The Western Crows pounced on the inaccurate Central Giants to hold their position atop the competition while the Southern Saints ended the Northern Suns red hot form by kicking their way to a 10 goal victory in Round 6 of the AFL New Zealand Premiership.
Western Crows vs Central Giants:
The Western Crows consolidated their position at the top of the table as they took advantage of a Central Giants team who were unable to convert their opportunities at goal.
Always quick to get on the scoreboard early, the Crows kicked 4 goals to 1 in the first quarter to assert their dominance over the Giants.
Rosmini College student Joseph Alesich-Tamariki kicked four goals for the game and is rapidly climbing the goal kicking leaderboard. The 17-year-old has found a home in the forward line and is enjoying the freedom to create space for himself to mark the ball and help his team on the scoreboard.
The midfield trio of Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas, Adam Rice and Ty Smith were slick once again along with Jessie Baty who managed to kick a goal on the run and gather many possessions throughout the game.
The Central Giants had a tough day at the office by kicking 13 behinds for the match as their inaccuracy at goal hurt their chance of clawing themselves back in the game.
Wellington defender Alex Awatere (man of the match) was a shining light for the Giants as he worked hard during a busy day in the backline.
A 6 goal third quarter put the game to bed for the Crows as they ran out 48 point winners and take one step closer to lifting the AFLNZ Premiership trophy at the end of the season.
Goals: Behinds: Total: 12 7 79 3 13 31
Western Crows: J. Alesich-Tamariki 4, A. Kohai 2, J. Baty 2, T.Tipene-Thomas 1, M.Kemp 1, S. Leat 1, B. Armstrong 1.
Central Giants: T. Morton 1, S. Andrews 1, W. Gregson 1.
Player of the match awards:
Western Crows: Adam Rice
Central Giants: Alex Awatere
Southern Saints vs Northern Suns:
The Southern Saints were looking to get back to their winning ways after last week’s defeat to the Crows and were coming up against a Suns side that had won their past two games.
In blustery conditions at QBE Stadium, captain James Kusel lead from the front as the Suns kicked into the wind in the first quarter. Kusel, worked hard in defence to stop the Saints from scoring and even managed to move himself up the ground and kicking a goal to leave the Suns trailing by 10 points at the first break.
The Saints stepped up a gear in the second as they kept the Suns scoreless through the solid defence of Brandon Sucu, Jordan Thompson and Nico Donnell-Brown. Saints forwards Troy Brown (4 goals) and Utu Ah Kuoi worked hard down front in the forward line. A highlight of the match saw Ah Kuoi put on a show for the crowd as he stepped past Suns players Tim Stokes and Liam Beattie to kick a goal from 30 metres out.
With the wind at their backs in the third quarter, the Saints put the pressure on the Suns by piling on another 4 goals and as he Suns ran out of steam, the Saints found their next level to win by 58 points and stay in touch with the table topping Crows.
Goals: Behinds: Total: 13 11 79 4 7 31
Southern Saints: T. Brown 4, S. Guttenbeil 2, B. Hick 1, J. Morris 1, T. Misiloi 1, S. McKenzie 1, U. Ah Kuoi 1, L. Dunning 1, C. McGeough 1.
Northern Suns: J. Kusel 1, N. Lenihan 1, J. Drinkall 1, T. Stokes 1.
Player of the match awards:
Southern Saints: Utu Ah Kuoi
Northern Suns: Dan Carston
The AFLNZ Premiership takes a break over Easter weekend and will return on Sunday the 3rd of April where you will see the Sun’s try to exact revenge on the Saints at 11.45am while the Crows and the Giants battle it out at 1.45pm.