General 2015 NZRL National Premiership

From what I'm hearing I don't think Counties will be a major threat this season - bit of rebuild going on and this year's coach is taking a positive stance over player availability; You'll see more youth out there for the Stingrays.
From what I'm hearing I don't think Counties will be a major threat this season - bit of rebuild going on and this year's coach is taking a positive stance over player availability; You'll see more youth out there for the Stingrays.

Well that's good for the young guys but it's a shame the guys that got dudded last year aren't gonna get a shot at redemption.
  • Like
Reactions: ramraider78
Well that's good for the young guys but it's a shame the guys that got dudded last year aren't gonna get a shot at redemption.
Yeah I support the coach from the bits I've heard - senior's I'm hearing are asking for match payments,team gears up front and a few just wanted to play and not train lol
  • Haha
Reactions: Defence
Canterbury pumped Auckland 34-18.
Bamford man of the match.
Bro they pumped Akarana not Auckland lol I heard the Canterbury pack owned Akarana in the middle, to good on the day, that was the difference, spoke with 1 of the Akarana boys today; that's gonna be where counties will lose IMO middle isn't strong enough on defense.
Canterbury Bulls remain unbeaten but can improve after Akarana win
Last updated 19:29, September 13 2015

Complacency is a word that will be mentioned many times at Canterbury Bulls training this week.

Playing at home for the first time this season, the Bulls were comfortable 34-18 winners over Auckland's Akarana Falcons at AMI Stadium on Sunday to remain at the top of the national premiership table.

Canterbury lock and vice captain Agaese Fiso praised the Bulls' defensive effort against a big Akarana pack but said it can be improved and will need to be.

The defensive workhorse also believes the Bulls must work harder on its attacking shape but said that would be rectified at training.

"In terms of attack there's a bit to work on but being just our second hit out against a strong team we have to be happy," Fiso said.

One of the major positives for Fiso was that the Bulls had not played to their potential but were still good enough to win.

"We'll definitely improve on this performance and it gives us a lot of belief. Every win gives us belief and now we will be looking for our third win next week," Fiso said.

Bulls coach Darrell Coad was pleased with the win but said there was plenty to work on before taking on the Central Vipers at AMI Stadium on Saturday.

Coad would be challenging his side to work harder at training this week even though the Vipers were hammered 84-20 by Counties Manukau over the weekend.

"It's a mental thing this week, we can't afford to be complacent and undo our good work," Coad said.

Sunday's win holds massive value for the Bulls season.

With six competition points, a finals birth was already within reach, especially the Vipers and Northern Swords looking like automatic wins.

If the Bulls can improve on the Akarana win, the Wellington Orcas and Counties Manukau look within its range.

Crucially the biggest challenge against Counties Manukau is a home game at AMI Stadium.

After surviving two disallowed Akarana tries early, The Bulls shut the visitors down for much of the first half.

Tries to Sua Ailloilo, Jack Mundy, James Baxendale and Tevin Arona gave Canterbury an 18-0 lead but a soft Akarana try closed the gap to 18-6 at halftime.

Akarana threatened to comeback in the second half at 22-12, but an individual effort from skipper Chris Bamford, who carried three defenders over the try line put the Bulls firmly in control.

Bamford's aggression on attack was the key to the Bulls go forward and fullback Erwin Sauni's acceleration and twinkle toes were a constant danger for the Akarana defence.

The Bulls pulled off several try saving tackles, but also missed to many one-on-one tackles which led to opportunities for Akarana.

Canterbury's long kicking game was dismal and will need significant improvement if its is to defend the Albert Baskerville Trophy.

Canterbury Bulls 34 (James Baxendale 2, Sua Ailloilo, Jack Mundy, Tevin Arona, Chris Bamford, Phil Nati tries, Baxendale 2, Arona goals) Akarana Falcons 18 (Saimone Makahili 2, Peni Misinale tries, Eko Malu 3 goals)
  • Like
Reactions: Defence
WaiCoa Bay Stallions score dramatic win over Akarana Falcons
Last updated 19:49, September 19 2015

The WaiCoa Bay Stallions remain a genuine chance of making the National Premiership final, after securing a dramatic 28-26 win over the Akarana Falcons in Hamilton on Saturday.

Down 18-0 late in the first half at Resthills Park, the Stallions produced a superb fightback then clung on as referee Lance Bullen took centre stage late in the piece.

The Falcons produced a dominant display early on, their big men charging strongly and the Stallions guilty of sitting on their heels.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 11th minute, and by the 35th had their fourth try in what looked a one-sided contest.

But, crucially, the Stallions managed to find points before the half was out, with winger Victor Karora-Reu finishing in the corner, as the home side made the most of Falcons halfback Afatasi Collins being down injured.

That shot the Stallions to life, and with Karora-Reu's brother Tamatoa, at centre, and five-eighth Malcolme Noda combining well, they were headed to the line again, before a high tackle stopped the progress and had Stallions halfback and captain Hayden Karena knocking over the penalty to send his team to halftime at a more manageable 18-6.

Needing to be the first to score in the second stanza, the Stallions did better than that, with Tamatoa Karora-Reu bagging two in three minutes to narrow the margin to two. There was a dubious looking pass in the lead-up to the first one, before Karora-Reu burst through the tackle of Falcons winger Morgan Timoti-Cook, while his next four-pointer was set up by a nice break from his brother, who gave to fullback Vinnie Morunga, before Karora-Reu made a brilliant 30-metre dash to the corner.

But as soon as the Stallions looked to take control, the Falcons hit back, with winger Corey Seator going over for the simplest of finishes to collect his hat-trick.

Cue another Stallions double-shot, with two tries in four minutes.

The first was an absolute pearler, with Karena chipping over the top on the last tackle and the bounce going to Noda, who gave a sensational no-look pass back inside for Karena to scoot round the cover defence and then convert to level the scores.

Then, as the Falcons defence began to get a bit lazy, the ball was kept alive and Victor Karora-Reu broke down the left-hand touch, gave to his brother, who gave him an awkward ball back, which he managed to collect to put the Stallions in front with 17 minutes to play.

More points looked to be coming after lock Nick Read broke upfield and gave for Noda, but Falcons centre Faleapa Rome collected him, before giving away a penalty for stripping out the ball.

Up 28-22 with 11 minutes left, the Stallions opted for the posts, but Karena missed from a handy angle. The ball went dead and a 20m dropout should have taken place, but referee Bullen ordered a 20m tap for the Falcons, much to the confusion and ire of Stallions players, management, and the faithful on the bank.

Bullen hadn't impressed as a referee in the club season, was a surprise appointment for the Premiership competition and appeared out of his depth.

The worst-case scenario unfolded as the Falcons powered up-field and second rower Taylor Daniels scored. With a fifth conversion missed, the Falcons still trailed by two with eight minutes left.

The visitors then twice looked like they had snatched the game. Timoti-Cook flew high and grounded the ball but for Bullen to blow a penalty for offside, then in the final minute Seator crossed in the left corner and got up fist-pumping, before Bullen consulted with touch judge Nick Gibson and a forward pass was ruled.

The Stallions played out the final few seconds before the hooter sparked scenes of celebration.

Coach Tony Lajpold was "rapt" his side came out on top, after the refereeing blunder nearly cost them.

"We should never have been in that situation," he said.

"I will mention it to New Zealand Rugby League. In all reality, that could have cost us."

Lajpold felt his side were 20 points better than Akarana, but accepted that was "the beauty but also the enigma" of the team he was dealing with, before putting it on his players at halftime.

"We just said it's unacceptable, you're playing representative football and you're not playing like representative footballers."


WaiCoa Bay Stallions 28 (Victor Karora-Reu 2, Tamatoa Karora-Reu 2, Hayden Karena tries; Karena 4 goals) Akarana Falcons 26 (Corey Seator 3, Faleapa Rome, Morgan Timoti-Cook, Taylor Daniels tries; Zensei Inu goal). HT: 6-18.

  • Like
Reactions: Defence
Went to Wellington vs Canterbury game Canterbury were in control of the game for 60mins score was 40-6 although refs calls heavily favoured Canterbury in the 1st half! Wellington decided to play around 60min mark scoring 3 tries to put some respectability back into the score line. Right on full time a Canterbury defender K.Oed on impact when he came rushing into attempt to shut down the play that lead to Wellingtons final try. Man of match in my opinion was Canterbury 2nd rower James Baxendale made a break and try assist, scored a try and kicked 6 goals. Canterbury deserved there win and the Centenary Shield played as a team with better organisation and defense. Wellington CEO Jason Hemson said over p.a that he hoped to see another Canterbury vs Waicoa final again this year as Auckland sides stuffed us around... or words to that effect, Wellington Captain Congratulated Canterbury on winning Shield and hoped the bro (Canterbury player K.Oed who was still getting medical attention) would be OK. Canterbury Captain Chris Bambford said Wellington showed there potential in last 20 minutes and his side had a lot to work on to improve.

In my opinion Wellington need 2-3 quality forwards, a quality playermaker/organizer in the halfs and bit more team spirit/regional pride and they could be challenging canterbury/Waicoa/Counties for the title to bad theres no semi finals in this comp looks like Welli's shot at titles probly over for this year. Final score Canterbury 40 - Wellington 18

Also want to add that the Warriors U20's & NSW Cup sides SHOULD BE looking at recruiting a couple of the Canterbury & Waicoa players to there ranks for next year!
Last edited by a moderator:
Northern Swords make WaiCoa Bay Stallions work hard for victory
Last updated 22:10, September 26 2015

WaiCoa Bay Stallions coach Tony Lajpold is still trying to pinpoint why his team are slow starters.

The WaiCoa Bay Stallions are still a decent chance of making the National Premiership final, but were given an almighty fright by the bottom of the table Northern Swords in Rotorua on Saturday night.

Trailing 12-8 at halftime at Puketawhero Park, then 18-8 early in the second stanza, the Stallions put on a strong late showing, to record a 40-18 victory, which keeps them in third spot on the ladder with two rounds remaining.

It's a three-way race for the decider, with the Stallions tied on points with Counties Manukau but well behind on points differential, while defending champs Canterbury are unbeaten and two points clear.

It makes for an important contest when Canterbury host Counties Manukau this Saturday. A Canterbury win would all-but ensure the Stallions would finish second, with just the hapless Central Vipers to play before they collect two points for the bye in the final round. But if Counties Manukau win, points differential is set to separate the three sides.

Stallions coach Tony Lajpold said his side would obviously be cheering on Canterbury, but that they could only control what they could do.

"If we keep winning and by chance we don't get in the final because of points differential, then is the season a bad one? Not really, we'd have only lost one game," he said.

The focus now for the Stallions is how to accomplish an 80-minute performance - something which has eluded them since the round one win over Counties Manukau.

The Stallions have had to fight their way back from a deficit in every game since, and Lajpold admitted the coaching staff were still struggling to put a finger on what the reason was for their slow starts.

After the Swords opened the scoring on Saturday, the Stallions hit back with two tries to take the lead, before the visitors scored either side of halftime - and thanks to the trusty boot of Daniel Fulop, and the inaccurate one of Hayden Karena - the rank outsiders were suddenly ahead by 10.

But, having bombed three gilt-edged opportunities early in the second half, the tide finally turned for the Stallions, with prop Mosese Mafi making a big impact off the bench and crossing to narrow the margin.

With the pack finally going forward at speed, Malcolme Noda was able to play an instrumental role when he came on at hooker, and the outsides were gifted some space.

When second rower Raureti Grace bagged a quick double it was suddenly 26-18, and the Stallions' superior fitness played a big role in the score blowing out, as centres Josh Tupou and Weyan Hewitt also finished with two tries apiece.

Lajpold said he was happy with the two points, but disappointed with the first-half display.

"We were probably too keyed up for it," he said.

"There was the odd dropped ball, and they tried harder, tried harder, and the harder you try, the chances are, you're going to make mistakes."

"We told them, at halftime, to relax."

"They were playing well, but it just wasn't clicking. And when it clicks, it clicks. And it did click."

Lajpold paid tribute to the way in which Northern competed, belying their position on the ladder and the fact they haven't won a game in the competition since 2013.

WaiCoa Bay Stallions 40 (Josh Tupou 2, Raureti Grace 2, Weyan Hewitt 2, Mosese Mafi, Malcolme Noda tries; Hayden Karena 4 goals) Northern Swords 18 (Ross McFarlane, Stevie-Ray Haenga Albert, Caleb Aekins tries; Daniel Fulop 3 goals). HT: 8-12.
  • Like
Reactions: mode81
Anyone know if Corey Lawrie is still playing for the Bulls???
Go you good things Mighty Stallions!

Everyone else is making up the numbers just give us the trophy already.:smug:
Anyone know if Corey Lawrie is still playing for the Bulls???

was a guy playing who looked a bit like Lawrie. fair skinned, small stature with headgear on playing lose forward for canterbury not sure if it was him though looking at canterbury web site he is listed as being in canterbury development squad for south island championship
  • Like
Reactions: mt.wellington
Brothers looking for big performance on local turf for WaiCoa Bay Stallions
Last updated 15:08, October 2 2015


Tamatoa Karora-Reu has always kept an eye on his younger brother on the footy field.

Two brothers. One year apart in age. One side of the field. Centre and wing.

Combinations don't come much better than the one the Karora-Reus bring to the WaiCoa Bay Stallions rugby league side.

From the bruising backyard battles, up through the junior grades, and into the senior club ranks, Tamatoa, 27, and Victor, 26, have built up a unique understanding of each other's games, and have been putting that to good use in their first season in the National Premiership.


Victor Karora-Reu dots down for one of his two tries in the match against the Akarana Falcons in round four of the National Premiership.

Following an historic win over the Akarana Falcons where the Karora-Reu brothers remarkably both bagged two tries, Victor missed last weekend's win over the Northern Swords with bruised ribs, while Tamatoa came off the bench; but the pair are looking forward to linking back up in their hometown of Tokoroa on Saturday, when the Stallions meet the Central Vipers.

After going to and from Australia for a few playing stints, Tamatoa wasn't actually going to play this year, but because his brother wanted to, he felt obliged to continue.

With a shortage of numbers in his grade when taking up the sport as a four-year-old at the Pacific Sharks club, Victor has always played up an age-group, and that meant teaming up with Tamatoa.

After playing for Turangawaewae at under-15s and under-16s so they could play league on Friday nights and rugby on Saturday morning's for Forest View High School, the Karora-Reus returned to Pacific, and while they were mostly centre and wing, it wasn't actually until premier level, on the back of a coach's suggestion, that the siblings teamed up on one side of the park.

"They put me on his side so that he could look after me on the field, me being smaller than everybody else," Victor admitted.

"For the first few years I was his babysitter," Tamatoa said.

The partnership has now blossomed into an intrinsic one.
"We're quiet players out on the field. We tend to just look at each other and read each other's actions, and we play off that," Tamatoa said.

"I think I've got the strength on him, but as soon as there's a linebreak I'm trying to get the ball off to him because he's a lot quicker than me."

Victor said with the pair knowing the ins and outs of each other, it was a comfort when taking the field.

"We're just running out there like how we ran around when we were kids."

Although, as Tamatoa notes, it wasn't all rosy from a young age.

"As kids we always used to always fight against each other," he said. "It wasn't till high school when we got along with each other, and I don't think we've ever fought or argued since then."

The Kararoa-Reus father was a former Wellington rep, and while they are from a family of five boys, the three older ones, who live in Melbourne and Auckland, are not the sporty type.

And it's more than just rugby league which the youngest duo have in common. They are both fathers (Tamatoa's daughter is seven and Victor's son is three), while they both work at the Tokoroa plywood mill - where Tamatoa is a hot press operator and Victor is a forklift driver.

The late hours mean the brothers aren't often able to make team trainings, so they do what they can.

"We always link up and go for a bit of a sprint or a run around, kick the ball around," Tamatoa said.

"We talk about league at work on our smoko breaks."

Those conversations will be becoming increasingly rousing, as the brothers and their team-mates eye up a place in the competition decider.

The Stallions are expected to romp past the Vipers, while there will also be a big interest in Canterbury's hosting of Counties Manukau. If Canterbury keep their unbeaten record intact it will ensure the Stallions a place in the final.


National Premiership, Rd 6

WaiCoa Bay Stallions v Central Vipers

Memorial Park, Tokoroa

Saturday, 2.30pm
Counties beating Canterbury 26 - 20 means only ways Waicoa bay can make the final is if Wellington beats Counties or a massive upset happens & Northland beat Canterbury
Welli got smoked by counties... shameful scoreline enough said. Well done Northland league for the live youtube stream of game vs canterbury. Counties would be the smart money to win the final on form, still hope canterbury wins for the underdog upset and the fact the Auckland league set ups think there to cool for school with natural talent greater player numbers!
Welli got smoked by counties... shameful scoreline enough said. Well done Northland league for the live youtube stream of game vs canterbury. Counties would be the smart money to win the final on form, still hope canterbury wins for the underdog upset and the fact the Auckland league set ups think there to cool for school with natural talent greater player numbers!
Bro just chill with your Auckland hate. Every year you whine about one of our teams. Typical small town small mindedness...
  • Like
Reactions: 2 people
OK well let the scoreboard do the talking... how do i bet the warriors bookie points ive never use them i'll put them all on the cantabs!
  • Like
Reactions: mt.wellington
I wrote off this Stingrays team after the loss to Waicoa , standing there watching in the rain I thought we are in trouble this season but I stand corrected. After asking around and hearing about the new culture the Stingrays coach is trying to bring into the team - young guys who want the opportunity to play for the jersey, getting rid of high maintenance senior players and don't have the ego's. On paper I still thought that wasn't the best Stingrays team out there but full credit to the plays/coaching staff.

Made me laugh though reading comments earlier this rep season on the NZRL FB page with people posting up how shit the Auckland teams were playing :p Counties made the GF with a bunch of kids and no names IMO.
  • Like
Reactions: mt.wellington

Similar threads

kiwi's 13-6
Lord Gnome of Howick MBE
Lord Gnome of Howick MBE

Last Game

12 May

24 - 12
7.2 Total Avg Rating
10.0 Your Avg Rating

Highest Rated Player

Lowest Rated Player

Compiled from 8 ratings