2019 AAFL mid season review

03 Oct, 2019

At the halfway mark of the 2019 Auckland AFL season, we take a look at each of the clubs to see how they are faring so far in the competition.

 

Reigning Premiers, the University Blues have been the standout so far while Waitakere have hit their straps and are pushing for a top 2 finish.

 

University Blues

Current position: 1st

 

The season so far:

University picked up where they left off last season and have once again shown that age and experience goes a long way in the Auckland AFL. The only undefeated side left in the competition, the Blues have brushed past every opponent that has come their way.

Whats working:

The Blues have been hot on attack this season averaging 83.6 points per game.

Key forwards James Considine and Sam Anderson are providing solid targets for the New Zealand midfield of Ben Hick, Liam Beattie and Tim Stokes.

Best players:

Liam Beattie

Ben Hick

Tim Stokes

Louis Watt

James Considine

Grade: A+

Predicted Finish: Runners up

 

North Shore Tigers

Current position: 2nd

 

The season so far:

It was a hot start for the Tigers in 2019 with big wins over Manurewa and Howick. However, they have shown their weaknesses in the last 2 weeks and have lost back to back games against University and Waitakere.

Whats working:

When the Tigers are at full strength, they are tough to beat. They have a wealth of experience and key position players Andriu Sucu (Back), Bryn Barnes-Webb (Midfield) and Rob Mostert (Forward) create a solid spine and help develop the younger players around them.

Look for the Tigers to lift again towards Finals where they could prove deadly with a full squad.

Best players:

Andriu Sucu

Bryn Barnes Webb

Jake Tucker

Steve Howard

Grade: B+

Predicted Finish: Premiers

 

Mt Roskill Saints

Current position: 3rd

 

The season so far:

The Mt Roskill Saints are currently sitting in 3rd spot on the ladder with a 3 win, 2 loss record. Losses to North Shore and University won’t dent their chances of making finals in 2019 and will be hoping to go one better and win the flag.

Whats working:

Tristan Burnett has been the Saints best this season. The hard running midfielder get’s a lot of the footy and links up with the Saints forward line.

Best players:

Tristan Burnett

Michael Boyce

Alastair Maisey

Sam McKenzie

Grade: B

Predicted Finish: 4th

 

Waitakere Magpies

Current position: 4th

 

The season so far:

The Pies had a sluggish start to the 2019 season as they were defeated in round 1 by the Howick Hornets followed by back to back losses to Mt Roskill and University. The Magpies surprised the whole competition in round 5 when they finally kicked kicked into gear to dominate the North Shore Tigers on their home turf.

The worry for the Magpies at the moment is that they are conceding an average of 50 points per game. If they are going to win the flag this season, they will have to work harder in defence.

Whats working:

The Magpies have been patient in getting their game plan right during the first half of the season and haven’t panicked when they have found themselves behind on the scoreboard. Carlos Donnell-Brown and Shane Leat are working hard in the middle while Nico Donnell-Brown is having his best season playing as a defender. Magpies stalwart Dan McGregor has kicked 11 goals for the season and is winding back the clock in the forward line.

Best players:

Nico Donnell-Brown

Shane Leat

Declan Crann

Dan McGregor

Grade: B

Predicted Finish: 3rd

 

Howick Hornets

Current position: 5th

 

The season so far:

Howick were fast out of the blocks in round 1 with a 9 point win over Waitakere and were unlucky to take 4 points from their game against University. They ran into a red hot Tigers side in round 3 and boosted their percentage with a big win over Manurewa in round 5.

It will have to be a strong second half to the season for Howick if they are to make finals for the first time.

Whats working:

The Hornets continue to develop as a club on and off the field. Auckland and AFLNZ Premiership Premiership Best and Fairest Jay Green continues to lead the way in the middle and Ryan White and Harley Jenkins provide a solid back up around the ground.

If they continue to stick to their game plan, they can trouble the other sides.

Best players:

Blake Waters

Jay Green

Ryan White

James Mackinder

Harley Jenkins

Grade: B-

Predicted Finish: 5th

 

Manurewa Raiders

Current position: 6th

 

The season so far:

It has been a tough start to the season for the Manurewa Raiders. They have suffered some big losses to the hands of Univeristy, Howick and North Shore and have kicked an average of 13.6 points per game. Not for a lack of trying, the Raiders head into each round looking to develop their game and with a younger squad with a small amount of experience, look for Manurewa to build in the second half of the season.

Whats working:

Manurewa’s commitment to learn and develop is the best part about their season. They have shown glimpses of what they can do in patches and can work hard from knowing what they can produce when they play to their potential.

Best players:

Ronan Morling

Clayton Hicks

Alex Fakatoumafi

Tou Dodds

Grade: C –

Predicted Finish: 6th

 

Story – Auckland AFL

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