Contenders line up for tough Form XV
The first round of the Hamersley Cup senior rugby competition has uncovered a couple of talented youngsters plus one potential Heartland star.
The title race remains wide open but there have been some standouts for their clubs.
The Form XV has identified players by position and they have played the majority of the round, but they may not necessarily make the step up to the Heartland team.
In some positions the choices were tough while in others the pickings were sparse.
In-form Celtic loosehead Matt Fetu was an easy choice and also gains the captaincy, while his young tighthead Garrett Casey has impressed.
While still needing some work on his fitness Casey has proved his mettle in the front row while also being prominent as a ball carrier.
Mackenzie hooker Johnny Andrews has been in excellent form and gets in ahead of Temuka's Aifala Taelega.
The locks are Pleasant Point's Luke Brice and Waimate's hard-working Jamie Engelbrecht.
The loose forwards were tough to decide.
Openside went to Mackenzie's BJ Oliver who has been excellent at the breakdown, while at No 8 Harlequins' Sam Vea edged out Celtic's Kali Latu. Old Boys Junior Fa'ave was also in the mix.
Old Boys' Kane-Paul Smith got the nod at No 6 after good performances for the battling Blues.
At halfback Geraldine's Ryan Neutze has had it tough in a winless side but has performed admirably.
Pleasant Point's Bryce Shearer impressed early before being knocked out against Mackenzie, but has bounced back well.
His running game may give the 19-year-old a shot at the Heartland side.
Plenty of players have a claim to second-five and centre with not much separating them.
Geraldine's Kevin Moore, who played for West Coast last season, has done well in limited appearances.
Waimate's Jared Matthews has plenty of attacking ability and is also a very good defender.
The Harlequins pair of Paula Fifita and Hau Kaumatule are great linebreakers, while Mackenzie's Fa'aitu Tuamoholea always plays well.
In the end Fifita and Matthews got the spots.
Both wings were chosen because of their outstanding ability on attack.
Pleasant Point's Simon Murray and Temuka's Rupeni Cokasanagi are dangerous just about every time they get the ball.
Cokasanagi has pace and vision along with a Campese-like goose step and should find himself in the Heartland team if his visa permits.
The fullback is Waimate's Irish import Steve Macaulay, who appears a very competent footballer.
1 Matt Fetu (Celtic)
2 Johnny Andrews (Mackenzie)
3 Garrett Casey (Celtic)
4 Luke Brice (Pleasant Point)
5 Jamie Engelbrecht (Waimate)
6 Kane-Paul Smith (Old Boys)
7 BJ Oliver (Mackenzie)
8 Sam Vea (Harlequins)
9 Ryan Neutze (Geraldine)
10 Bryce Shearer (Pleasant Point)
11 Rupeni Cokasanagi (Temuka)
12 Paula Fifita (Harlequins)
13 Jared Matthews (Waimate)
14 Simon Murray (Pleasant Point)
15 Steve Macaulay (Waimate)
Substitutes: Aifala Taelega (Temuka), Toko Fakatava (Waimate), Ben Simpson (Celtic), Nick Strachan (Celtic), Theo Davidson (Waimate), Fa'aitu Tuamoheloa (Mackenzie), Jared Trevathan (Geraldine). Coaches: Nigel Walsh (Celtic), Justin Geary (Mackenzie)
- The Timaru Herald