Rugby Review -

Rugby Review

Rugby Review

with Rugby Director, Chris Hall 


After a successful pre-season headed up by our new Head Coach Nick Hensley, Will Eggleston (Club Attack), Sape Misa (Forwards) and Aaron Sculli (Head of Athletic Performance) the boys were given a tough assignment to head to Rat Park for Round 1.

As an insight, some of the main program focuses in the offseason have been:

  • Scrum-time: Nick, Sape and Mike Reid (former Auckland Blue Prop) have done an excellent job in teaching the darker arts of the scrum and the mental approach (which I have no clue!). I’m sure the tight heads won against the Rats brought a tear to some of our old boys watching at the game.
  • Strength and Conditioning: We have had 14 colts players transitioning to grade this season, which is fantastic for our depth. They have worked extremely hard in the gym to put on size (pre-Christmas) and then the conditioning component to ensure they can carry that new weight. There are some very good players coming through our program – and they’re good clubman too!
  • Defence: For those there on Saturday, they would probably recognise our defensive structure and mentality has changed. It is a very aggressive way to defend, which needs a high degree of fitness from the players. The ultimate effect is the opposition feel completely ‘suffocated’ (Nick Hensley) if executed correctly.

With the ‘Bye’ set for Round 2 and up to 9 front line players either carrying niggling injuries or unavailable, Norths went in with a couple of new faces in the backline including Jack Lindsay (flyhalf from Canterbury) and Reece Mau’u at outside centre.

Nick Hensley and the coaches instructed on a clear way they wanted to play – dominate set piece via our scrum, aggressive line speed in defence and play territory to run their bigger boys around.

The masterplan worked with the Rats being bullied by our forward pack, quality game management from Jack Lindsay and some tremendous individual performances by Josh Noonan, Connor Vest, Harry Burey and Sam Giltrap. It was pleasing to see the debuts of Connor Winchester, Jack Radford, Oli Stump, Hamish Sinclair and Benny Ryan, all of whom have come through our Shoreman Development Squad during the offseason. These boys have a bright future in the Red & Black!

Still, plenty of work ons and a long road ahead however it is always pleasing to get over the Rats on their home turf.

In my next report, I will give a deeper insight into our colts and lower grades which is showing some promising signs for our future.

We hope to see you either at T.G Milner for Grade or Bon Andrews for Colts against Eastwood.

Chris Hall


Share Now