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Pirtek National Premiership Starts This Weekend


Pirtek National Premiership Starts This Weekend
Auckland, New Zealand, August 22, 2013 – The NZRL’s Pirtek National Premiership starts this weekend, with the Northern Swords taking on the Canterbury Bulls at Toll Stadium in Whangarei. The match, which kicks-off at 1pm Sunday, is the first of 21 regular season games in the country’s premier domestic rugby league competition.

SKY TV will be screening a Monday night match from each round - starting from September 2 with the Wellington Orcas versus the Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions - leading into the October 21 final. SKY’s commentary team features former Kiwis Richie Barnett, Monty Betham and Awen Guttenbeil, as well as Dale Husband.

There has been one change to the Premiership schedule for the opening weekend. Last year’s beaten finalists, the Counties Manukau Stingrays, were due to play the Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions on Sunday. But this match will now be played on September 9 at Mt Smart Stadium, before the televised Akarana Falcons versus Wellington Orcas match.

The National Competition in the 17s age group also starts this weekend. The opening match in this division sees the defending champion Akarana Falcons take on the Wellington Orcas (2pm Saturday - Porirua Stadium, Wellington). The weekend’s other matches see the Northern Swords face the South Island Scorpions (11.30am Sunday - Toll Stadium, Whangarei) and the Counties Manukau Stingrays meet the Wai-Coa-Bay Colts (1pm Sunday - Massey Park, Papakura).

Updated draws for both the Pirtek National Premiership and the National Competition 17s can be found here:

There has been a change this season in the structure of the National Competition at 15s level. This year the 15s have a tournament week at Bruce Pulman Park in Papakura from September 30-October 4. The week includes a feature match between the NZ Residents 16s and the Queensland Academy of Sport 16s on Thursday, October 3.

Media note:
#1. Team lists for each National Competition round will be emailed on Fridays, with results from the matches sent on Sunday evenings (weekend games) and Monday evenings (Mt Smart televised matches).

#2. The NZRL National Competition features three teams from each of the seven Zones. The Premiers compete in the Pirtek National Premiership for the Albert Baskerville Trophy, the 17s for the Mark Graham Cup and the 15s for the Nathan Cayless Cup.

2012 National Competition Finals
Premiership: Akarana Falcons 38 v Counties Manukau Stingrays 20
17s: Akarana Falcons 34 v Counties Manukau Stingrays 14
15s: Counties Manukau Stingrays 35 v Akarana Falcons 10

Pirtek National Premiership – Monday Night Football (SKY Sport televised matches)
September 2 – Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions vs Wellington Orcas - SKY Sport 1, 7.30pm
September 9 - Wellington Orcas vs Akarana Falcons – SKY Sport 2, 7.30pm
September 16 - Counties Manukau Stingrays vs Akarana Falcons – SKY Sport 2, 7.30pm
September 23 - Akarana Falcons vs Canterbury Bulls – SKY Sport 2, 7.30pm
September 30 - Central Vipers vs Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions – SKY Sport 2, 7.30pm
October 7 - Northern Swords vs Wellington Orcas – SKY Sport 2, 7.30pm
October 14 - Canterbury Bulls vs Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions – SKY Sport 2, 7.30pm
October 21 - 1st place qualifier vs 2nd place qualifier – SKY Sport 2, 7.30pm

Note: The seven zone teams in the Pirtek National Premiership are (from North to South) the Northern Swords, Akarana Falcons, Counties Manukau Stingrays, Wai-Coa-Bay Stallions, Central Vipers, Wellington Orcas and the Canterbury Bulls (representing the Southern Zone).


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