Pirates relive trophy win
The Pirates completed a successful winter campaign by winning the 2018 Mangonui JMB Rugby Under 9 Trophy earlier this year.
In a repeat of the previous year’s world cup final, Pirates took down Aupouri by six tries to two. Both teams were familiar with how the other played, having faced each other a number of times over the years, but it was the Pirates who prevailed to claim bragging rights this time.
It was noted a huge crowd watched the match, one of several exciting clashes played on grand finals day. Congratulations went out to the whole team rather than singling out individual standouts, as the result highlighted the way in which the squad had played together with a common goal in mind over the past two seasons.
Acknowledgments also went to the coach and supporters throughout the season.
“Pirates Hard for 2019.” ****
Note the trophy in question was last year contested as part of the annual Mangonui JMB World Cup tournament when it was won by Aupouri who beat Pirates in extra time. This year, the trophy was played for in a Ranfurly Shield Challenge-styled format — part of new NZRU policy to put fun and participation before competition (to help curtail OTT sideline behaviour from parents). It so happened that Pirates and Aupouri were the top two seeded teams to meet in the U9 division final with one of those sides carrying the trophy into the match.
■ Anyone wishing to have their team’s season reviewed in these pages can contact Age sportsbuster Francis ‘The Offsider’ Malley, phone 408-0330 or email email@example.com. Despite remaining locked down in the lower tier of the national provincial rugby championship, the Northland Taniwha will again be given a chance to cause some upsets against their higher-flying counterparts next season thanks to the Mitre 10 Cup’s crossover format.
The first steps in creating the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup draw have been taken, with representatives from the 14 provincial unions meeting to pick their opposition for crossover matches.
Each team will play four crossover matches in the season, two home and two away, noted New Zealand Rugby’s Steve Lancaster. He said the crossover fixtures were an integral part of the Mitre 10 Cup.
“The ability to have crossover fixtures between Premiership and Championship teams allows the traditional rivalries to be maintained and those are the sort of matches that make this competition special. Year after year we see championship teams upsetting the premiership side in these matches, that was no different in the season just been.”
Northland’s fixtures following the four rounds of picks being confirmed are as follows, note home team listed first: 1. Northland vs Canterbury, 2. Northland vs Auckland, 3. Tasman vs Northland, 4. Wellington vs Northland.
The dates for the proposed fixtures will be known once New Zealand Rugby has confirmed the 2019 draw.
Pirates won the Mangonui JMB Under-9 trophy earlier this year. From back left, Logan Craig (coach), DJ Larkins O’Connor, Tamatura Wi Rimene, Paora Paparoa, Hemi Mahia, Tarkquin Henry, Makarini Birks, Toa Rimene, Israel Tawhai, Chasyn Maxwell, (front) Detroit Cooper Baker, Charlie Rogers Thompson, Kaiden Craig, Faith Wharewaka Tawhai, Angel Keogh, Kelisha Wilson, Devante Thompson and Kauri Porter with Dallas Thompson absent.