Blues claim minor premiership as Tigers secure finals spot

The North Shore Tigers will be playing finals in 2018 after they claimed fourth spot on the ladder with their impressive 27 point win over the Waitakere Magpies at Parrs Park.

 

The Howick Hornets did all they could do as they defeated Manurewa by 10 goals and finished in fifth spot on the ladder.

In the final game of the round, the Mt Roskill Saints ended the 9 game winning streak of the University Blues as they won by 5 goals in a skillful display of footy.

It’s not all sour for the Blues as they finished the regular season in first place and claimed the minor premiership for 2018.

 

North Shore Tigers vs Waitakere Magpies

11th November, Parrs Park, Oratia.

The North Shore Tigers saved their best until last as they delivered their finest display of the season to book their place in the 2018 Semi Finals with a dominant win over the Waitakere Magpies.

In the must win game for the Tigers, they started strong and fast, kicking four goals in the opening quarter which set the tone for the rest of the match.

Solid defense and pressure on the loose ball enabled the Tigers to move the ball forward at pace. Both Rob Mostert and Xavier Rice slotted two goals, while Andriu Sucu was busy at half forward after returning from a hand injury suffered earlier in the season.

The Magpies kicked into gear in the second as they got more of the footy, the midfielders we delivering some good ball into their forward as Ben Hutton and Dan McGregor both kicked goals from set shots.

Big defensive efforts from Josh Copeland and Xavier McCluskey helping provide the Magpies with good run out of the back line.

The Tigers took a four goal lead at the main break and North Shore Coach Fraser Stevens ensured that the Tigers didn’t slack off in the second half, challenging his players to stay on top of the game.

It was an even contest in the third term as neither team could get the upper hand. Scrappy ball across the midfield resulted in plenty of stoppages and when the ball did spill to the forward 50, both sides were able to nullify the attack.

With tired bodies from a frantic game, the fourth quarter was a more open affair with Waitakere able to kick a couple of goals early however, the Tigers remained calm under pressure with the likes of Brandon Sucu, Rhys Pegoraro and Dane Strickland all making sure the game was in control.

The Tigers finished with a 27 point win and look hungry to claw their way back to the Grand Final and defend their title.

“I am really proud of the boys today. The season was on the line and to win in the fashion that we did was really promising. Some teams have written us off this season and we wanted to show that we are still a threat. We are still alive and we are confident that if we can keep playing like we did today, we can go all the way again.” Tigers Coach, Fraser Stevens.

“Tigers came out with a bit more to play for today, as it showed in today’s game. But we put some good parts of our game together and now look forward to Mt Roskill this weekend.” Waitakere Captain, Shane Leat.

Best:

North Shore: Rhys Pegoraro, Dane Strickland, Brandon Sucu, Andriu Sucu

Waitakere: Josh Copeland, Xavier McCluskey, Ben Hutton, Nick Bailey

 

Manurewa Raiders vs Howick Hornets

11th November, Paparoa Park, Howick.

It was a wet start to the game at Paparoa Park as Howick host the Manurewa Raiders.

With a semi finals spot on the line, Howick had to ensure a victory whilst hoping the Waitakere Magpies defeated the Tigers to claim fourth spot.

Manurewa played hard tough footy in the first quarter showing that they wanted the footy and were rewarded with an early goal.

The Hornets changed tactics and flooded the middle of the ground to stop any direct passing from their opposition and managed to take a three goal lead into the first break.

A quarter time rev up seemed to do the trick for the Hornets as they came out in the second hungry for the ball.

The Hornets defensive line of Jono Pearce, Aidan Paterson, Pete Jones & Tim Elsley worked tirelessly and kept Manurewa to no scoring shots for the quarter.

With the defence doing their job, the forwards had less pressure on them as they kicked another three goals to extend their lead.

Hornets midfielder Tyson Schmit had another solid game in the middle, working hard up and down the field and being the main ball gatherer to get the ball into the forward line.

As the sun came out in the second half the marks were starting to stick however both teams struggled to penetrate into their forward 50.

Manurewa managed to get a goal in the third quarter as Howick kicked another two goals in a closely contested quarter.

The Hornets kicked away in the last securing a big win and kicking 11 goals from 11 different goal kickers.

Heading into 2019, the focus for Manurewa will be to work on their attacking game to reward the hard work that the defence puts in.

“Hard fought win against a strong and valiant Manurewa and was a positive finish to our season.” Hornets Coach Ryan White.

“The lads put the effort all season which is what you want. The intent for the ball is always there but now it’s time to have an off season and get ready for 2019!” Raiders Head Coach, Dave Abetz.

Best:

Howick: Jono Pearce, Pete Jones, Aidan Paterson, Logan Kinnear

Manurewa: Rani Harris, Stevie Johnson, Taison Werahiko, Kikorangi Hibbs

 

University Blues vs Mt Roskill Saints

11th November, War Memorial Park, Mt Roskill.

It was a timely reality check for the University Blues in round 10, as a determined Saints side finally broke through.

The game started at a ferocious pace with players flying in and attacking the ball.

Mt Roskill managed to get the jump and kick a couple of goals to take a small lead into the first break.

As they always do though, the Blues got themselves back in the game thanks to Ben Hick and Louis Watt.

Former Saint Dwayne Cleugh sneaked a classic Dwayne-o goal against his former team, dribbling one in from 5 meters out as the Blues pounced.

Mt Roskill weren’t without their scoring opportunities in the second, but couldn’t find the middle of the goal, kicking 0.5 for the quarter.

The Saints came out much smarter in the third term and adjusted their style of play to be more effective throughout the ground.

Mitch Smith presented well up field and was taking plenty of marks, helping Roskill to get forward 50 entries which this quarter they were able to convert.

Lachie Stewart and Al Maisey were repelling all University’s attempts going forward and linking well with our midfield and wingers to move the ball quickly through the middle of the ground.

The Blues were ill-disciplined and allowed the Saint’s to score some easy goals which made their task of going through the season unbeaten all the more tricky.

University managed to hold on in the fourth quarter and by not letting the score blow out, they ensured themselves first position on the ladder and claimed the 2018 minor Premiership.

“I’m very happy for the team in how we performed well in a big game. Was particularly pleased how we came out in the second half and adjusted the way in which we were playing after giving away a few silly free kicks in the second quarter. Really shows how the team is maturing that we an adjust on the fly and be effective. Attention now moves forward to the semi’s and our match-up with the Magpies in what is sure to be a great game of footy.” Saints Captain Sam McKenzie.

“A strong and determined Saints side highlighted that this competition is only getting tougher. We will go away, regroup and work hard over the week so we can hopefully give ourselves another chance to see them again this year.” Blues Coach, Chris Mundell.

Best:

University: Harrison Manks, Ben Hick, Louis Watt, Simon Rea

Mt Roskill: Lachie Stewart, Mitch Smith, Alastair Maisey, Callum McLean

Story – AAFL.co.nz