General Warriors Academy and Development Discussion Thread

bruce

bruce

Contributor
I watched the Warriors under 16s play an Auckland Vulcan scratch side in the curtain raiser. I haven't watched a Warriors age group side like that for some years but noticed this:

They all looked like they had been on careful diets.
They all like tall, fit and with gym junkie physiques.
They were all fast and skillful.
They were playing to a pattern or if you want process.
There was no jungle ball.
That was very different to the last time I saw a Warrior youth team.
So that looked very good.
However:
They showed that Warriors lack of intensity at times, especially when they were up a bit.
The Vulcans side were a scratch team and it showed, however:
There were some hard nuts in there, who didn't look like gym junkies but knew how to tackle.
I think there were a couple of guest Ngapuhi who looked like they had come straight out of the Waima Forest. They showed genuine intensity the whole game. They obviously were motivated to show the flash boys up, and I think a couple did that, regardless of the scoreline.

It got me thinking as to how the recruitment process is going. I would have though a hard nosed non stop tackle bot or two would be handy in this club, just saying like.
 
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Five&Last

Five&Last

I watched the Warriors under 16s play an Auckland Vulcan scratch side in the curtain raiser. I haven't watched a Warriors age group side like that for some years but noticed this:

They all looked like they had been on careful diets.
They all like tall, fit and with gym junkie physiques.
They were all fast and skillful.
They were playing to a pattern or if you want process.
There was no jungle ball.
That was very different to the last time I saw a Warrior youth team.
So that looked very good.
However:
They showed that Warriors lack of intensity at times, especially when they were up a bit.
The Vulcans side were a scratch team and it showed, however:
There were some hard nuts in there, who didn't look like gym junkies but knew how to tackle.
I think there were a couple of guest Ngapuhi who looked like they had come straight out of the Waima Forest. They showed genuine intensity the whole game. They obviously were motivated to show the flash boys up, and I think a couple did that, regardless of the scoreline.

It got me thinking as to how the recruitment process is going. I would have though a hard nosed non stop tackle bot or two would be handy in this club, just saying like.
The Vulcan side actually had all the signed players from the Warriors youth academy. The other team wearing Warriors uniforms was a warriors ‘select’ side with players from other regions outside of Auckland, it only had a handful of warriors signed players in that team.
 
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Tragic

Tragic

They all looked like they had been on careful diets.
They all like tall, fit and with gym junkie physiques.
They were all fast and skillful.
They were playing to a pattern or if you want process.
There was no jungle ball.
So they looked like any other Aussie feeder team? Great we are training the kiwi game out of them so they can be boring clones to feed SK's boring machine and can bore the shit out of me while I drink my $8 beer at MtSmart and tell my kid bout the good ol days, which I moaned about then because we were unpredicatable but look back on fondly now.
 
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Wellington Warrior

Wellington Warrior

So they looked like any other Aussie feeder team? Great we are training the kiwi game out of them so they can be boring clones to feed SK's boring machine and can bore the shit out of me while I drink my $8 beer at MtSmart and tell my kid bout the good ol days, which I moaned about then because we were unpredicatable but look back on findly now.
You’ll be drinking that $11 beer at Eden park watching these kids play for the warriors!
 
bruce

bruce

Contributor
The Vulcan side actually had all the signed players from the Warriors youth academy. The other team wearing Warriors uniforms was a warriors ‘select’ side with players from other regions outside of Auckland, it only had a handful of warriors signed players in that team.
Fair go? :oops: you are pulling my tit for sure:rolleyes:, the Vulcans ended up on the very sad side of the scoreboard so if they are actually the future of the club that is a worry.
 
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler

Great effort in historic encounter

warriors.kiwi & FITography NZ
Thu 25 Jul 2019, 01:10 PM


Despite having only two days to prepare, a Vodafone Warriors under-16 side pushed New South Wales champions Newcastle all the way before losing 28-36 in a historic clash at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday.

The Knights came to Auckland after dominating this year’s Harold Matthews Cup competition.

They lost just once en route to taking out the grand final 28-8 against Canterbury Bankstown.

The Vodafone Warriors 16s gave up a good lead early on but recovered impressively to lead the contest 28-18 before the visitors struck back for an eight-point win.

2019-warriors-16s-1a.jpg


“The Knights were easily the best 16s side in New South Wales this season,” said Vodafone Warriors general manager football Brian Smith.

“They lost only one game all year and their squad featured no less than seven New South Wales under-16 representatives.

“Our Future Warriors squad featured players from around the country who are part of our programme so for us to bring the players together two days before the game and push the New South Wales champions was outstanding.”

2019-warriors-16s-1c.jpg


Future Warriors programme manager Jordan Friend was equally excited about the performance.

“Our side featured five players who are able to play for our 16s again next year, so it paints a positive picture about the potential for our Future Warriors squads in the coming years,” he said.

“We had a real development focus to this game, so we’re glad we were able to use this to reward our boys’ hard work.

“The opportunity to test themselves against the best was a real positive experience for our players and well received by families as well.

“It continues to send a message to prospective young players around the country that the Vodafone Warriors offer strong pathway and development opportunities for New Zealand-based talent.”

2019-warriors-16s-1g.jpg


The Knights started the match strongly with their NSW 16s hooker Noah Nailagoliva standing out from the opening whistle while the Vodafone Warriors took a while to get into the game.

Loose forward Lachlan Crouch opened the scoring for the Knights with a try between the posts before halfback Jonah Pezet took advantage of a defensive hole and scored and converted his own try.

Nailagoliva then made a line break up the middle of the park and offloaded to a team-mate before receiving the ball back to score under the crossbar.

In the second quarter the Vodafone Warriors settled into the match with bench hooker Benaiah Ioelu controlling the game well. Vodafone Warriors forward Heneli Luani and Carlos Tarawhiti began to use their physicality to give the Warriors 16s some momentum.

2019-warriors-16s-1e.jpg


First Ellerslie hooker Ioelu crossed over close to the line before Tokoroa’s Cassius Cowley went over out wide. Francis Manuleleua’s sideline conversion brought the score back to 12-18.

The Vodafone Warriors kept the momentum going with fullback Ali Leiataua cutting inside to score between the posts again, Manuleleua levelling it up 18-18 with the conversion.

The home side continued to dominate, finishing the quarter with Ioelu darting in for his second try from short range to give his side a 24-18 advantage.

The third quarter opened with standoff Manuleleua intercepting a Pezet pass to go 90 metres to score an unconverted try in the corner.

The Knights rebounded with standoff Taj Blackman stepping inside to cross over, Pezet’s conversion leaving his side just 24-28 behind.

2019-warriors-16s-1f.jpg


On the back of some nice backline play the Knights went in again, Charlie Thompson scoring and Pezet converting from wide out for a 30-28 lead.

In an injury-interrupted final quarter, the Vodafone Warriors made a few errors before the Knights headed up field and Pezet shrugged off a tackle to seal the 36-28 victory.

Vodafone Warriors awarded their player of the day awards for the opposition to Pezet (best back) and Max Bradbury (best forward) but hooker Nailagoliva was another standout who was behind the Knights’ dominant periods in the game.

2019-warriors-16s-1c.jpg


The Newcastle Knights selected young bench hooker Ioelu (Ellerslie) and middle forward Manaia Ngataki-Matthews (Turangawaewae) as the Vodafone Warriors’ best while Luani and Tarawhiti (both Pakuranga) were dominant in the second stanza.

MATCH DETAILS

At Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

Vodafone Warriors 16s 28
(Benaiah Ioelu 2, Francis Manuleleua, Ali Leiataua, Cassius Cowley tries; Francis Manuelelua 3 goals; Cassius Cowley goal).

Newcastle Knights 16s 36 (Jonah Pezet 2, Lachlan Crouch, Noah Nailagoliva, Taj Blackman, Charlie Thompson tries; Jonah Pezet 6 goals).

Vodafone Warriors 16s
Ali Leiataua (Pakuranga Jaguars/Counties Manukau Stingrays/King’s College)
Ben Ake (Pakuranga Jaguars/St Kentigern College
Ben Peni (Papatoetoe Panthers/ Counties Manukau Stingrays)
Beniah Ioelu (Ellerslie Eagles/Akarana Falcons)
Carlos Tarawhiti (Pakuranga Jaguars/Counties Manukau Jaguars)
Cassius Cowley (c) (Pikiao/Te Arawa Rugby League/Tokoroa High School)
Fatiauma Moeahu-Leota (Waitara Bears/Mid-Central Vipers)
Francis Manuleleua (Papatoetoe Panthers/Counties-Manukau Stingrays/King’s College)
Heneli Luani (Pakuranga Jaguars/Auckland Vulcans)
Jacob Laban (Randwick Kingfishers/Awa Rugby League/Wellington Orcas)
Kyson Kingi (Northcote Togers/Westlake Boys’ High School)
Mahaki-Jay Hetet-Wairau (Taniwharau/Waikato Maori Rugby League)
Manaia Matthews-Ngataki (Turangawaewae/Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions)
Ngakohu Walker (Pikiao/Rotorua Boys’ High School)
Salesi Ataata (Pakuranga Jaguars/Counties Manukau Stingrays)
Sebastyan Jack (Marist Saints/Akarana Falcons)
Sione Vaihu (Waitemata Seagulls/Auckland Vulcans/St Paul’s College)
Stanley Iongi (Marist Saints/Auckland Vulcans/Mount Albert Grammar School)
Tamiro Armstrong (Te Arawa Rugby League/Auckland Grammar School)
Te Arahi Paraha (Riccarton Knights/Canterbury Bulls/Te Arawa Rugby League)
Tea-Rani Woodman-Tuhoro (Takahiwai Warriors/Northern Swords/Whangarei Boys’ High School)
Tome Poona (Pikiao Warriors/Rotorua Boys’ High School)
Tony Tafa (Te Atatu Roosters/Akarana Falcons/Kelston Boys’ High School)
Zion Maiuu (Te Atatu Roosters/Akarana Falcons/Kelston Boys’ High School)

 
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mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Old article but stumbled upon it when doing some research and didnt want to see it disappear forever as most articles on the Warriors site older than 3 years do. Great read and some of the names in that team are still advancing through the Warriors system while others are playing with other NRL teams like Stanley Iongi who is signed with the Raiders...
 
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Blain

Blain

I'm really interested to see what our Junior/Reserve Grade plans are now COVID is accepted as the new norm, and the boarders starting to open. Anyone have any intel?

They must have a plan penciled in.
 
Five&Last

Five&Last

Old article but stumbled upon it when doing some research and didnt want to see it disappear forever as most articles on the Warriors site older than 3 years do. Great read and some of the names in that team are still advancing through the Warriors system while others are playing with other NRL teams like Stanley Iongi who is signed with the Raiders...
I think we've done well in keeping the right ones since COVID impacted our ability to field junior teams.

The only one we should've definitely held onto (and one of our biggest fuck ups in terms of retention) is Josiah Karapani (would easily take him over Kosi and Ratuva).

The Roosters due of Naufahu Whyte and Moala Graham-Taufa slipped through the cracks.

Other than that there's not really any NZ players (aged 20 and under) in other NRL club systems that I wish we had over what we have.
 
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The Falcon

The Falcon

You would think it’s rip shit and bust next year with a Reserve grade team, a couple of juniors (Flegg + Harold Matthew’s) and possibly an NRLW team for good measure as they look to expand the amount of teams in this comp?
 
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bangbros18

bangbros18

Other then the kepu twins who will be upgraded to nrl top 30 next year, and finau, are there anymore players on development contracts this year at the warriors?
 
mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
I think we've done well in keeping the right ones since COVID impacted our ability to field junior teams.

The only one we should've definitely held onto (and one of our biggest fuck ups in terms of retention) is Josiah Karapani (would easily take him over Kosi and Ratuva).

The Roosters due of Naufahu Whyte and Moala Graham-Taufa slipped through the cracks.

Other than that there's not really any NZ players (aged 20 and under) in other NRL club systems that I wish we had over what we have.
Sometimes there isnt a thing the club can do to retain them. They just want to join another team.

Any smart parent would pack their kids up and ship them off to Australia where they can get proper development. The Warriors are very poor at developing high quality players in recent years. Last school I can think of was the class of 2008 era with Ben Matulino, Russell Packer, Kevin Locke etc. I can think of a single player that has excelled under our programs...
 
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Five&Last

Five&Last

Sometimes there isnt a thing the club can do to retain them. They just want to join another team.

Any smart parent would pack their kids up and ship them off to Australia where they can get proper development. The Warriors are very poor at developing high quality players in recent years. Last school I can think of was the class of 2008 era with Ben Matulino, Russell Packer, Kevin Locke etc. I can think of a single player that has excelled under our programs...
Agree to an extent, I also think that the Warriors have done a poor job of scouting young players and picking the right ones. Which is less to do with development.

I haven't really been impressed with any of the players the club has recruited out of school for the last 10 to 15 years apart from the 2020 SG ball class (probably a lot to do with POS) which had Vailea, Kepu's, Maiuu, Otukolo, Lleyton, Leiataua, Karapani, Asi, etc. Manuleleua was also in the squad but too young to play. And Berry also signed late the year before. So 2020 was probably the only year since I became a fan that I thought we were getting it right. With POS gone, I doubt that continues.
 
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mt.wellington

mt.wellington

Warriors Orange Peeler
Agree to an extent, I also think that the Warriors have done a poor job of scouting young players and picking the right ones. Which is less to do with development.
Like who? In the last 10 years have we let slip through the net that

a) wanted to actually sign with the club
b) would have developed exactly the same if they had stayed?

I can think of a couple in Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Isaiah Papalii...
 
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The Falcon

The Falcon

You could look at the recent young signings was the start of the reset and then COVID came.
The club had made a start on getting Flegg and H Mathews sides, importantly getting younger guys involved at the club which is key before they get into the Secondary Schools first XV system.
The invitational side that played in the 7’s this summer another sign about keeping junior talent engaged with the club.
How this plays out is anyones guess but you would have to hope it’s a positive start.
 
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snake77

snake77

Sometimes there isnt a thing the club can do to retain them. They just want to join another team.

Any smart parent would pack their kids up and ship them off to Australia where they can get proper development. The Warriors are very poor at developing high quality players in recent years. Last school I can think of was the class of 2008 era with Ben Matulino, Russell Packer, Kevin Locke etc. I can think of a single player that has excelled under our programs...
The under 20 competition being pulled has probably hurt us more than other clubs as they all have age-group sides and either a reserve side or affiliated with a club in close proximity. Since that competition was scraped we have tried Jersey Flegg sides and affiliations with other clubs. The problem is it needs to be consistent as they are often scraped or in the case of the relationship with Redcliffe needed to end due to them entering the NRL.

The under 20's competition had its faults but for the Warriors, it was a good tool for recruitment. We had a few signings because they were on TV every week which is good for exposure. I wouldn't be surprised if there is more age group union on now due to that.

Our success in that competition would have also helped attract young players. The issues in terms of development and getting ready for first grade could have been something that could have been worked on if the competition stayed around.

Back then it was more of a worry about how many of the under the 20s we keep on our books each year.
 
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Five&Last

Five&Last

Like who? In the last 10 years have we let slip through the net that

a) wanted to actually sign with the club
b) would have developed exactly the same if they had stayed?

I can think of a couple in Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Isaiah Papalii...
I mean the list of players from NZ school that have gone to Australian clubs and done well is endless, especially in the last 10 years. I can list them if you want. And thats not even taking into account young guys that have followed the professional union path that we could've had if we identified them and got them into our system, I'm sure there's plenty of them as well.

But I'm more talking about our talent identification in general, the players we had coming through our system in 2015 to 2019 might be some the most untalented young players I've seen. There's no way a recruitment manager could've looked at that and been like yup these guys are all future first graders. And thats without hindsight.
 

Ryaan

Ali Leiataua scored four tries and Eric Vaafusuaga scored one in the dophlins win against WM Manly in the Hastings Deering Colts Cup
 
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Cces

Cces

Is Lleyton Finau injured? He's had just 1 game for the Dolphins U21's & he's been no where near there Q Cup side so far.
If I'm not wrong then our 4 2021 Development players (Isaiah Vagana, Jyris Glamuzina, Taniela Otukolo & Temple Kalepo) managed to get ZERO Q Cup appearances between them in 2021. While it's good to see the Kepu's & Otukolo get some minutes already in 2022 it's a pretty insignificant partnership we have with Redcliffe. Would we have been better to align ourselves with a less ambitious club than Redcliffe?
 
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