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Club rugby team profile: Johnsonville U85kg Terrahawks

The Johnsonville Terrahawks have won the first round JC Bowl U85kg competition with a record of 11 wins from 11 matches in the 12-team round-robin series, also finishing 11 points on the ladder ahead of second placed Poneke.

The U85kg grade now splits into three divisions over the next month, with the top two divisions also completing National Knockout Cup fixtures to tie in with the NZRU competition and National final on 3 September in Hamilton.

Johnsonville will join Poneke, OBU and the Upper Hutt Rams to compete for the Paul Potiki Shield, with scheduled round-robin games this coming Saturday and on 30 July and 6 August and then a straight final for the Paul Potiki Shield on 13 August. Matches on 23 July will be National Knockout Cup fixtures.

Club: Johnsonville.

Team name: Johnsonville Terrahawks U85s.

Team mascot: Couple of boxes of J’ville draught (Lion Brown).

Home ground: Helston Park, Johnsonville.

Competition currently playing: JC Bowl winners, Paul Potiki and National Cup U85kg grade.

 Social media: The boys have just started a Instagram page for the team which you can find us under jrfc_terrahawks85.

What are the team origins? 

This is the club’s first JC bowl so we gave it a good welcoming party on Saturday evening. Johnsonville have won the Paul Potiki twice before but way back in 2002 and 2004. In more recent times we lost the final to Tawa Titans in 2016 and the weather didn’t play into our favour and we didn’t get to play our signature free running footy. we still have six old boys still involved with the team from that final loss helping to give a good mix of experience for the youth coming through in our team. In 2017 the Terrahawks showed their flair and won the one and only U85kg 7s competition held in Wainuiomata.

Last year we rebuilt after a season off in 2020 and with plenty of fire power mixed with a social side second to none the team bonded very well resulting in a great season but falling at the last hurdle in the Paul Potiki final. Highlights from the season would have to be curtain raising the Prems on Old Timers’ Day at a packed Helston park and getting the win against the Southern Central team in the National Cup.

Tell us about the first round JC Bowl win and some highlights of the first round?

Success so far has come from a mix of talent within the squad and competition to get a playing spot as we have the luxury of a squad of about 30 guys which is rare these days with the unfortunate amount of defaults in the grade. Our high numbers can be put down to the amount of time spent chasing guys in the off season. It also helps when you are performing and have such a great bond off the field as well. We also have a great leadership group Headed by Captain Tahana Fermin and coaching staff, Head Coach and norths centurion Rob Aloe.

Who are the Terrahawks main rivals?

Our main Rivals would have to be Avalon, with a couple narrow loses to them in big games in previous seasons.

Is the pull/lure of the National U85kg Knockout Cup and  the chance for trips away and opportunities to play other teams extra motivation?

We have big goals for National Cup this season, it be great to get out of our conference and get an away trip to Auckland but even better to be representing wellington for the first time in the final which you couldn’t get a bigger stage, with it being the curtain raiser to the All Blacks vs Argentina international on 3 September.

How often does the team train and is there a strong or noted social side to the Terrahawks after the final whistle has been blown?

We train once a week with the club having six senior teams we share our one field with three other teams that night so are pretty tight as a club. Between the Terrahawks and the Cripples [Reserve Grade stalwarts] in the club there is definitely plenty of Johnsonville draught being consumed whether it be a 10-5win or a 5-10loss

Are there any team rituals or a team song?

We have a club winning chant that has become common in the after match changing sheds, so the new boys are getting the hang of it now.

Tell us about the composition of the Terrahawks team?

We have the six members from the 2016 final, led by our 2 koros of the team, Rawiri” Rasta ”Atkins and Shane ”Maf” Mathie, followed by player coach Andrew “Ap” Paul, former halfback turned prop Aaron” snotty nose ”Franklin, Nick“ Ging” Ward (out to injury) and Assistant coach Brad“ Beanie ”Young.

We have about eight members who are around 21 years of age so have plenty of youth coming through in the squad.

Players with plenty of Premiers experience come in the names of Corey Lawrence, Brady Cutting, Sam Tuala and coach Rob Aloe.

The majority of the squad is locally bred, which helps with off field antics, with one player, Jason Robertson, making the hike from Masterton to still be a part of the Terrahawks squad

The 2022 squadlist is:

  • Tahana Firmin (Captain)
  • Connor Nolan (Vice-captain)
  • Aaron Flanklin
  • Hamish Ulburg
  • Sam Gifkins
  • Sam Tuala
  • Corey Lawrence
  • Brady Cutting
  • Seamus Rowberry
  • Haeata Akuhata
  • Rawiri Atkins
  • Kieran Mee
  • Andrew Paul
  • Shane Mathie
  • Zyrus Grace
  • Kairau Stirling-Keremeta
  • Kyle Cummings
  • Lachie Jennings
  • Rohan Rawlings
  • Josh Campbell
  • Kayne Lyall
  • Rico Feaunati
  • Eti Brown
  • Cleveland Wairau
  • Grishin Muller
  • Rhion Wakefield-Rowberry
  • Isaiah Laula
  • Paihere Brown
  • Jason Robertson

Currently injured

  • Junior Ugapo (broken clavicle)
  • Mitchell Stokes (dislocated shoulder)


  • Bradley Young
  • Rob Aloe

The last word

Thanks to our sponsors Megabyte Technology Consultants, 1841 Bar and Restaurant and Motor Doctors

Good luck for the rest of the season.

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