Naera's return will sharpen Swords

By Cameron Leslie

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Tomorrow the Northern Swords premier rugby league side continue their quest to snare their first win in the national competition - boosted by the return of fullback Corey Naera from the Warriors development side.

Naera previously played his league for the Swords, with Swords coach Jim Larkin saying it was a positive to have him back ahead of their clash against the Waicoa Bay Stallions in Huntly.

Larkin said his side have a positive attitude heading into the clash, and this attitude will play a big part in getting the result.

"I'm looking for a good effort out of them," Larkin said. "We've changed a lot things and it's just the mentality [which is crucial].

"It's representative footy not club, and that's what I've got to get in their heads.

"They're taking the commitment on, and the responsibility, and we're getting a good amount of them to training."

Larkin admitted there were issues to getting full participation from players who have family and work commitments, but added that was an avoidable issue.

"It's interesting, seniors are a bit different to coaching your 17s, 18s. They're fending for family and work so it's a big sacrifice for them to be there.

"It's looking good, underneath [in the youth grades], but it's a matter of holding onto them before they head to Australia or play in the Warriors system.

"This year I've been getting a lot turning up but still some of them still haven't shown up, and some still haven't but that's the way it is, and I've got to commit to the ones who do show up."

The Northern Swords 17s also play tomorrow against the Waicoa Colty in Huntly.

Northern Swords Premiers: Corey Naera, Jaydenn Bentley-Hape, Ash Harawira, Jarom Wihongi-Henare, Innocent Tuimavave, Kurtis Tito, Herewini Edmonds, Solomone Palu, Sam Henry, Michael Ulukau-Gawn (captain), Desmond Reynolds, Scott Cameron, Leroy Broughton-Rankin. Reserves: Colin (Ngaro) Baker, Patrick Tane, Kerisitiano (Tiano) Arona, Te Tuhi Tipene.

Northern Swords 17s: Tumoana Halkyard, Kapene Ripikoi, Ioane Job, Hamish Pomare, Greg Covich, Daniel Fulop, Caleb Aekins, Piri Croft, Haane Rudolph, Wiremu Rapira, Haimona Tierney, Taui Arona, James Dean Fisher-Harris. Reserves: Gabe McBirney, Shae Currie, Demrys Croft-Haenga, Zabdiel Edmonds.

- Northern Advocate

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