Fresh from victory at the Oceania Rugby U20 Championship, Head Coach Craig Philpott has named the squad that will travel to France to defend the World Rugby Championship later this month.The squad is:
John Akau'ola-Laula - Auckland
Sione Asi - Manawatu
Tom Christie (Captain) - Canterbury
Rob Cobb - Auckland
Devan Flanders - Hawke's Bay
Tom Florence - Taranaki
Ricky Jackson - Otago
Tevita Mafileo - Bay of Plenty
Laghlan McWhannell - Waikato
Xavier Numia - Wellington
Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa - Auckland
Hoskins Sotutu - Auckland
Flynn Thomas - Southland
Will Tremain - Hawke's Bay
Will Tucker - Canterbury
Kaliopasi Uluilakepa - Wellington
Caleb Clarke - Auckland
Leicester Faingaanuku - Tasman
Scott Gregory - Northland
Vilimoni Koroi - Otago
Harry Plummer - Auckland
Billy Proctor - Wellington
Jay Renton - Southland
Xavier Roe - Waikato
Jamie Spowart - Tasman
Bailyn Sullivan - Waikato
Tanielu Tele'a - Auckland
Kaleb Trask - Bay of Plenty
Players not considered due to injury
Tim Farrell - Hawke's Bay
Brayden Iose - Manawatu
Will Jordan - Tasman
Bradley Slater - Taranaki
Cameron Suafoa - Auckland
Philpott said he and his assistant coaches were presented with a tough job in selecting the squad of 28.
“We have been impressed with the quality of players that have been with us throughout our camps and at the Oceania Championships which meant it wasn’t easy to narrow this group down.”
Captain Tom Christie and Blues winger Caleb Clarke return from the champion 2017 team, while at the other end of the scale there are eight players who will be eligible for selection again next year.
Experience also comes in the form of 12 players who have played at Mitre 10 Cup level and 27 of the 28 players having been involved in an Oceania Championship campaign.
“We found that a key factor to our success in 2017 was continuity so it was important to see the bulk of this squad be involved in the Oceania campaign.”
Philpott said there are strengths right across the squad.
“Laghlan McWhannell was the standout lock at Oceania and he is complemented by the two-metre duo of Will Tucker and John Akau’ola Laula. Our captain, Tom Christie, leads an exciting loose forward trio that have been absolutely tireless in their efforts on the field.
“Vilimoni Koroi adds a point of difference in the back three alongside the genuine size and speed in the likes of Caleb Clarke and Leicester Faingaanuku, we are looking forward to seeing what they can create on the field.”
New Zealand is set to face Japan, Wales and Australia in a tough pool play assignment.
“Our focus will be very much on nailing our processes game by game and expecting the unexpected.
“Against Fiji at Oceania, we had to play 60 minutes with 14 men and that was a good test of our systems and mindset."
Under 20 Highlights
• Two returning players from 2017 (Tom Christie and Caleb Clarke)
• Eight players are eligible again in 2019 (Rob Cobb, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, Devan Flanders, Kaleb Trask, Billy Proctor, Caleb Clarke, Leicester Faingaanuku and Scott Gregory)
• 12 players have already played Mitre 10 Cup
• 12 of 14 Provincial Unions represented
• Only Xavier Numia (returning from injury) didn’t play at the Oceania U20 Championship (Caleb Clarke played at the 2017 tournament)
• The World Rugby Under 20 Championship has run since 2008, with New Zealand winning six of the 10 titles
• New Zealand Players have won the Junior Player of the Year on three occasions, Luke Braid in 2008, Aaron Cruden in 2009 and Julian Savea in 2010
New Zealand Under 20 management
Head Coach - Craig Philpott
Assistant Coaches - Willie Rickards, David Hill
Scrum Coach - Dave Hewett
Manager - Martyn Vercoe
Doctor - James Bishop
Physiotherapist - Karl Houltham
S&C Coach - Scott Pinfold
Performance Analyst - Doug Neilson
New Zealand Under 20 schedule (matches will be broadcast live on TVNZ Duke & streamed live on tvnz.co.nz)
New Zealand v Japan
Thursday 31 May
New Zealand v Wales
Monday 4 June
New Zealand v Australia
Friday 8 June
Taranaki’s Tiana Davison has known rugby all her life.
“I started playing rugby when I was three. Mum and dad took my up the club and I got out there and went from there.”
Both her parents played the game and her father played representative schools rugby in Australia. Her younger sister is also lacing up the rugby boots now too.
So it was with immense pride that Tiana donned the coveted black jersey recently to represent New Zealand at the Oceania U18 Sevens Championship tournament in Sydney.
New Zealand beat Australia 21-7 in the final, which qualifies them to compete at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, in Argentina later this year – pending the NZOC’s approval for the team to participate.
Needless to say, Tiana and her teammates are jumping at that opportunity, should it arise.
The Oceania tournament was supposed to be a five-team event, but Samoa and Papua New Guinea were late withdrawals. So it turned into a tri-series between New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.
Tiana, who is year 13 at Sacred Heart Girls' College, New Plymouth, explained the trip.
“We started with a camp in Auckland before flying to Sydney. We played Fiji and Australia twice over two days and then played Australia in the final. We won all games except the second one against Australia.”
Tiana started four of the five games and was rested in the second Fiji game.
Tiana plays as a working prop in sevens rugby and as a flanker or No.8 in 15s.
Prior to that she captained her Sacred Heart team to ninth in last year’s Condor’s Sevens tournament and was selected in the Tournament Team and then made the New Zealand U17s that contested the second annual World Schools Tournament the following week.
“After playing for the U17s I was hoping I would have a good shot of making this year’s U18 team, but I thought that I actually didn’t trial as well as I probably should have – but I guess things like hard work and fitness shone through and made up for that a bit.”
This dedication and work ethic by Tiana has been praised elsewhere, not least by the coaches at the Taranaki Women’s Academy she is also a key part of.
“I certainly wasn’t expected to be selected for the U18s, but when it came it was awesome,” said the former Taranaki age group and current Taranaki Women’s 7s player.
Tiana and back Iritana Hohaia from Opunake High School were the two Taranaki players in the U18s side that recently won in Australia.
Now back at home, Tiana hopes to play some school 15s rugby coming up over the winter, as well as club rugby.
Tiana and several other schoolgirls from Scared Heart College and New Plymouth Girls’ High School, and one other from Inglewood High School, play club rugby for Clifton. This year there’s a three-team competition, also involving Southern and Coastal and they play on Friday nights.
Taranaki also hopes to re-enter the Women’s NPC Farah Palmer Cup this year after a five-year absence.
Rugby is Tiana’s main sport. “Rugby is mostly it, but I also play basketball and a little bit of Touch in the summer.”
Back at school, Tiana is one of two sports prefects at Sacred Heart - alongside national champion middle distance track and cross country runner Hannah O'Connor.
What’s coming up next year? “I am looking at going to Massey University in Palmerston North and studying something like Sports Management.”
First XV rugby is back in action across the country with the Hurricanes region pre-season Tranzit 1st XV Festival kicking off in Masterton this weekend, as well as the Auckland, North Harbour and Crusaders regions competitions where Nelson College defended the Moascar Cup on Saturday.
Tranzit 1st XV Festival
By Blair Mockett
Yesterday saw Palmerston North Boys’ High School run out 57-20 winners over Wellington rivals, Wellington College.
Wellington College managed to grab a good start with winger Reuben Puck going over to give his side the early lead.
Palmerston North Boys’ High would respond strongly with their winger Korie Winters going over in the corner to level the scores.
They would then pile on the points, firstly with No. 8 Tamati Ruawai picking up from the base of the scrum to score.
And then within the space of five minutes center Chance Malu and halfback Bryn Wilson bagged a try each to create a 21 point lead.
Wellington College managed to hit back with Number 8 Flynn Crampton scoring his team's second try with five minutes before halftime.
It would be in vain however as Tamati Ruawai grabbed his double to give his team a 31-10 lead heading into halftime.
Hopes of a comeback in the second half for Wellington College were sparked when tighthead prop Geordie Bean crossed over to make it a 16 point ball game.
Palmerston Boys’ High School would not be denied however with Bryn Wilson Grabbing his double ten minutes later and replacement Bryn Gordon charging down a kick to run nearly 40 metres to score.
With five minutes to go Palmerston North Boys’ High Openside flanker Ethan Johansen scored from a pick and go after fly half Stewart Cruden came close from the scrum.
Stewart Cruden would manage to score however, crossing over from short range to bring the score past fifty.
Wellington College would, however, grab a late consolation try with center Frank Coop catching the defence napping to run away to score.
The final score of that game 57-20 to Palmerston North Boys’ High School.
Palmerston North Boys High School Head Blair Van Stipriaan is happy with the result from his team but says there is still room for improvement.
“We really happy with what we were doing on attack but we left some points out there just through some un-clinical execution” Said Van Stipriaan.
“The danger from when you come away from a game like this is that you think sweet we are done, we score 40 so we must be alright, We know what’s coming we know the super 8 is what it is and so we gotta be really accurate at that time”
“Wellington College is a traditional exchange for us and to win in the first instance is confidence building and to get that score line is pretty handy for us too”.
Wellington College coach Lincoln Rawles was disappointed with the result but says there were still positives to take away from the game.
"At the end, there wasn't enough consistency in they play, we scored 20 points but then we'd switch off so they just need to stay focused for longer periods of time", Said Rawles.
“They still got their four tries, they played to their structures they scored the points so they’ve got to take that away from the game”.
In other results of the Tranzit Coachlines, 1st XV festival saw Scots College beat Gisborne Boys’ High School 31-22, St Pats Town beat Rathkeale 33-17 and Napier Boys High School defeating St Pat’s Silverstream 40-22.
Palmerston North Boys’ High School: 57
Tries: Korie Winters, 2 Tamati Ruawai, Chance Malu, 2 Bryn Wilson, Bryn Gordon, Ethan Johansen, Stewart Cruden. Con: 5 Stewart Cruden, Jayden Keelan
Wellington College: 20
Tries: Reuben Puck, Flynn Crampton, Geordie Bean, Frank Coop.
Half time: 31-10
Wellington 1st XV Premiership grading also kicked off this weekend with Rongotai defeating Hutt International Boys School 29-20, Wairarapa College thumping Tawa College 45-5, Porirua College beating Hutt Valley High School 19-12, Aotea beating Onslow 31-12, Naenae College winning over Mana 37-24, Upper Hutt smashing Bishop Viard 48-0, Wainuiomata defeating Taita 29-20, Kapiti defeating St Bernard's 30-14, Paraparaumu defeating Wellington Collge 2nd 22-10 and St Pats Town 2nd beating Silverstream 2nd 22-7.
Nelson College defend Moascar Cup
Had St Andrew’s College scored in the 45th minute of their Moascar Cup challenge against Nelson College the result might have been very different.
Ahead 12-10, the challengers were within metres of scoring a third try, but a timely intercept by Nelson captain Anton Segner sparked a length of the field counter-attack which was finished with a storming run by No.8 Isiah Malaula.
Five minutes later Nelson’s inspirational openside caught St Andrew’s out of position with a quick tap and burrowed over for his second try to blow the game wide open.
Malaula (with a storming 40-metre charge) and Segner (brushing aside meek defence from a five-metre scrum) would both complete personal hat-trick’s as Nelson collected a UC Championship bonus point.
Earlier St Andrew’s made an encouraging start and anchored inside the Nelson 22 for the opening ten minutes. The breakthrough came from a charge down which bounced favourably for wing Angus Gilbert.
In the 11th minute St Andrew’s lost openside Jack Stokes to the sin bin for a cynical infringement and conceded their first points when Senger muscled over.
St Andrew’s quickly reground and in the 28th minute Gilbert scored for a second time when he severed around his marker and dashed 40-metres.
It was a good spectacle with both teams looking to play expansively, but Nelson’s ability to punish turnovers and break tackles with their forward carriers in the last quarter was ultimately telling. Segener’s display was one of the best in the entire history of the program which started in 2010.
Over in Blenheim, Marlborough Boys’ College beat Mid Canterbury Combined 65-28, while in Christchurch, St Thomas’ beat the third Tasman side, Waimea Combined 44-10.
CBHS beat Aoraki Combined 57-7 and Christ’s College defeated Shirley Boys’ High School, while St Bede’s edged Timaru Boys’ High School 12-7 and Rangiora High School pipped Lincoln Combined 13-12.
New Zealand Under-20s beat Australia
On the Gold Coast the New Zealand U20s won the Oceania Under-20 title on Saturday night with a resounding 43-28 victory over Australia. New Zealand conceded the first try after ten minutes when the hosts snatched an intercept, but New Zealand regrouped and led 24-7 at halftime.
Despite being dominated in the scrums, New Zealand’s superior finishing outside was telling, stretching to 43-14 before Australia gamley scored two consolation tries.
New Zealand Under-20: 43 (Ricky Jackson 2; Tom Christie, Leicester Faingaanuku, Jay Renton, Tom Christie tries; Harry Plummer 5 con, pen) Australia Under-20: 28 (Josh Kemeny, Tate McDermott, Mack Hanson, Matt McTaggert tries; Ryan Lonergan con, Isaac Lucas 3 con). HT: 24-7.
The New Zealand Under 20 team will be looking to retain the Oceania Championship title tomorrow when they face Australia in the final match of the 2018 tournament at Bond University tomorrow, kick off 9pm (NZT)
The team is;
1. Robert Cobb - Auckland
2. Ricky Jackson - Otago
3. Tevita Mafileo - Bay of Plenty
4. Laghlan McWhannell - Waikato
5. Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa - Auckland
6. Tom Florence - Taranaki
7. Tom Christie - Canterbury
8. Devan Flanders - Hawke's Bay
9. Jay Renton - Southland
10. Kaleb Trask - Bay of Plenty
11. Leicester Faingaanuku - Tasman
12. Harry Plummer - Auckland
13. Tanielu Tele'a - Auckland
14. Jamie Spowart - Tasman
15. Vilimoni Koroi - Otago
16. Flynn Thomas - Southland
17. Sione Asi - Manawatu
18. Kaliopasi Uluilakepa - Wellington
19. John Akau'ola-Laula - Auckland
20. William Tremain - Hawke's Bay
21. Carlos Price - Wellington
22. Ciarahn Matoe - Taranaki
23. Ngane Punivai - Canterbury
Coach Craig Philpott said his team are expecting a big challenge from the home team.
“We know Australia will be physical at the breakdown and bring real line speed. They have a big pack so will provide a challenge there and we haven’t been tested too much on defence – that will change tomorrow.”
Philpott said this match will prove to be a curtain raiser for when the two teams meet at the World Championship in a months’ time.
“We’ll be finding out each other’s strengths and weaknesses but at the same time you don’t want to show everything.”
Tevita Mafileo, Jay Renton and Vilimoni Koroi all earn their first starts, with sevens-star Koroi set to be an exciting prospect from fullback.
“Vili has a great skillset, he’s a counter-attack player and can read defence and create opportunities for himself and others.”
Depth at first five-eighth sees Kaleb Trask take the 10 jersey, while Harry Plummer starts at second five-eighth and Ciarahn Matoe expected to add impact from the bench.
Tom Christie will lead the team from the openside, combining with Tom Florence and Devan Flanders to form a strong loose forward trio.
Schedule for Oceania Under 20 Championship:
Friday 27 April v Tonga – WIN 97-0
Tuesday 1 May v Fiji, 5.00pm – WIN 55-15
Saturday 5 May v Australia, 9.00pm NZT
Watch the Oceania Under 20 Championship
This match will be live streamed on http://www.rugby.com.au/and the Oceania Rugby facebook page.
With 14 players for an hour, New Zealand has thrashed Fiji 55-15 in their second Oceania Rugby U20s Championship match on the Gold Coast.
In the 19th minute New Zealand lost Wellington centre Billy Proctor who was red carded for a dangerous tackle on his opposite. Ilkena Vudogo leapt for the ball and collided into a Proctor tackle at the same time, tumbling dangerously and winning a penalty which terminated Proctor’s participation.
Initially Proctor had been a catalyst in New Zealand’s first try when he shrugged aside a crowd of Fijian defenders to spark a forwards attack inside the Fijian 22 which was finished by halfback Xavier Roe. Roe impressed with his distribution and urgency.
New Zealand openside Will Tremain was equally busy and in the 15th minute he strided 40-metres after a poor Fijian clearance allowed New Zealand to open up the left side of the defence.
Playing into a stiff first-half breeze, New Zealand lacked the fluency of Friday. It took almost 15 minutes after Proctor’s dismissal for the next try to be scored, prop Sione Asi bumping over from close range.
Fiji enjoyed an edge in territory and won scrum three penalties. However the only points they had to show for their endeavour was a Nabetelevu Turanganivalu penalty after Sefanaia Rabuka busted from an errant lineout tap and caught the Kiwis offside.
New Zealand struck a purple patch early in the second-half with three tries in ten minutes. A Roe charge down was collected by Devan Flanders. Tanielu Tele’a outpaced the cover defense after a quick tap by Roe and then Ngatungane Punivai strolled in following polished handling by both forwards and backs.
Down 36-3, Fiji regrouped and enjoyed their best passage of the match crossing the chalk in the 58th and 66th minutes. Fullback Joseph Mar slipped through and supplied Vudogo before Lekima Nasamila muscled through from a five-metre scrum.
New Zealand was able to empty the bench and the desired impact followed with a Jay Renton box kick being rundown by Jamie Spowart and captain Harry Plummer collecting a brace in the last ten minutes. Plummer’s first try was from a routine scrum move while the final finish would have an impressed an Olympic gymnast. Plummer was rapidly heading into touch, but transferred the ball while in the air and grounded between his legs before going out.
No.8 Samisoni Rabuka was the best of the Fijian’s remaining busy and bustling throughout. Will Tucker was equally abrasive for New Zealand and Plummer after missing all three conversions in the first-half found his range in the second to end with a personal haul of 20 points.
New Zealand plays Australia in their final fixture on Saturday.
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