Three rugby players sanctioned after "incident"

In the lead-up to premier club rugby's season opener today, three players have been sanctioned after an incident at a pre-season 10s competition.

The players appeared before an independent judicial board this week and were all sanctioned. Despite Northland Rugby issuing a new code of conduct guide, made to reduce such incidents, it would not confirm who the players were, what the incident was or what their sanction was.

In a statement, Northland Rugby said it took misconduct from players and spectators very seriously.

Sport Northland board receives quality tick

Sport Northland's board has been awarded the Governance Mark for Sport and Recreation in New Zealand from Sport New Zealand. In a media release from Sport Northland on Wednesday, it said the mark indicated that the organisation is clear about its purpose and the benefits it intends to deliver to its community

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Board chairperson Nigel Brereton said Sport Northland received the Governance Mark following a comprehensive and measured external assessment.

"Our board is delighted to receive this Governance Mark award from Sport New Zealand – we see it as a great acknowledgement to the legacy of past chairs Richie Guy and Chris Biddles, who were instrumental in developing the governance skills of the board," he said.

"Solid strategic governance is essential if we are to achieve our vision of seeing all Northlanders leading better lives through involvement in play, active recreation and sport.

Horse of the Year story update

Another Northland rider whose name was not included in Thursday's Horse of the Year story.

Eleven-year-old Kasha Yeo, riding Linden Summer Tribute and Linden Summer Rhapsody, performed well at the Hastings-held event last week, finishing second in the 'Paced and Mannered Show Pony of the Year not exceeding 138-centimetres' and the 'Riding Pony Society of New Zealand Ridden Show Pony, not exceeding 128cm'.

She also finished fourth in three other showing events and a seventh in the Show Pony of the Year, over 128cm and not exceeding 138cm.

Almost 300 riders will be racing across Northland over the weekend in the Tour of Northland Cycle Challenge. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Almost 300 riders will be racing across Northland over the weekend in the Tour of Northland Cycle Challenge. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Tour of Northland cycle challenge begins

Riders took off from Kensington Park on Thursday to mark the start of the 19th annual Tour of Northland Cycle Challenge which finished tomorrow.

The tour takes in coastal scenery of Northland, heading north from Whangārei to Russell on day one, followed by a coast-to-coast ride from Paihia to Opononi on day two, then down through the forest to Dargaville and the final day from Dargaville to Whangārei.

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Almost 300 riders were taking part with about 30 riders from the Northland region competing. Matthew Markby and Ben Johnstone both formerly from Northland are entered in group one for this year's event and should be contenders for both stage and overall winner. The overall title is wide open this year so it should be a close contest right to the finish.