All in all, it was a trying season for the men wearing the Cambridge Blue.
Losing eight consecutive games in between two wins saw the Northland Taniwha finish one place above wooden spoon winners, Southland, in the Mitre 10 Cup championship this year.
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After winning their first game against Southland back in August, an unforgiving injury cloud quickly grew over the Taniwha to finish their campaign, with 11 players out with injury for their last game against Otago two weekends ago at Whangārei's Semenoff Stadium.
Interestingly, the side came out triumphant in their final hit-out of the season, in spite of their injury count. Nevertheless, the lack of experience out on the park hurt the Taniwha as over their eight losses, Northland conceded almost 46 points on average per game.
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However, with the season done and dusted and reviews underway, Northland assistant coach Brad Te Haara was already working on how to see better results in 2020.
"We went into the season positive and I guess if you go to the end, it was disappointing," Te Haara said.
"At the end of the day, we are judged off wins and losses and we got two wins and we didn't reach a goal of a home semifinal and there were contributing factors to that obviously."
While he said a high injury count was not an excuse for poor results, Te Haara accepted it did have an impact on the squad but said it had also been a positive experience for some of the team's new local players.
"These guys have gained some really valuable experience, some of them may not have got on the field too often, but they've been in the programme and the Mitre 10 environment for a season."
Northland introduced nine debutants this season which was about the same as previous years. Te Haara said the new faces to the group had a big role to play next year, considering the likes of Jack Debreczeni would not be returning for Northland in 2020 and because the union would be celebrating its centenary.
"The one thing you can't coach is experience so I think that's a real positive and that's going to help with our depth moving forward because next year will be really important being the 100th year."
While he admitted there had been some painful times during the season, Te Haara said the group was always an enjoyable one to be around because of the commitment shown by the team.
"We had some good times as a group towards the back end because we just focused on enjoyment and pride in the jersey and I think people realise that.
"[The fans] are probably still not happy we lost and neither are we, but they couldn't probably question the heart or what the boys were doing."
Te Haara identified youth rugby as a key area of concern moving forward. He said resources needed to be directed at both teenage boys' and girls' rugby, which would pay off in the years to come.
With geographical isolation a tough issue to overcome for all codes, Te Haara hoped to see high performance resources in areas such as the Far North to take advantage of the rich talent in those areas.
"There is so much talent up north but it's hard to capture because everything is down [in Whangarei]," he said.
"I think we are inclusive but we could be more inclusive and we've got to stop using the barrier of travel as an excuse."
Te Haara hoped to work closer with local clubs in the future to help develop young athletes so they would be better equipped to make the jump to Mitre 10 Cup level.