Blues remain unbeaten after holding off Tiger fightback

The Uni Blues remain the only unbeaten side in the Auckland AFL competition as they produced a big second quarter to beat the North Shore Tigers by 29 points in round 4 over the weekend.


The Mt Roskill Saints survived an early scare to beat Howick Hornets AFL by 24 points and the Waitakere Magpies scored their first win of the season defeating the Manurewa Raiders by 12 goals in South Auckland.


Howick Hornets vs Mt Roskill Saints

22nd September, Paparoa Park, Howick.

Howick had a dream start to the game in the first quarter as the Hornets swarmed the Saints attack who struggled to transition the ball out of their back 50. The home side’s defence was contesting every ball up and down the field leading to turn overs and repeat entries.

With a strong wind behind them, Howick went into the first break leading by 21 points.

The Saints responded well in the second quarter kicking a few early goals and made it tough for Howick to get the ball out of their own half.

Rico Ah Toon managed to tag Saints midfielder Tristan Burnett out of the game in the first half. Mt Roskill switched him out of the middle in the second half as Ah Toon was doing such a great job.

Cody Johnson backed up a really solid performance for Howick in the reserves and earned his first cap for the seniors. Johnson has been showing some really good signs over the past few weeks and is incredibly tough over the ball for the smallest guy on the field.

With the scores tied at halftime, Howick stuttered after the main break and didn’t make full use of the wind as they only managed 1 goal for the quarter.

Mt Roskill stepped it up in the final term and hounded the Hornets with attacking pressure.

Four goals in the fourth quarter proved the difference as the Saints marched on with their third win of the season.

Tim Elsley played well on Saints forward James Mackenzie limiting his impact on the score board.

Logan Kinnear was back in his favoured position of Wing and relished it with lots of run into space.

“Although the results didn’t go our way, there is plenty to take out of the loss. The results show we are only a few kicks away from the other teams in the competition and means we have to work hard in the second half of the season.” Hornets player, Ryan White.

University Blues vs North Shore Tigers

22nd September, Colin Maiden Park, St Johns.

The top of the table clash showed that Uni are still the team to beat after the 29 point win over the Tigers.

A strong start by both teams ensured that this was going to be a physical clash and that converting chances was going to be key.

Jake Tucker started strong for the Tigers running off the half back line and Steve Howard was holding his own against Blues ruckman, Patrick Landy.

At quarter time the Blues led by a single point after some very accurate finishing by each teams forward line.

The second quarter proved the difference with University moving the ball with greater efficiency from the stoppages.

Blues midfielders Ben Hick and Liam Beattie were showing their class early as they got their hands on a lot of the footy.

They were able to exit the ball from the breakdown with ease and precision, allowing their forwards to convert 4 goals to one and go into half time with the momentum.

Louis Watt was up and about late in the quarter after kicking a stunning goal from outside 50.

A few line up changes saw the Tigers stay in the hunt and start matching the Blues for height in the contest but it was their inability to get the ball into the forward 50 that let them down. A more direct style of play may have been the difference for the Tigers.

Harison Manks and Pete Rodgers were phenomenal in the backline for the Blues, the pair had mulitple intercept marks and weren’t letting the Tigers gain any advantage into their forward 50.

Down by 17 going into the final quarter, the Tigers kicked the first 2 goals to get within a kick but Uni hit back straight away through James Considine and the home side had 3 of their own to seal the win.

“Really happy that each week we improve on our last start and are continuing to build as a squad. The ability to wrestle back momentum in the fourth quarter was credit to the work the team has put in. Credit also goes to the Tigers who had some quality phases of play. They will be right in the mix come finals.” Chris Mundell, University.

“Well done to Uni on a good win today. Playing Uni at their home ground is always a tough trip and while we didn’t leave with the win, we gained a good understanding of where we sit against one of the better sides. We’ll get back to the training pitch with a few things to work on and make sure we’re ready for the challenge at the business end of the season.” Dan Pearce, Tigers Captain.

Manurewa Raiders vs Waitakere Magpies

22nd September, Mountfort Park, Manurewa.

The Waitakere Magpies notched their first win of the 2019 season with a 12 goal victory over the Manurewa Raiders.

Waitakere hit the game hard from the first bounce and raced out to a big lead early on as the new combinations for Manurewa struggled to connect early on.

Carlos Donnell-Brown was dominant for the Magpies as he traded his deadly right hand fend in for some silky hand passes that really opened the game up. The score could have doubled but the forward line could not capitalize, kicking 7 behinds in the first.

Alex Fakatoumafi kicked Rewa’s first goal in the 2nd quarter as he picked up the ball out of a contest and kicked true.

In the 3rd quarter, the new Raiders started to gel which saw them rewarded with set shots on goal.

Clayton Hicks was playing his first game for Manurewa and showed his skill and determination throughout the match to earn Best on Ground in his Raiders debut.

Magpies ruckman Chris Gawn had his best game of the season winning majority of the taps and positioning himself well around the ground to take intercept marks.

Veterans Daniel McGregor and Dusan Hakaraia were finding some good link play that has made them a dominant duo for the Magpies in previous years and look to keep that going for the rest of the season, also combining to kick 4 goals between them.

Manurewa produced a great final quarter as Alex Fakatoumafi kicked his second goal for the game and the Raiders put in the efforts to run out the game and won the final term on the scoreboard but it was the Mapgies who walked away with the 4 points.

The Magpies backline of Jamie Gresham, Josh Copeland and Declan Crann provided great running options down the back and were key to keeping the Raiders to only 3 scores for the game.

“We had executed a lot of what we had trained this week which was great to see. To see our debutants and the entire team step up and execute like that makes me excited for the rest of the season.” Magpies Captain, Shane Leat.

“Top effort from the lads. We were a bit off the pace in the first 2 quarters and that put us behind the eight ball but fought back in the second half as combinations started to flow.” Jordan Thompson, Manurewa.

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