23 August 2014
Buller v North Otago
@ Westport 2:30 PM – BET NOW
CLICK COAST FM LOGO form 2.30pm
BULLER – http://bullerrugby.co.nz
After winning the Lochore in 2012 and finishing second to South Canterbury last season Buller’s co-coaches, with the bulk of the squad again available, have positive vibes for 2014.
The “two Craigs” – Neill and Scanlon – coached the Red and Blues to a first ever away Heartland win (40-30) over Wanganui in the semis last year to set up a repeat Lochore final against South Canterbury.
Two scalpings of Wanganui – it was 15-11 at home in qualifying – were the highlights of 2013 which ended with a 10-17 finals loss in Timaru.
Buller’s two match centurions – flanker Luke Brownlee (134 caps) and tight-head prop Phil Beveridge (120 game) – are back for more action as is 53-match lock-prop Logan Mundy.
NZ Heartland rep goal-kicking halfback Andrew Stephens (55 games and 184 pts including 47 last year) will again by a key pivot in the backline which is also expected to include talented fullback William Saukuru plus penetrating Mitieli Kaloudigibeci, Iliesa Ravudra, Mike Schmidt-Lealava’a and Panimani Nabainivalu.
Buller provided half of the combined squad with West Coast that played NZ Universities in Westport recently and there was a Seddon Shield challenge they had after winning the shield from the West Coast , before relinquishing it last weekend to Nelson Bays.
Follow all the Buller news at http://bullerrugby.co.nz
Buller Heartland Squad 2014
The following players have been selected in the Buller Heartland squad for the 2014 campaign.
Logan Mundy, Phil Beveridge, Warwick Knox, Jerome Vai, Glen Duncan, Attila Va’a, Craig Moore, Tai Ratu, Morgan Eames, Luke Brownlee, Blair McIlroy, Rhys Burton, Simon Abel, Isei Lewaqai, Luke Watson, Andrew Stephens, Craig Adams, Jesse Elley, James Lash, Peni Nabainivalu, Mike Lealava’a, Iliasa Ravudra, Sam Marris, Scott Neighbours, Brad Collins, Tokohau Samuels, 1 to be added.
The 2007 and 2010 champions have had a three-match tour of Fiji and Tonga in August to warm-up for the championship, again under Munster’s Mike Mullins as coach with Troy Looms his understudy.
The Old Golds have considerable changes from last season with 10 players gone but offset by 11 newcomers from England, Canada and Argentina.
Losses include top points scorer Ed Koehane (115 pts), one of three returnees to England, second five J’Andre Liebenberg to Hawke’s Bay, and first fives Ratunaisa Vatuinaruku (to Fiji) and Ben Patston (to Dunedin).
Gains include utility back Kayne Middleton from North Harbour, Canadians D J Sears-Buru (prop), Wayde Hodgen (hooker), Ben Le Sage (mid field) and Ben Palmer (five eighths), Argentinians Gonzallo Angella (midfield) and Diego Biro (fullback) and English backs Cameron Keenan (halfback), Chris Perry (fullback), Joe Marston (midfield) and Callum Lines.
Last year’s NZ Heartland rep trio of front rowers Ralph Darling and Matt Duff and mid-fielder Lemi Masoe are back along with 2013 skipper Josh Clark (flanker), ex-Fiji and King Counry utility back Simeli Koniferedi and top try scorer Chris Talanoa.
Despite dropping the first two games to Wairarapa-Bush and South Canterbury last year North Otago bounced back to reach the Meads final in Ashburton, losing 26-20 after winning 19-18 at home in the qualifying rounds.
The Old Golds will clearly be a strong force again this season
North Otago Heartland Squad vs Buller
Forwards: 1 DJ Sears-Dura 2 Ralph Darling 3 Thomas Shields 4 Tom Rowe
5 Matt Mullins 6 Fale Pii 7 Matt Duff 8 Josh Clark (c)
Backs: 9 Robbie Smith 10 Stephen Fenemor 11 Diego Biro 12 Ekeroma Fauileoge
13 Lemi Masoe 14 Simeli Koniferedi 15 Tenina Fauileoge
Reserves: 16 Unga Kefu 17 Rob Mafileo 18 Will Keenan 19 Manu Taiti
20 Ben Palmer 21 Chris Talanoa 22 Joe Marston
|BULLER v NORTH OTAGO
Saturday 23 August, 2.30pm at Victoria Square, Westport
Played: 7, 2008-2012 (DNP 2013) | Buller wins: 0 | North Otago wins: 7
Last match: North Otago 22 Buller 15, 01.09.12 in Oamaru (HC)
Last Buller win: –
Biggest Buller score: 24 (24-37), 02.09.06 in Oamaru (P)
Biggest North Otago score: 51 (51-20), 18.08.07 in Oamaru (P)
Biggest differential: North Otago by 31 (51-20), 18.08.07 in Oamaru (P)
|HEARTLAND CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHES|
|Head-to-head matches: BULLER – NORTH OTAGO|
|01.09.12||North Otago||Buller||22 : 15|
|10.09.11||Buller||North Otago||08 : 11|
|04.09.10||North Otago||Buller||44 : 20|
|10.10.09||North Otago||Buller||29 : 14|
|Last matches: BULLER|
|27.10.13||South Cant||Buller||17 : 10|
|19.10.13||Wanganui||Buller||30 : 40|
|12.10.13||Buller||Mid Cant||13 : 31|
|05.10.13||Poverty Bay||Buller||21 : 34|
|28.09.13||Buller||Wairarapa||03 : 13|
|21.09.13||Horowhenua||Buller||15 : 19|
|14.09.13||Buller||East Coast||28 : 12|
|07.09.13||Thames Valley||Buller||23 : 18|
|31.08.13||Buller||Wanganui||15 : 11|
|24.08.13||West Coast||Buller||23 : 17|
|Last matches: NORTH OTAGO|
|26.10.13||Mid Cant||North Otago||26 : 20|
|19.10.13||North Otago||Wairarapa||48 : 34|
|12.10.13||North Otago||Horowhenua||27 : 22|
|05.10.13||West Coast||North Otago||22 : 32|
|28.09.13||North Otago||Wanganui||27 : 15|
|21.09.13||Poverty Bay||North Otago||18 : 53|
|14.09.13||North Otago||Mid Cant||19 : 18|
|07.09.13||East Coast||North Otago||23 : 25|
|31.08.13||South Cant||North Otago||21 : 15|
|24.08.13||North Otago||Wairarapa||18 : 20|