Northland league fans can check out the 2015 Northern Swords Premiers firsthand when the side hosts the Counties Manukau Stingrays in the second round of the NZRL National Premiership at Lindvart Park in Kaikohe today.

As a bonus, there will be free entry to the match at Kaikohe's central rugby park as part of a promotion designed to boost support for the side's campaign this season.

RLN general manager Alex Smits said the free entry did not mean people should leave their wallets at home. There will be food and merchandise stalls, with the proceeds going towards helping the Swords age grade 15s and 17s teams with their upcoming nationals' campaign in Rotorua next month.

The Swords head into their second game of the season with much to ponder, after a Jekyll-and-Hyde effort against the Central Vipers in Papakura last Sunday.


Despite losing 38-4 to the Vipers, Swords' coach Jon Renes was particularly pleased with the second-half performance from his young side, which saw them on even footing with the Vipers.

He noted the Swords featured 11 players under the age of 22, three of who are 18, along with eight debutantes.

"The first half was frustrating, for most of the half we looked in control and controlled the ruck, but when we got split the Vipers capitalised and scored," Renes said.

"We had a couple of missed opportunities to score early on which could have changed the flow of the game, but that's footy and you need to convert your chances."

The Swords' points came via a try to co-captain Te Tuhi Tipene.

Today's action will begin with a number of North v South mini-mod games featuring players in various age grades from 8-to-12 from noon a curtain-raiser for the Swords' National Premiership clash which starts at 2pm.