First loss in four seasons for NZ Barbarians Schools
The NZ Barbarians Schools had an historic first encounter with NZ Schoolsand, in what proved to be a dramatic climax to the clash, lost 18-20 in the final minute, thus incurring their first loss in four seasons since inception in 2012.
In a very physical affair, it was only a late, contentious, try to No 10 Josh McKay that gave NZ Schools the win over their supposedly second tier counterparts at Palmerston North BHS.
A try to NZ Schools wing TJ Vaega gave his side a 5-3 lead at halftime, but the Barbarians made them work even harder in the second stanza with two tries to hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho and wing Freedom Vaha’akolo.
Several of the Barbarians players were called into the NZ Schools due to injury, either for this match or the subsequent three-match tour of Australia.
Three front-rowers returned from the 2014 NZ Barbarians Schools: props Antonio Ripata and Sione Asi and hooker Samisoni Taukei’aho.
Fullback Stephen Perofeta of Wanganui Collegiate had already played in the Heartland Championship for Wanganui.
First five Tiaan Falcon is the son of former Magpies No 8 Gordon Falcon, midfielder James Little is the nephew of Barbarian Walter Little, lock Isitolo Maka is the nephew of the former All Black of the same name, and fellow second-rower Jacob Pierce is the son of Barbarian Scott Pierce.
The following is a first-hand account from President Bryan ‘Beegee’ Williams of his impressions of the match and the team:
“I must say it was a special 24 hours for me. The culture built up by the management team was exceptional and I have been around many teams. Darren Larsen (Lardy) has done his homework on Maoritanga. Last night’s jersey presentation was very emotional and I was privileged to be part of it. Garry Chronican (NZSSRU chairman) was also there as were a number of parents. Today the boys played with huge spirit and led with only three minutes to go. We were in the attacking zone and were awarded a penalty advantage. The boys played on as they were on top. The ref apparently called ‘advantage over’, the ball popped out the side and they went 70 metres to score. Unbelievable! When I left to come back to Auckland, the boys gathered and did a hugely powerful haka for me. It brought tears to my eyes. We are here to stay in this space. They embraced the true Barbarian spirit.”
September 19, Palmerston North BHS
NZ Schools 20 (TJ Vaega, Joshua Buchan, Joshua McKay tries; Wiseguy Faiane con, pen)
NZ Barbarians Schools 18 (Samasoni Taukei’aho, Freedom Vaha’akolo tries; Thomas Stewart con, pen, Tiaan Falcon pen) Halftime: 5-3 NZ Schools
2015 NZ Barbarians Schools squad:
Sam Toa (Hamilton BHS)
Stephen Perofeta (Wanganui Collegiate)
Antonio Mikaele-Tu’u (Hastings BHS)
Jona Nareki (Feilding HS)
Freedom Vaha’akolo (Auckland Grammar)
James Little (Takapuna Grammar)
Raymond Nu’u (St Andrew’s) *
Bailyn Sullivan (King’s) *
Tiaan Falcon (Lindisfarne)
Ciarahn Matoe (King’s)
Thomas Stewart (Feilding HS)
Melino Fineanganofo (Auckland Grammar) #
Joshua Brown (St Pat’s Silverstream)
Thomas Christie (Shirley BHS, vc) +
Brayden Iose (Palmerston North BHS)
Ajay Mua (King’s)
Isitolo Maka (Sacred Heart)
Jacob Pierce (Rosmini)
Ben Sau (De La Salle)
Sione Asi (Otago BHS)
Ryan Coxon (St Peter’s, Cambridge)
Tim Farrell (Napier BHS)
Antonio Ripata (Auckland Grammar, c)
Samisoni Taukei’aho (St Paul’s Collegiate) +
Flynn Thomas (Southland BHS) +
Coach: Darren Larsen
*Midfielders Bailyn Sullivan and Ray Nu’u were both called into the NZ Schools to cover injury for the game against NZ Barbarians Schools. Centre Hemaua Samisoni of Otago BHS came into the Barbarians as midfield cover.
#Halfback Melino Fineanganofo withdrew due to injury and was replaced by Lewis Gjaltema of Orewa College.
+Thomas Christie, Samisoni Taukei’aho and Flynn Thomas were all called into the NZ Schools side for their tour to Australia.
Area Schools competitive in defeat
The New Zealand Barbarians Area Schools, in their third year under the Barbarians’ club banner, gave a resolute display before falling 43-7 to a slick Waikato Harlequins Under 18s in their annual fixture on August 29.
Played at Fred Jones Park, home of the Hamilton Old Boys club, right next to Waikato Stadium, the Area Schools started strongly with some solid carries and go-forward.
The 2015 NZ Barbarians Area Schools
The team showed spirit in attempting to break down the Harlequins’ defence but the latterwere again a slick operation, capitalising on Barbarians mistakes and taking the lead after 15minutes. The score was 17-0 at the halftime break.
The second half saw the Harlequins step up another notch, but the Area Schools tried to hold firm. Midway through the second half, centre Roera Hartley, determined with ball in hand and with strong leg drive, carried the ball over the tryline for the first and only try for the Area Schools, converted by second five Jayden Tegg.
The squad had a hitout two days beforehand against a strong Hamilton Boys’ High School XV after Thames Valley Under 18s were a late withdrawal from a planned practice match. The clash was an invaluable exercise and the boys were exposed to some high quality schools footy.
||Barbarians club President Bryan ‘Beegee’ Williams,
left, with new Barbarian and outgoing
Area Schools coach Bob Telfer
Barbarians President Bryan ‘Beegee’ Williams presented the team with their scarlet Barbarians jerseys prior to the big game on Saturday.
Captain of the 2015 NZ Barbarians Area Schools was Fabyan Kahaki from East Coast’s Ngata Memorial College, and vice-captain was Manaia Nyman, also of the East Coast, from Te Whanau Apanui.
The team and management, along with the NZ Barbarians Area Schools, wish to sincerely thank Bob Telfer, departing head coach and new Barbarians member, who took the NZ Area Schools from 2000-2012, and the NZ Barbarians Area Schools rugby from 2013-15. Bob’s continued support and coaching contribution to NZ Area Schools rugby will be missed.
*The Area Schools are chosen from the top players in some of the smaller, often rural areas of New Zealand, who do not get the chance to play in the top, higher profile First XV competitions.
This side was chosen out of a national July tournament in Whanganui, won by Central Area Schools. It was fitting, therefore, that there were 10 players chosen out of the central region, including no less than five from the East Coast. There were plenty of hidden gems in this group. Ones to watch were hooker Raniera Whakataka, wing James Williams, who has already been to a Chiefs Under 18 camp, halfback Jordan Wallden, who has represented Counties Manukau at age grade level, utility back Rayven Son Betham Ngapo, and speedy wing ‘Bruno’ Vitata, who is of Papua New Guinea background.
Centre and tryscorer Roera Hartley on the charge for the
NZ Barbarians Area Schools
Six were returning from the 2014 side, keen to reverse the 68-0 drubbing at the hands of a slick Harlequins. But the Area Schools did win the fixture 12-6 in 2013, their first win in several seasons. They had just five days together, so the challenge was, as ever, gelling them swiftly.
The Barbarians club sponsor the team, having succeeded the NZ Rugby Foundation in 2013.
August 29 (Fred Jones Park, Hamilton): Waikato Harlequins U17 43beat NZ Barbarians Area Schools 7(Hartley try; Tegg con) Halftime: 17-0 Harlequins
The full squad was:
Cyrus Broughton (Taipa Area School, Northland)
Ilai Arona (Abundant Christian Life School, Northland)
Jordan Wallden (Onewhero Area School, Counties Manukau)
Reiki Ruawai (Raglan Area School, Waikato)
Rayven Son Betham Ngapo (Manaia Area School, Thames Valley)
Rhys Middleton (Whangamata Area School, Thames Valley)
Jayden Tegg (Mercury Bay Area School, Thames Valley)
Stormi Jones (Mercury Bay Area School, Thames Valley)
Teina Kirikiri (Ngata Memorial College, East Coast)
Fabyan Kahaki (Ngata Memorial College, East Coast, c)
Charles Ngamoki (Te Whanau Apanui, East Coast)
Manaia Nyman (Te Whanau Apanui, East Coast)
Raniera Whakataka (Uawa/Tolaga Bay Area School, East Coast)
Roera Hartley (Tongariro Area School, King Country)
James Williams (Tongariro Area School, King Country)
Eliuda ‘Bruno’ Vitata (Taihape Area School, Wanganui)
Anthony Hansen (Taihape Area School, Wanganui)
Jachai Graham (Patea Area School, Taranaki)
Jonathan Nikolaison (Cheviot Area School, Canterbury)
Marcus White (Hurunui Area School, Canterbury)
Jonty McKinnel (Roxburgh Area School, Otago)
*Original selection Luke Cunningham of Mercury Bay Area School was replaced at lock by Mitchell Davies-Savage of Coromandel Area School.
Coach: Bob Telfer
Assistant coach: Justin Marsh
Manager: Mike Smith
Smart Baabaas scalp Maori
The jubilant NZ Barbarians team.
NZ Barbarians 34
15 Andrew Horrell (1)
14 Cory Jane (2)
13 Seta Tamanivalu
12 George Moala
11 Patrick Osborne
10 Tom Taylor
9 Mitch Drummond (3)
8 Luke Whitelock (4)
7 Blake Gibson
6 Brad Shields (c)
5 Dominic Bird
4 Alex Ainley (5)
3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi (6)
2 Liam Coltman (7)
1 Mitchell Graham (8)
1 Ihaia West
2 Richard Buckman
3 Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi
4 Jordan Taufua
5 Mark Reddish
6 Ben Tameifuna
7 James Parsons
8 Reg Goodes
Tries: Gibson, Drummond, Tamanivalu, Osborne, Taylor
Cons: Taylor (3)
Maori All Blacks 17
15 Damian McKenzie
14 Rieko Ioane
13 Sean Wainui
12 Charlie Ngatai (c)
11 Matt Proctor (1)
10 Marty McKenzie (2)
9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow (3)
8 Elliot Dixon
7 Mitch Crosswell (4)
6 Blade Thomson
5 Hayden Triggs
4 Joe Wheeler (5)
3 Brendon Edmonds (6)
2 Ash Dixon (7)
1 Joe Moody (8)
1 Codey Rei
2 Otere Black
3 Brad Weber
4 Joe Edwards
5 Akira Ioane
6 Marcel Renata
7 Quentin MacDonald
8 Joe Royal
Tries: D McKenzie, Rei
Cons: M McKenzie, Black
Pen: M McKenzie
Saturday July 18 at Eden Park, Auckland, 7.35pm
Ref: Kane McBride (Canterbury) Crowd: 5132 HT: 15-3 Barbarians
By Campbell Burnes at Eden Park
In their first big outing in five years, the New Zealand Barbarians did themselves and their club proud with a tremendous allround effort to defeat the Maori All Blacks.
It was the Barbarians’ first win against the Maori in a match granted full first-class status and was founded on a physical approach at the breakdown and adherence to a simple game plan.
The only pity was that only just over 5000 turned up at the home of rugby to witness a display that will surely give the powers that be in New Zealand Rugby food for thought that this team deserves more prominent fixtures. That small crowd figure can be put down to the rain that swept Auckland on the day.
The Barbarians were back on Eden Park for the first time since 1985, while it had been a good quarter of a century since the Maori had graced the ground.
Lock Joe Wheeler was shifted, five days out, from the Barbarians squad to the Maori to bolster an injury-hit group. The Barbarians’ preparation was relaxed but clear-headed, and the side visited the clubrooms on the Tuesday night to soak up the history and ambiance of the club.
Perhaps spurred on by the challenge of the Maori haka, which they accepted as a tight group, the Barbarians made a rousing start, controlling no less than 95 percent of the field position in the opening 30 minutes. That they led just 15-3 can be attributed to some staunch Maori defence.
Blake Gibson, who again showed his quality and potential as a loose forward, crossed the line off a lineout drive, but was held up. Then followed skipper Brad Shields, who lost the ball in the tackle, and Ofa Tu’ungafasi, who ran into Shields. The Barbarians pack had the bit between their collective teeth and were controlling the tempo.
Luke Whitelock, seven days after a run for the World XV in Cape Town, had one of his better games, as did Andrew Horrell, another World XVer, from fullback. Alex Ainley, as he had done for the Highlanders, got through a power of work and won his lineout ball.
The pressure had to tell, and it did at 24 minutes when Gibson speared over in the face of some passive defence off a quick tap by Mitch Drummond. The halfback was over four minutes later, darting in from close range. At 15-3, the Baabaas were in control, playing smart, uncluttered footy, not trying to be too expansive in the slippery conditions, but keeping it in hand when required. The Crusaders halves Drummond and Tom Taylor, who had not started at No 10 since the 2014 ITM Cup, dictated.
As expected, the Maori gave a response in the third quarter, securing more ball and playing with more urgency. Damian McKenzie, who had a mixed night, scored off a nice, long pass by his brother Marty. Seta Tamanivalu had come out of the line for the intercept but he made up for it with a sizzling 40m solo try, evoking memories of his stellar 2014 ITM Cup with Taranaki. The game was effectively sealed at 27-10 after Patrick Osborne scored out wide off some very good lead-up work by the Barbarians. A Codey Rei try may have lifted Maori hopes, but the Barbarians finished with a wet sail, Ben Tameifuna nearly crossing in the corner and then Richard Buckman uncorking a brilliant offload for Taylor to put the exclamation point on a tremendous display from 1-23. That score had come from a seldom seen wall tap move.
The sole dampener for the Barbarians was an ankle injury sustained by Cory Jane, who was looking good to that point. Thankfully, it was not too serious.
In general, the Barbarians showed far more cohesion than the Maori. They controlled the tempo, the ball and the field position and never overplayed their hand.
With less than five days’ preparation, the coaching staff of Scott McLeod, Paul Feeney and Craig Philpott pulled all the right strings and struck that fine balance between relaxation and focus with this talented group, several of whom were on the cusp of All Blacks’ selection.
Barbarian members Melodie Robinson and Kees Meeuws helped call the match for SKY TV.
By Campbell Burnes, October 2014
The NZ Barbarians Schools side made it a 5-0 record over
three seasons after their two latest internationals in Porirua
earlier this month.
A merited 39-21 win over Australian Schools, who played almost
all the clash with 14 men, was followed by a tight 22-16 victory
over a resurgent Fijian Schools to maintain their spotless
record and once more fully justifying the existence of this
team, which is sponsored by the club.
Head coach Darren Larsen, who also guides the Hurricanes
Development XV, along with assistant Ryan Martin, the coach
of Otago Boys' High First XV, assembled a strong squad after
the NZ Schools had taken the first pick.
Wing Luther Hirini, who had impressed in the national co-ed
Top 4 tournament in Rotorua with the Feilding High First XV,
was called in as cover for Jarrod Adams, who was not fit for
the first game. Hirini is the son of Horowhenua Kapiti legend,
all-time leading tryscorer and appearance leader, Paul Hirini.
In sparkling conditions on September 30 at Porirua Park,
the NZ Barbarians Schools kicked off the international programme
in the best possible style with a five tries to two victory.
Captain Tom Hardy, the hooker from King's College, called
for "typical Barbarian rugby" and his side duly
delivered after a stirring haka.
In fairness, the outcome of the game was virtually decided
in just the fourth minute when Australian No 10 Jordan Jackson-Hope
was red-carded for a very dangerous tackle on Barbarians halfback
The Barbarians then ripped into their work, leading 20-9
at the break. First five D'Angelo Leuila showed fine stepping
ability to notch the first try and he slotted six from six
off the tee in an accomplished display.
The pack warmed to their task, with No 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu'u
to the fore with some prominent surges. A nice move, featuring
a miss pass, a double-round and good hands saw wing Losi Filipo
score. Leuila combined well with his second five Alex Nankivell,
while Isaia Walker-Leawere asserted himself in the lineouts.
Australia fought back gallantly in the second spell, scoring
tries through fullback Jordan Fulivai and halfback Hamish
Goddard. But the Barbarians scored three slick tries of their
own to fullback and vice-captain Caleb Makene, wing Shelford
Murray (off a chip by replacement halfback Lisati Milo-Harris),
and lock Paripari Parkinson, who plonked the ball down after
good phase play.
On hand were Barbarians president Bryan Williams, committee
member Ron Williams and new member Dave Rennie, while member
Keith Quinn called the game for TV.
NZ Schools hammered Fijian Schools 58-0 with 10 tries.
In their second fixture against Fijian Schools, the Barbarians
had to work harder for the entire match. Makene had been promoted
to the NZ Schools bench and Murray took the No 15 jersey.
He scored the opening try too, a superb effort from a two
double three move where No 12 Alex Nankivell did all the right
things to manipulate space. The Fijians presented a solid
scrum and in wing Edward Sawailu they had one of the game's
most dangerous backs. The Barbarians scored another two nicely-taken
tries to Murray and Jarrod Adams off slick hands and passing
before heavy rain hit just before fulltime. They would have
been relieved when the referee finally blew no-side.
On hand were Bryan Williams (and his wife Lesley) along with
Barbarians Terry Horne, Murray Mexted and Dave Loveridge,
who presented the jerseys.
The NZ Barbarians Schools again did the jersey proud. They
had real depth in certain positions, such as halfback and
openside flanker, and many of them would not have been out
of place in the top NZ Schools side. They scored some slick
tries which showed their cohesion and good coaching.
We look forward to the continuation of this programme in
The NZ Barbarians Schools squad of 23 was:
Antonio Ripata (prop, Auckland Grammar School)
Alex Nankivell (midfielder, Christchurch Boys' High School)
Tui Samuelu (midfielder, Christchurch Boys' High School)
Fin Hoeata (lock, Dilworth School)
Isaia Walker-Leawere (lock, Gisborne Boys' High School)
Jahrome Brown (loose forward, Hamilton Boys' High School)
Mason Kean (prop, Hastings Boys' High School)
Marino Mikaele-Tu'u (loose forward, Hastings Boys' High School)
Tom Hardy (hooker, King's College)
Shelford Murray (wing, King's College)
Caleb Makene (utility back, Napier Boys' High School)
Sione Asi (prop, Otago Boys' High School)
Matt Heffernan (loose forward, Otago Boys' High School)
D'Angelo Leuila (first five, Papatoetoe High School)
Sam Tufuga (prop, Rathkeale College)
Daniel Lee (midfielder, Rosmini College)
Liam Howley (halfback, Southland Boys' High School)
Paripari Parkinson (lock, St Kentigern College)
*Jarrod Adams (wing, St Patrick's Silverstream)
Losi Filipo (wing, St Patrick's Silverstream)
Samisoni Taukei'aho (hooker, St Paul's Collegiate)
Lisati Milo-Harris (halfback, St Peter's College)
Brendan Bond (loose forward, Westlake Boys' High School)
*Adams was injured for the opening game and replaced by Luther
Hirini of Feilding High School.
September 30, Porirua Park:
NZ Barbarians Schools 39 (D'Angelo Leuila, Losi Filipo,
Caleb Makene, Sheldon Murray, Paripari Parkinson tries; Leuila
4 con, 2 pen) Australian Schools 21 (Jordan Fulivai,
Harrison Goddard tries; Goddard con, 3 pen) Halftime: 20-9
NZ Schools 58 (Hapakuki Moala-Liava'a 2, Rieko Ioane
2, Lui Okeamoa-Luamanu, Sam Nock, Alex Fidow, Malo Tuitama,
Jonah Lowe, Jordan Trainor tries; Trainor 4 con) Fiji Schools
0 Halftime: 31-0 NZ Schools
October 4, Porirua Park:
NZ Schools 34 (Sam Nock 2, Jonah Lowe, Patelesio Tomkinson
tries; Jordan Trainor 4 con, 2 pen) Australian Schools
24 (Izaia Perese, Connor Moroney, Gavin Luka tries; Hamish
Goddard 3 con, pen) HT: 17-0 NZ Schools
NZ Barbarians Schools 22 (Shelford Murray 2, Jarrod
Adams tries; D'Angelo Leuila 2 con, pen) Fijian Schools
16 (Edward Sawailu, Jona Tuva tries; Manasa Mataele pen,
Sefo Toga pen) HT: 7-6 NZ Barbarians Schools
NZ Barbarians Schools gel swiftly
It was a whirlwind 48 hours for the 2013 NZ Barbarians Schools.
In their second year of existence, this top schoolboy side
remained unbeaten with a solid 37-19 victory over a strong
Auckland Schools Under 18 selection at the famous 'Birdcage',
home of St Peter's College.
It appeared that the rugby fates were conspiring against
coaches Dave Dillon and Darren Larsen as they prepared their
charges at the Millennium Institute on the North Shore on
the Friday-Sunday of Labour Weekend.
They had already dealt with the relatively late withdrawal
of one player, and then had to cope with three injuries -
to Lindisfarne College loosie Hugh Renton, Southland BHS halfback
Liam Howley and Naenae College outside back Fereti Soloa.
Two were called in - Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi of Rotorua BHS
and Jordan Jackett of Sacred Heart College.
There was time for just one full training session on the
Friday and a heap of information to be processed before the
Saturday afternoon match. Bryan Williams presented the jerseys
to the team.
Played in superbly fine conditions before a decent crowd
that included several Barbarians, Tana Umaga among them, the
NZ Barbarians Schools looked to use plenty of width and scored
some fine tries. Fullback Jordan Trainor, on his home turf,
had a field day, racking up 22 points via his boot and a try.
Man of the match was openside flanker Mungo Mason of Tauranga
Boys' College, but there were sterling performances by hooker
Seko Pole of Otago BHS, who was unlucky to miss full NZ Schools
selection, and wing Fletcher Matthews of Waimea College. The
side was well led by No 6 James Blackwell of Wellington College,
who has enjoyed a tremendous season for his First XV, much
of it captured by the TV cameras. Five-eighths Daniel Hollinshead
of Tauranga Boys' College was the vice-captain. An interesting
player was lock Fin Hoeata, brother of former All Black Jarrad
Hoeata. He was the only player chosen from Dilworth College,
winner of Auckland's 1B competition. The game lost some shape
in the middle stages and the set-piece spluttered near the
end when changes were made, but overall it was a pleasing
Though time constraints meant the squad never got to check
out the Barbarians clubrooms at Eden Park, they did soak up
plenty of rugby knowledge at an All Blacks training session
the next day. Aaron Cruden and Sam Cane took part in a Q and
A with the boys.
"They were awesome with the boys as two of the younger
members of the All Blacks, and they were where these guys
were just a few years ago," says Dillon.
Then followed a 90 minute skills session with All Blacks
assistant Mick Byrne, focusing on passing, running lines and
tackle technique. The boys took plenty out of that before
watching the All Blacks train before they flew out for Japan.
There looks to be a fuller programme for this team, which
plays in the Barbarian scarlet, for 2014. A quadrangular with
NZ Schools, Australian Schools and Fijian Schools is in the
offing for September/October, to be hosted by the Hurricanes
region. Dillon hopes to be involved again, though he is stepping
down as First XV coach at Sacred Heart College to take up
a player development role at the Chiefs. Dillon was assistant
to Mark Vincent with this Barbarians side last year, where
it made such a fine impression. Larsen has coached Hurricanes
Schools and is involved with Wellington's Petone club.
October 26 (St Peter's College, Auckland): NZ Barbarians
Schools 37 (Tries: Tallis Karaitiana, Jordan Trainor,
Sio Tomkinson, Fin Hart-Strawbridge; Cons: Trainor 4; Pens:
Trainor 3) beat Auckland Schools XV 19
The 2013 NZ Barbarians Schools squad
Lock Jack Sherratt and captain/loose
forward James Blackwell clean out, flanker Mungo Mason
is on the ground with No 8 Tallis Karaitiana ready to
pick, while halfback Lisati Milo-Harris awaits developments
Photos: courtesy of Terry Horne
Area Schools do Barbarians proud
Some good, old-fashioned, tenacious defence and a strong
desire to score their first big victory since 2007 drove the
New Zealand Barbarians Area Schools to a 12-6 victory over
the Harlequins in Hamilton on August 23, 2013.
The Barbarians club has just begun what will hopefully be
a long association with this important and unheralded national
rugby side, encapsulating the best players from the 42 area
schools from Taipa in the far north to the Catlins in the
The team had an intensive week in Hamilton which focused
on teamwork, bonding, skills, game plan and which culminated
in the marquee match-up with the Harlequins, effectively a
Waikato Under 17 team.
With just four trainings under their belt, the boys had to
gel swiftly and on a wet night in Paeroa put six tries on
Thames Valley Under 18s in a solid hitout. Second five and
captain Allan Heighway (one of just three players who had
previously represented this team) scored a double and the
most pleasing aspect was that the side was able to action
in the match what it had accomplished at training. There were,
naturally, plenty of work-ons and some ironing out of kinks
for the much anticipated Friday night match. The only bum
note was that lock Jamie Finnerty was taken to hospital in
Thames with a dislocated shoulder.
The boys were able to regroup and got through the Friday
match with just 21 players.
Manager Mike Smith, a former North Auckland and Thames Valley
tighthead prop, says the boys felt honoured to receive their
match jerseys on the Friday afternoon from Barbarian and former
All Black Matthew Cooper, before he headed for his TV commentary
duties. Cooper spread the right messages about focusing on
the team before the individual.
In previous seasons the Harlequins have put out very strong
units, which amounted to Waikato Under 18 combinations, and
invariably were too strong for the Area Schools, but on this
occasion it was closer to an Under 17 combination.
"We also got them first-up. In previous years we've
played them when they were having their fifth game. So we
were starting on the same page," says Smith.
There was a good core of support from the boys' families
and friends, some of whom had travelled long distances to
cheer the boys on.
On a good surface, though slightly wet underfoot, the NZ
Barbarians Area Schools had to put in some heavy work at the
set-piece and on defence to stem the Harlequins' advance.
They led 5-3 at the break thanks to an opportunist try to
second five Heighway, who pounced on an error and kicked ahead
for a score from 45m out. The loose forward trio of Richard
Nikolaison (No 8), Jacob Vincent (7) and Sahn Povey (6) was
outstanding, and the leadership of Heighway was to the fore
as the game wound down. The set-piece was gaining ascendancy
and the final try went to Japanese-born loosehead prop Masashi
Sumino, of Mercury Bay Area School, who crashed over near
The victory, the team's first in a big fixture for six years,
meant plenty to these boys, many of whom lapped up the good
coaching and chance to shine on the national stage.
"The boys were really stoked. A couple had tears in
their eyes. They bonded really well. This was a big arena,
big stadium, big stage for them," says Smith.
Some players were noticed by bigger rugby schools and who
knows where this game may take them in their careers.
The Barbarians look forward to continuing association with
this well-organised and well-performed team. Senior Barbarians
Mike Mills (president), Mark Moore (club captain) and Ron
Williams (committee member) were on hand and were most impressed
with the effort and talent in this side.
August 21 (Paeroa Domain, Paeroa): NZ Barbarians Area
Schools 39 Tries: Allan Heighway (2), Hone Haerwera, Sahn
Povey, Jacob Vincent, Chaz Wetere; Cons: Wetere (3); Pen:
Wetere beat Thames Valley Under 18s 5
August 23 (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton): NZ Barbarians Area
Schools 12: Tries: Heighway, Masashi Sumino; Con: Wetere
beat NZ Harlequins 6; Halftime: 5-3 NZBAS
The full squad was:
Chaz Wetere - Taipa Area School, Far North
Nopera Matthews - Taipa Area School, Far North
Allan Heighway (c) - Taipa Area School, Far North
Jassen Openshaw - Mangakahia Area School, Northland
Sahn Povey - Te Kura o Manaia, Thames Valley
Jamie Finnerty - Mercury Bay Area School, Thames Valley
Andrew Miller - Mercury Bay Area School, Thames Valley
Joseph Parr - Mercury Bay Area School, Thames Valley
Tyler Relph - Mercury Bay Area School, Thames Valley
Masashi Sumino - Mercury Bay Area School, Thames Valley
Oscar Preece - Whangamata Area School, Thames Valley
Tuterangi Te Moananui - Te Kura Mana o Whangaparaoa, East
Hone Haerwera - Te Waha o Rerekohu, East Coast
Stacey Forbes - Collingwood Area School, Tasman
Keeghan Grey - Amuri Area School, North Canterbury
Jacob Vincent - Amuri Area School, North Canterbury
Alex Buk - Amuri Area School, North Canterbury
Andrew Murdoch - Amuri Area School, North Canterbury
Barlow Wakefield - Amuri Area School, North Canterbury
Richard Nikolaison - Cheviot Area School, North Canterbury
Tyla McKay - Cheviot Area School, North Canterbury
Thomas Maxwell - Cheviot Area School, North Canterbury
Manager: Mike Smith
Head coach: Bob Telfer
Assistant coach: Justin Marsh
Assistant manager: Tupu Campbell
First five Chaz Wetere looks to cut
Prop Masashi Sumino scores the match-sealing
try near the posts, to the obvious delight of lock Keeghan
Scrumtime: NZBAS players visible are:
Stacey Forbes (halfback), Oscar Preece (tighthead prop)
and Sahn Povey (blindside flanker).
The NZ Barbarians Area Schools celebrate
their victory in Hamilton.
Photos: courtesy of Marie Relph
Baabaas edged out by Maori in thriller
NZ MAORI 37
15 Robbie Robinson
14 Sean Maitland
13 Jackson Willison (1)
12 Luke McAlister
11 Hosea Gear
10 Stephen Brett
9 Chris Smylie (2)
8 Liam Messam (c)
7 Tanerau Latimer
6 Jarrad Hoeata (3)
5 Daniel Ramsay (4)
4 Isaac Ross (5)
3 Clint Newland (6)
2 Corey Flynn (7)
1 Bronson Murray
1 Dwayne Sweeney
2 Aaron Smith
3 Colin Bourke
4 Hayden Triggs
5 Romana Graham
6 Ben Afeaki
7 Dane Coles
Tries: Brett, Messam, Robinson, Triggs, Gear
Cons: McAlister (3)
Pens: McAlister (2)
NZ BARBARIANS 31
15 Jared Payne
14 Bryce Heem (1)
13 Rene Ranger
12 Ben Smith
11 Fetu'u Vainikolo (2)
10 Colin Slade
9 Alby Mathewson (3)
8 Peter Saili
7 Alando Soakai (c) (4)
6 Scott Waldrom (5)
5 Kevin O'Neill
4 Josh Bekhuis
3 Charlie Faumuina (6)
2 John Afoa
1 Jamie Mackintosh
1 Daniel Bowden
2 Lachie Munro
3 Rhyan Caine
4 Andrew van der Heijden
5 Dean Budd
6 Tom Dow
Tries: Saili, Smith, Mackintosh, Slade
Cons: Slade (4)
Saturday June 12 at Toll Stadium, Whangarei, 4.35pm
Ref: Josh Noonan (Canterbury) Crowd: 9000 H/T: 20-14 NZ Maori
By Campbell Burnes at Toll Stadium
For those who like their rugby open, expansive and high paced,
if a little on the nerve-jangly side, you would have loved
this encounter to kick off the Maori centenary series.
The only downsides were the plethora of collapsed scrums
and the disappointingly small crowd of around 9000.
The Maori should have been far more desperate to win their
first game in front of their home people for two years, and
that may have been the case judging by a rousing new haka,
but this New Zealand Barbarians side was a more than useful
outfit, and in Rene Ranger, Colin Slade and Jamie Mackintosh,
had three of the game's outstanding performers.
John Afoa's lineout throwing went under the microscope, and
he failed a couple while otherwise finding his mark, but there
was precious little opportunity at this set-piece. Rather
the three Barbarians props put some serious heat on the Maori
scrum, with Clint Newland enduring some severe punishment
by his Highlanders teammate Mackintosh.
The omens were not auspicious for the Barbarians. Ireland
prop Tom Court never arrived - he ended up with a test cap
further down the island - while his compatriot, hooker Damian
Varley, pulled up lame in the warm-ups. It didn't seem to
worry the invitation side, who played with attitude and skill
after the opening quarter.
However, it was Stephen Brett who opened the account, splitting
the two Barbarians props to cross between the posts in a try
that mirrored his one for the Blues against the Hurricanes
in February. When captain Liam Messam burst clear of a ruck
to race 25m for his try, the Maori led 17-0 and one could
hear the floodgates creaking open.
But Peter Saili and Ben Smith slammed them swiftly shut with
two well-worked tries. Smith benefitted off fine work by Ranger
Just after the break, Mackintosh went over after the ball
was rolled along the ground back to him by Ranger. Typical
Barbarians stuff - as was Slade's high ball from a penalty
and maybe even Jared Payne's ambitious 52m drop goal attempt
- but it still must have furrowed the brows of the Maori coaching
Fresh legs helped the Maori cause, as did a deft Luke McAlister
grubber which found Robbie Robinson. By now that pair and
Hosea Gear were opening up holes as the Barbarians had done
with the Maori around the fringes. Hayden Triggs finished
off a superb movement in which the tireless Tanerau Latimer
But before then came a moment of individual brilliance which
should have had the All Blacks selectors sit bolt upright
and take notice.
Slade took the ball to the line just outside the Maori 22m.
With his left, supposedly weaker foot, he chipped over the
top, and timed his dive as the ball landed over the goal-line.
Lovely. With three minutes to play he put the Barbarians ahead
31-30 with a penalty goal, giving him five from six for the
The climax showed the Maori composure under pressure. Off
an attacking scrum, the Maori ran left through their five-eighths,
who sliced through, and the ball went to Gear. Over and the
Before kickoff there was a procession of former Maori greats,
'Snow' White and Waka Nathan among them, and including several
The new stadium is impressive - the pitch is very close to
the crowd, creating an intimate, almost intimidating feel
- though there were some teething problems with the seating,
and it was renamed Toll Stadium only hours before kickoff.
It will revert to Northland Events Centre for the two Rugby
World Cup games next year.
The Barbarians can be well pleased with their efforts, coming
within 90 seconds of upsetting the Maori as they did in 2002,
and this should bode well for future high profile June fixtures.