Mon 22 Oct 2018 | 10:19

NPC Team of the Week: Semifinals

NPC Team of the Week: Semifinals
Mon 22 Oct 2018 | 10:19
NPC Team of the Week: Semifinals

The semi-finals began on Friday night with Tasman repelling Canterbury’s advances with some stonewall defence.

The hosts then struck first with Mitch Hunt putting David Havili through a neat gap and under the posts.

Early in the second half, Makos’ No.8 Mike Curry was sin-binned for collapsing a maul and so began their slide.

Repeat All Blacks call-up Mitchell Drummond touch down for a brace and Canterbury took the win away from home, 21-16.

Northland came out of the gates like a bat out of hell, but after half time it was all one-way traffic.

Sevu Reece got 4 tries with some superb finishing and even with two late yellow cards Waikato came in at a saunter.

Waikato almost repeated their round 8 thumping of the Taniwha with a 48-26 victory.

Auckland have been under-rated all season and before this match many thought they would choke.

But many seem to have forgotten the long culture of choking that kept Wellington in the Championship even though they had the talent for the Premiership.

And it was no different this week as Wellington failed to fire, their forwards out-muscled and their backs shut down for most of the match.

Auckland had a ferocity not seen in the Blues for a long time and as such won twice as many turnovers and lost the ball a quarter as much as Wellington.

Auckland will go into their match with Canterbury supremely confident after what seemed like a simple victory over a lethargic opponent, 38-17.

The final match of the round was a tight struggle with Hawke’s Bay running out to a 14 point advantage early on.

Otago then held on to possession and slowly suffocate their visitors.

Hawke’s Bay were 9 points ahead with 8 minutes remaining when Sio Tomkinson went over to tighten the scores up.

The Magpies then went into shut-down mode and only went one off the ruck for 18 phases until Otago won a controversial breakdown penalty.

Josh Ioane missed from a long way out but got the ball back from the drop goal and after Michael Collins made a break, Josh Renton missed a drop goal attempt during advantage play.

Ioane made no mistake with the final act of the game to steal victory after the buzzer, 20-19.

Next Week: This is it, the finals! Auckland reignite their long-standing rivalry with Canterbury in the Premiership final. While Waikato host Otago in a replay of the final round match that saw Otago snatch the Ranfurly Shield for the Summer.

Team of the Week – Round Ten:

15 – Michael Collins (Otago):
Made several great breaks when the pressure was on and big moves needed to be made. Also had a good kicking game and was very good on defence.
Special mention to Wes Goosen (Wellington) and Matt Wright (Northland).
Bubbling Under: Jamie-Jerry Taulagi (Hawke’s Bay)

14 – Mitchell Scott (Otago):
Beat 6 defenders (the most in the match) and racked up over 100 metres. Scott scored the try that turned the tide in Otago’s favour just after half time.
Special mention to Tyler Campbell (Waikato) and Melani Nanai (Auckland).
Bubbling Under: Josh McKay (Canterbury)

13 – Rene Ranger (Northland):
A massive catch for the Sun Wolves, Ranger has worked his way back to the form he was in when he left NZ the first time as a regular starter with the All Blacks.
Special mention to Braydon Ennor (Canterbury).
Bubbling Under: Levi Aumua (Tasman)

12 – Tinoai Faiane (Auckland):
Has shone for Auckland after a relatively poor season for the Blues. It seems Faiane has worked out how to put his outsides away while also being a nuisance at the breakdown.
Bubbling Under: Sio Tomkinson (Otago)

11 – Sevu Reece (Waikato):
The difference in finishing was easy to see when you compare the Otago match without Reece and the two Northland games either side of it with him.
Bubbling Under: Solomon Alaimalo (Tasman)

10 – Jack Debreczeni (Northland):
Debreczeni has been consistent throughout the season and looked very assured slotting all his attempts and playing key parts in two tries.
Bubbling Under: Mitch Hunt (Tasman)

9 – Mitchell Drummond (Canterbury):
Scored both of his side’s tries and showed a maturity in both his passing and kicking from the base.
Special mention to Brad Weber (Hawke’s Bay) and Jack Stratton (Waikato).
Bubbling Under: Jonathan Ruru (Auckland)

8 – Akira Ioane (Auckland):
This was the toughest position to decide on with so many excellent candidates. Ioane takes it because not only was he a workhorse with a lot of tackles and powerful runs like the other choices, but he also got 2 pilfers at the breakdown.
Special mention to Teariki Ben-Nicholas (Wellington), Jordan Manihera (Waikato) and Dylan Nel (Otago).
Bubbling Under: Luke Whitelock (Canterbury)

7 – Billy Harmon (Canterbury):
In contrast to the #8s, openside didn’t have any standouts. The usual suspects all had quiet matches. So, Harmon almost wins by default, with 12 tackles and a breakdown steal.
If he hadn’t picked up 5 penalties, Gareth Evans would have been a contender.
Bubbling Under: Jed Brown (Tasman)

6 – Reed Prinsep (Canterbury):
Another spot with few contenders. They all got stuck into the down ‘n dirty, but few stood out even there. Prinsep takes the position with his large workrate and moving ability at the breakdown.
Bubbling Under: James Blackwell (Wellington)

5 – Paripari Parkinson (Tasman):
Parkinson is certainly one to watch in the future. He’s a tall, rangy lock that makes metres on attack and gets stuck in everywhere.
Special mention to James Tucker (Waikato) and Isaih Walker-Leawere (Wellington).
Bubbling Under: Michael Allardice (Hawke’s Bay)

4 – Luke Romano (Canterbury):
Romano has a new lease on rugby, with the veteran putting in some of his best ever performances and has been rightly rewarded with another shot at the All Blacks.
Bubbling Under: Tim Bond (Waikato)

3 – Jeffrey Toomaga-Allen (Wellington):
Won a tighthead against Auckland and showed some good hard hits on defence.
Bubbling Under: Tyrel Lomax (Tasman)

2 – Samisoni Taukei’aho (Waikato):
Another big performance by Waikato’s rake. No missed tackles, a try, some good interlinking play, strong scrummaging and a handy line-out.
Bubbling Under: Andrew Makalio (Tasman)

1 – Wyatt Crockett (Tasman):
Crockett has a lock on this spot. When he went off, Tasman’s scrum dominance over Canterbury faded.
Bubbling Under:
Ayden Johnson (Waikato)

 Team of the Week – Round Nine: 15 Shaun Stevenson (North Harbour), 14 Mark Talea (North Harbour), 13 Tamati Tua (Northland), 12 Ngani Laumape (Manawatu), 11 Malo Tuitama (Wellington), 10 Mitch Hunt (Tasman), 9 Warwick Lahmert (Taranaki), 8 Akira Ioane (Auckland), 7 Antonio Kirikiri (Manawatu), 6 Devan Flanders (Hawkes’ Bay), 5 Maanaki Selby-Rickit (Southland), 4 Kane Laupepe (Bay of Plenty), 3 Tyrel Lomax (Tasman), 2 Asafo Aumua (Wellington), 1 Wyatt Crockett (Tasman).

Team of the Week – Round Eight: 15 Will Jordan (Tasman), 14 Tyler Campbell (Waikato), 13 Braydon Ennor (Canterbury), 12 Quinn Tupaea (Waikato), 11 Sevu Reece (Waikato), 10 Mitch Hunt (Tasman), 9 Mitchell Drummond (Canterbury), 8 Dylan Nel (Otago), 7 Dillon Hunt (North Harbour):, 6 James Tucker (Waikato), 5 Kane Laupepe (Bay of Plenty), 4 Luke Romano (Canterbury), 3 Marcel Renata (Auckland), 2 Asafo Aumua (Wellington), 1 Wyatt Crockett (Tasman).

Team of the Week – Round Seven: 15 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi (Hawkes’ Bay), 14 Regan Ware (Taranaki), 13 Braydon Ennor (Canterbury), 12 Dwayne Sweeney (Waikato), 11 Tevita Li (North Harbour), 10 Mitch Hunt (Tasman), 9 Jamie Booth (Manawatu), 8 Marino Mikaele Tu’u (Hawkes’ Bay), 7 Dillon Hunt (North Harbour):, 6 Billy Harmon (Canterbury), 5 James Tucker (Waikato), 4 Tom Parsons (Hawkes’ Bay), 3 Josh Iosefa-Scott (Waikato),  2 Andrew Makalio (Tasman), 1 Wyatt Crockett (Tasman).

Team of the Week – Round Six: 15 George Bridge (Canterbury), 14 Matt Duffie (North Harbour), 13 Levi Aumua (Tasman), 12 Scott Gregory (Northland), 11 Ben Lam (Wellington), 10 Mitch Hunt (Tasman), 9 Finlay Christie (Tasman), 8 Thomas Waldrom (Wellington), 7 Mitchell Jacobson (Waikato), 6 Pita Sowakula (Taranaki), 5 James Tucker (Waikato), 4 James Blackwell (Wellington), 3 Marcel Renata (Auckland),  2 James Parsons (North Harbour), 1 Wyatt Crockett (Tasman).

Team of the Week – Round Five: 15 Wes Goosen (Wellington), 14 Mitchell Scott (Otago), 13 Matt Faddes (Otago), 12 Tinoai Faiane (Auckland), 11 Sevu Reece (Waikato), 10 Fletcher Smith (Waikato), 9 Jono Kitto (Northland), 8 Dylan Nel (Otago), 7 Dalton Papali’i (Auckland), 6 Vaea Fifita (Wellington), 5 Paripari Parkinson (Tasman), 4 Ben Fotheringham (Southland), 3 Josh Iosefa-Scott (Waikato),  2 James Parsons (North Harbour), 1 Wyatt Crockett (Tasman).

Team of the Week – Round Four: 15 Wes Goosen (Wellington), 14 Nigel Ah Wong (Counties Manukau), 13 Rob Thompson (Manawatu), 12 Dwayne Sweeney (Waikato), 11 Sevu Reece (Waikato), 10 Fletcher Smith (Waikato), 9 Brad Weber (Hawkes’ Bay), 8 Dylan Nel (Otago), 7 Mitchell Jacobson (Waikato), 6 Mitchell Crosswell (Taranaki), 5 Mitchell Dunshea (Canterbury), 4 Patrick Tuipulotu (Auckland), 3 Kalolo Tuiloma (Counties Manukau),  2 Robbie Abel (Auckland), 1 Sam Prattley (Auckland).

Team of the Week – Round Three: 15 Wes Goosen (Wellington), 14 Ben Lam (Wellington), 13 Rob Thompson (Manawatu), 12 Teihorangi Walden (Taranaki), 11 Jona Nareki (Otago), 10 Mitch Hunt (Tasman), 9 Te Toirua Tahuriorangi (Taranaki), 8 Akira Ioane (Auckland), 7 Mitch Karpik (Bay of Plenty), 6 Dalton Papali’i (Auckland), 5 Jack Whetton (Auckland), 4 Luke Romano (Canterbury), 3 Angus Ta’avao (Taranaki),  2 Asafo Aumua (Wellington), 1 Reuben O’Neill (Taranaki).

Team of the Week – Round Two: 15 Will Jordan (Tasman), 14 Melani Nanai (Auckland), 13 Rob Thompson (Manawatu), 12 Thomas Umaga-Jensen (Wellington), 11 Manasa Mataele (Taranaki), 10 Matthew Lansdown (Waikato), 9 Brad Weber (Hawkes’ Bay), 8 Sam Henwood (Counties Manukau), 7 Mitch Karpik (Bay of Plenty), 6 Liam Mitchell (Manawatu), 5 Ben Nee Nee (North Harbour), 4 Luke Romano (Canterbury), 3 Angus Ta’avao (Taranaki),  2 Ash Dixon (Hawkes’ Bay), 1 Ross Wright (Northland).

Team of the Week – Round One: 15 Shaun Stephenson (North Harbour), 14 Seta Tamanivalu (Taranaki), 13 Levi Aumua (Tasman), 12 Matthew Johnson (Southland), 11 Rene Ranger (Northland), 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop (Wellington), 9 Richard Judd (Bay of Plenty), 8 Akira Ioane (Auckland), 7 Lachlan Boshier (Taranaki), 6 Ethan Blackadder (Tasman), 5 Aaron Carroll (Bay of Plenty), 4 Quinton Strange (Tasman), 3 Marco Fepulea’i (Auckland), 2 Andrew Makalio (Tasman), 1 Wyatt Crockett (Tasman).

By Richard Neale

PV: 457

Npc Team Of The Week: Semifinals | Rugby365