The U16 New Zealand Hawks were involved in their second international campaign in as many months, but this time it was on home turf .
The travelling U16 Peninsula Saints from AFL South East Victoria flew to Wellington over the ANZAC weekend to play a 2 games series against the Hawks and also take in some New Zealand culture.
This is the first time a team from the AFL South East Victoria region has travelled over to New Zealand to play a series. The group spent 5 days in the capital under the guidance of General Manager of AFL South East Jeremy Bourke, who was also involved in bringing over the initial Victorian Amateur Football Association team 6 years ago.
“AFL South East wants to continue it’s relationship with AFL New Zealand and make this tour apart of our calendar. We are also looking at bringing over a girls team in the future to play against the New Zealand Kahu team.” AFL South East General Manager Jeremy Bourke.
In the first match at a sun bathed Hutt Park, the Peninsula Saints came out firing to take an early lead. The Victorians showed their pace and skill which caught the New Zealand Hawks by surprise.
U16 New Zealand Hawks captain Naitoa Ah Kuoi led from the front by playing a man of the match performance but in the end, the Saints ran out winners in game 1.
Contrasting conditions for game 2 meant wet and windy conditions. Once again the Saints got off to a fast start kicking with the wind and took a lot of effort from the New Zealand Hawks in defence to keep the score to as little as possible. Heading into the last quarter, the Peninsula Saints held a 40 point lead but kicking with the wind, the New Zealand Hawks didn’t give up kicking 5 goals to 1. The Hawks came up just short but showed fight and determination for next time they come up against the Peninsula Saints from Victoria.
Peninsula Saints: 8.9: 57
U16 NZ Hawks: 2.6: 18
Peninsula Saints: Beau Galley 2, Aaron Jackson 2, Jack Field, Lachlan Avery, Lachlan Fewster, Jayden Thomas
U16 NZ Hawks: Isaac Piper, Jordan Skinner
Best player winners:
NZ Hawks: Sam Green and Naitoa Ah Kuoi
Peninsula Saints: Tim Susovich and Aaron Jackson
Peninsula Saints: 12.4: 76
U16 NZ Hawks: 8.2: 50
Peninsula Saints: Jack Bailey 4, Lachlan Willey 2, Tim Susovich 2, Lachlan Avery, Aaron Jackson, Lachlan Fewster, Shea Mitchell
U16 NZ Hawks: Misilifi Faimalo 3, Shaun Hanning 3, Naitoa Ah Kuoi 2
Best player winners:
NZ Hawks: Lewis Barrow-Young and Misilifi (Richard) Faimalo
Peninsula Saints: Jake Field and Jack Bailey