October 13 - 19, 2013: Issue 132

 Haka comes to Hitchcock

The Avalon Bulldogs hosted the Ngongotaha Chiefs in friendly matches at Hitchcock Park on the holiday Monday (7.10.2013) with matches played between the 15’s and 17’s, which included an almost length of the field try by 17’s Bulldog’s player Oscar Barry – a great afternoon and good bonding sessio between the next generation for both our countries. 

After a beautiful rendition of the New Zealand National Anthem by Jess Harris, wife of Life Member Dick Harris, Evie Fail and Claudia Kovacevich sang our own Australian National Anthem to open the proceedings.

The Haka , the  traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand was performed by both the visiting 15’s and 17’s prior to their matches commencing and clearly stirred up the blood of competitors and spectators alike. 

The 15’s ran hard all match on both sides, the first to score being the Ngongotaha Chiefs. That match ended at 36-8 in favour of the New Zealanders. The 17s was a close match throughout. The try scored by Oscar Barry, from near the 20 line and to the other end of the field brought the whole crowd to their feet. Pretty amazing stuff. Oscar then converted his own try. A stand out moment from this afternoon. The 17s finished at 26-30, this time in Avalon Bulldog’s favour.

Legendary player Eric Grothe jnr. Presented medals to both team inscribed with the date and name of the match, the visitors receiving Manly Sea Eagles caps as a bonus gift to take home. 

Eric Raymond Grothe (born 15 March 1980 in Sydney, New South Wales) is an Australian retired professional rugby league footballer of the 2000s. An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative winger, he played the majority of his club career with the Parramatta Eelsof the National Rugby League, with whom his father, Eric Grothe, Sr. achieved legendary status in the 1980s. Grothe, Jr. also spent three seasons with the Sydney Roosters.

Eric is also a talented musician and plays in the band Shinobi with his brother Daniel and mates Darren Stapleton and Wayne Langfield. Eric writes the lyrics for their songs. Shinobi registered on Triple J’s Unearthed initiative with the track "Enemy" at Number 13 in the Overall Unearthed Charts as at week ending 18 November 2007.

Eric Grothe, Jr.. (2013, July 5). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved  from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Eric_Grothe,_Jr.&oldid=562924617

Ngongotaha is a town on the western shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua in New Zealand's North Island. The boys explained that it’s not too far from Rotorua city, and some regard it as an outer suburb of the larger centre. However, most locals would be adamant that Ngongotaha is an independent village in its own right. Its population is 4000. Its name is derived from a legend of Ihenga, the famous Māori explorer. It is said Ihenga met the Patu-paiarehe on Mount Ngongotaha and was offered a drink from a calabash (ngongo = to drink, tahā = calabash). 

The two visiting teams were returning a visit from the Avalon Bulldogs made in the middle of the year. 

The Chiefs are mentioned in the Wikipedia page on Ngongotaha!:

Ngongotaha is often referred to by locals as the "Sunny side of the Mountain". The village has strong football (Ngongotaha AFC), rugby league (Ngongotaha Chiefs), rugby union and netball teams. There are several marae within the community.

The Ngongotaha Stream, which flows through the village centre and onward into Lake Rotorua is one of the most heavily fished areas in New Zealand. Specimen Rainbow trout and brown trout are regularly taken by fly fishermen. Other nearby streams (Awahou, Waiteti and Hamurana) also offer good fishing.

Despite its small size, Ngongotaha has produced a number of famous New Zealanders, including:

Hika Reid All Black Rugby Player 1980-1986. Jeremy Paul Australian Wallaby Rugby Player, a 1999 World Cup winner. Temuera Morrison Actor

Ngongotaha. (2012, January 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ngongotaha&oldid=471034785

Avalon Bulldogs Junior Rugby League Football Club: www.avalonbulldogs.com.au/

 Craig Wommersley (15’s coach), Eric Grothe jnr. Dick Harris (Life Member at Avalon Bulldogs JRLFC) and Michael Birtwhistle, President of Avalon Bulldogs JRLFC)

15's Match 

Darren and Mark - Referee and Touch Judge 15's. 


Oscar Bary -spritning away from all to score a great try. 

Report and photos by A J Guesdon, 2013.