Rease Casey, Elisa Niki Coach Chloe Dray Manager Ellie Hills

The  NT Youth Boys will also be competing at in their division of the National 7s.

Good Luck to all participants.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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Mozzies Sting NSW to Finish 4th at the National 7s

The Land Rover Northern Territory Mosquitoes delivered the upset of the tournament when they the defeated the NSW Waratah 7s 19-17 in a Cup Quarter Final of the National 7s in Adelaide yesterday.

The Mozzies were down 17-12 on full-time when Zac Phillips scored in the corner with the sideline conversion from Robbie Butcher clinching a memorable victory. 

The win took the Mozzies to a Semi Final berth against Australian Universities two hours later and a rematch against a team that had defeated them by a solitary point the day before.

The side looked flat and lacked enthusiasm and were well beaten by the students 32-7 before going down 31-7 to the ACT in the playoff for third.

A fourth-place finish was a great accomplishment for the team who finished tenth in the 2015 tournament.

Queensland defeated Universities 31-19 in the Cup Final.

The Mozzies best for the weekend were Bobby Nurse, Vinny Mehn and Robbie Butcher.

Victoria defeated NSW to win the Plate Final after Western Australia defeated Australian Services in the final of the Bowl.

The Mosquitoes under coach Tim Atkinson now have two months to prepare for their next assignment – the Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World in Darwin.

In the Women’s Competition the Goanna’s tasted victory in the Semi Final of the Bowl with a 20-5 win over Victoria before going down 29-0 to Australian Universities in the Bowl Final for a 10th placed finish overall.

Queensland Red defeated NSW (Dark Blue)  in the Cup Final. The Reds had an NT link with Darwin born  Kiri Lingman (daughter of Wylie and Shelley) in the team. 

The Goannas are also headed towards the Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World with a $20k Prize Pool for the Women from a total Pool of $80k



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and team management and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.


 

 

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Mozzies Finish Day One with a Bite.

The Land Rover NT Mosquitoes finished Day One of the National 7’s Championships in stunning fashion with a 59-0  victory over Tasmania to record the largest score across both the  Men’s and  Women’s Divisions.

After having lost narrowly to Australian Universities and ACT earlier in the Day the Mosquitoes finished third as per their seeding in Pool C but were the best placed third team and  therefore 7th overall and qualified for the Cup Quarter Finals.

The campaign started slowly against Australian Universities who posted three tries from turnovers before Wise Sekitoga scored on half time to trail 22-5 and then scoring 3 tries to 1 in the second half to fall short by 27-26.

Scorers  Game 1;  W Sekitoga, L Nabuliwaqa, R Butcher, S Cakau Tries  R Butcher 3 Conv.

The Mozzies were again slow off the mark in Game Two against the ACT who got away to a 15 point lead before a piece of Setefano magic brought the halftime score to 15-7.

ACT scored early in the second half to hold a 20-7 lead before 2 quick late tries got the Mozzies back to 20-19 with a Butcher conversion from the sideline to take the lead. The kick went wide and ACT secured a late try after full time to win 25-19.

Scorers Game 2;  S Cakau, Z Phillips, V Mehn Tries R Butcher 2 Conv

The Mozzies dominated the match against Tasmania from the outset and rattled up nine tries.  Australian Universities topped Pool C after defeating ACT 10-7.

Scorers Game 3; R Butcher 3,  Z Phillips 2, R Mulholland,  V Mehn, B Parkes, P Springhall Tries R Butcher 7 Conv.

The Mosquitoes take on NSW this morning with the winner advancing to the Semi Finals of the Cup while a loss will send them to the Plate Semi Finals.

Top 8 finishing order in the Men’s Division -  1. Queensland Red,  2. NSW, 3.Australian Universities, 4.Victoria, 5. ACT 6. Queensland White 7. Northern Territory 8. National Indigenous 

The Goannas will line-up against Victoria in the Semi Finals of the Bowl after losing their three  matches on Day One.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and team representatives and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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Goannas take on Nation's Best in Adelaide

The NT Goannas, the Northern Territory Women’s Rugby 7s team take their game to the National stage this weekend when they compete in the National 7s Championships in Adelaide.

The team is drawn in Pool C along with ACT, Western Australia and Queensland White in the 12 Team Competition.

The Goannas line-up has completely reformed from the side that went to the Nationals in March 2015 while Brielle Felton and Tanisha Garling have graduated to the senior side after representing the NT in the Youth Girls Division at that Tournament.

Palmerston’s Sarah O’Connor’s inclusion in the side caps off a stellar season for the 18 year old who won NT Rugby’s inaugural Bo de la Cruz Emerging Talent Award in August. 

O’Connor, along with Lucy Lockhart, Natalie de Guzman, Bianca Stokes and Ellie Hills are late inclusions to the side that was announced earlier this month but will undoubtedly seamlessly slot into the side.

The experience gained this weekend in Adelaide should be the catalyst for a strong showing at the Hottest 7s in the World in January.

There will be a Territory link in the South Australian side with former Taminmin High player Taylor Savage in their team  while the ACT is coached by 2015 Goanna’s mentor  Damien Tyson.

The Team is; Alicia Smith, Sarah O`Connor, Brielle Felton, Rebecca Dunbar, Caitlin Ryan, Sharyn Laws, Tanisha Garling, Marina Kavana, Bianca Stokes, Ellie Hills, Natalie de Guzman, Lucy Lockhart, Coach Peter Pauli, Manager Clancy Stanfield, Trainer Sarah Moran.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.


 

 

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Mozzies 7s Set for the Nationals

The Land Rover NT Mosquitoes have announced a powerful line-up for this year’s National Rugby 7s Championship to be held in Adelaide 19-20 November.

Veteran Fijians Setefano Cakaunivalu and Lepani Nabuliwaqa who currently play for South Darwin bring enormous elite level sevens experience to the squad. 

Setafano first represented Fiji in 2003 while Lepani’s first appearance on the IRB circuit came in 2006 and is a two time player of the tournament at the Hottest Sevens in the World when playing for the South Sea Drifters.

The team is coached by former Australian 7s captain Tim Atkinson.

The Northern Territory will be joined in the Ten Team Competition by NSW, National Indigenous, Victoria, Armed Services, Queensland, Western Australia, ACT, Australian Universities, and Tasmania.

The Squad is;Robbie Butcher, Ryan Oakley, Ben Parkes, Waisale Sekitoga (University), Setefano Cakaunivalu, Lepani Nabuliwaqa, Vincent Mehn (capt) (South Darwin) Trent Everson, Christopher Nurse, Zac Phillips (Casuarina) Rhys Mulholland (East Arnhem) Greg Tobin(Darwin Dragons) Coach - Tim Atkinson, Manager - James de Dassel, Trainer - Chris Miller, Doctor - Nathan Trist


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Under 14 Girls Opportunity to Tour

The Northern Territory Rugby Union is thrilled to announce the Territory’s first Under 14 Girls 7s Representative Program.

The Union has been invited by the Western Australian Rugby Union to participate in a tournament being run parallel with the ARU’s  National Youth 7s.

This program will ensure that for the first time in the Union’s history, all Girls and Women of any age in the Territory will be eligible to play Representative Rugby
Eligible Players: Any girls living in the NT who were born in 2002, 2003 or 2004 with a 2-year window form completed by a level 2 coach.
All girls must have either been a registered player during the 2016 regular junior season, or be registered in the current Palmerston Junior 7s tournament.
Tournament Dates: Friday 9th December – Sunday 11th December 2016
Tournament Location: Perth
Training: Wednesdays 5.30-6.30pm, Land Rover Rugby Park, Marrara, Darwin
Commencing this Wednesday 26th October
Levy Cost: Between $800-$1000 (TBC)
Includes:
- Flights
- Accommodation
- All Meals
- Bus transfers
- Team Uniform including playing jersey
Please note that this is more than the U17s levy as the tournament is not an ARU-subsidised National Championships. This Levy is similar to all other Junior Levies in 2016.

Coach: Chloe Dray, E: chloe.dray@gmail.com, P: 0405771852
Manager: TBC
To apply for selection or for further information please email Caitlin Ryan (Caitlin.ryan@ntrugby.com.au) by 12pm Monday 24th October 2016

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NT Rugby Extends Naming Rights of Hottest 7s in the World to Coca-Cola Amatil

It is with immense pleasure that the Northern Territory Rugby Union Inc (NTRU) announces the signing of Coca-Cola Amatil Australia to exclusive naming rights partner to the Hottest 7s in the World for 2017, with the event now to be known as the “Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World”.

With a record high $80,000.00 in prize money on offer this is a fantastic result, that we can bring a world renowned brand such as Coca-Cola to our tournament.
For a number of years since the Hottest 7s in the World held a naming rights partnership  with Heineken and we are extremely delighted to further extend our long relationship through Coca-Cola Amatil Australia with an iconic brand such as Coca-Cola and their associated products.

The two organisations are honoured to share what is to be a fantastic partnership, General Manager SA/NT, Jarrad Mortimer said “I know we have had (and continue to have) a strong relationship with NTRU over the years and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership for the years ahead and CCA are pleased to support the Hottest 7s for the 2017 event which is fast approaching and look forward to it being a successful weekend”.

CEO NTRU, Mark Heath has said that the agreement between both Coca-Cola Amatil and the Northern Territory Rugby Union is significant in that the opportunities to grow this relationship beyond the initial agreement are far greater than just naming partnerships. In a tough economic climate where sporting partnerships of any kind are hard to come by, it is companies such as the Coca-Cola Amatil who step up and who put back into the community that really show why these partnerships are so vital to the sport. We are very proud to have Coca-Cola Amatil take on another level with the NTRU as part of our extended family, with the Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World.

As well as the naming partnership of the Coca-Cola Hottest 7s in the World, Coca-Cola will also be extended official naming rights to the most prestigious of trophies at the Hottest 7s with the Croc (Cup) Division being renamed, the “Coca-Cola Croc Division”

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All Set for the Summer of 7s

The 2016 renewal of NT Rugby’s Summer of 7s has been revamped from last year’s inaugural competition to complement the ARU’s National 7s Rugby Program.
The Men and Youth Boys competitions will be played over a single weekend of 22-23 October while the Women and Youth Girls will play over four consecutive Saturdays from 15 October to 5 November.

All matches are scheduled to be played at Land Rover Rugby Park.

The Summer of 7s is a great developmental pathway for players to be selected to represent the Northern Territory at the Nationals. Previous Rugby experience is not a pre-requisite for participation and NT Rugby’s Development Team will find a position in a team for any prospective player.

Tomorrows opening round for Women and Youth Girls kicks off at 5.30pm.

The Men’s and Women’s Nationals will be held in Adelaide 19-20 November followed by Under 17 Youth Boys and Youth Girls in Perth 10-11 December.
Representative Rugby 7s continues into January with both the Mosquitoes and Goannas contesting the Hottest 7s in the World at Land Rover Rugby Park.

With Rugby 7s now both an Olympic and Commonwealth Games sport the National 7s are a clear and definite pathway for player talent to be identified and developed
Rugby 7s will feature at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas next July. The Gold Coast will host the 2018 Commonwealth Games before Japan stages its second Olympiad in 2020 where the Australian Women’s Team will be the defending Gold Medallists.

NT Rugby’s Head Coaches for the 7s program are;
Mosquitoes: Tim Atkinson
Goannas: Peter Pauli
Youth Boys: Josh Phillips
Youth Girls: Caitlin Ryan

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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Katherine Gets It's Game On

NT Rugby conducted a highly successful Game on Program and Viva 7s Gala Day during the recently completed School Term.

The Program reached 306 students across three schools with a split of 159/147 Boy/Girl ratio.

Game On provides the ‘first taste of rugby’ to primary school children across Australia.

It’s a five-week program which is designed to prepare primary students for a healthy and active lifestyle. The program is implemented through three channels.

IN THE CLASSROOM

Game On Classroom resources are created to be relevant, current and useful for Australian teachers. The resources are closely linked to the Australian Curriculum Health and Physical Education (AC: HPE).

The Game On Classroom is made up of four different themes.

Diversity

Heroes & Heroines

Fair Play

Health


ON THE FIELD

Game On, On The Field is a 40-minute session designed to be taken outdoors.

Students learn rugby skills through fun activities which build their confidence to a level where they enjoy a VIVA7s Carnival in the final week of the program.

Teachers have access to a comprehensive resource of skills based activities to deliver yourself or you have the opportunity to request an Australian Rugby accredited Game On Deliverer.

VIVA7S CARNIVAL

The program culminates with a VIVA7s Carnival is the ultimate showpiece for Game On.

VIVA7s is a new non-contact format of rugby. It promotes fun, energy, excitement and inclusiveness and is specifically designed to account for all skill-levels.

Four Katherine Primary Schools participated in the Gala Day with Katherine South’s home ground advantage securing a win over Casuarina St Primary in the Final.

Clyde Fenton finished third followed by MacFarlane.

The Kintore Street School participated in National Rugby week and were one of three runners-up who will be presented with autographed rugby balls

Kintore Street School is a special needs school with students aged from 5 through to 18 and their older students participated in rugby skills programs in the morning then shared those experiences with the younger students during recess and lunch.

NT Rugby plan to run the program again next year and hope St Joseph’s Catholic College accepts their invitation.

The Katherine Rugby Union are on the verge of establishing the first Junior Competition in the district.

It is anticipated approximately 45-50 will sign-up after 21 registered at the Sign On Day a fortnight ago.

Three players were selected to represent the Northern Territory Under 12 Team after a “Come and Try” Session last month.

It is hoped with regular competition more Katherine based players will be selected in all future NT Junior Rugby Union Teams.


HOW CAN YOUR SCHOOL GET INVOLVED?

Game On is free through the Australian Sports Commissions’ ‘Sporting Schools’ Program. To book in a free 5-week program for your Primary School, please contact NT Rugby’s Participation Development Manager Josh Phillips at josh.phillips@ntrugby.com.au or call (08) 8945 1444

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.


 

 

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Accommodation and Gear Deals for the Hottest 7s

With just three months and three weeks until the 2017 Hottest 7s in the World make sure your accommodation is booked and gear is ordered.

Check out these links to great deals.

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Position Vacant Head Coach Swampdogs

Swampdogs Rugby Union Football Club (SRUFC) is a premier senior and junior Club with the Northern Territory Rugby Union (NTRU) Darwin Premiership competition which is based approximately 30km south of Darwin. The SRUFC is seeking expressions of interest for the position of Head Coach for 2017, for a period of 3 years, with the possibility of further extension

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Plenty of Sting in Mosquitoes Touring Squad

The Land Rover Northern Territory Mosquitoes fly to Townsville on Friday on a two match tour of the unofficial capital of North Queensland.

It will be the first time in over two years since the Mozzies have graced the paddock in the 15-a-side version of the game having defeated the ASRU Warriors 33-20 in Darwin.

In 2013 the Mozzies defeated Tasmania, drew with South Australia and gave Queensland a good hit-out in a four team tournament in Adelaide.

Half of the squad will be representing the Northern Territory at senior level for the first time and includes a mix of seasoned and rookie talent.

The Mozzies will play a Townsville Under 21 Select on Friday Night and the Townsville & District RU Brolgas on Sunday afternoon with both matches played at Mike Carney Toyota Park (Hugh Street Rugby Grounds).

Palmerston’s Michael Killiner will captain the Mosquitoes for the first time.

Killiner was the 2015 Eric Johnston Medallist and will lead an imposing forward pack featuring robust South Darwin backrower Misoika Timoteo who won the Willie Ellison Medal for Best on Ground in last month’s Grand Final and two time Eric Johnston Medal runner-up Bobby Nurse.

Casuarina Prop Eric Erickson played three Tests for the Philippines at the Asia Rugby Championship earlier this year will be joined in the Front Row by NT Schoolboy Captain Liam Bilston.

Bilston had a stellar season for the Crocs culminating in being awarded the Tawera Kerr-Barlow Medal as the 2016 Rising Star.

The Tour is part of an ongoing Development Plan for the Senior Men’s Representative Program with the Brolgas reciprocating next year by coming to Darwin for matches against the Mosquitoes and a Development XV.

The Squad is; Michael Killiner (captain), Robert Butcher (vice-captain) Eric Erickson, Liam Bilston, Peter Pauli, Tom Barker, Joe Matiaha, Josh Phillips, Ian Aokuso, Misoika Timoteo, Brad Hogan, Greg Tobin, Marcus Maaka, Bobby Nurse, Trent Everson, Zack Phillips, Vinnie Mehn, Jack Morrison, Jett Norris, Drew Tobin Jason Lim. Rhys Mulholland, Tim O’Neill, Ben Parkes Coaches Peter McGrath, Joe Albert Manager Sean Killiner Sports Trainer Sarah Moran

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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Prizemoney Boost for Women at the Hottest 7s

The Northern Territory Rugby Union have announced a substantial boost in Prizemoney for the Women’s component of the 2017 Hottest 7s in the World.

Women’s 7s Teams will be competing for a Prize Pool of $24,000, an increase of $15,000 from this year’s tournament.

The “Jabiru” Champion will now earn $12,000 which is an increase of one hundred percent to the amount won by Tribe 7s earlier this year.

The runner-up will take home $5,000.

The Semi Finalists will share $5000 when they play for third position with the winner of that game collecting $3,000.

The “Jacana”  which is effectively a play-off for fifth will receive $1500 and the loser pockets $500.

Australian Women’s 7s Coach Tim Walsh has indicated many of his Olympic Gold Medal winning team will be competing at the Darwin Event in January.

Total Prizemoney for the Event will be $80,000 with increase to the Women’s component made possible by the continued support of the Northern Territory Government.

The Two Day Tournament will be played at Land Rover Rugby Park on 21-22 January.

Expressions of Interest can be lodged via the Hottest 7s in the World website 




 

 

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NT Rugby to Host 7s Skills Program

As NT Rugby approaches the 7s Club and Representative season the Union will be hosting weekly 7s Skills Sessions at Land Rover Rugby Park, Marrara. The session times will be 5.30-6.30pm for junior girls and boys (any age under 18 is welcome, as are their parents/coaches) and 6.30-7.30pm for senior men and women.

The dates of the sessions are:

Tuesday 6 September

Tuesday 13 September

Tuesday 20 September 

Tuesday 27 September

These are open sessions and anyone is welcome to attend. The focus will be on core skills such as catch/pass, one on one tackle, scrum etc and will focus on individual skill technique. People can attend as many or as few as they like, and the sessions are free.

These sessions will benefit:

- Existing players who would like to refine some of their skills in preparation for the upcoming 7s season

- New players who aren’t sure of the details of a particular skill or who would like to try the sport before committing to a season

- Parents who would like to know more about the sport their child is playing

- Coaches who would like some technical assistance

Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and discuss anything they are uncertain about, and the sessions will be loosely structured so that they can be modified to suit the attendees on the day. 

Further information on the 7s programs will be distributed next week. 

Please get in touch with me if you have any questions.

Caitlin Ryan

Pathway Development Manager

Northern Territory Rugby Union

Ph: +61 (0)8 8945 1444

M: +61 (0)447 264 391

caitlin.ryan@ntrugby.com.au


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NT Rugby and Land Rover Australia become Major Partners

It is with great pleasure that the Northern Territory Rugby Union Inc (NTRU) announces as of 1st September 2016 that we have signed an agreement with Darwin Motor Group and Land Rover Australia to rename Rugby Park to “LAND ROVER RUGBY PARK” for the next 2 years with the option for extending beyond.

It has been a number of years since Rugby Park had a naming partner and the NTRU is extremely delighted to be associated with the Darwin Motor Group as well as with an iconic brand such as Land Rover Australia.

The two organisations are honoured to share what is to be a fantastic partnership, Dealer Principal, Kevin Swanson said that this partnership from a family owned and operated business will be able to offer fantastic opportunities to the Rugby community and that his company along with Land Rover Australia are very proud to have their name and brands associated with the NTRU.

CEO NTRU, Mark Heath has said that the agreement between both the Darwin Motor Group and the Northern Territory Rugby Union is historic in that the opportunities to grow this relationship beyond the initial agreement are far greater than previous naming partnerships.  In a tough economic climate where sporting partnerships are hard to come by, it is family owned businesses such as the Darwin Motor Group who put back into the community that really show why these partnerships are so vital to the sport.  We are very proud to have the Darwin Motor Group and Land Rover Australia as part of our extended family.

As well as the naming partnership of Land Rover Rugby Park, Land Rover Australia will also be extended to include official naming rights to the NT Mosquitoes who will now be known as the “Land Rover Mosquitoes” in both formats of 15’s and 7’s and the NT Goannas representative 7’s team will be known as the “Land Rover Goannas”.

Through this agreement, Land Rover Australia will also become one of the NTRU’s official partners of Hottest 7’s in the World, held in January 21-22 2017 with Land Rover Australia to become the official naming partner to the Buff Division to be known as the “Land Rover – Buff Division”.

We now look forward to working closely with Kevin and his team at the Darwin Motor Group and exploring some new incentives and initiatives to greater foster our partnership.

I would like to thank Kevin and everyone at Darwin Motor Group and Land Rover Australia for all the support that they have afforded the NTRU in making the agreement happen, as it is a significant partnership and one that the NTRU will be proud to promote.

Mark Heath

Chief Executive Officer

Northern Territory Rugby Union Inc.  


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Setefano Cakaunivalu Wins Eric Johnston Medal

South Darwin’s Setefano Cakaunivalu was last night awarded the Eric Johnston Medal for NT Rugby’s Best & Fairest Player

The 37 year old former Fijian International polled one more vote from than Casuarina Loose Forward Bobby Nurse.

Setefano was also the Season’s Leading Try Scorer, crossing on 21 occasions.

Robert Butcher was the Leading Point Scorer with 150 points. 

Palmerston’s Liam Bilston was named Bendigo Bank Rising Star and was presented with the inaugural Tawera Kerr-Barlow Medal.  

University Fly half Rhys Venturin was awarded the Dan Panapa Reserve Grade Best & Fairest while Palmerston due Aaron Bonaz and Levi Clark were the leading point and try scorers respectively.

In the Women’s Competition the Naomi Roberts Medal for the Best & Fairest Player was presented to University’s Claire Rowat while the Bo de la Cruz Emerging Talent Award went to Palmerston teenager Sarah O’Connor.

Ryan Oakley won the Craig Leach Mosquito Player of the Year being the standout player at the Hottest 7s for the Mozzies by the Team’s Management.

Palmerston’s Ravin du Plessis was a logical choice as David Cooper Senior Coach of the Year after taking the Crocs from a one win season to a Grand Final showdown against South Darwin with the Reserve Grade also a good chance for a flag.

Fiona Weaver was recognised for her contribution to the game at Club, Representative and Events by being named the Brian Anderson Volunteer of the Year.

Recognition of the Referee’s Association is now an integral part of the NT Rugby Union’s end of season presentation and their Referee of the Year was Damian McLachlan for the second year in a row.

Robbie Taylor was named Most Improved Referee while the inaugural Junior Referee of the Year went to Eddie Weaver.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

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Benn Robinson Coming Back to Speak and Fish

Former Wallaby Benn Robinson enjoyed his time in Darwin with Camp Wallaby he had no hesitation in accepting an invitation to return to speak at Sunday’s Eric Johnston Medal Presentation.

Benn’s Rugby career has been a stellar one.

The 2006 season became a ground-breaking one for Benn. He made his Super 14 debut for the Waratahs against the Queensland Reds in Brisbane and went on to play in all 13 games for the Waratahs during that season.  He also made his Test debut for the Wallabies against South Africa in the TriNations.

In 2009 he became the second winner of the People’s Choice – Wallaby of the Year award, at the John Eales Medal awards night. 

In 2011 Benn’s  Rugby World Cup aspirations were dealt a cruel blow when he was ruled of the tournament with a season-ending knee injury

In 2012 he became the 163rd player to captain New South Wales, leading the Waratahs side out for clashes with the Sharks and Chiefs.

In 2014 he won the Super Rugby title with the Waratahs.

Benn retired from rugby in June 2016 after suffering a serious eye injury, having made 72 test match and 151 Super Rugby appearances.

There will be an opportunity to “Go Fishin” with Benn on Monday.

The NTRU will conduct a silent auction for an Arafura Blue Water Charter for two people.

Departing Monday Morning at 6.00am from the Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal for a full day of reef and game fishing up to 40 nautical miles out.

Departing Cullen Bay Ferry Terminal. Fish will be cleaned gilled and gutted & may be kept within NT bag limits returning at 3.30pm

Areas fished include Fenton Patches, Fish Reef, Bass Reef, Lorna Shoals, The Pinnacles and North and South Gutter depending on the tides and weather. They will be chasing Jew Fish, Mackerel, Tuna, Trevally, Golden Snapper, Coral Trout plus other reef species depending on tides and areas fished.

Includes all quality Shimano game rods and reels spooled with braided line, all fishing tackle, bait, eskies and ice

Included also is Breakfast, (ham and cheese croissants) morning tea (cakes), lunch (cold meat and salad wraps) afternoon tea (gourmet cheese and savoury platter), tea, coffee and ice water – BYO alcohol if you wish.

The Eric Johnston Medal Presentation will be held on Sunday at the Palmerston Sports Club (The Hub) with tickets $110 per person.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

 

 

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Mosquitoes Set to Sting Brolgas

The Mosquitoes will travel to Townsville for two matches in September. A Mosquito XV has not taken to the field since 2013 when they finished 2nd in a 4 team carnival in Adelaide featuring Queensland Country, South Australia and Tasmania.

The team will face a Development XV under lights on Friday 22nd September followed by an afternoon fixture against the Townsville & Districts RU Brolgas on Sunday 24th.

The Brolgas will reciprocate next year, most likely in June with a two match tour of the Top End and play a Presidents XV and the Mosquitoes over a three day period

Peter McGrath has been appointed Head Coach and the announcement of his Assistant Coach and Team Manager is imminent.

Training will commence during the week following the Darwin Grand Final and is sure to include a plethora of players who will represent the Northern Territory for the first time.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

 

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Six Rising Star Finalists Announced

Six finalists have been announced for the 2016 Bendigo Bank Rising Star Award. 

This year there was 19 nominations across each of the six Clubs for the award which is up significantly from three in 2015 and ten the previous year.

The award recognises young players who are eligible to play in an Under 18 Competition who are selected and start in a First Grade match for the first time.

The year’s winner will be presented with the Tawera Kerr-Barlow Medal for the first time in recognition of the Palmerston Junior’s rise from playing Under 6s with the Crocs to a World Cup winner with the All Blacks.

Palmerston player’s Thomas Roe and Greg Svanfelds have been the last two Bendigo Bank Rising Stars and the Crocs have Liam Bilston and Jimi Fitzgerald in the running for a Club three-peat.

Swampdogs duo Dean Tinning and Joseph Cameron have had stellar seasons at both Club and Representative level with the Northern Territory Schoolboys.

South Darwin’s centre Tom O’Connor and Darwin Dragon’s winger Jonas Niki join the elite group of players in contention for the prestigious award to be announced at the Eric Johnston Medal Presentation Night on Sunday 7th August.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby


 

 

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Finals Time for Darwin Club Rugby

The Darwin Club Rugby Season enters the business end this weekend with Semi Final action scheduled for Rugby Park on Saturday.

The four remaining Foundation Clubs from the inaugural 1976 season will feature in this year’s Finals Series.

South Darwin secured NT Rugby’s 40th Minor Premiership when they defeated Casuarina a fortnight ago and will be looking for direct passage to their 16th Grand Final appearance when they again take on the Cougars in the Major Semi Final

The Rabbitohs won two of their three encounters against the Cougars this season with their most recent a convincing 27-point win. Casuarina will be striving to qualify for their 15th Grand Final having participated in six in a row prior to last year’s decider.

South Darwin’s offence averages over 37 points a match but concede more than the other Premiership contenders.

In the Elimination Final Palmerston supporters will be hoping their remarkable season lasts at least another week when they face Darwin Dragons.

The Crocs registered just one win in 2015 but have improved that tenfold and now boast the best defence in the competition. Dragons have won two of their three encounters and aggregate defence is only 28 points worse across the fifteen rounds.

Missing from the First Grade Finals for the first time since 2003 will be reigning Premier and eleven time champion University who will bank on the club’s Reserve Grade to fly the Jolly Roger.

The Pirates inflicted the only defeat to Palmerston in Round 14 but will be underdogs to make the Grand Final the easy way and are likely to need to defeat the winner of the South Darwin and Casuarina Elimination Final in next week’s Preliminary Final.

Saturday’s Order of Play;

South Darwin vs Casuarina – Ground 1 @ 7.00pm

Palmerston vs Darwin Dragons – Ground 1 @ 5.15pm

Palmerston vs University – Ground 1 @ 3.45pm

South Darwin vs Casuarina – Ground 2 @ 3.45pm

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby


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Jett Norris Final Rising Star Nominee for 2016

Jett Norris became the 19th and final nominee for the 2016 Bendigo Bank Rising Star Award after his run-on debut for Palmerston in Round 15’s big win over Swampdogs on Saturday Night.

After starting the season with three runs off the bench for Swampdogs, Norris transferred to the neighbouring Crocs where he played Reserve Grade and benched for the Firsts five times before Saturday’s start as full-back.

Norris was a member of the victorious Northern Territory Schoolboys XV who won the Australian Schools Division II Championship earlier this month

The award recognises young players who are eligible to play in an Under 18 Competition who are selected and start in a First Grade match for the first time.

Earlier this year The NT Rugby Union announced the annual Bendigo Bank Rising Star would be the recipient of the Tawera Kerr-Barlow Medal in recognition of the Palmerston Junior’s rise from an Under 6 Player with the Crocs to World Cup winner with the All Blacks.

NT Rugby’s Competition Committee will announce finalists for the Tawera Kerr-Barlow Medal later this week with the winner announced at the Eric Johnston Medal Presentation Dinner on August 7th

Players previously nominated this season are; Thomas O’Connor (South Darwin), Jonas Niki, Douglas Bush, Callum Mayo, Jerry Thomas, Ankin Lewis, (Dragons) Dean Tinning, Brodie Morcom, Joseph Cameron, Harry Berns (Swampdogs) Ryan Graham, Luke Morgan-Doherty (Casuarina) Liam Bilston, Jimi Fitzgerald, Jonathan Briskin (Palmerston) Hone Edwards, Hugh Harbeck, Brandon Thomson (University)


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

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Dragon's Trio earn Rising Star Nomination

Callum Mayo, Jerry Thomas and Ankin Lewis earned nominations for the Bendigo Bank Rising Star Award when the trio started for Darwin Dragons in their Club’s Round 14 match against Swampdogs.

Callum Mayo started on the wing while Ankin Lewis played half-back and Jerry Thomas lined up as flanker.

The trio’s selection has given Dragons five nominees to date for this year’s Bendigo Bank Rising Star Award joining team mates Jonas Niki and Douglas Bush in the elite group of young players.

The award recognises young players who are eligible to play in an Under 18 Competition who are selected and start in a First Grade match for the first time.

Earlier this year The NT Rugby Union announced the annual Bendigo Bank Rising Star would be the recipient of the Tawera Kerr-Barlow Medal in recognition of the Palmerston Junior’s rise from an Under 6 player with the Crocs to World Cup winner with the All Blacks.

There has been a total of 18 players nominated for the Bendigo Bank Rising Star Award this season compared to three in 2014 and ten nominees the previous year.

Players previously nominated this season are; Thomas O’Connor (South Darwin), Jonas Niki, Douglas Bush (Dragons) Dean Tinning, Brodie Morcom, Joseph Cameron, Harry Berns (Swampdogs) Ryan Graham, Luke Morgan-Doherty (Casuarina) Liam Bilston, Jimi Fitzgerald, Jonathan Briskin (Palmerston) Hone Edwards, Hugh Harbeck, Brandon Thomson (University)

This year’s winner will be announced at the Eric Johnston Medal Presentation Dinner on August 7th.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby


 

 

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Four More Rising Star Nominees

There have been four more nominees for the Bendigo Bank Rising Star Award which brings the total to fifteen nominees so far in 2016.

In the Round 10 match between Palmerston and Swampdogs at Fred’s Pass Reserve the Crocs started Jonathan Briskin in the second row while the home side gave Harry Berns a run on the wing.

Berns is studying intestate and had previously played off the bench in Round 2.

Douglas Bush finally got a start in the Darwin Dragon’s First Grade in the high pressure Round 11 clash against South Darwin after eight appearances off the bench.

On the same day Brandon Thomson bagged two tries on debut for University playing on the wing against Swampdogs.

The award recognises young players who are eligible to play in an Under 18 Competition who are selected and start in a First Grade match for the first time.

Players previously nominated this season are; Thomas O’Connor (South Darwin), Jonas Niki (Dragons) Dean Tinning, Brodie Morcom, Joseph Cameron (Swampdogs) Ryan Graham, Luke Morgan-Doherty (Casuarina) Liam Bilston, Jimi Fitzgerald (Palmerston) Hone Edwards, Hugh Harbeck (University)

Earlier this year The NT Rugby Union announced the annual Bendigo Bank Rising Star would be the recipient of the Tawera Kerr-Barlow Medal in recognition of the Palmerston Junior’s rise from an Under 6 player with the Crocs to World Cup winner with the All Blacks.

This year’s winner will be announced at the Eric Johnston Medal Presentation Dinner on August 7th.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby


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Cougars and Pirates take Rugby to the Country.

Casuarina and University will create history on Saturday when their vital Round 12 clash is played at the Jimmy Ah Toy Oval in Pine Creek.

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Club Rugby in the Northern Territory Rugby Union and with the support of the Victoria Daly Regional Council the first ever Premiership Match has been schedule in the Historical Township 226km south of Darwin

The marquee match-up features the two clubs who between them have won 21 of the 39 premierships decided since the inception of Club Rugby in Darwin in 1976.

There will silverware up for grabs with teams playing for playing for the “Victoria Daly Regional Council – Pine Creek Cup.

The outcome of the encounter will have significant bearing on the make-up of the competition ladder. University are currently in 5th position two points behind Darwin Dragons who are two points behind Casuarina.

The Pirates season hangs very much in the balance needing a win over the Cougars and rely on Palmerston to defeat Dragons in order to move into the top 4. The reigning Premier’s biggest hurdle will be the four teams currently ahead of them on the ladder have yet to play Swampdogs a third time and earn the almost guaranteed five competition points it brings.

Casuarina will look on victory as keeping them in the hunt for a top 2 finish while a heavy loss and a Dragons victory over Palmerston will see them drop out of the top 4.

The match will kick off at 5.30pm preceded by a Golden Oldies match featuring the Katherine Krocs.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby


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Rising Stars a Feature of 40th Rugby Season

The abundance of youth has been a feature of NT Rugby’s 40th Season of Club Competition.

There have been eleven nominees to date for the 2016 Bendigo Bank/NT Rugby Rising Star.

By contrast there were only three nominees for season 2015.

The Award recognises young players who are eligible to play in an Under 18 Competition who are selected and start in a First Grade match for the first time.

There were five players nominated after Round One with Darwin Dragon’s Jonas Niki and South Darwin’s Thomas O’Connor featuring in the opening game of the regular season.

Niki has scored five tries on the wing for Dragons and backs up in his Club’s Under 17 team on Wednesday Nights.

As expected the return to First Grade of the rural area based Swampdogs would bring with it a plethora of youth.

Dean Tinning has started in all eight matches and the big lock has caught the attention of pundits with a string of solid performances.

Swampdogs selected 16-year-old Brodie Morcom to start their Round Two match against South Darwin at Fly-half and the talented youngster has held his spot in the side ever since 

The third nominee from the Swampdogs is Joseph Cameron who got his first start on the side of the scrum in Round Three.

Palmerston have produced the last two winners of the Rising Star Award and have produced front row forward Liam Bilston and Winger Jimi Fitzgerald this year.

Fitzgerald was an off-season recruit from the Swampdogs.

Casuarina’s Round Five match against Dragons saw winger Ryan Graham and loose forward Luke Morgan-Doherty get their run-on debuts for the Cougars.

At University Hone Edwards came off the bench for the first four rounds before getting his start at full-back against Souths in Round Five.

Edwards’ next two starts were at fly-half in Rounds Six and Eight.

The Pirates blooded Hugh Harbeck with a start in Round Six against Swampdogs.

The list of Rising Star nominees is set to grow with several talented young players regularly featuring off the bench for their respective clubs.

The NT Rugby Union recently announced the annual Bendigo Bank Rising Star would be the recipient of the Tawera Kerr-Barlow Medal in recognition of the Palmerston Junior’s rise from Under 6 player with the Crocs to World Cup winner with the All Blacks.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

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Plenty of Intrigue in NT Rugby's 40th Season

With the median point of the season reached last weekend the 2016 renewal of the Hahn Super Dry Cup has emerged as the most intriguing since Rugby moved to the Dry Season in 2003.

South Darwin and Casuarina lead the competition each with six wins from eight outings and are separated by a 23-point for and against differential in favour of the Rabbitohs.

On Saturday the long-time rivals will do battle for the President’s Cup at Rugby Park for the second year in a row with the Cougars current holders of the trophy.

The competition’s intrigue surrounds the three-way battle for 3rd and 4th position between University, Palmerston and Darwin Dragons with four wins and four losses apiece this season.

University are the reigning Premier and have appeared in ten of the thirteen Dry Season Grand Finals.

The Pirates sit just one bonus point ahead of Palmerston and the Dragons and have lost to both those sides in recent weeks.

The Crocs and Dragons won just three games between them in 2015 with Dragons winning two of their encounters with Palmerston to qualify for the Finals.

Head to Head they are one each this year and both have defeated Swampdogs who did not participate in last season’s First Grade Competition.

The Crocs have claimed the scalps of University and South Darwin who were last year’s Grand Finalists while the Dragons have knocked over Casuarina by a point and University by 41 points last Saturday.

The Pirates have wins over Dragons and Casuarina but have played Swampdogs twice while Dragons and Palmerston are yet to play the bottom placed Swampdogs a second time. 

While Saturday’s Top of the Table clash will result in a favourite emerging for the Minor Premiership results of the other Round 9 matches could see Dragons move from 5th to 3rd with a win over Swampdogs at Fred’s Pass if the winner of the University and Palmerston clash at Moulden doesn’t earn a bonus point.

Should Palmerston defeat University for the second time, the Pirates will drop out of the Top Four.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

 

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NT Rugby Ready for ANZAC Battles

The NT Rugby Union will commemorate the ANZAC’s  with a feast of Rugby on Sunday at Rugby Park, Marrara.

The feature match will be a Country of Origin encounter of locally based players in Team Australia and Team New Zealand.

The Aussies will be looking to turn the tables on their mates from across the ditch following the Kiwi’s win last year after the match’s hiatus of over a decade.

The Junior Mosquitoes play their first match since 2012 when they take on the Army’s 5RAR.

The Army are also sending a Women’s team to Rugby Park to take on the NT Goannas.

Team Australia:

1-Eric Erickson, 2-Elliot Lewis, 3-Stephen Bunn, 4-Tyson Doughty, 5-Gareth Norman, 6-Greg Tobin, 7-Michael Killiner (c), 8-Rhys Hitchcock, 9-Jack Morrison, 10-Robert Butcher, 11-Damien Seubert, 12-Shaun Wauchope, 13-Drew Tobin, 14-Jack Caspani, 15-Anthony Smith 

Reserves; 16-Josh Phillips, 17-David Tohifolan, 18-Liam Bilston, 19-Brad Hogan, 20-Ryan Oakley, 21-Scott Richards,22-Michael Mason, 23-Tert Norris

Coach Rob Taylor

Team New Zealand:

1-George Edwards, 2-Levi Henson, 3-Andrew Donaldson, 4-Kauri Westrupp, 5-Tyler Aranui, 6-Wayne Robinson, 7-Bobby Nurse, 8-Joe Albert (c), 9-Nick Barlow, 10-Junior Ravetali, 11-Simaika Salaa, 12-Joe Tuhakaraina, 13-Marcus Maaka, 14-Joesph Webster, 15-Damien Collie

Reserves; 16-Jack Lawrence, 17-TBA, 18-Trent Everson, 19-Samson Mariner, 20-Levi Clark, 21-Hone Edwards Jnr, 22-Brock Price, 23-TBA

Coach H Edwards

Junior Mosquitoes

L Bilston, T Roe, D Rutherford, L Doherty, J Rainger, J Lim, T Norris, J Fitzgerald, J Davidson, D Tinning, J Rutherford, G Keppel, Sani Raqiyawa, H Edwards Jnr, B Thomson

Coach J Phillips

NT Goannas

C Stanfield, I Aretupe, H Cathcart,  K Lehmann, R Dunbar, C Rowat ( c ) C Ratahi, L Ikahihifo, J Wong, H Dinsdale, C McDonough, B Stokes, S Thompson, T Garlind, D Peckham

Coach P Pauli

2:00pm                 Gates Open

3:15pm                 Rural U15s vs Metro U15s (20 minute halves)

4:00pm                 Rural U17s vs Metro U17s (25 minute halves)

5:00pm                 Darwin Women’s vs Army Women’s (20 minute halves)

6:00pm                 Junior Mosquitoes vs 5 RAR (20 minute halves)

7:00pm                 Last Post

7:10pm                 Australia vs New Zealand (Country of Origin) - (Haka by Team NZ)

7:50pm                 U7s Half time games (15 minutes)

8:50pm                 Presentation to winning team

Gate entry $10.00 for Adults, $5.00 for Servicemen plus and Seniors and U18’s are FREE.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

 

 

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NT Rugby Recognises Key Contributors to Games Evolution

The Northern Territory Rugby Union is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of competition Rugby in Darwin this season.

The Union has recognised Administrators, Players, Coaches and Families whose contribution has been sufficiently meritorious to have an award in their honour.

NTRU President Dan Bree said “the 40th Anniversary celebration year is a significant milestone for our code and the NTRU Board thought it would be a great time to recognise the outstanding contributions of some of the people who have so positively influenced the success of Rugby Union in the Northern Territory both on and off the field.”

The First Grade Premiership Shield has been named the Dennis Bree Shield in recognition of Dennis’ achievement both on and off the field.

Dennis Bree played for Palmerston in their first game of the first season in September 1976 and played against Casuarina in Round One of this current season last month.

As an administrator Dennis Bree served as NTRU President from 1992-2001 and then served on the Board of the Australian Rugby Union from 2001 to 2005.

For the last three years he has been heavily involved in the strategic planning of the Hottest 7s in the World.

Dennis Bree was also was involved in the set-up of competitions in both Katherine and Alice Springs.

The Reserve Grade Competition and its Best & Fairest Player also recognise two long serving NTRU Board Members.

The Premiership Shield will be known as the Richard ‘Dick” Norris Shield while the Best & Fairest Award will acknowledge the contribution of Dan Panapa who apart from two decades on the NTRU Board played the game locally with Casuarina for three decades.

Dick Norris’ three years as President after numerous terms as a Vice President oversaw the transition of the Darwin Club Competition from Wet to Dry season.

His role with the Darwin Stubbies Golden Oldies Club ensured the success of the Territory 7s and Hottest 7s Tournaments by way of co-ordinating volunteers and that same group of people taking care of and billeting junior teams from interstate and overseas who were touring through Darwin.

The competition’s Rising Star Award Winner will now be known as the Tawera Kerr-Barlow Medallist.

Tawera, affectionately known in Darwin as Nerada played his first Rugby in Darwin with Palmerston as a 4 year old before moving to Hamilton in New Zealand for High School after representing Darwin Under 12s against Katherine.

After selection in various National Age representative teams Tawera was selected to play for the All Blacks in 2012 thus becoming the first Northern Territory Junior to play Test Match Rugby.

Players who are 18 or younger are automatic nominees for the Rising Star Award when they start in a First Grade Match for the first time with the winner selected based on their performance and development once nominated.

The Mosquitoes MVP will now be known as the Craig Leach Mosquito Player of the Year.

Craig Leach is one many outstanding players who have represented the Northern Territory and it is fitting as home grown, most capped and captain during our finest moments the award carries his name. 

David Cooper is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the game in Darwin and is credited as having organised the meeting to determine if a Rugby Competition was to be viable.

A player with Palmerston and Casuarina, Cooper coached the first Northern Territory Representative Team and therefore appropriate to name the David Cooper Senior Coach of the Year Award in recognition of his contribution.

Colin Snowden Junior Coach of the Year recognises the contribution of East Arnhem based Colin Snowden.

Snowden a Level III Premiership winning Coach has dedicated an enormous amount his time developing junior talent.

Those players under his tutelage in East Arnhem consistently make the seamless transition to representative players and has coached the Northern Territory Under 16 Team on 10 occasions.

Swampdogs stalwart Des Bredhauer demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the game as an administrator at both club and association level, as a referee in both junior and senior grades and as a coach and manager of junior club and junior representative teams.

The The Under 17 Competition will be known as the Bredhauer Shield.

The Best & Fairest in the Under 17s will recognise the accomplishment of David Ross in 1984.

The Japan Schoolboys Team was on a nine match tour of Australian culminating in a Schoolboy Test Match in Brisbane.

Game seven of the Tour was against the Northern Territory Schools XV in Darwin and David’s performance earned him selection in the Australian Team and he became the first player from the Northern Territory to be selected in an Australian Team at any level of Rugby Union.

In what may be seen as unconventional, the NTRU have acknowledged the contribution of two families in lieu of individuals by naming the Under 15 Competition the Niki & Mayo Shield

Both families are firmly ensconced at Darwin Dragons and have contributed multiple players to both Junior and Senior Club and Representative Teams and without exception have played the game in the manner in which it should be played.

Bernard Niki and Peter Mayo are both Eric Johnston Medallists and playing members from both families have regularly coached their siblings and off-spring in junior competitions.

The Under 15 Best & Fairest also hails from the Darwin Dragons with the Award honouring Joseph Egan.

Joseph Egan played six Tests for the Australian Schoolboys in 2004-05 from Casuarina Senior College and there are only 20 players to have played more tests for the Australian Schoolboys since 1969.

The Under 13 Best & Fairest Award recognises another Territorian who has represented Australia at Schoolboy level.

David Billsborrow was the Northern Territory Under 16 Captain in 2000 and after an eye-catching tournament was recruited by the prestigious St Joseph’s College in Sydney.

After representing NSW David played four Tests for the Australian Schoolboys in 2001-02.

Women’s Rugby holds a significant place in the code’s history in the Northern Territory with twelve players earning National selection with the Wallaroos.

The Women’s Player of the Year in the Northern Territory will receive the Naomi Roberts Medal.

Naomi Roberts earned eleven caps for Australia from 1996-2001 and was arguably the first superstar of Women’s Rugby in Australia.

The Bo de la Cruz Award for Emerging Talent has been introduced this year. 

Bo represented Australia on nine occasions at XV’s and is a 7s World Cup winner and the only Wallaroo to have been born and raised in the Northern Territory.

There has been a resurgence in interest and player numbers, particularly young, locally raised girls who play multiple sports and the naming of the award after de la Cruz was an obvious one.

The Volunteer of the Year Award acknowledges the contribution 20 year veteran of the Board and current Vice President Brian Anderson who has the sometime difficult portfolio of competition logistics and communication.

Another Award introduced this year is the Vince Kelly Regional Achievement Award.

Prior to his Presidency of the NTRU from 2004-11 as a Vice President Vince was based in Katherine and Alice Springs and both centres thrived during his time there.

He played and coached in each of the towns representative teams and also co-ordinated successful NT Country Representative Teams

The recipient of the Vince Kelly Regional Achievement Award may be an individual or a team who is based in Katherine, Central Australia or East Arnhem.


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Year in Review - 2015

NT Rugby’s 39th year was one of innovation and reinvention.

The year started with the Hottest 7s in the World which was won by the Borneo Eagles for a record 4th time while Brisbane based Tribe 7s won the Women’s Competition.

A Youth Boys Division was included for the first time and won by the Swampdogs who are a team based in Darwin’s rural area.

The Hottest 7s in the World was also a vehicle to select teams to represent the Northern Territory at the National 7s in Sydney with the credible results achieved in each of the four competitions.

In March the Warriors successfully defended their Central Australian Premiership while in Katherine the Brahmans caused an upset with victory over Barbarians in the Grand Final.

The Darwin Club Competition was a triumph for University who captured their 11th Premiership after finishing 3rd during the regular season.

The Competition was preceded by a Pre-Season Cup which had been re-introduced in 2014 after a 30 year absence and won by South Darwin.

The NTRU celebrated 100 Years of ANZAC with a Country of Origin match between Darwin based players of Australian and New Zealand heritage.

The Kiwis won the fixture which had been a regular event on the calendar until 2002 and its return was popular with both players and fans.

The year’s Junior Representative Program was a success.

The Schoolboys won two of their three matches in Division II for the first time since the abolition of the 6 Team format once played at Geelong Grammar School.

Both the Northern Territory Under 16s and Under 14s competed at the Queensland Rugby Junior State Championships in July at The Southport School.

The Under 16s were competing at the Championships for the second time however the Under 14s were on debut and registered victories over North Queensland and Sunshine Coast and the tournament will prove an ideal pathway for the Northern Territory’s juniors.

The Union turned back the clock almost two decades when it sent an Under 12 team to the NSW PSSA Championships in Newcastle.

The tour invoked a great deal of enthusiasm amongst participants and their parents and has been viewed as a catalyst for retention of players through their teen years.

A club based “Summer of Sevens” Competition was introduced and ran for 7 weeks through October and November.

Casuarina was the inaugural Men’s Champion with University winning in both the Women and Youth Boys. The Competition featured the first ever Youth Girls Competition in any form of Club Rugby and the Swampdogs defeated Palmerston in the Final.

Rugby Union in the Northern Territory is truly a twelve month operation. 

Central Australia and Katherine play an alternative season to Darwin with the four week period from Christmas to the Hottest 7s in January being the only weekends there is no Rugby being played in the Northern Territory



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

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BORNEO CHASING FIFTH SEVENS CROC

The Borneo Eagles will roll out All Black 7s super star Lote Raikabula as one of their trump cards in a quest for a 5th Hottest 7s in the World title at Rugby Park this weekend.

The Fijian born speedster has played in more than 60 tournaments for the Men in Black. since debuting in 2006.

Raikabula has collected two Commonwealth Games gold medals and four World Series medals and has played an integral part of the Kiwis success for a decade.

The Eagles line-up includes mercurial playmaker Rocky Khan who was the Player of the 2010 Tournament.

He has represented New Zealand and is the captain of the Auckland 7s Team.

Murphy Taramai, Joe Tupe and Luke Masirewa are three others who have been part of the All Black 7s program.

Borneo defeated Tribe 7s 21-14 in last year’s final and their opponent  returns and will hard to beat again.

Darwin born Marmin Barba who is the younger brother of Cronulla’s Ben Barba and will be playing just his second Rugby 7s tournament after representing the Aussie Thunderbolts in Fiji last weekend.

After stints with the Titans and Broncos in the NRL, Barba starred for the Ipswich Jets in 2015 and recently signed a short term contract with the Australian Rugby Union in order to chase an Olympic dream in September.

One of Fiji’s higher profile teams Tabadamu will be competing in Darwin for the first time and have been seeded third on the back of impressive results throughout 2015.

The team won the Samoa and Byron Bay 7s and were Finalists at Noosa and Central Coast on top of winning seven local tournaments in Fiji.

Most recently they were semi-finalists at the Coral Coast 7s last weekend.

Veteran former Fijian National 7s Captain Setefano Cakau and Emosi Vucago will spear-head  the assault.

Vucago has been in the National 7s squad since 2007 and has been capped three times at half back in XV’s.

Former Wallaby giant Radike Samo will take his place in the Gumatj Cavaliers side who have been top four finishers at the last two Hottest 7s.

The Cavaliers will again bring a powerful line-up of Fijians to Darwin. 

They were denied a second consecutive Croc final berth by the Tribe  in a 12-5 semi-final loss.

Spurs and Brisbane Fiji will ensure passages to the Semi Finals are not easy for the four top ranked teams.

Last Year’s Buff finalists Collie Crew cannot be underestimated while local hopes rest with NT Mosquitoes in an elite eight team Croc Competition.

Under the Coaching of former Australian 7s player Tim Atkinson for the first time, Julian Huxley,  Brody Lam and Cassidy Holland  will boost the side’s chances.

Atkinson had a squad of over 20 to call on and those not  required for the Mozzies will play for the Darwin Sand-flies in the 12 team Barra Competition.

The Barra Competition sees Casuarina, Far North QLD, Burnside from Adelaide along with the Sand-flies as early favourites.

East Arnhem will bring a well organised unit across from Nhulunbuy while Alice Springs is represented by the Central Crewsaders and Katherine’s hopes lie with the Brahmans.

The Top End will also be represented by Palmerston and Swampdogs 

The first of 91 matches at  the two day event kicks off at  9.00am tomorrow. 


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

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TRIBE 7S SET TO DEFEND TITLE

The Jabiru Division for Women is shaping up to be one of the best yet with a record ten Rugby 7s teams nominating for next week’s Hottest 7s in the World at Rugby Park, Marrara

Defending Champion Tribe 7s have been seeded first to defend their crown but will face tough opposition from state teams Queensland Reds and Melbourne Rebels in their quest to win back to back titles.

Tribe 7s were established in 2013 to give female crossover athletes the opportunity to compete in Rugby 7s tournaments at an elite level.

They are now one of the world’s most successful women’s clubs having also won titles in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Dubai, Central Coast, and Noosa.

Charlotte Caslick will again spearhead the side and has been described as the classic modern-day Rugby Sevens player – pacy, durable, with footy smarts by the bucket load.

The scrum-half from Corinda just outside of Brisbane is already a dual international having represented her country at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival and 2013 Rugby Sevens World Cup as well as playing for Touch Football Australia at both age-grade and open levels.

Charlotte was named in World Rugby’s 2014/15 Team of the Season after another stellar season and one of four players nominated for the 2015 World Sevens Player of the Year.

The Tribe will also have the services of several Australian Representative Players including Liz Patu, Evanni Pelite, Taleena Simon, Kirby Sefo and Nita Maynard.

Tribe have also included convert Mahalia Murphy in the line-up.

One of the best Rugby League players in the World having scored a hatrick on debut for the Jillaroos as a teenager against New Zealand will surely have National Coach Tim Walsh considering her selection in the Olympic Games Squad.

Walsh has also released several National Players to represent Queensland who are seeded second for the Tournament.

The Ladies in Red won the 2010 Jabiru competition the last time they were in Darwin.

The Melbourne Rebels which is the Victorian State Team defeated the NT Goannas who were boosted by three imports in the final of the Bowl at last year’s National 7s in Sydney

The Ozboks are a new Team on the Women’s 7s circuit, only forming last year but recorded tournament victories at the Samoan Independence 7’s , Southern Highland 7’s and Mudgee 7s in their debut  year.

Ozboks recruit their players from NSW, ACT and Victoria and have been a successful identity on the Men’s circuit for several years including a quarter final in Darwin a few years back

The fifth interstate competitor hails from the Rugby stronghold of Townsville.

Nanyang Technical University from Singapore brings an international element to the Competition again having hosted the National Team last year.

Local hopes of success lie with a youthful Northern Territory Goannas, Palmerston Sweethearts plus the Central Desert Scorpions and Royals from Alice Springs.

Pool G Tribe 7s, Melbourne Rebels, Townsville, Scorpions, Palmerston

Pool H: Queensland Reds, Ozboks, NT Goannas, Royals, Nanyang TU


 

 

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UNIVERSITY WIN ELEVENTH PREMIERSHIP

University can again lay claim to being the most successful club in the Darwin Rugby Union competition after defeating South Darwin 19-16 in a thrilling Grand Final at Marrara last night.
The victory was the eleventh Premiership for the Pirates in eighteen Grand Final appearances in the 39 year history of the code in the Northern Territory.
University defied  popular opinion by again coming from third position at the end of the regular season.
The match was just 30 seconds old when Setefano Cakaunivalu burst through the University defence for a 65 metre run deep into Pirate territory.
The Rabbitohs got a penalty from the ensuring play and an early three point lead courtesy of Mamanu Emile
University regathered the ball from the kick off and a few phases later a line break by Robert Butcher had the Bunnies on the back foot however the final pass went astray.
The defending champions opened their scoring five minutes later when Butcher strolled through untouched for a try after veteran Wise Sekitoga had made a searching run.
The first half was free flowing however Souths handling let them down with turnovers ruining momentum.
University’s rush defence was effective and regularly shut down the normally barnstorming Rabbitoh backline.
The second half started with a bang and Souths were on the attack and Rhys Mullholland crossed off a long flat pass from Tim Atkinson.
Emile landed the conversion from wide out and Souths had a 10-7 lead.
Souths spilt the restart and the next twelve minutes was spent at their end of the field and after a few penalties skipper Toby George was dispensed to the sin bin for ten minutes.
A man down Emile slotted a 40 metre penalty for a six point lead.
Two minutes later a break by Thomas Hiramatsu took the ball back over half way and an indiscretion presented Emile another long range penalty goal which he landed with consummate ease.
Another mistake from the kick-off and the Pirates had the ball.
Then after a penalty tap in front of the posts three quick passes to Rhys Venturin had him scoring in the corner.
University were straight back on attack with a kick and chase by Sekitoga which earned them a penalty and then a try under the posts to Wayne Robinson regained the lead for the Pirates with the Butcher conversion taking the score to 19-16
Atkinson and Henry Burns combined to bring Souths into the University half but an unforced error became a lost opportunity.
Minutes later Mullholland put Burns into space but the ball was stripped and all hope of victory seemingly diminished.
On the stroke of full time a penalty goal attempt by Butcher ricocheted off the cross bar and gave Souths one last chance for glory.
Burns was again the man to make the line break but as had haunted the Bunnies all night the final pass went to ground.
Among the many heroes for University was their half back Josh Hall who had an outstanding game and was presented with the Willie Ellison Medal for the Best on Ground.
 
University 19: R Venturin, W Robinson, R Butcher Tries R Butcher 2 Conv
Def
South Darwin 16: R Mullholland M Emile 1 Conv 3 Pen

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

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COUGARS AND PIRATES ROUND 12 WINNERS

Casuarina’s march towards a seventh consecutive NT Rugby Union Grand Final appearance remains on track after inflicting a 45-5 victory over a gritty Palmerton last night at Rugby Park

Palmerston started the match enthusiastically against the competition leaders with possession and field position for the first ten minutes.

However Casuarina’s first foray into Croc territory almost resulted in points when Nate Lamb spilt the ball over the line.

Four minutes later the mercurial Ryan McMurray scampered over for a try and Lamb’s conversion gave the Cougars a 7-0 lead.

Palmerston were dealt a blow when Rhys Hitchcock was sin-binned and during his ten minute absence Casuarina crossed for two tries.

The first was to Joe Albert off a rolling maul from a line out which was quickly followed by one from Bobby Nurse off a quick penalty tap by Shane Crowley to Lamb and it was 19-0 when Hitchcock returned.

Loose forward Nurse scored again five minutes later to register his twelfth of the season and seemingly a stranglehold on the season’s leading try scorer award.

At 26-0 down and closing on half time Palmerston’s  hope of a comeback were dealt another blow when Jay Jack was sent from the field for a dangerous tackle and the  daunting prospect of playing the next 40 minutes a man down hung over the tri-colours.

Palmerston opened the scoring in the second half through a try to their captain Michael Kiliner which was negated a few minutes later by TJ Norris at the other end of the field.

Second Rower Gareth Norman took an intercept and galloped 60 metres to register the Cougars sixth try and a 38-5 lead with a quarter of the match remaining.

Samika Sala’a scored the Cougars final try with seven minutes remaining which Lamb converted from the sideline.

Palmerston fans should be happy with the commitment displayed by their side in the second half only conceding three tries with the handicap of being a player down.

Young Prop Thomas Roe didn’t take a backward step all night in the Croc’s front row while McMurray was outstanding for the Cougars.

In the other game University had a fight on their hands from the outset against Darwin Dragons with the Pirates securing an 18-14 victory late in the game.

The Dragons led 7-0 for much of the first half and will rue the defensive lapse right on half time that resulted in a try to Isaac Taulelei which was converted by Anthony Heal to level the scores at the break.

The Dragons earned a bonus point for the narrow loss to move three points clear of Palmerston in fourth place.
 
Casuarina 45: B Nurse 2, R McMurray, J Albert, TJ Norris, G Norman, S Sala’s Tries N Lamb 5 Conv

def Palmerton 5: M Killner Try

University 18: S Wauchope, I  Taulelei Tries A Heal Conv, Pen H Turner Pen

Def Darwin Dragons 14: N Maher, L Walker Tries, D Seubert 2 Conv


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

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COUGARS ON TRACK FOR MINOR PREMIERSHIP

Casuarina require just one more win and a bonus point to secure their sixth Minor Premiership in seven years after a comprehensive 38-22 victory over University at Rugby Park last night.

The Cougars got off to a perfect start with a turnover from the kick-off and a few minutes later winger TJ Norris crossed for a try.

Nate Lamb converted and the home side had a 7-0 lead.

The Pirates were quick to respond when Dave Taylor won a race for the ball from a grubber kick to the in-goal by Robert Butcher.

Play then settled down with both sides not giving an inch in defence and keen to throw ball wide and make a spectacle of the match.

Simaika Sala ’a beat two defenders down the left flank to score and Lamb’s conversion took the Cougars out to a 14-5 lead.

Casuarina were reduced to 14 players when loose forward Bobby Nurse was dispensed to the sin bin and University were quick to take advantage.

Powerful inside centre Isaac Taulelei fended off four would be tacklers in a 40 metre run to the try line and with Butcher’s conversion the Pirates trailed by two points at the break.

University took the lead early in the second half via a penalty goal from Butcher.

Their lead lasted 15 minutes before Eric Ericson crashed over for a try which was converted by Lamb.

University then went off the boil with Shane Crowley racing 40 metres untouched to score followed by cross field kick by Lamb to Norris who found McMurray in support and then Crowley got his second try from a quick penalty tap and in the space of twelve minutes had conceded seventeen points.

The Pirates regained their composure and Taulelei scored his second try and Butcher’s conversion were the last points of an enthralling game.

The Casuarina camp will be buoyed by the victory and the direction Lamb provided the back-line in his first game since an injury in Round 3 while Isaiah McLeod had a strong game back in the top grade for the first time since a debilitating knee injury at the start of last season.

 Next door at Warren Park South Darwin defeated Darwin Dragons 34-13 and hold on to second position on the ladder.

Casuarina take on Palmerston next week while University will play the Dragons.

Casuarina 38: S Crowley 2, R McMurray, T Norris, E Ericson, S Sala’a Tries N Lamb 4 Conv  Def University 22: I Taulelei 2 D Taylor Tries R Butcher 2 Conv, 1 Pen.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

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DECLAN ARMITAGE RISING STAR NOMINEE

University Loose Forward Declan Armitage became the third nominee for the Bendigo Bank/NT Rugby Rising Star Award when he took the field in the Pirates starting XV against Dragons in Round 7 of this year’s Premiership.

After a confident start to the season in Reserve Grade, the Essington School Student was given the opportunity to sit on the first grade bench in Rounds 4, 5 & 6 before his starting debut.

The Bendigo Bank/NT Rugby Union Rising Star Award recognises young players who have not turned 18 by the 1st of January in the year they  make their starting debut in First Grade

Armitage will join fellow Bendigo Bank/NT Rugby Union Rising Star nominees Thomas Roe and Tyrone Boucher in the Northern Territory Schoolboys Team for the Australian Schoolboys Championships in Sydney next week.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

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PIRATES DIG DEEP TO DOWN RABBITOHS

An emotionally inspired University defeated South Darwin 30-25 in a thrilling encounter at Rugby Park last night.

The Pirates wore black armbands and dedicated the match to the memory of former junior Toby Wyvill who was killed in a car accident during the week

The Rabbitohs will rue the match as one of lost opportunities, seemingly in control from the outset.

The game was only four minute’s old when South’s new recruit Setefano Cakaunivalu found himself in space on the wing to score the first of his two tries which was converted by Ian Aokuso for a 7-0 lead.

University equalised  twenty minutes later when Robert Butcher converted Isaac Taulelei’s try while South’s were a man down with Joseph Tuhakaraina in the sin bin.

The Pirates knocked on from the kick-off and Henry Burns went over for a try from the ensuing scrum.

Butcher landed a penalty goal nine minutes before half time for the Pirates to trail 12-10 the break.

University dominated possession and field position in the first half with South’s having the ball just four times in the period with their defence resolute under enormous pressure.

Tuhakaraina landed a field goal in the opening minute of the second half and the Rabbitohs led 15-10.

A few minutes later Butcher sliced through four Rabbitoh defenders to score under the post and with his conversion a two point lead.

The normally fruitful kicking game of the Pirates was off key and Tuhakaraina regained the lead for his side with a try the result of a poor clearance by University.

South’s were again reduced to 14 players when Henry Burns was sent to the sin bin.

Butcher levelled the scores with a penalty goal to tie the match from the infringement.

Cakaunivalu’s second try a piece of individual brilliance with a chip and chase down the right wing to again give South’s the lead and looking like winners.

The Pirates then worked the ball down field and were elected to take a scrum from a penalty hooker Levi Hansen scored two phases later.

Butcher converted and landed a field goal for an unlikely five point victory.

University looked vulnerable out wide and South’s sought to capitalise by playing an expansive game but their but execution let them down.

The Pirates centre pairing of Taulelei and Wauchope were outstanding in both offence and defence.

South’s earned two points for a narrow loss and four tries and hold on to second position of the ladder from University who will take on Casuarina next week.

In the other match Darwin Dragons won their first game of the season with an 18-10 victory over Palmerston.

University 30: I Taulelei, R Butcher, L Hansen Tries R Butcher 3 Conv 2 Pen 1 Field Goal def  South Darwin 25: S Cakaunivalu 2, J Tuhakaraina, H Burns Tries I Aokuso Conv  J Tuhakaraina field goal


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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CASUARINA TAKE PRESIDENTS CUP

Casuarina defeated South Darwin 25-24 in a thrilling encounter at Rugby Park last night.

Having finished the first round robin cycle in first and second place the clubs were playing for the President’s Cup which brings with it some bragging rights.

The Rabbitohs had defeated the Cougars 24-21 in a thriller when they last met in round two.

Shane Crowley opened the scoring for the Cougars with a quick tap from a penalty then slipped through the defence for a try seven minutes into the match.

South’s took the lead a few minutes later when the giant Sueni Falekakala crashed over with the conversion by Robbie Davis successful.

Then Casuarina regained the ball from the restart and converted the field position to points when loose forward Booby Nurse scored his ninth try of the season.

Nathan Satala added the extras for a five point lead.

Nurse inflicted more pain on the Rabbitohs nine minutes before the break when he too caught the defence unawares taking a quick tap from a penalty and dived over for a try

Satala was unsuccessful with the conversion but the Cougars led 17-7.

South’s were reduced to thirteen players when Rhys Mulholland and Robbie Davis were sin binned for separate incidents one minute apart.

Satala landed a penalty goal on the stroke of half time to send the Cougars to the break leading 20-7.

Casuarina were unable to capitalise on their two player advantage and when the Bunnies returned to a full complement Prop Forward Tom Wright was able to score.

South’s were in a again following a tremendous counter attack from a down field kick which resulted in a try to Jake Rainger and Davis’s conversion had the Rabbitohs trailing by a solitary point.

Rising Star nominee Tyrone Boucher scored in the corner after Satala cut a swathe through the Souths defence but was unable to convert the try.

Casuarina then knocked on from the kick off and Rainger was in for his second try almost immediately.

Davis missed the conversion and the score was 25-24 with five to go.

Davis had opportunities to secure victory with two long range penalty attempts at the two minute and one minute marks that had the distance but went agonisingly wide.

Both kickers were off target with the usually reliable Davis landing two from six while Satala managed two from five.

The victory gives the Cougars a ten point lead in the race for the Minor Premiership over Souths who hold a three point lead over the University who they will meet next week.

In the early match the Pirates piled on the points against Palmerston to win 52-21 after leading 24-14 at half time.

Casuarina 25 B Nurse 2, T Boucher, S Crowley Tries N Satala Conv, Pen def South Darwin 24 J Rainger 2, T Wright, S Falekakala Tries R Davis 2 Conv.


 The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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TYRONE BOUCHER A RISING STAR

Casuarina winger Tyrone Boucher is the second nominee for the 2015 Bendigo Bank/NT Rugby Union Rising Star award.

After three matches in Reserve Grade which yielded three tries Boucher was elevated into the Cougar’s First Grade side for their Round Six match against University.

Solid on debut the confident youngster scored the first of the Cougars five tries that afternoon and has held his spot for subsequent matches against Palmerston and Darwin Dragons.

The Bendigo Bank/NT Rugby Union Rising Star Award recognises young players who have not turned 18 by the 1st of January when they make their starting debut in First Grade.

After relocating to Darwin from the Brisbane last year Boucher will travel to NSW later this month with the Northern Territory Schoolboy Squad for the National Championships.

Fellow Bendigo Bank/NT Rugby Union Rising Star nominee Thomas Roe from Palmerston will also line-up for the Schoolboys at the Nationals.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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CASUARINA WIN AS RUGBY RETURNS TO THE WET

Casuarina defeated Palmerston 36-14 in a match played in torrential rain and shortened due to injury at Rugby Park last night.

With eighteen minutes remaining Palmerston forward Luke Schneider went down in a scrum and  complained of intermittent feeling in his feet.

With an ambulance on its way and the out-come of the match seemingly determined the decision was made by the referee in consultation with the captains of both sides to declare full time.

The Cougars were switched on from the moment the referee started time when they regathered the ball from the kick-off and within three phases loose forward Bobby Nurse had crossed for the first of his three tries.

Six minutes later Nurse was in again off the back of a line-out ten metres from Palmerston’s try line.

Casuarina’s third try came just 15 minutes into the match when Gareth Norman went in under the posts and Nathan Satala’s second conversion gave the Cougars a 19-0 lead.

Starved of possession the Crocs made the most of their first real opportunity when Tyrone Gersch-Mizen strolled over for a try after a scrum win.

A few minutes later Gersch-Mizen landed a penalty goal before Nurse got his hat-trick and a bonus point for the Cougars.

Satala missed the conversion but the 24-8 lead look formidable.

Gersch-Mizen landed penalty goals either side of half time and all of a sudden at 24-14 the Crocs were back in the hunt.

When Casuarina was next on attack they elected to take a scrum from a penalty instead of the points and Ryan McMurray scored two passes later.

With the heavy rain reminiscent of the codes halcyon days of wet season rugby the pace of the match slowed.

When Casuarina moved the ball close to the Palmerston try-line burly  Number 8 Joe Albert surged over for the Cougars sixth try.

Five minutes later Schneider went down in a scrum and after several minutes and with an ambulance on its way the decision was made to call full time.

Casuarina’s backline again looked slick while their forward pack matched with the Crocs after being monstered by them three weeks ago.

University defeated Darwin Dragons 26-10 after leading 14-10 at haft time. The Pirates then had to wait until 25 minutes of the second half before scoring their next points and then got their fourth try just a few minutes later.

Casuarina 36 B Nurse, J Albert, R McMurray, G Norman Tries N Satala 3 Conv Def Palmerston 14 T Gersch-Mizen 3 Pen



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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THOMAS ROE A RISING STAR

Palmerston’s Thomas Roe is this year’s first nominee for the Bendigo Bank/NT Rugby Union Rising Star Award after starting in the Croc’s Round 4 Match against Casuarina.

After two impressive games in the Reserve Grade the 18 year old Prop was elevated into the First Grade starting XV where he played strongly in a powerful forward pack.

Roe held his spot in the side and again had a strong game in Round 5 against Darwin Dragons.

Having progressed through the Club’s junior ranks Roe’s coach from the Under 13’s, Gareth Felton has been his partner in the Front Row.

The Bendigo Bank/NT Rugby Union Rising Star Award recognises players who make their First Grade debut and had not turned 18 by the 1st of January in the Year of the Competition.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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COUGARS TAKE PREMIERSHIP LEAD


Casuarina played their best rugby of the season to defeat University 31-21 at Charles Darwin University yesterday afternoon.

The Cougars expansive game plan saw  their cohesive backline  dissect the Pirates with relative ease.

Casuarina opened the scoring after ten minutes when Ryan McMurray took a quick Penalty Tap from deep inside his own territory and linked up with Joe Tuisuva to put Tyrone Boucher over for a try on debut.

Almost straight away the evergreen Frank Jennings scored a try and with Robert Butcher’s conversion the home side led 7-5.

Casuarina’s counter attack was effective and McMurray set up a try for Nathan Satala which he duly converted for a 12-7 lead.

Whilst the Cougars set piece and support play was strong their defense just wide of the ruck was  vulnerable and Butcher sliced through to score under the post and with his conversion regain the lead.

With half time closing in Booby Nurse scored from the back of a line-out and Satala’s conversion sent the Cougars to the break leading 19-`14.

Although Casuarina had dominated the first period they had twice been forced to come from behind,  ball retention had been a contributing factor to the margin not being greater.

Fifteen minutes into the second half Nurse scored his second try off a long line-out throw, a replica of his first.

Eight minutes later a majestic kick and chase by Simaika Sala’a resulted in a try for Tuisuva which was converted by Matt Weyers and the 17 point lead was beyond the reach of the Pirates.

Robust centre Shaun Wauchope crossed for a try and Butcher’s conversion gave some respectability to score board but was somewhat flattering.

Nurse, Joe Albert and McMurray were the pick of the Cougars while Butcher stood out for the Pirates.

Casuarina 31 B Nurse 2, T Boucher, J Tuisuva, N Satala Tries, N Satala 2, M Weyers 1 Conv
def
University 21: F Jennings, R Butcher, S Wauchope Tries R Butcher 3 conv

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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CROCS AND PIRATES IN NARROW VICTORIES

Palmerston defeated Darwin Dragons 20-19 in a torrid encounter at Rugby Park last night.

The Dragon’s backline was in sparkling touch early and looked content on playing an expensive game at whatever cost.

Nine minutes into the match Jason Lim opened the scoring in the corner after the ball had been spread from one side of the field to the other.

Greg Smith’s sideline conversion gave the Dragons a handy 7-0 lead.

An Alex Grant Penalty Goal put Palmerston on the board before Grant was the recipient of a short flat pass  from Jett Yates close to the Dragon’s line to post a try.

Grant’s conversion had the Crocs up 10-7 midway through the first half.

A long range Penalty Goal from talented young full back Mark Ross took Palmerston’s lead to 13-7 but Dragons were quickly back on attack.

From a quick Penalty Tap skipper Greg Tobin drove through the Palmerston defence line to score.

Smith’s conversion hit the post and would ultimately prove costly and the teams went to the break with Palmerston holding a slender 13-12 lead.

Dragons had the first opportunity to score in the second half when Drew Tobin ran 60 metres from a tight head scrum win before his pass to Liam Walker was judged to have gone forward.

Shortly after Palmerston’s centre Keedan Steen was sent from the field and the Crocs seemingly had an uphill battle in front of them to hang on to their lead.

Dragon’s hit the front  ten minutes later when Tobin put Walker in under the posts and Smith’s simple conversion had the Dragons up  19-13.

The Crocs scrum that dominated both South Darwin s and Casuarina in the last fortnight was again strong and for the second week in a row were awarded a penalty try which Grant converted.

Greg Smith had an opportunity to grab the lead back however his Penalty attempt cannoned into the goal posts and despite his side regaining the ball they were unable to convert the late possession into points.

Both sides were guilty of numerous unforced errors with Dragons  repeatedly losing  momentum when penalised at the breakdown in possession after the stifling defence by Palmerston.

University came from a 19-8 half time deficit to defeat South Darwin 22-19 and inflict the first loss of the season on the Rabbitohs
 
Palmerston 20: A Grant Try, Penalty Try, A Grant 2 Conv, Pen, M Ross Pen Def Dragons 19: J Lim, G Tobin, L Walker Tries G Smith 2 Conv.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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CLUBS TO RUN SUMMER OF SEVENS

The NTRU has announced a Club based Rugby 7s Competition will be included in their annual calendar commencing in October this year.

The Summer of Sevens will be a Seven Week Competition played at each Home Ground of the six Darwin Rugby Clubs culminating in a Finals Day at Rugby Park.

The NTRU recognises a privately run Men’s 7s competition has been conducted in Darwin under the guise of Local Business Houses for over 20 years and in recent times for Junior Boy’s.

Rugby 7s is now an Olympic Sport and is experiencing enormous growth worldwide.

The NTRU in consultation with key stakeholders agreed unanimously that Clubs should now take ownership of the product.

The Summer of Sevens competition will be an opportunity for Clubs to boost revenue, raise community awareness and attract new participants to the code.

It was also agreed that it is essential for the Competition to include a Women’s and Junior Girl’s division.

Earlier this year the Australian Rugby Union hosted the inaugural National Rugby 7s Championships at which the Northern Territory competed in each of the four divisions

The Summer of Sevens will provide talent identification opportunities for representative selectors who will choose squads for the Hottest 7s in the World and National 7s Tournaments.

Clubs will also be able to use the Summer of Sevens to prepare their teams for the Hottest 7s in January.

The competition will feature 6 Men, 4 Women, 4 Youth Boys (Under 17) and 4 Youth Girls (Under 16) Teams.

The Summer of Sevens Season will feature free participation and match day entry.

The possibility of Katherine participating in and hosting a round of the competition is also open for consideration in the future.

The NTRU is seeking Commercial Partners who wish to be associated with this exciting new product.

Summer of Sevens Season Schedule.
10 October Rugby Park (Hosted by Casuarina)
17 October University Oval (Hosted by University)
24 October Rugby Park (Hosted by Darwin Dragons)
31 October Moulden Oval (Hosted by Palmerston)
7 November Warren Park (Hosted by South Darwin)
14 November Fred’s Pass Reserve (Hosted by Swampdogs)
21 November Finals Day at Rugby Park.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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COUGARS BRING UP CENTURY OF WINS FOR COACH McGRATH

Casuarina delivered Head Coach Peter McGrath’s his 100th win since taking the reins of the embattled Cougars in 2009 with a 29-12 victory over Palmerston at Rugby Park last night.

Simaika Sala’a opened the scoring from the first line break of the match just eight minutes into the game and it looked as though the Crocs might be in for a long night.

Sala’a got his second midway through the half following excellent lead up from Josh Phillips and Matt Weyers.
 
The half was slow with both packs slugging it out and eighteen penalties awarded mostly at the breakdown.

The Cougars backline looked dangerous with every touch however those touches were too few until a line-out 20 metres from their own try line the ball went wide to Joe Tuisuva who took it deep inside Palmerston territory and found Sala’a backing up on his inside for his third try.

Nate Lamb’s conversion gave the Cougars a 17-0 lead and relief from the onslaught that would follow after the break.

After play resumed Palmerston found themselves at Casuarina’s end of the field with their forwards applying enormous pressure and were rewarded with a Penalty Try which was duly converted by Alex Grant.

Casuarina’s forwards asserted their presence shortly after when Joe Albert scored from a driving maul.

Then from a scrum five metres from the Casuarina line the Palmerston pack pushed over for Michael Killiner to score.

Zac Phillips scored his side’s fifth try close to end which he converted from the side line in a match that the Cougars made heavy weather of it.

 Nathan Satala had a strong game on debut for Casuarina in the centres.

 Whilst the Palmerston forward pack is arguably the best in the competition their backline made no inroads through the opposition.

In the other game University defeated Dragons 27-7 after leading 27-0 at half time.

Casuarina 29: S Sala’a 3, J Albert, Z Phillips Tries, N Lamb, Z Phillips Con

Def Palmerston 12: M Killiner, Penaltry Tries, A Grant Conv.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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COUGARS TOO STRONG FOR DRAGONS

Casuarina proved too strong for a very competitive Darwin Dragons outfit with a 24-3 victory in an entertaining match at Rugby Park last night.

The Cougars played the match with plenty of width and regularly moved the ball from one side of the field to the other.

The Dragon’s defence was up for the challenge and the pressure applied resulted in numerous handling errors by the Cougars.

It took 20 minutes for Casuarina to score the first points of the match.

After losing a line-out on their own throw 15 metres from the Dragons try line, inspirational flanker Bobby Nurse ripped the ball back and score.

Greg Smith landed a penalty goal for Dragons and they trailed by two.

Casuarina regathered the ball from the restart and quickly mounted an attack which saw Simaika Sala’a go in for a try.

The Nate Lamb conversion sent Casuarina to the break leading 12-3.

The second half was just five minutes old when Sala’a made an incisive run down the left wing off a Joe Tuisuva pass who then backed up in support to score a try in his first match for the season.

Dragons couldn’t seem to get their hands on the ball and it took 30 minutes of the second half for them to get possession at Casuarina’s end of the field but was unable to breach the rock solid defence.

Joe Albert scored late in the game to earn his side a bonus point for a fourth try which should have come earlier with the final pass going astray on at least three occasions when a try looked certain.

Lamb, Nurse and Albert all played instrumental roles in the victory while new recruit Kurt Meusburger was outstanding.

Dragons are a side that will continue to improve with a consistent line-up and shouldn’t be underestimated by the opponents.

The halves combination of Reece Calkin and Greg Smith works well while Jason Cole and Jason Lim are good runners of the ball with Liam Walker to return after an injury in last week’s Country of Origin Match.

At Moulden Oval South Darwin defeated Palmerston 27-10 after leading 17-10 at half time.

 Casuarina 24: Sala’a, Tuisuva, Nurse, Albert Tries, Lamb 2 Conv Def Darwin Dragons 3: Smith Pen Goal.

 The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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SOUTHS EMERGE AS EARLY FAVOURITES FOR FLAG

South Darwin can lay early claim to Premiership favouritism after defeating Casuarina 24-21 in a torrid encounter at Rugby Park on Saturday Night.

Casuarina dominated possession and field position for the first twenty minutes but were unable to bridge the Souths defence with ball control frequently letting them down.

The first quarter also saw Souths Prop Peter Pauli and his Casuarina counterpart Eric Erickson leave the field with injuries that will rule them out of Saturday’s Country of Origin clash.

When Souths finally got the ball out of their half Rhys Mulholland was able to score a few phases later.

Quincy Ulugia added the extras for a seven point lead.

A turnover by Casuarina gave the Rabbitohs only their second opportunity to apply pressure in 30 minutes of football with Tight Head Prop Tom Wright showing surprising dash to score out wide.

The conversion was unsuccessful and Souths went to the break leading 12-0.

The Cougar’s scrum was strong and ten minutes into the second period Joe Albert peeled off the back of one five metres out from the Rabbitohs line to score.

Zac Phillips converted at the score was 12-7.

Momentum was lost when Casuarina coughed up the ball from the restart and two phases later Wright was in for his second try.

Casuarina worked the ball downfield and in a carbon copy of his first try Albert was in again.

The Phillips conversion had the Cougars trailing 17-14 before a spectacular passage of play from Ryan McMurray.

The young full back drove the ball downfield from just outside his 22 metre line and was the recipient of a freakish bounce of the ball and then sent the supporting TJ Norris in under the posts and with Phillips third conversion a lead for the first time in the match.

However more dropped ball presented Souths with field position and after a string of penalties at the breakdown Tim Atkinson found a gap for Tom Hiramatsu to score and with the conversion a 24-21 victory.

The conversion by Tuaine Mamanu would be the final score of the gripping match.

Despite several periods of time-off for injuries the match was played at a frantic pace.

Casuarina’s scum was dominant but their lineout was almost a liability.

Toby George had a powerful game for the Rabbitohs as did 2013 Eric Johnston Medallist David Boyle despite the fact that 14 points were scored against his side during a ten minute period in the sin bin for a professional foul.

Albert and Bobby Nurse were outstanding for the Cougars.

University had a battle on their hands against Palmerston at the University Oval.

The Pirates won 20-17 with a penalty goal late in the game breaking a 17 all deadlock after they led 17-12 at half time.

South Darwin 24 T Wright 2 T Hiramatsu, R Mulholland  Tries Q Ulugia 1 Conv  T Mamanu 1 conv def Casuarina 21 J Albert 2, T Norris Tries Z Phillips 3 Conv

University 20 W Robinson S Wauchope R Venturin Tries A Heal Pen A Hean Conv def Palmerston 17 P Williams G Svanfelds M Ross Tries T Gersch-Mizen Conv


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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CASUARINA DRAWS FIRST BLOOD

Casuarina Cougars opened their season with a comfortable 23-10 victory over the University Pirates in the Opening Round of the 2015 Rugby Union Season at Marrara last night.

There was no hint of players easing their way into the new season with the first half played at a fast and furious pace.

A casualty of the game’s pace was ball control with both sides timing in need of fine tuning.

A penalty goal in the first minute to Nate Lamb gave the Cougars an early lead.

A rolling maul from a line-out fifteen minutes later enabled loose forward Bobby Nurse to score and with Lamb’s conversion Casuarina were up ten.

Casuarina dominated field position in the first half but the Pirates defence was up for the challenge and were able to hold their arch rival to a solitary try.

Lamb slotted a penalty shortly before the break for a 13-0 lead and then another one seven minutes into the second period.

Casuarina had University under plenty of pressure with Lamb and Ryan McMurray kicking to space.

Play slowed considerably in the second half with Casuarina intent on playing for territorial advantage rather than running from their half.

A line break by Nurse resulted in a try to flanker Scott Richards and with the Lamb conversion a seemingly unassailable 23-0 lead with fifteen minutes remaining.

That play came shortly after a McMurray break that almost resulted in a try to Nurse with last year’s Mosquito Play of the Year outstanding throughout the game.

Renowned for never giving up the Pirates recovered the ball almost immediately and Frank Jennings tore through the defence to post his side’s first points.

Five minutes later replacement Shaun Wauchope broke through the Casuarina line and the resulting play saw Fly Half Michael Mason cross for a try on his First Grade debut for the Club.

Both teams were missing key players and their line-ups will be considerably varied when they next meet.

In the early game South Darwin piled on the points in the second half to defeat Darwin Dragons 50-5 after leading 12-0 at half time.

Casuarina 23 Nurse, Richards Tries Nurse 2 Conv 3 Pen Def University 10 Jennings, Mason Tries.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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DARWIN SEASON SET TO GO

The 39th Darwin Rugby Union season is just five days away and with it brings two new Coaches to the First Grade scene and a Grand Final replay between University and Casuarina to kick it off proceedings on Saturday night while some Clubs are being cagey about announcing off season recruits.

Last Season’s Premier University have appointed Dan Wetherall to replace Damien Tyson as Head Coach. A primary school teacher from Country NSW, Wetherall spent six years living and working in Cambodia.

During his time in the Kingdom, Wetherall spent two years as the Cambodian Federation of Rugby’s Development Manager and Coach.

With the eligibility clause for National Team selection being three years of residency, Wetherall was able to earn six test caps for the Koupreys and play in the Asian Sevens Series which is experience that bodes well for the Pirates future.

Peter McGrath will be at the helm of Casuarina for an unprecedented seventh term during which time the Cougars have won four flags and been runner-up on two occasions.

Casuarina has lost a few of the key players that have laid the foundation of their recent success. 

Half Back Sam Batty has retired as a result of a neck injury sustained in the Grand Final, while Aaron Rudduck injured and Matt Meyers unavailable are not expected to see much game time. Representative front rower Brad Thomas has relocated to Perth.

Whilst the Cougars are not reporting any key off-season gains, Nathan Satala had a rousing game in last week’s pre-season match against Dragons. Satala played for the Mosquitoes at both the Hottest 7s and National 7s.

South Darwin will again have former Australian 7s captain Tim Atkinson calling the shots at Warren Park.

Atkinson took the Rabbitohs to the Grand Final in 2012 but they have been upset by University in consecutive Preliminary Finals since.

Souths have lost the services of talented fly half Keegan Neal who has linked with the Burnside Rugby Club in Adelaide while prolific try scorer Lepani Nabuliwaqa has returned to Fiji.

Jake Rainger will also be missing from the backline after relocating to Tasmania for at least three months.

Logan Vaney and Ian Aokuso have moved to Darwin from Western Australia are both expected to play First Grade for the Bunnies.

Souths go into Saturday’s match against Dragons on the back of a comprehensive victory over Palmerston in the Pre-Season Cup Final after defeating Casuarina a week earlier.

Palmerston supporters will be hoping new Coach Stan Carnes can take the Crocs deep into the business end of the season.

Palmerston has made the Grand Final only once in the twelve years since the competition switched to the dry season.

By contrast the tri-colours figured in six of the last twelve wet season deciders and won the nine week transitional competition during the build-up of 2002.

Carnes coached the Melbourne University Club before moving to Darwin and has had an entire off-season to work with his new charges.

Encouraging for the Crocs is after finishing fourth last year after successive wooden spoons, the Reserve Grade and Under 17s both won Premierships and should provide some depth.

Palmerston’s Pre-Season started off particularly well with wins over Dragons and University before going down to Souths last week.

Michael Killiner has returned to the line-up after missing almost the entire 2014 season through injury and proved a handful for Souths in the Pre-Season Final.

Darwin Dragons have recruited particularly well and should not be underestimated.

Liam Walker returns to the Club after three seasons at University while Drew and Greg Tobin have returned from Brisbane full time after playing intermittently last year.

Another Dragons Junior Joseph Stanek crosses back from Rugby League while Sunia Radravu comes back to the club after a season with Cougars.

They will however miss the services of talented loose forward Cameron Meurant who polled well in last year’s Eric Johnston Medal.

Puru Westrupp will again coach the side but will need a strong commitment from his squad to win their first flag since 2007.

The Fred’s Pass based Swampdogs have elected to only participate in the Reserve Grade competition this year despite encouraging performances back in the top grade last year.

The first Representative Match of the season will be a celebration of the ANZAC Centenary with a Country of Origin Match between Australia and New Zealand on the 25th of April.

It will be the first time in over a decade the fiercely contested event has been held.

The Mosquitoes will travel to Brisbane in July for matches against the touring North Canterbury Province and a yet to be confirmed Queensland Representative team at Ballymore.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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MOZZIES AND GOANNAS STEP UP AT NATIONALS

The Northern Territory Men’s and Women’s Rugby teams proved they were capable of mixing it with Australia’s best following competitive performances on day one of the National 7s in Sydney yesterday.

In the opening match of the competition the Mosquitoes went down to tournament favourites NSW Blue 29-0 before recording a powerful 33-12 victory over Western Australia.

The Mozzies were aggressive at the ruck and in defence with Bobby Nurse and Drew Tobin crossing for tries early and both were converted by Nate Lamb for a 14-0 lead.

The Sandgropers struck back with two tries of their own to trail 14-12 at the break.

The Mosquitoes lifted their intensity and completely dominated the second half with tries to Shepherd, Satala and Salaa and in the process earned the respect of all at the ground.

In their final pool match Queensland White came out with all guns blazing and scored two early tries for a 14-0 lead.

When the Mozzies finally got some possession they made it count with three converted tries for a 21-14 half time lead.

The Queenslanders starved the Mosquitoes of ball in the second half and scored four unanswered tries to win 36-21.

The Mosquitoes played their three matches as a well-structured unit having trained since before Christmas and having the benefit of six games together at the Hottest 7s in January.

Bobby Nurse and Drew Tobin were outstanding in each of the matches.

The Mosquitoes missed out on a berth in the quarter finals by a mere two percentage points and will now face Tasmania in the Bowl Quarter Finals

The Goannas also had to contend with the tournament favourites in their first game of the day.

NSW Blue’s intensity was a steep learning curve for the Northern Territory with the home side recording a 36-0 victory.

Similarly to the Men, it was the second match in which the Women stood up and were counted when they defeated the National Indigenous side 14-10 after leading 14-0 at half time.

Tries were scored by Ellie Hardwick and Sophie Armistead while former Wallaroo Emily Robinson who was one of three players drafted into the side to cover late withdrawals landed both conversions.

The Goannas then took on Queensland White and were unlucky to concede a try on the last play of the first half to trail by seven.

Bojana Mali scored on the end of some positive attacking play by the Goannas to trail by two and had a chance to win with strong multiple phase play in the dying seconds of the match.

Claire Rowat was the general in each of the matches and played the day without substitution.

The Goannas will take on South Australia in a Bowl Semi Final this morning.

 


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

 

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SEVENS SET FOR NATIONAL STAGE

The Northern Territory has entered teams in all four divisions of the inaugural National Rugby 7s Championships in Sydney over the next two weekends.

The Australian Rugby Union has invited State/Territory representative team(s) and the Australian Services, Australian University and National Indigenous teams to attend the Championships.

There are Open Men, Women, Youth Boys and Youth Girls Competitions to be held at the Sydney Academy of Sport which is home to the Australian Men’s and Women’s Sevens teams at Narrabeen on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

With Rugby 7s now an Olympic Sport there will be a strong focus on talent identification.

National Director of Australian Sevens and Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Geraint John: “I am looking out for players who show a great enthusiasm for the game, with a great attitude and character both on and off the field plus very good skills.

“I also want to know if players want to play for the national side and have the drive and commitment that it takes to become an international player and Olympian - this means training every day and taking sacrifices - living the life of a High Performance Athlete.”

Mosquitoes Coach Peter McGrath has made one change to the line-up that has been training since before Christmas and won the Buff Competition at last month’s Hottest 7s in the World at Marrara.

Wily veteran Luke Cummins returns to the side replacing Maleli Motonicocona in side.

Motonicocona is one of the most promising local juniors to emerge in the last decade and will be a key figure in the Youth Boys line-up.

The nucleus of the Mozzie side hail from Casuarina and played together to win the Bowl at the Singapore 7s in November.

The Mozzies Pool includes Western Australia, NSW Blue and QLD White in the twelve team competition.

Swampdogs dominate representation with five players in the Youth Boys team on the back of victory in the Under 18 Competition at the Hottest 7s.

The Youth Boys Competition will be played with two Pools of Five teams with the Northern Territory drawn to play NSW Blue, Qld White, South Australia and ACT in the Round Robin phase.

The NTRU have been granted an extension in naming the Women’s squad pending the result of tomorrow AFL NT Semi Final between Wanderers and Waratahs.

Jaylene Chevalier, Danielle Smith, Sophie Armistead and Elle Hardwick are all likely selections for the Goannas and will all  line-up for the Eagles their sudden death encounter.

Victory and progress to the Preliminary Final will see them unavailable for the Rugby Nationals.

The Youth Girls team was dealt a blow during the week with Katherine based Captain Mateeka Neilson breaking her arm at school.

Kimika Lee- Pollard comes into the side with Brielle Felton elevated to the captaincy.

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh will be at the Championships and said “The national Women’s Sevens program are on the lookout for players with a ruthless competitive instinct who just loves playing Rugby Sevens.”

The NT Rugby Union are delighted to have at least seven regional based players selected to represent the Territory.

Joel Plummer is a three time Best & Fairest in Central Australia while Jesse Hockney joins the Youth Boys from the Red Centre.

Katherine boast  four players in the Youth Girls side and Stevie Kelly should  be named in the Goanna’s team on Monday.

NT Mosquitoes; N Lamb (c ) Z Phillips, C Nurse, G Tobin, D Tobin, R Oakley, N Satala, S Salaa, D Shepherd, L Cummins, J Plummer, G Norman, P McGrath (Coach) S Moran (Manager).

NT Youth Boys: J Byrnes (c ) A Shirley, M Motonicocona, R Morcom, C Court,  H Edwards Jnr, J Fitzgerald,  J Norris, T Shepherd, K Baird, N Stringer, J Hockney H Edwards Snr (Coach)  J Chevalier (Manager)

NT Youth Girls;   B Felton (c ),  J Ruparanganda, T Garling, S Barba, T Hazel, D Bates, K Blake, E McCoombes, J Dela Coeur, H Pomare-Dawson. H Kiara-Glass, K Lee-Pollard D Tyson (Coach) J Chevalier (Manager).

NT Gonnas; To be announced Monday 23 Feb.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.



 

 

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BORNEO CLAIM 4th 7's TITILE

Borneo Eagles won the Croc Division at the 27th Annual Heineken Hottest 7s in the World at Rugby Park

Led by Captain Rocky Khan the Eagles won their 4th Title in six years and became the most successful team in the competition’s history when they defeated Tribe 7s 21-14 in a thrilling final.

Defending Champion and top seed Hong Kong were bundled out by Tribe 7s in the quarter finals.

This year’s renewal was a strong one with newcomers to the 7s circuit Dua Ga, a Sydney based Fijian outfit performing strongly along with Brisbane first timers Matai NewStar Sports.

Perennial crowd favourites Daveta were eliminated in the semi-finals by the eventual champions while Tribe 7s qualified with a win over last year’s runner-up, Gumatj Cavaliers.

The tournament also marked the first appearance of a Victorian men’s team with the Footscray Bulldogs lining up.

Adelaide’s Burnside returned after an eleven year absence and the Singapore National team used the tournament to launch a bid to win Gold at the South East Asian Games in June.

The pride of the Territory, the Mosquitoes won the Buff competition while Far North Queensland and the Noosa Dolphins also debuted

The visitors from the Sunshine Coast won the Barra Competition after the Alice Springs based side Central Crewsaderz won the Gecko

Tribe 7s boosted with several National Team players won the women’s tournament over newcomers Country King Browns.

There was plenty of depth in the Tournament with teams from Far North Queensland, Melbourne City Silverbacks, Singapore and Sydney University ling up against the NT’s Goannas, University and South Darwin.

The tournament broke new ground with a four team Youth Boys (Under 18) competition included for the first time.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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WOMEN'S 7s ACTION SURE TO BE HOT

The Women’s Rugby Division at this weekend’s Hottest 7s in the World has the hallmarks of being one of the most keenly contested competitions in the tournaments history.

Brisbane based Tribe 7s have assembled a line-up boasting nine players who have played Rugby Sevens for Australia at senior or youth level.

There are two Walleroos, three dual internationals and a World Cup Winner.

The side will be led by former National Captain Rebecca Tavo and has been seeded first in the nine team competition.

Australia’s Women’s Sevens Coach Tim Walsh has released Nikki Etheridge, Mollie Gray, Brooke Walker and Rachel Crothers who will train with the side tomorrow morning and Walsh revealed that he has set each player their own personal objectives.

“There aren’t many tournaments in Australia that offer the quality of competition for Women’s Sevens players that the Darwin event does,” said Walsh. “It’s an established tournament where our four players will be playing for a side that we know will be well-coached and looked after.”

He added: “This is an invaluable opportunity for Nikki, Mollie, Brooke and Rachel to get some game time under their belts. They’re playing in a strong team and I have set high standards for them – I’ll be going through their performances personally with them upon their return to HQ in Sydney next week.

The primary challenger to Tribes 7 title aspirations is expected to come from the Country King Browns.

Playing in their first tournament the Country King Brown’s squad is a mix of high calibre Territorians and National Representatives.

A local quintet of Bo de la Cruz, Lateesha Jeffrey, Lauren Motlop, Jaylene Chevalier and Crystal Atteborough will provide the nucleus of a potent attacking outfit.

Also Included in the squad are Cobie-Jane Morgan and Hannah Sio who have both represented Australia in Rugby 7s.

The presence of the Melbourne City Silverbacks, Far North Queensland and Sydney University will ensure the Pool stage is competitive.

Sydney University were the Sydney Women’s Rugby Union Minor Premier in the 15-a-side version of the game last year.

The unknown quantity will be the Singapore National side.

Ranked 7th in Asia the girls from the Lion City looked fairly sharp when training for the first time at Rugby Park yesterday.

The Northern Territory will field three teams in the Competition with the NT Goannas joined by South Darwin and University.

The Goannas side to be captained by Claire Rowat includes three players who will represent the Northern Territory at the National Youth Championships next month.

Brielle Felton, Ebony McCoombes and Shaylah Barba earned their selection after impressing selectors at the recent NT Schoolgirls Championships.

Nathalia Wauchope and Danielle Smith will bring plenty of big match experience to the side.

The NT Goannas will play Singapore in a non-contact trial at Rugby Park tonight followed by a Men’s match between the Country King Browns and Singapore Men’s Teams.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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DAVETA JOIN HUNT FOR CROC

The Hottest 7s in the World received a boost on Friday with confirmation popular Fijian team Daveta Rugby would be competing in the event at Rugby Park next month.

From its humble beginnings in 1989 and subsequent emergence on the international club scene in 1992, Daveta has grown into one of the strongest international club sevens teams in the world.

Daveta won the inaugural World Club 7s tournament in Limerick in August defeating Munster and Auckland amongst others en route to victory over Vancouver in the Final

The team has a strong affinity with the Darwin tournament having won the first Territory 7s on debut as a Club in1989.

A restructuring of the Asian 7s calendar had jeopardised their participation with a commitment to play in Sandakan in February.

Daveta’s inclusion in the line-up along with Hong Kong, Borneo Eagles and the Gumatj Cavaliers marks the first time all four semi-finalists from one year have returned to compete the following year.

Hong Kong is the reigning Croc Champions having defeated the Gumatj Cavaliers in January’s Final.

The Cavaliers were seeded fourth and stunned the crowd with an upset victory in their Semi over the top seed Borneo Eagles while many thought Hong Kong were a touch lucky to defeat Daveta in the other Semi.

Borneo Eagles go into the tournament on the back of victory in the prestigious Singapore Cricket Club 7s while Daveta bowed out in the quarter finals of that November tournament.

Brisbane based Tribe 7s who were eliminated in the Quarter Finals by Hong Kong this year are returning with a strong line-up of players with Australian 7’s and NRC experience including;  Junior Laloifi, Peter Lee, Thomas Pincus and Nicki Tuvitu.

The 2015 renewal of the Hottest 7s will feature a Men’s team from Victoria for the first time.

The Footscray Bulldogs from Melbourne’s Western Suburbs are a Club with a large Pacific Island player base.

The Bulldogs finished mid table in this year’s Premier Grade Competition.

Adelaide Cub Burnside is returning to the Top End for the first time in more than a decade.

Their last visit resulted with a victory in the 2004 Buff Competition having also won the Croc in 1996.

The Double Blues were runner-up in this year’s South Australian Premier Grade Competition.

Along with the National Team from Singapore and the Perth based invitation team Fresh 7’s the competition amongst 42 teams for a share of the $60,000 prize money on offer for the January 24-25 Tournament will be fierce.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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NT RUGBY TO RECOGNISE SENIORS

As the 40th anniversary of Cyclone Tracy approaches many will commemorate and reflect on what life was like “Before Tracy”, the horror of Christmas Eve in ’74 and how Australia’s last frontier has matured since the devastation.

In many respects the very existence of Rugby Union in the Northern Territory can be attributed to Cyclone Tracy.

It is well documented the origins of Rugby Union in the Top End emanated from the workers who had sought an adventure and flocked to Darwin to rebuild the city and who would go on and become the founding fathers of the game locally.

Forty years on and those Young Turks are now Silver Foxes and the Northern Territory Rugby Union see it as appropriate that from 2015 onwards Senior’s Card holders will be admitted free of charge to all Darwin Premiership Matches and Finals at Rugby Park.

The Union has set the following family friendly admission prices for 2015 as follows:

Seniors: Free

Adults: $10

Parking: Free

Children Under 18: Free

Friday Night Junior Rugby:  Free for All

Season Pass: Adult $70 Spouse $30.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

 

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HONG KONG TO DEFEND CROC CROWN

The Hong Kong Rugby Union has confirmed their National Men’s team will defend their title at the 2015 Hottest 7s in the World at Rugby Park in January.

Having also won in 2002, Hong Kong will look to become just the fourth team in the 27 year history of the tournament to taste success in the Croc Division for a third time.

Success would see them join Daveta, Potoroos and Borneo Eagles as three time Croc Champions.

The Dragons will arrive in Darwin on the back of stellar performances on the ARFU Asian 7s circuit.

Tournament wins at home in August followed by victories in Malaysia and China in September and October where Japan and South Korea finished either runner up or third will set a platform for a positive start to their 2015 campaign.

The Singapore Rugby Union is bringing both their National Men’s and Women’s teams to Darwin for the first time.

The Lions also compete on the ARFU Asian 7s circuit and were twice runner up in the Plate and a Semi Finalists in the Bowl.

At last month’s Beijing tournament Hong Kong and Singapore were drawn in the same pool with the city/state going down 33-0.

An exciting newcomer to the Hottest 7s comes from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

International sports management company NewStar and the Noosa Dolphins Rugby Club have joined forces to create Matai NewStar Sports who are a specialist sevens team which compete in events around Australia.

They were recent winners of the Plate at the Noosa International 7s after losing the Cup Final of the Brisbane 7s.

NewStar’s conqueror at Chipsy Wood was Tribe 7s who have indicated their intention to return to the Top End after a strong performance on debut earlier this year where they were beaten 17-5 in the Quarter Finals by Hong Kong.

Regular crowd pleasers the Borneo Eagles are set to compete in their sixth Hottest 7s which has netted them three titles and a runner-up cheque.

Defending Buff Champion the Country King Browns will be appearing in their eight Hottest 7s.

The Country King Browns have also entered a team in the Jabiru Division for Women with Bo de la Cruz recruited to spearhead the side for their inaugural tournament.

With a prize pool of $60,000, the Hottest 7s in the World is the richest tournament in the Southern Hemisphere.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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NT MOSQUITOES DEFEAT ASRU WARRIORS

The Northern Territory Mosquitoes defeated the Australian Services Warriors 33-20 in a tough encounter at Rugby Park last night.

The match was less than three minutes old when the Warriors switched to the blind side and ran the ball from deep inside their territory and with excellent support play Sam Brewer scored under the posts.

Jared Lewthwaite who was a late replacement for skipper Tony Luxford landed the conversion and the visitors had a 7-0 lead.

Robert Butcher reduced the margin to four with a penalty goal before a turnover by the Services just outside their twenty two enabled a quick counter attack by the Mozzies and a try to Bobby Nurse.

The Warriors regained the lead with a penalty goal to Lewthwaite but it was short-lived.

Wise Sekitoga toed a loose ball into the in-goal and was able to regather and score.

The Butcher conversion followed by two penalty goals had the Mozzies up 21-10 at half time.

Penalties at the breakdown had proven costly for the Warriors surrendering possession and field position. 

Despite those penalties the forward battle was evenly matched.

The second half was just two minutes old when Butcher dashed through a yawning gap to score under the posts.

It took another 28 minutes for the next points to be scored when ASRU number 8 Alex Brown crashed over.

The Warriors improved as the match went on and they were able to establish some continuity.

Josh Gray scored in the corner and the Warriors were well and truly back in the match trailing 28-20 after Lewthwaites conversion attempt hit the up right.

However the Mosquitoes regained the ball from the restart and a few phases later Simaika Salaa scored wide out to end the visitor’s hopes of a come from behind victory.

Mosquito flanker Bobby Nurse was judged best on ground while Alice Springs flyer Chaz Solomon, unknown to most in Darwin impressed with his limited touches.

Vito Di Muro on debut for the Mozzies had a strong game while Robbie Harlow and Lewthwaite stood out for the men who defend our country.

In the earlier matches a Brigadiers XV defeated an NTRU Presidents XV 27-15 after the NT Women defeated 1st Brigade 24-15.

NT Mosquitoes 33

S Salaa, W Sekitoga, B Nurse, R Butcher Tries R Butcher 3 Pen 2 Conv

Def 

Australian Services Warriors 20

A Brown, S Brewer, J Gray Tries J Lethwaite 1 Pen 1 Conv


 

 

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MOZZIES AND WARRIORS IN DEFENCE GALA DAY

After a successful Finals Series the local Rugby Union focus switches to Representative mode tonight when the Northern Territory Mosquitoes host the Australian Services Warriors at Rugby Park from 7.30pm.

Coaches Peter McGrath and Peter Mayo have selected a well-balanced Mosquito line-up with a mixture of youth and experience to take on what should be a fit well drilled outfit.

With several players unavailable due to injury, there are six players in the starting XV plus half of the reserve bench that will be representing the Territory for the first time.

Amongst the debutantes is Casuarina loose forward Vito Di Muro.

Equally at home in the centre or back row Di Muro is an Italian national who represented his country at the 2007 Under 20 World Cup in Belfast and was the Under 18 European Player of the Tournament  in 2006.

Alice Springs pair Joel Plummer and Chaz Solomon will both start the match with Plummer partnering Luke Cummins in the centre while Solomon will take one of the wing positions.

Greg Svanfelds will cap off a memorable year of personal accomplishments should he come off the bench during the match.

Svanfelds captained the NT Schoolboys this year and was selected as half-back in the Division II Merit Team at the National Championships and was the NT Rugby Union Rising Star Award winner this year after a stellar season with Palmerston.

Grand Final Winner University will contribute ten players to the squad including Eric Johnston Medallist Robert Butcher at fly-half.

Butcher has been appointed captain of the Mosquitoes for the first time with Prop Eric Erickson vice-captain.

Erickson will have six team mates from Casuarina in the side with him.

The ASRU Warriors are on their first tour of Darwin and are in a three year building phase in the lead up to next year’s International Defence Rugby Championships in England.

The Royal Australian Navy has ten players in the squad on the back of their 31-28 victory over the Army to win the Inter Service Rugby Championships in May.

Since the Championships ASRU have played matches against NSW Suburban and NSW Country losing both matches in torrid encounters.

Despite the inclusion of twelve players representing ASRU for the first time the side will be very competitive with almost all of the squad playing Grade Rugby in strong jurisdictions in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra with some playing in Grand Finals as recently as last weekend.

Their Captain Tony Luxford is a half back at Randwick while Luke Troy plays Shute Shield in Parramatta’s front row.

Reserve Brad Thomas won’t require much acclimatisation having propped for Casuarina in the Grand Final a fortnight ago.

The Defence Services Gala Day commences at 5.15pm with the Northern Territory Women playing the 1st Brigade Women in a 10-a-side match followed by a NT Presidents XV vs The Brigadiers XV match at 6.00pm.

Mosquitoes

Kosta Elenis, Tom Barker, Eric Erickson (VC) , Frank Jennings, Toby George, Vito Di Muro,  Bobby Nurse,  Wise Sekitoga, Mario Counsel, Robert Butcher (c , Smaika Sala’a, Luke Cummins,  Joel Plumber, Chaz Solomon, Rhys Mullholland Reserves Wayne Robinson, Ryan Oakley, Jordan Curran, Damien Heath, Hare Winitana, Greg Svanfelds, Isaac Taulelei, Sean Wauchope

Warriors

Shayne O’Reilly, Peatrie Birney, Luke Troy, Nathan Diedricks, Aaron Louden, Siaka King, James Knight, Alex Brown, Tony Luxford, Robbie Harlow, Sam Brewer, Michael Wallace, Michael Mason, Josh Gray, Daryl Seden Reserves Jarrod Playford, Laurence Burdekin, Brad Thomas, William Halaufia, Keli Fukofuka, Jared Lewthwaite, Trevor Collett, Sam Williamson


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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JUNIOR SEASON FINALE ON FRIDAY NIGHT

The 2014 McDonalds Junior Rugby Union Season concludes on Friday Night with four Grand Finals, five Premierships, eleven games of Rugby from Under 5 to Under 17 and the presentation of over 300 medals and trophies to our budding champions.

For the Under 5s and 7s it is Round 17 of their Walla Rugby Season with all players receiving a participation medal.

The Under 9s is the first age division where a Premiership is awarded. 

With no finals series per se, Casuarina by virtue of leading the Competition at the end of the Round Robin will be acknowledged as Premiers.

The first Grand Final of the night will be the Under 11s when Swampdogs take on University.

The pups from the rural area only lost one match during the season and will be favourites to defeat the young Pirates.

In the Under 13s Palmerston will take on Casuarina.  The Crocs amassed 774 points in their 15 matches whilst conceding 205

Swampdogs and Darwin Dragons are bound to put on a great game of Rugby in the Under 15s.

In the Under 17s the Minor Premiers from Palmerston will need to make sure they don’t underestimate the unpredictable Darwin Dragons.

NT Rugby will also present a Player of the Year award  in each age division from Under 9s to Under 17s

6.00pm Under 5s, 7s & 9s
6.50pm Palmerston vs Casuarina – Under 13
7.00pm Swampdogs vs University – Under 11
8.00pm Swampdogs vs Darwin Dragons – Under 15
9.10pm Palmerston vs Darwin Dragons – Under 17

Entry is Free and Strictly NO BYO

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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UNIVERSITY WIN FLAG WITH LAST MINUTE VICTORY

The University Pirates ended Casuarina’s reign as champion club with a thrilling 32-27 victory in last night’s Darwin Rugby Union Grand Final at Rugby Park.

The match was a culmination of arguably the most exciting finals series in the code’s 38 year local history.

The match was six minutes old when Zac Phillips scored in the corner to draw first blood for the Cougars.

When Casuarina next found their way to the University end of the ground Bobby Nurse crashed through to score.

The Phillips conversion gave the reigning Premier a 12-0 lead.

University were not over awed by Casuarina’s early dominance and at the pace they were playing the game.

The Pirates regathered the ball from the re-start and a few phases later full back Anthony Heal went over.

Robert Butcher landed a long range penalty goal at the thirty minute mark and the Pirates were only trailing by four.

With two minutes left Casuarina gained a tight head scrum just outside their quarter but quickly turned it over and Heal was over after a few passes for his second try and University went to the break leading 13-12.

The game had been played with all the intensity expected of a Grand Final.

The forwards went at each other with unbridled enthusiasm and aggression  and it took its toll.

Pirate’s Prop Kosta Elenis came off late in the half while and Nate Lamb and Tyson Doughty failed to return after the break for the Cougars.

University extended their lead when Shaun Wauchope scored in the corner and with Butcher’s conversion the lead was out to eight.

From another tight head scrum the Cougars number 8 Joe Albert was held up over line.

After the ensuing scrum and several pick and drives later Eric Ericson scored wide out.

Phillips conversion was wide and the Cougars were down by three.

Casuarina was almost immediately camped in Pirate Territory and Ericson was in for his second try to regain the lead for his side.

A box kick on half way and a favourable bounce for Simaika Salaa who combined with Matt Weyers to send Vito Di Muro over.

Weyers replaced Phillips as kicker but was unable to add the extras however the Cougars were up 27-20.

With seven minute left and University on the attack Frank Jennings put a grubber kick into the in-goal which Butcher pounced on to score.

His conversion from the side line levelled the match at 27-all and the highest aggregate score in a Grand Final had been established.

Butcher missed a penalty goal with two minutes remaining and the match looked destined to go to extra time for only the second time.

However a poor 22 metre restart by Casuarina gave the Pirates one last roll of the dice and Wauchope delivered with a spectacular try in the corner with no time left to play which secured a tenth premiership for his club.

The Willie Ellsion Medal for the best on ground could have gone to several players on either side however the performance of University Full Back Anthony was acknowledged as having the greatest impact on the game’s outcome.

In the Reserve Grade Grand Final Palmerston defeated Casuarina 24-23 after the Cougars led 15-12 at half time.

University 32: A Heal 2, S Wauchope 2, R Butcher Tries R Butcher 2 Conv 1 Pen

Def Casuarina 27 E Ericson 2, Z Phillips, C Nurse, V Di Muro Tries Z Phillips Conv

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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COUGARS AND PIRATES READY FOR SEASON DECIDER

Casuarina will be looking for a record equalling fifth consecutive Darwin Rugby Union Premiership when they take on University at Rugby Park tonight from 6.00pm.

The match will be the 38th Grand Final since the inception of Rugby Union in the Top End back in 1976.

These two powerhouse Clubs will have won twenty of those titles between them.

Such has been their impact on the game locally; there has only been twelve Grand Finals played that neither club has featured in.

The Pirates have won nine of their sixteen previous appearances whilst the Cougars have converted ten of their thirteen into titles.

Casuarina has gone through the season undefeated while most pundits didn’t expect University to progress beyond the Preliminary Final

The Pirates had lost all three minor round matches against both Casuarina and South Darwin.

Finals football can be a great leveller and this was never more evident than last Saturday’s upset victory by University over the Rabbitohs.

The Pirates played mistake free percentage football and defended with great commitment and enthusiasm.

If the Pirates can back up mentally after the euphoria demonstrated when full time was signalled last week they will be very hard to beat.

The level that University lifted to last week is the way Casuarina approach every match they play.

Both sides go into tonight’s match almost at full strength with Casuarina benefiting from a week off to assist a third of the team rest and treat niggling injuries.

The Cougars line-up boasts three players who have won the Willie Ellsion Medal for the Best on Ground in a Grand Final.

Joe Albert, Sam Batty and Zac Phillips have all demonstrated they can be big match players when required.

Both Casuarina’s and University’s strength is their overall balance.

For the Cougar’s their Captain Aaron Rudduck leads the side by example, fearlessly launching himself with ball in hand at the defence.

Prop Eric Ericson is as mobile as most loose forwards while Bobby Nurse has been the standout back rower for the last two seasons.

Nate Lamb’s arrival this year at fly half has been a huge bonus for the Cougars, forming a great partnership with Batty.

The mid field battle promises to be the most intriguing and the superiority gained likely to influence the result of the game.

Luke Cummins and Joe Tuisuva are creative in attack and rarely miss a tackle.

Likewise their opposing numbers Shaun Wauchope and Poasa Raqiyawa are uncompromising defenders and devastating ball carriers.

The impetus Wauchope and Raqiyawa have on the game hinges on the service Robert Butcher can provide them from fly half.

Butcher received the Eric Johnston Medal for the competitions Best and Fairest Player last Sunday Night.

Frank Jennings leads his Pirate pack in a similar manner to Rudduck and they have often been partners in the second row for the Mosquitoes.

Up front Kosta Elenis in just his second year in senior Rugby props the scrum with Michael Jennings and their dual with Ericson and Owen Griggs will be absorbing. 

There is also genuine pace on each team’s wing with David Taylor and Simaika Sala’a two of the quickest in the competition.

University will have the benefit of a fresh reserve bench with  players of the calibre of Liam Walker, Wayne Robinson and the seasons leading try scorer Isaac Taulelei on it.  

Casuarina’s bench will be selected after the Reserve Grade Grand Final where the Cougars are taking on Palmerston at 4.15pm.

In three matches during the regular season Casuarina defeated the Pirates by just one point in their match first encounter in April and then registered eight and ten point victories in May and July.

The Cougars are entitled to be favourites to win tonight’s match.

They will need to ensure the Pirates do not get the significant early points advantage to then protect as they did against South Darwin.

During Casuarina’s reign as Premier Club they have shown an enormous capacity to withstand pressure from their opposition.

Their game has also become synonymous for composure and being able to come from behind and win matches which is a vital characteristic required to win a Grand Final.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.


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ROBERT BUTCHER AWARDED ERIC JOHNSTON MEDAL

University’s Robert Butcher was last night presented with the Eric Johnston Medal for the Best and Fairest Player in the 2014 Darwin Rugby Union Competition.

Butcher polled 18 votes from the Referees to finish two points in front of Darwin Dragons loose forward Cameron Meurant.

Casuarina fly half Nate Lamb finished third with 14 points.

The win capped off a memorable weekend for Butcher who played an instrumental role in the Pirates victory over South Darwin in Saturday’s Preliminary Final.

Palmerston Rookie Greg Svanfelds was named the Bendigo Bank NT Rugby Union Rising Star for 2014.

The award was reintroduced this year and players who are Under 18 and start in a First Grade match for the first time are automatic nominees.

Svanfelds was among ten players nominated for the award and was Palmerston’s run on half back from the Pre-Season Cup until the Elimination Semi Final.

Svanfelds captained the Schoolboys squad on their tour of NSW and was selected in the Australian Schoolboys Division II Merit Team.

Rob Taylor was recognised for his contribution to the game by being presented with the Volunteers of the Year.

Taylor regularly refereed three games of Junior Rugby on Friday Nights and backed up the next day to officiate in at least one senior match.

Taylor was also the assistant coach and manager of the touring NT Under 16 Team.

Other Major Award  Winners

Referee of the Year – Simon Scoble

Most Improved Referee – Robert Taylor

Senior Coach of the Year – Peter McGrath

Reserve Grade Best & Fairest – Scott Richards (Casuarina)

First Grade Leading Try Scorer – Isaac Taulelei (University 16 Tries)

Women’s Player of the Year – Kassandra Lehmann – South Darwin

First Grade Leading Pointscorer - Robert Butcher (University)

Reserve Grade Leading Pointscorer - Shane Crowley (Casuarina)


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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IT'S CASUARINA VS UNIVERSITY .... AGAIN

University caused the upset of the season when they defeated South Darwin 26-25 in an epic Preliminary Final at Rugby Park on Saturday Night.

The Pirates advanced to their sixth Grand Final appearance in the last seven years where they will take on the high flying Casuarina Cougars next Saturday.

South’s opened the scoring with a penalty goal by fly half Keegan Neal three minutes into the match but the next thirty belonged to University.

Robert Butcher put Shaun Wauchope through a gap two minutes later and the centre crossed without a hand being placed on him.

From a penalty twelve minutes later Frank Jennings took a quick tap and caught the Rabbitohs defence napping to surge at the line to score.

Butcher had missed both conversions but the Pirates had a handy 10-3 lead.

Some great lead up by Poasa Raqiyawa and Shaun Ley set up a try for prop Jarn Inoke who was backing up in support.

Two penalty goals by Butcher had the Pirates up 23-3 and a huge boilover was unfolding before a boisterous crowd.

Souths had struggled to carry the ball into University territory and when Tim Atkinson found some space Henry Berns was able to score and the Rabbitohs went to the break trailing by fifteen.

Butcher missed two penalty goal attempts that could have shut the gate on Souths but the University defence was relentless until Thomas Hiramatsu scored twenty five minutes into the second half.

A minor scuffle after the try resulted in Hiramatsu and Ryan Oakley spending the next ten minutes in the side bin.

Whitmer Tuputala scored a try minutes later and with Atkinson’s conversion the Rabbitohs were well and truly back in the match trailing by 23-20 inside the last ten minutes left and full of momentum.

A Butcher penalty extended the lead to six with three to go and the Rabbitohs then through everything they could muster at the Pirates as clock ticked down.

Front Rower Hayden Summers stormed over for a try wide out all Souths needed was to convert to win the match.

Atkinson’s shot was wide much to the jubilation of the Pirates players and supporters.

It was the second week in succession that a missed goal kick after the siren had denied the Rabbitohs victory.

Souths were definitely not as sharp as they have been in recent week and were possibly drained mentally after their Semi Final loss last week.

University’s defence never waned and its pressure seemed to upset South’s rhythm.

The Pirates had been guilty of not protecting early advantages in matches against Souths during the regular season but their ball retention was exemplary and if they can back up next and play with the same mindset next week they will be no pushover in the Grand Final.

University 26: J Inoke, S Wauchope, F Jennings Tries R Butcher 1 Conv 3 Pen

Def

South Darwin 25: T Hiramatsu, H Summers, W Tuputala, H Berns, Tries T Atkinson 1 Conv K Neal 1 Pen


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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LAST HURRAH FOR SOUTHS OR UNIVERSITY.

It will take the University Pirates a performance of herculean proportions to defeat South Darwin in this afternoon’s NT Rugby Union Preliminary Final at Rugby Park from 5.00pm.

The Rabbitohs have had the measure of the Pirates in three encounters between the two clubs this season.

Their most recent clash was a fortnight ago in a match that Souths were always in control of to win 24-15.

The two sides arrive at today’s sudden death fixture via different paths.

In last week’s Major Semi Final Souths went down 30-29 against Casuarina in a thrilling eight try spectacle where the lead changed several times and the Rabbitohs were denied victory in injury time by a long range penalty goal attempt that missed by the barest of margins.

University in contrast made heavy weather of a dour Semi Final against Palmerston with a seven point win against a side they had averaged 30 point victories during the regular season.

University is a team that starts a match switched on and positive and have been rewarded with early leads against Souths and Casuarina during the season.

The Pirates have been guilty of not capitalising on those early advantages and letting opponents quickly back into matches.

In order to progress to next Saturday’s Grand Final University will need to get early points and then defend with 100 per cent commitment to shut down South’s potent offensive backline.

Souths adopted a very expansive approach in last week’s match against the Cougars, often using the entire width of the pitch in fast, draw and pass, free flowing Rugby.

Souths play an open unstructured style of game while University’s structure seems to lack flexibility.

Ebullient ball carriers like Rhys Mullholland, Thomas Hiramatsu and Henry Berns can score for Souths from anywhere on the paddock.

University is more predictable with a reliance on Robert Butcher to put Shaun Wauchope in to a gap and either score himself or link with the outside backs.

Finals can often be forward focussed affairs which is an area where Souths would likely dominate.

The Rabbitoh pack has no shortage of players willing and capable of taking the ball to the opposition and getting their side going forward with momentum while University seem to rely on Frank Jennings and Kosta Elenis to gain the hard yards.

University’s last victory over South Darwin was in the 2013 Preliminary Final which was considered somewhat of an upset despite the Pirates having finished the season as Minor Premiers.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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COUGARS AND PIRATES WIN SEMI FINALS

Casuarina marched into their sixth consecutive Darwin Rugby Union Grand Final with a thrilling 30-29 victory over South Darwin at Rugby Park last night

The Cougars opened the scoring after just 10 minutes when flanker Christopher Nurse scored in the corner.

Zac Phillips’ sideline conversion gave the reigning Premier a 7-0 nil lead.

South’s equalised four minutes later when robust centre Henry Berns scored under the post.
 
After earlier missing a penalty, Keegan Neal’s conversion levelled the score.
 
The Cougars replied straight away with a try to Eric Ericson.

With both sides adopting an expansive game plan the fleet footed Thomas Hiramatsu crossed over under the posts.

The Rabbitohs were in again when they regathered a penalty goal attempt that ricocheted off the upright into the field of play and Tim Atkinson crossed after two phases.

The Neal conversion had the Bunnies leading 21-12.

Nate Lamb kicked a penalty after the siren and Souths had a lead of 21-15 in a half that yielded five tries.

After another Neal penalty goal, Souths turned over the ball from the restart which gave Casuarina field position which they converted to points with a try to Nurse.

Casuarina’s next foray into South’s territory resulted in a try to Sam Batty and a one point lead.
 
Whittmer Tuputala scored in the corner which reinstated South’s lead with fifteen minutes left to play.

The lead however was  short lived lead when Batty struck again from a quick penalty tap close to the line.
 
With Lamb having failed to convert three attempts at conversion South Darwin had a chance to steal victory when Neal had penalty kick from 40 metres out.
 
The shot was wide and the grounding of the ball in goal ended an absorbing free flowing match.
 
Casuarina have the week off which will allow Joe Albert, Tyson Doughty and Zac Phillips time to recover from injuries prior to the Grand Final.

South Darwin will take on University in the Preliminary Final after the Pirates defeated  Palmerston 22-15 in the Elimination Semi Final.
 
Both sides started the match tentatively knowing one of the team’s season was set to come to an end 80 minutes later.

Pirate’s fullback Anthony Heal opened the scoring fourteen minutes into the match when he stepped around a couple of Palmerston defenders to score.

Within minutes the Crocs had worked the ball down the field with some enterprising play culminating in a try by George Love.
 
Jett Yates’ conversion levelled the score at 7-all and University knew the Crocs were not about to roll over.

Wise Sekitoga evaded the defence to score the Pirates second try which was duly converted by Robert Butcher.

Yates reduced the margin to 4 points with a penalty goal before a try by winger Shaun Ley late in the half sent the Pirates to the break leading 19-10.
 
The second half was dour with neither side getting the measure of the other.

Butcher missed two penalty goal attempt and after absorbing enormous pressure the Garry Keppel broke through for a Palmerston try seven minutes from time.
 
Yates missed the conversion and the four point margin meant only a try would extend the Crocs season by a another week.

A Butcher penalty goal with 30 seconds remaining gave the Pirates a seven point lead.

Palmerston received a penalty from the restart and although they worked the ball to within 15 metres of the line a shock victory was denied.
 

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.
 

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SEMI FINAL DAY IN DARWIN

The Darwin Club Rugby season enters its business end tonight with both Semi Finals set for decision at Rugby Park from 5.15pm and 7.00pm.

The 38th annual Semi Final series will see University enter an Elimination match against Palmerston as raging hot favourites to progress to next week’s Preliminary Final against the loser of the Major Semi between Casuarina and South Darwin.

In the three encounters between them this year the Pirates have racked up 115 points while the Crocs have managed to score just four tries.

Palmerston lost the last three matches of the regular season and it would seem an unsurmountable task to expect them to reverse an average score of 38-7 against University and stay alive for at least another week.

However Palmerston is unfazed by the challenge ahead of them with Captain Antony Smith upbeat about his side’s chances.

He said ‘if we play nice disciplined Rugby we can beat them”.

The Crocs are at full strength for the first time in several weeks, with Smith adding that his team “will play simple old school Rugby, ball in hand”.

Despite the statistics weighing heavily in their favour it would be foolhardy for the Pirates to enter the match with any degree of complacency.

Palmerston’s Round 13 match against South Darwin was an indication of how the Crocs can match it with the Competition’s big guns.

Only a late penalty goal secured a 24-21 victory for the Rabbitohs.

University’s forward pack spearheaded by skipper Frank Jennings will be the key to setting up the platform to maximise the offensive prowess of Shaun Wauchope.

The Major Semi Final between Casuarina and South Darwin should be a torrid encounter as both teams seek direct passage into the Grand Final in a fortnight.

The Cougars are undefeated this year and their last match against the Rabbitohs on June 21 was played at a frenetic pace and arguably the best of the 45 First Grade games played this season.

Casuarina won that game 28-10 however a late try that night exaggerated the difference between the two sides.

With the forward packs evenly matched, fly half Keegan Neal holds the key to South’s success as he tries to create opportunities for centres Henry Berns and Whittmer Tuputala to get through the almost unbreakable Cougar defence.

Neal’s opposite number at Casuarina is the talented New Zealander Nate Lamb, a first year player at the Cougars who has played an instrumental role in Casuarina’s run of 15 matches without loss this season

If their round 12 encounter is indicative of the intensity in which the match will be played it will become a battle of attrition and the superior fitness of Casuarina could be a telling factor.

Loose forward Christopher”Bobby” Nurse is the best in the competition while last year’s Willie Ellsion Medallist Joe Albert revels in fiercely contested forward battles whilst mobile front rower Eric Ericson is one of the first players to every breakdown.

Casuarina’s last loss in a Premiership match was  in Round 15 last year when they were trounced 41-17 by the Rabbitohs.

The Cougars went on to defeat University in both the Major Semi Final and Grand Final to secure the Clubs tenth Premiership.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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RABBITS, COUGARS AND DRAGONS ROUND 15 WINNERS

South Darwin’s quest for a fifth  Premiership remains firmly on track after defeating University 24-15 in a spirited match at Rugby Park  last night.

The Pirates were on the front foot early and Shaun Wauchope almost scored in the opening minutes but spilled the ball five metres out.

At the ten minute mark a deft run by Liam Walker resulted in a try which was converted by Robert Butcher.

Souths made numerous line breaks to take play into the Pirates end of the field but a combination of desperate defence and clumsy handling kept the Rabbitohs scoreless until the 25th minute when lock Colin McCaul barged over.

Keegan Neale’s conversion levelled the score at 7-all
 
Souths took the lead two minutes before the break when Thomas Hiramatsu took the ball from a line out and sprinted 25 metres to score.

Hiramatsu has played on the wing all season but was moved to flanker last night to accommodate the return of Tim Atkinson to the side.

Neale converted and then Butcher landed a penalty goal on the last play of the half for University to trail 14-10.

Neale took the lead back out to seven with a penalty goal early in the second half and the professional foul by Wise Sekitoga resulted in ten minutes in the sin bin.

Hiramatsu relishing being closer to the ball darted 25 metres to score the Rabbitohs third try.

Shortly after Hiramatsu went from hero to villain when he too went to the bin for a professional foul.

The score didn’t change despite the imbalance of numbers  the bunnies defended their line for the entire period.

Shaun Wauchope gave the Pirates a glimmer of hope with a try seven minutes from time.

Souths will be delighted with performance of Henry Berns in the centre whose impact is becoming greater each week as his fitness improves since returning from injury mid-season.

Kosta Elenis had a rousing game in the front row for the Pirates.

With three losses to both Souths and Casuarina this season it is difficult to envisage University turning the tables on either side during the finals series which starts  next week.

Casuarina finished the regular season undefeated following a 43-0 victory over Palmerston after leading 19-0 at half time.

Tries to Vito Di Mauro and Simaika  Salaa in the first five minutes of the game suggested the Cougars might inflict an embarrassing defeat on the Crocs.

However when Palmerston did get into their rhythm it then took Casuarina another 28 minutes to score their third by way of Di Mauro.

The Cougars four second half tries were evenly spaced with two to Joe Albert and two more to Salaa.

Darwin Dragons finished the season on a positive note with a 62-14 victory after leading 35-7 at half time.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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NT RUGBY TO HONOUR ANZACS

NT Rugby Union will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli with a Country of Origin Match at Rugby Park on 25th April 2015.

Matches between Team Australia and Team New Zealand were immensely popular in Darwin from the late nineties when local players donned a replica jersey from their Country of Origin and did battle in fiercely contested encounters against Club mates.

Players from the Central Australian, East Arnhem and Katherine Rugby Union’s will be invited to participate in the fixture that will honour 100 years of the ANZAC spirit and courage.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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COUGARS, RABBITS AND DRAGONS ROUND 14 WINNERS

Casuarina continued their undefeated season with a 25-15 victory over University in Saturday night’s Rugby Union match of the round at Rugby Park, Marrara.

The match marked the 100th First Grade game for Coach Peter McGrath since his arrival at the club in 2009.

The Pirates opened the scoring with a Penalty Goal to Robert Butcher after five minutes.

The elusive Dave Taylor found some space on the left wing to set up a try for Robert Butcher after a 40 metre scamper down the touchline five minutes later for an 8-0 lead.

Casuarina full back Zac Phillips kicked a Penalty Goal to bring the margin back to five with fifteen minutes left in a period where the Cougars had dominated possession and field position but were unable to convert them to points.

Casuarina levelled the score five minutes into the second half when Tyson Doughty found himself on the end of a quick exchange of back line passing and was able to cross over wide out.

The Cougars then seemed to have all the possession and flanker Kerehana Marino scored a try which was converted by Phillips for a 15-8 lead.

Any chance of University causing an upset ended minutes later when Simaika Salaa scored in the corner which was duly converted by Phillips.

Shaun Wauchope scored a try to reduce the margin to seven however a Penalty Goal to Phillips soon after put any chance of victory out of their reach.

Casuarina had been able to keep the ever dangerous Wauchope’s line breaks to just one until that late try.

University have now lost all three matches against Casuarina this season and finish the regular season next week against South Darwin who have two victories over the Pirates to date.

In the early game South Darwin defeated Swampdogs 64-8 after leading 26-5 at half time.

The second placed Rabbitohs got off to a flying start with Keegan Neal scoring two converted tries in the first ten minutes of the game.

 A try to Thomas Hiramatsu under the posts at the 20 minute mark which was converted by Neale had Souths up by 21 and the match seemingly destined for a blowout.

However the Swampdogs didn’t lose their resolve and after sustained pressure Daniel Lamble crashed over.

Jacob Rainger’s try earned the Bunnies a bonus point eight minutes before the break.

After an early second half try to Hiramatsu the Rabbitohs combined for the try of the match with a counter attack by Rainger from inside their own ten metre zone linked up with Hiramatsu for Henry Burns to score.
 
Two more tries took the score out to 43-5 before Tama Querino scored for the Swampdogs after a creative build up.

Souths scored three tries in the last ten minutes for an imposing victory a fortnight before the Semi Finals.

The Swampdogs played the match with a positive attitude forgoing penalty goals in search of tries, albeit to no avail.

Darwin Dragons played to the potential that has often deserted them this season defeating Palmerston 27-14.

The win was just the third for the Dragons this season.

Sadly for their fans there will no finals appearance but will look to finish with another win against Swampdogs next week.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

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THIRD RISING STAR NOMINEE FROM PALMERSTON

Henry Degoumois became the tenth 2014 Bendigo Bank NT Rugby Union Rising Star nominee when he made his First Grade debut for Palmerston in last Saturday’s thrilling match against South Darwin at Moulden.

With the Junior Competition in holiday recess the Under 17 year old Croc junior  put his hand up for a run in the seniors and was selected for a starting spot on the wing in the First Grade.

He joins teammates Greg Svanfelds and Trent Keppel as nominees for the 2014 Bendigo Bank NT Rugby Union Rising Star along with the Swampdog quartet of Mitchell McLaughlin, Zeb Rubock, Jonathon Davison and Clancy Court plus Reece Calkin, Moses Niki and Wewak Ross from the Dragons.

The Bendigo Bank NT Rugby Union Rising Star Award recognises any player who has not yet turned 18 on the 1st of January in the Year of the Competition and is selected and commences in the starting side of a First Grade Match for their Club for the First Time.

The winner will be announced at the Eric Johnston Medal Presentation Night next month.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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MOSQUITOES ANNOUNCE SQUAD FOR ASRU MATCH

Selectors have announced a provisional 33 man NT Mosquitoes Squad for next month’s match against Australian Services at Rugby Park, Marrara.

Hare Winitana, Sione Tua, Greg Tobin, Trevor Nickels, Aaron Pollard, Kauri Westrupp (Darwin Dragons) Anthony Smith (Palmerston) Peter Pauli, Emile Emile, Jack Briggs, Ashley Graham, Whitmer Tuputala, Rhys Mulholland (South Darwin) Chris Ewin, Jordan Curran (Swampdogs) Shaun Wauchope, Robert Butcher, Wayne Robinson, Tom Barker,  Frank Jennings, Kosta Elenis,  Wise Sekitoga (University) Sam Batty, Nate Lamb, Joe Tuisuva, Smaika Sala’a, Joe Abert, Bobby Nurse, Tama Di Muro, Damien Heath, Eric Erickson (Casuarina) Joel Plummer, Chaz Soloman (Alice Springs) Peter McGrath (Coach) Peter Mayo (Assistant Coach) Jone Tuiono (Manager)

Training will commence of Wednesday 9th July at Rugby Park from 6.00pm

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PIRATES AND RABBITOHS ROUND 13 WINNERS

University had little trouble accounting for Swampdogs in Saturday’s Rugby Union match at the University Oval.

The Pirates recorded a comprehensive 58-3 victory after leading 24-0 at half-time.

From the kick-off the home side regained possession and after four phases Paul Coady scored a try and the signs were ominous the Pirates might be in for a day out.

Ten minutes later from another turnover saw Isaac Taulelei score and give University a 12-0 lead.

With ball in hand Swampdogs looked competitive without being threatening.

Instead of wasting attempts at penalty goal they should attempt to build confidence and mount sustained pressure that could find chinks in the oppositions defence.

University’s third try came 25 minutes into the match after probing both sides of the ruck loose forward Peter Butcher was able to score.

Minutes later another turnover in an attacking position was to punish the Swampdogs when Dave Taylor scored the first of his four tries for the afternoon.

The second half was only two minutes old when Taylor scooted down the touch-line and scored under the posts.

Five more tries would follow for the Pirates who take on Casuarina in next week’s match of the day.

University’s win can be attributed to the turnover ball provided to them by Swampdogs and strong performances by Kosta Elenis, Peter Butcher and Frank Jennings who consistently took the ball beyond the advantage line creating the platform for their outside backs to excel.

Swampdogs were best served by the halves combination of Jack Morrison and Keegan Steele.

Surprisingly Morrison was not included in the provisional Mosquitoes squad named during the week for the August match against Australian Services at Rugby Park.

The US Marines played an exhibition match against University’s Reserve Grade side and scored three late tries to win the match 31-29.

Three of the Marines were invited to sit on the bench for the Swampdogs and were given some game time late in the match.

At Moulden, second placed South Darwin had a scare against Palmerston with the Rabbitohs winning 24-21 against a spirited Croc outfit.

The match was all locked up at 21-all with minutes remaining before a penalty goal sealed victory for the Bunnies and enabled them to hang on to second place on the ladder.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby.

 

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MINOR PREMIERSHIP TO THE COUGARS

Casuarina was presented with their fifth NT Rugby Union Minor Premiership in the last six years after a 31-5 victory over Darwin Dragons in a split round at Rugby Park on Saturday Night.

The Cougars got off to a flying start with tries to Eric Erickson and Luke Cummins in the first ten minutes which were converted by Nate Lamb for a 14-0 lead.

Dragons went into to match without the services of their in-form scrum base duo of Reece Calkin and Jason Lim who were both away on representative duty with the NT Schoolboys.

The Dragons however were able to call on the services of one of their favourite sons in Drew Tobin whose combination with Jason Cole steadied the ship after the early Casuarina onslaught.

Casuarina’s expansive game plan was matched by the Dragons whose youthful backline is the equal of anything in the competition and rallied to the direction provided by Tobin.

The Cougars struggled to break the line for the rest of the first half and were guilty of numerous indiscretions at the breakdown which resulted in penalties and possession to Dragons.

Dragons scored their only try late in the first half after an incisive 40 metre run by Aaron Pollard linked with Nigel Maher to send the full back over wide out.

Pollard looked dangerous with every touch of the ball.

It took Casuarina 30 minutes to score their third try when Joe Albert scored a try from a pushover scrum for the second week in a row.

Dragons had dominated much of the field position for most of the half but were unable to capitalise on the numerous breaks and far too often turned over possession at the breakdown.

Sinone Tua proved to be a real handful for the Cougars with his punishing runs at the line hard to contain.

Gerrarde Potts scored the Cougars fourth try with just minutes left on the clock and from the restart Casuarina ran the ball from inside their 22 metre zone and a chip and chase by Tyson Doughty found replacement Sunia Radravu winning the race for the ball and score his sides fifth try.

The final score flattered the reigning premier who scored all their points in the first and last ten minutes of the match.

The Cougars have made a habit of winning and their defence can withstand pressure for lengthy periods and can quickly punish opposition with points against the run of play.

Whilst Dragons will finish the season out of the Semi Finals there is plenty for fans to look forward to and they will look for victories against Palmerston and Swampdogs in the coming weeks to end the year on a high.

Casuarina 31 (E Erickson, L Cummins, J Albert, G Potts, S Radravu Tries N Lamb 3 Conv) def Darwin Dragons 5 (N Maher Try)

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

 

 

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UNDER 16's QUEENSLAND BOUND

The Northern Territory Under 16 Rugby Union Team travels to the Gold Coast next week to participate in the 34th annual Queensland Junior Rugby Union State Championships which will be conducted at The Southport School.

Following the cessation of the National Under 16 Championships by the Australian Rugby Union, NT Rugby looked to Queensland as a vehicle for its best Juniors to compete at an elite level.

The Three Day Championship will feature district representative teams from Brisbane Cairns, Mackay, Townsville, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Darling Downs, Mt Isa, Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast.

The State Championships consists of three age divisions - under 13s, under 14s and under 16s and NT Rugby will look at also sending its Under 14 squad to these titles in 2015.

The Squad is; Jonathon Briskin, Kael Crocker, Luke Morgan-Doherty, Johannes Du Plessis, Tom O’Connor, Isaako Teuati (Palmerston) Braydon Becker, Harry Berns, Jett Norris,  Jimi Fitzgerald, Alex Marchant, Brodie Morcom (Swampdogs) Hone Edwards, Jerry Thomas, Towahn Niki, Jonas Niki, Hamish Martin (Darwin Dragons) Ned Hall, Hugh Harbeck, Tipene Shepherd, Branden Thomson, Tom Burchett (University) Riley Wood, Rowan Boscato (Casuarina)
Management; Hone Edwards, Robert Taylor, Cameron Croker

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

 

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COUGARS, CROCS AND PIRATES ROUND 12 WINNERS

Last night’s Round 12 clash between Casuarina and  South Darwin was billed as a Grand Final preview and was played with all the intensity of a finals match in an entertaining match at Rugby Park.

The Cougars remained undefeated following  a 28-10 victory over the Rabbits and are well and truly on track to defend their Premiership after their third win over Souths this season.

An early penalty to fly half Nate Lamb gave the Cougars a lead and most of the first half was played at the Rabbitohs end of the ground.

Casuarina were unable to crack the Souths defence  nor were the Rabbitohs able to breach the Cougars line in an absorbing struggle early in the game.

Rhys Mullholland was only player to cause the Cougars to scramble with two incisive line breaks but the ensuing phases resulted in nothing.

A further penalty goal to Lamb gave Casuarina a 6-0 lead at half time in a torrid 40 minute period that saw Zac Phillips, David Boyle and Owen Griggs all spending time in the blood bin.

Phillips returned briefly but was opened up again and took no further part in the game.

Early in the second half Casuarina moved into Souths territory with ease and Lamb’s third penalty gave them a 9-0 lead.

An intercept by Joe Tuhakaraina created a try for Tom Hiramatsu in the corner and reduced the Bunnies deficit to four points.

Twenty minutes into the second half replacement centre Luke Cummins set up a 40 metre break by  Simaika  Salaa who drew Mullholland and had Cummins backing up to score.

Souths bounced back almost immediately with a try to Whittmer Tuputala but  still trailed by four when Keegan Neale missed the conversion.

After being held up over the line Casuarina scored a vintage push-over try from the ensuing scrum by their number eight Joe Albert.

Matt Weyers took over the kicking duties and was successful with the conversion to give the Cougars a 21-10 lead.

Skipper Aaron Rudduck scored on the last play of the match and with Weyers conversion Casuarina were up by eighteen in a match that was far more even than the score suggested.

The Cougars were again well served by half back Sam Batty whose composure when the team was under pressure was instrumental in the result achieved by his side.

In the early game Palmerston’s four first half tries and a 22-3 lead at the break was the catalyst for Palmerston to set up a solid 53-3 victory over Swampdogs and only a mathematical phenomenon will deny them a finals berth after successive wooden spoons.

Unforced errors and an inability to quickly realign in defence after turnovers continues to hamper the Swampdogs quest for an elusive victory in their debut season back in the top grade.

The Swampdogs pack matched their opponents every inch of the way however it was the Palmerston backs in broken play that wreaked havoc.

Captain Anthony Smith made numerous breaks but the star of the show was winger Garry Keppel with two tries and numerous breaks and was unpassable in defence.

Their youthful playing roster should benefit from a tough season and be quite competitive in 2015.

Whilst both sides boast plenty of youth in their ranks, the Crocs called on veteran prop Dennis Bree to come off the bench at half time just days shy of his 62nd Birthday.

Third placed University  accounted for fifth placed Dragons 52-17 with relative ease.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

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SOUTHS WIN A TOUGH ONE AGAINST DRAGONS

South Darwin didn’t have victory handed to them on a plate in last night’s Round 11 clash against Darwin Dragons at Rugby Park.

The second placed Rabbitohs won the match 32-17 after leading 10-5 at half-time against the fifth placed Dragons.

From the outset of the game Dragons showed their intention was to make Souths work hard for victory.

The Dragons scrum dominated early and after a tight head the clearing kick was returned from 60 metres by full back Rhys Mullholland who linked up with his backline to send  Whitmer Tuputala over.

Dragons applied enormous pressure on the Souths defence for the next 15 minutes but were unable to breach it.

Dragons, sapped of energy without a score and when Souths got some possession  they made easy metres resulting in a try to flyer Thomas Hiramatsu.

The slick Dragons backline had often looked threatening during the first  half and when Reece Culkin took a quick penalty tap the ball was flung wide to Trevor Nickels who raced towards the try line before turning the ball inside for Nigel Maher to score.

Poor ball control had been costly for the Dragons and they could quite easily have gone to the break in front instead of trailing by five.

Dragons lost the match during a 10 minute period early in the second half when Souths scored three unanswered tries by Daniel McDaid, Emille  Emille and hard working lock Iolo Williams to open up a lead of 29-5

Any hint of the men in gold surrendering without a fight was quickly put to rest with their small but elusive outside backs proving hard to contain before Alex Maniju powered over adjacent to the posts.

Loose forward Lee Luta made some rampaging surges at the Souths pack and was rewarded with a try and suddenly the score was 29-17.

The Bunnies never lost their composure and every touch of the ball by Mullholland turned into significant metres gained while lock Jack Briggs didn’t take a backward step up front.

Souths now have a week to prepare for next week’s top of the table blockbuster with Casuarina.

The Cougars had little difficulty accounting for Swampdogs with their forward pack leading the way by scoring 9 of the 12 tries in a comprehensive  72-3 victory after leading 41-3 at half time.

In the late game University defeated Palmerston 32-10 after leading 19-10 at the break.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

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SEVENS FIELD LOOKING HOT AGAIN

Expressions of interest received so far indicate the 2015 renewal of the Heineken Hottest 7s in the World will again feature world class Rugby 7s talent.

Defending Croc Champions Hong Kong have not finalised their 2015 program but have advised tournament officials that  returning to Darwin is part of their plan.

Singapore Rugby’s Technical Director has indicated his Union will be sending a team to Darwin.

The Tokatoka Westfield Barbarians from Fiji, who were runners-up to Hong Kong this year playing as the Gumatj Cavaliers have signalled their intention that they will return.

The Cavaliers caused a major upset when they defeated the tournament top seed Borneo Eagles in the Semi Finals.

Fijian side Red Rock who were an eleventh hour withdrawal this year due to Visa problems  have advised they will be liaising with the Australian High Commission in Suva to ensure their documentation is processed in order to participate in 2015.

Red Rock still managed to get to Australia and won the prestigious Kiama 7s in February.

Tournament organisers are excited by the possible participation of the Asia Pacific Dragons for the first time.

The Asia Pacific Dragons were formed in 2011 as the Asia Pacific Barbarians and began life on the pitch as an Invitational rugby team, showcasing some of the best players from Asia and the Pacific. Initially just competing in Fifteens, the franchise has quickly expanded and now features in all forms of the game, predominantly Sevens and Tens.

The Asia Pacific Dragons have already achieved significant success, brushing aside some major competition in their rise. In 2011 they defeated a World XV side to claim the inaugural Chartis Cup, and successfully defended their title in 2012 beating English Premiership Champions Saracens.

In other competitions, the APDs won the Hong Kong Football Club Tens in 2012 and the Singapore Cricket Clubs Sevens in 2013, highlighting both the diversity and competitiveness throughout the squad.

2014 Buff Champions Country King Browns have also confirmed their return in January for what will be their eighth consecutive appearance. The Browns are renowned for their high profile squad inclusions.

Next year’s Heineken Hottest 7s in the World will be held on the weekend of 24-25 January and feature $A60,000 in prize money.

 
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

 
 

 

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MIXED EMOTIONS ACROSS DARWIN RUGBY GROUNDS

It was a day of mixed emotions in Saturday’s round of Darwin Rugby fixtures.

A grief stricken Casuarina called on their inner strength to overcome Palmerston, there would be no fairy tale for Swampdogs at the opening of their new ground against Dragons and South Darwin almost guaranteed last season’s Minor Premier University will finish third in the regular season.

At a solemn Rugby Park a minutes silence was observed in remembrance of Casuarina Life Member Margaret Buba who passed away during the week after a relatively short illness.

Casuarina won the match 50-7

The Cougars took just 10 minutes to open the scoring when Damien Heath burrowed over from close to the line.

Eight minutes later a quick tap from a penalty in front of the posts resulted in Simaika Sala’a scoring wide out and 12-0 lead.

Sala’a was in again after 28 minutes following a counter by Casuarina from inside their own 22 metres.

A string of penalties against Palmerston made it difficult for them to get into the game but when the tide swung their way they struggled to crack the Cougars defence.

The battle between the half backs was absorbing.

Palmerston rookie Greg Svanfelds who will captain the NT Schoolboys later this month was up against wily veteran Sam Batty with the youngster certainly holding his own.

When Joe Tuisuva crashed through for a bonus point try on half time, Nate Lamb’s third conversion sent the Cougars to the break with a 26-0 lead.

Palmerston came out for the second half full of enthusiasm and when Anthony Smith was interfered with after a kick and chase the Crocs were awarded a Penalty Try.

Cruelly, Casuarina regained the ball from their kick off and sent Sala’a scooting down the side-line for his third try of the evening.

Shortly after Palmerston were reduced to 14 when Rhys Hitchcock was sent from the field for dissent and trailing 31-7.

The Crocs would concede three tries while a man down with tireless flanker Bobby Nurse rewarded for an outstanding game with one on full time.

At Fred’s Pass Reserve the Swampdogs were christening their new home ground but unfortunately Dragon’s spoilt the party with a 45-26 victory after leading 26-19 at half time with Kauri Westrupp having a rousing game for the Dragons.

The win gives Dragons a faint hope of qualifying for the finals and must be ruing last week’s loss to Palmerston after testing the Cougars the week before.

At Warren Park South Darwin moved seven points clear of University following a tight 15-12 victory.

The Pirates led the game 7-0 at half time

University were Minor Premier in 2013 but have a 6-4 record after 10 games this season and after losing to both Casuarina and South Darwin  twice this season they look to be off the pace as they strive for their 6th Grand Final appearance in the last 7 years.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

 

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Taminmin Dominate NT Schoolboy Squad

Taminmin College dominated selections in the Northern Territory Schoolboys Team with seven students from the rural High School named in the twenty three man squad which was announced at Rugby Park tonight.

The squad looks particularly strong on paper with several members playing regular First Grade Club Rugby.

Palmerston Senior College’s Greg Svanfelds will captain the team.

The team will depart later this month for a training camp including two matches on the Southern Highlands of NSW before participating in the Australian Schoolboys Championships in Sydney.

The Squad is; Mitchell McLachlan, Sean Coughlin, Daniel Engstrom, Jack Byrnes,  Clancy Court,  Zep Rubock,  Chris Gergis (Taminmin College)  Bayley Hakes,  Liam Bilston,  Thomas Roe, Greg Svenfeld (Captain),  Felix Byrne (Palmerston Senior College)  Aryton Deo,  Declan Armitage  (Darwin High)  Matthew Pollard,  Jason Lim, Malali Mluikade, Ian Manolis, Reece Calkin  (Casuarina Senior College), Reece Morcom  (Good Shepard) Trent Keppel (Kormilda) Thomas McSkimming (TAFE) Eli Taulelei (Southport School)   

Selectors also named five shadow players who may be called up in case of a player becoming unavailable to tour
Cameron Clarke, Thomas Raymond, Quentin Hartog, Bryce Herbert, Ashley Theyers   

Congratulations and Good Luck to all Players

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby


 

 

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NT SCHOOLBOYS TO BE WELL PREPARED FOR NATIONALS

The Northern Territory Schoolboys will compete at the Australian Championships with arguably the best preparation they have ever had.

The Squad will travel to Bowral in the Southern Highlands of NSW for a pre-tournament camp which will include two games of Rugby against local sides.

The boys will play Oxley Colleges’ First XV on Thursday 26th June at Eridge Park Bowral followed by a game against the Bowral Blacks Under 18’s on Saturday 28th June.

 The matches and undistracted training sessions should ensure the Territory has their combinations and game plans finely tuned before the Nationals commence the following week.

The Northern Territory contest Division II at the Championships with their first match scheduled against South Australia on Day Two of the Championships which are being held at Saint Ignatius’ College, Riverview on Tuesday 1st July.

After a rest on Day Three the NT have an early morning encounter with the highly credentialed Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team who are defending Division II Champions on Thursday 3rd July.

The Team’s fifth and final match of their tour is against Victoria II on Friday 4th July.

The Victorians have replaced Tasmania who are not competing at the Championships this year and should be a much tougher opponent than the Apple Islanders.

A Merit team from Division II will be announced after the South Australia and Lloyd McDermott Match.

The Northern Territory last won the Merv Allen Plate for winning Division II in 1994 and have been runner-up twice since with the most recent being in 2006.

The Division 1 Championships are being played simultaneously and after commencing on Monday 30th June the Finals are on Saturday 5th July.

NT Selectors will announce the Touring Squad on Monday 2nd June.

There are still two open training sessions for players to stake their claims for selection; Wednesday 28th May and Monday 2nd June.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

 

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DRAGONS RECRUIT MAKES AN INSTANT IMPRESSION

Reece Culkin became the ninth nominee for the 2014 Bendigo Bank NT Rugby Union Rising Star Award after starting at half back for Darwin Dragons in last Saturday’s Hahn Super Dry Cup match against University.

The eighteen year old from Masterton, north east of Wellington only  arrived in Darwin last Tuesday and found his way down to Rugby Park for a Darwin Dragons training where he was promptly selected to start in First Grade.

The young Kiwi has played age grade representative Rugby for Wairapa and his debut impressed Dragon’s Coach Puru Westrupp;

“Service was crisp, good link with backline, solid defence and a good communicator” Westrupp said.

Culkin’s father Marc is in Darwin playing Grade Cricket.

The Bendigo Bank NT Rugby Union Rising Star Award recognises any player who has not yet turned 18 on the 1st of January in the Year of the Competition and is selected and commences in the starting side of a First Grade Match for their Club for the First Time.

The winner will be announced at the Eric Johnston Medal Presentation Night in August.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby

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ROOKIE CROC A RISING STAR

Trent Keppel became the eighth Bendigo Bank NT Rugby Union Rising Star nominee for 2014 following his First Grade debut for Palmerston against University in Round 6 of the Hahn Super Dry Cup at Rugby Park last Saturday Night.

Initially reluctant to play Senior Club Rugby this year, the 17 year old was convinced into do so by his brother Gary, also in his first season of First Grade and fellow Bendigo Bank NT Rugby Union Rising Star nominee Greg Svanfelds.

After several good performances in Reserve Grade Trent was rewarded with selection in First Grade and an opportunity to play alongside his brother in the Palmerston back line..

Assistant Coach Kerry Smith reported “He was solid right through the game and never flinched in defence”

The Bendigo Bank NT Rugby Union Rising Star Award recognises any player who has not yet turned 18 on the 1st of January in the Year of the Competition and is selected and commences in the starting side of a First Grade Match for their Club for the First Time

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of NT Rugby


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Mosquitoes Open the Door for Selection

Head Coach Peter McGrath has opened the door to ‘all-comers’ wishing to try out for the 2014 Northern Territory Mosquitoes Squad for next month’s Interstate Challenge at Rugby Park, Marrara.

Queensland Country, South Australia and Tasmania will join the Mosquitoes in a four team Round Robin.

The Mozzies were runner up to the Red Healers in a similar tournament in Adelaide last year.

Prospective Mosquitoes are required to be at Rugby Park on Monday 19th May at 6.00pm where selectors will split the group with one group training on field one and the other on field two.

The two squads will train independently before playing against one another in a Trial Match on Tuesday 20th from 7.00pm.

One of the sides will be coached by Alice Spring’s Representative Coach Junior Po-Ching with the other to be finalised in the next day few days.

The match will be refereed by Katherine’s Tim Biggs.

The Mosquitoes team management has been finalised and is as follows;

Head Coach: Peter McGrath
Assistant Coach: Peter Mayo
Manager: Jone Tuiono
Sports Trainer: Sarah Moran
Physio: Seamus Delahunty
Doctor: Sarah Chalmers

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