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Teams heading to Nationals: Whanganui Region - Cullinane College

We are 18 days until the 2018 NZ Secondary Schools Ki o Rahi National Tournament and we've been fortunate enough to receive team profiles from some of our teams heading to Nationals from the Whanganui Region. 

Here is our first profile from Cullinane College who finished 1st at the Whanganui Secondary Schools Regional Tournament - Thank you to Cullinane College and Whanganui Ki o Rahi for the profiles and especially to Dhinisti Patea.  Nga mihi nui ki a koutou!

 Cullinane College 2018 Whanganui Ki o Rahi Regionals

Cullinane College 2018 Whanganui Ki o Rahi Regionals

Cullinane College has enjoyed learning and developing our understanding of Ki o
Rahi. Like all other sports there is a lot of interest by our students for the game.
We have been playing Ki o Rahi at our kura for only five years and each year the
level of enthusiasm among students is growing. In particular the numbers this
year have been the largest with over 30 students registering for the regional
competition.

 Cullinane College Jump Shot

Cullinane College Jump Shot

Since 2014 we have participated in the Whanganui regional competition and
have been fortunate to qualify for the nationals each year. This year will be our
third time attending the national competition.

 Cullinane College Jump Shot

Cullinane College Jump Shot

Our rangatahi are interested in many sports, however I think that Ki-o-Rahi is
becoming quite popular with our Maori rangatahi because this is a traditional
sport that our ancestors played. It is also very similar to other sports our
rangatahi excel at with similar skill sets such as touch, rugby and softball and is
actually good for all of our rangatahi to be involved in despite the ability of each
player.


This year Cullinane has been fortunate to have the support of two of our local
Ki-o-Rahi exponents Justin Gush and Steven Aue. They offer their coaching and
knowledge of the game and are helping out our team in preparation for the
national competition. We are very grateful and appreciative of their support.
Nonoke styled Ki o Rahi is played in Whanganui and there has been previous
Cullinane students who have gone on to play for our Whanganui team a couple
of years ago.


Our Cullinane team goal for this year is to represent our kura and rohe with pride
at the Nationals and building a pathway for more people from our area to get
involved. We are all looking forward to this year’s competition to gain more
knowledge and enjoy the manaakitanga of Te Tairawhiti!

2018 NZSS Ki o Rahi Nationals Rules and Registrations

tairawhiti.jpg

The 2018 NZSS Ki o Rahi Nationals are just over a month away, schools all around the country are deep into preparations for the tournament to be held in Gisborne over 2 days - the 16th & 17th April 2018. 

Rules and Registration forms have been sent out, but for those who may not have received them you can find them here:

2018 NZSS Ki o Rahi Nationals Rules

2018 NZSS Ki o Rahi Nationals Registration

Does your team know the rules?

For those that are unaware, the rules at Nationals are usually quite different to those played in your rohe (region), so it makes a lot of sense to have a good read over the rules and send through any questions you have about them well before the tournament. 

Now, is actually a really good time to do this!  Sometimes teams wait until the night before the tournament to seek clarification and often this can be too late, this means that teams may have prepared for months in a certain set of rules before having to make changes the night before and this is not ideal. 

Simply have a read over the rules and send any questions through to the organiser, this will allow your team to prepare accurately for the tournament and not have to worry about any surprises come tournament time.  However, don't expect an immediate reply as the organiser could be getting emails from several different coaches at any one time. 

We've had a look over the rules and there has been very little change from the last nationals.  The only major changes are as follows:

1.11 - No Tag Shorts allowed.

1.16 - If a game ends in a draw, the first team that scored in the game becomes the winner

Other important rules that all teams should become familiar with are:

1.2 - Only 14 players per game to be used; extra 2 players to wear hi-vis/non-uniform

1.8 - Rolling subs; must sub off the field

1.13 - No bare feet

2.1 - Kick off must land in Pawero on the full

2.2 - Maximum of 3 Kaitiaki

3.3 - No running in Te Ara with ball

3.5 - 5 seconds for Kaitiaki to pass out

3.6 - 1 point for stepping on or inside wairua

3.8 - Both feet must be kept down when leaning in to Te Roto (and any other zone)

4.5 - Touching same POU twice equals a re-count

5.3 - Fumbling ball in Te Roto equals handover

6.13 - No guarding the pou

7.16 - No use of offensive language during the game; subs and coaching staff included

9.7 - 3 seconds to pass when one tag ripped

There are plenty of rules, so become as familiar as possible with them before the tournament to ensure your team isn't frustrated by the calls they receive during the tournament, this will help make things easier on the referees too.  We all know it's a very hard game to referee as there's so much happening!

Have you sent your Registration through yet?

The deadline for NZSS Ki o Rahi Nationals 2018 is at the end of March, so make sure you send the registration through to Whetu Rangihaeata - whetu@uawa.ac.nz

 

 

2018 NZSS Ki o Rahi Nationals - Teams To Watch Out For - Final

In the lead up to the 2018 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals, held 16th & 17th April 2018 we will focus in on the teams that you will need to prepare for, these teams include current and past champions as well as teams on the rise. 

This week we do our final review of teams - this week we look at UAWA, Te Ara Hou and Kawakawa mai Tawhiti. 

 Students from UAWA (Tolaga Bay Area School), 2017 Ki o Rahi Nationals

Students from UAWA (Tolaga Bay Area School), 2017 Ki o Rahi Nationals

Tolaga Bay Area School (UAWA)

Tolaga Bay Area School or UAWA were the very first Ki o Rahi National Champions way back in 2010.  Since then, other notable finishes in the last 5 years have been a 7th in Gisborne 2015, and two 5th place finishes in Wellington 2014 and in Tokoroa in 2016. 

A small Kura on the East Coast with a roll of less than 300 from Years 1 – 13, they punch well above their weight and have been one of the big drivers of Ki o Rahi around the country for a long time.  It is often the case with small Kura, that they can only utilise the students they have enrolled and sometimes they may only have a small amount of senior students to choose from – let alone enjoy and be good at sport. 

Whatever the case, UAWA still managed to qualify for Nationals in 2017 however once in Auckland they finished 18th out of 21 schools.  A big drop from 5th to 18th so they’ll be looking to bounce back with a strong performance this year in Gisborne, being closer to home might help to get the team and supporters they desire along.  These things make a huge difference.  Kia kaha UAWA!

 Students from Kawakawa mai Tawhiti, 2017 Ki o Rahi Nationals

Students from Kawakawa mai Tawhiti, 2017 Ki o Rahi Nationals

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kawakawa mai Tawhiti

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kawakawa mai Tawhiti is a small Kura based in the in Hicks Bay on the East Coast.  Kawakawa mai Tawhiti have been attending Ki o Rahi Nationals for a while with a 9th place finish in Tokoroa 2016, a 12th place in Auckland 2017 and a 13th in Gisborne 2015. 

Kawakawa mai Tawhiti with their distinctive blue and orange uniform often have some cool gears come National time - we remember seeing them in hunting and fishing style orange camo gears one year.  But beyond the gears, Kawakawa mai Tawhiti are an awesome little team with a few years of experience they've been hanging around the middle of the table for a few years now, hopefully they've evaluated their strengths and weaknesses and are coming to 2018 Nationals ready to move up the ranks!

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Ara Hou

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Ara Hou are a small Kura based in Napier.  Te Ara Hou have been regular competitors at Ki o Rahi Nationals.  Last year they had their best finish ever with an 8th place in Auckland.  This was after a 15th place finish in Gisborne 2016, so they are huge improvers.  We watched Te Ara Hou play last year and they gave the good teams a real good go, they weren't always so successful against them but they definitely made these types of teams work. 

In Auckland last year during their pool play they played and beat UAWA, Aotea and Rotorua Boys and Girls.  They also narrowly lost to Rakaumanga by 3 points, the score was 30 - 27 meaning that Te Ara Hou definitely know how to score points, defending them however might be their area in need of attention. 

Te Ara Hou jumped from 15th to 8th in the space of a couple of years, so after tasting Quarter Final Ki o Rahi for the first time in 2017 you can bet they want to be there again.  We can see them pushing hard for the top 8 once more in 2018, which makes for a really tightly contested top 8. 

Over the past 6 weeks we've looked at Nga Tapuwae, Rakaumanga, Hamilton Boys and Girls, Turanga Wahine Turanga Tane, Mana, Dannevirke, Ritana and Tokoroa.  If all these schools are in attendance then we see this being the top 8 for 2018, however, that still leaves out schools like UAWA, Te Ara Hou and Aotea who have shown in the past that they are no easy beats.  

Schools have another 6 weeks time to work on their gameplay and strategies before the 2018 champion is crowned! 

2018 NZSS Ki o Rahi Nationals - Teams To Look Out For - Part 5

In the lead up to the 2018 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals we will focus in on the teams that you will need to prepare for, these teams include current and past champions as well as teams on the rise. 

Every week we will feature two teams from around the country, this week we look at two teams who have featured regularly in Ki o Rahi Nationals over the years, but have been absent for a little while - Taita College and Karamu High School.

 Taita College Student, Wellington Ki o Rahi Regionals 2016 - courtesy  Masanori Udagawa

Taita College Student, Wellington Ki o Rahi Regionals 2016 - courtesy Masanori Udagawa

Taita College

Taita College, how did they make it on this list?  They haven't attended Ki o Rahi Nationals since Gisborne in 2015.  Taita actually finished 2nd in 2016 at their Wellington Regionals, this means they would have qualified for the Nationals in Auckland.  Sometimes it's a little difficult for teams to always attend Nationals, especially if it's far away.  Maybe the cost of travelling has been a little too much over the years. 

Anyway, Taita College definitely deserve to be on this list, they're a top 6 team!  In 2015, the last time Gisborne hosted the Nationals, Taita finished in 6th place.  The year prior in 2014, in their hometown of Wellington, Taita placed 4th after going down to Turanga Wahine, Turanga Tane in their semi-final

You can see footage of Taita in action in this game here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see from the footage, Taita are a team that like to use the ball, they're working really hard to get through the TWTT defence with lots of cutting and running into holes, they also have some tricky little plays around the ara.  On Taniwha we've seen some strong jump shots happening in the past. 

It would be really awesome to see Taita College in Gisborne again this year, it all depends on who has qualified and hasn't - of late it's been Mana College being the team to beat in the Wellington area.  

 Karamu High School Ki o Rahi team, 2016

Karamu High School Ki o Rahi team, 2016

Karamu High School

Another quality team who were missing from Ki o Rahi Nationals in 2017, they had a good reason though, they didn't qualify.  The strength of Ki o Rahi in the Hawkes Bay means that Hastings Boys/Girls and Te Ara Hou booked a place at Ki o Rahi Nationals in Auckland instead. 

Karamu High School have been a force in ki o rahi for a little while, with a 9th place in Gisborne 2015 and then a 6th place in 2016 at Tokoroa among their notable finishes.   

They're a team that are strong all around, they have a strong defence and have had players who are very good at making last effort tags, they are also very good with their shooting set up - they have shooters who can maintain the ki for a while and move the kaitiaki around, they also have plenty of ability to jump shoot too.  Check out the link below for some of their styles, again thank you to Rangatahi Tu Rangatira for the vid:

Karamu v Aotea 2015 Gisborne

Their only concern may be that they've never broken into the top 4 so understanding that may still elude them. 

Karamu offer up some of the best referees in the country too, this must mean there is a real love of the game from within their school and community and so if Karamu do qualify for Ki o Rahi Nationals 2018 you can bet they will be there!

Next week:

In our final blog on 'Who to watch out for' we take a look at a few other schools that could be in attendance including the very first Ki o Rahi National Champions Tolaga Bay Area School (Uawa).

Thank you to Masanori Udagawa as we 'pinched' a photo from the photowellington.com page - please check out the website to see many more awesome shots of Ki o Rahi in and around Wellington.

To stay up to date with any Ki o Rahi news and tournaments please follow us on our Facebook page.

2018 NZSS Ki o Rahi Nationals - Teams To Look Out For - Part 4

In the lead up to the 2018 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals we will focus in on the teams that you will need to prepare for, these teams include current and past champions as well as teams on the rise. 

Every week we will feature two teams from around the country, this week we look at two teams that have been regulars at Ki o Rahi Nationals over the past 5 years - Lytton High School and Tokoroa High School.

 Students from Lytton High School, 2017 Ki o Rahi Nationals

Students from Lytton High School, 2017 Ki o Rahi Nationals

Lytton High School

Last time Ki o Rahi Nationals were held in their hometown of Gisborne, Lytton High School (Ritana Toa) walked away with the trophy and the title of National Champions. 

In this 2015 Ki o Rahi Nationals Final against Gisborne Boys and Girls, Lytton escaped defeat from their local rivals through some strong shooting and solid defence, they were also fortunate to be awarded some points via the wairua.  This is one of the great games of Ki o Rahi ever played.  If you have not seen the game, check the footage courtesy of Rangatahi Tu Rangatira below:

2015 Ki o Rahi Nationals Final (1st quarter)

2015 Ki o Rahi Nationals Final (2nd quarter)

2015 Ki o Rahi Nationals Final (3rd quarter)

2015 Ki o Rahi Nationals Final (4th quarter)

Lytton High School is a team which is no stranger to semi-final level having been there on a few occasions,  they’ll be looking to return to this stage in 2018 after they finished 10th in Auckland in 2017.  However, they had a young team in Auckland and these students will now be a year older and a year wiser so Lytton will be a team that everyone has to watch out for. 

Lytton are a team that are always willing to change their style up, they play to their strengths and come up with tactics to disguise their weaknesses.  A team that has been to the semi-finals on many occasions and who already know how to win a tournament should never be underestimated.   

 Students from Tokoroa High School, 2016 Ki o Rahi Nationals

Students from Tokoroa High School, 2016 Ki o Rahi Nationals

Tokoroa High School

Tokoroa have been one of our favourite teams to watch over the years of Ki o Rahi Nationals!  They play an enjoyable style of Ki o Rahi with a Ki oma that utilises lots of passing and running circles around people.  They also have a fun style of shooting that involves plenty of jump shooting and passing over, under and around to try and totally confuse the kaitiaki.

Unfortunately, Tokoroa were absent from 2017's Ki o Rahi Nationals in Auckland, and it wasn't the same without them.  Hopefully they make a return this year in Gisborne, as Tokoroa have been a regular in the top half of the competition over the years placing 7th in Tokoroa 2016 and 5th in Gisborne 2015. 

They're another team trying to break into that elusive top 4, a good showing at their regionals should tell them how well they're going to go at Nationals.  Tokoroa are in the same region as top 4 schools Te Wharekura o Rakaumanga and Hamilton Boys and Girls so if they can do well against one/both of them at regionals they'll more than likely do really well at Nationals! 

Kia kaha Tokoroa, want to see you guys in Gisborne!

Next week:

We take a look at another two teams missing from Ki o Rahi Nationals in 2017, but two teams that can upset any of the favoured teams on their day - Karamu High School and Taita College.

To stay up to date with any Ki o Rahi news and tournaments please follow us on our Facebook page.