The Central Giants have made the perfect start to the season winning their third game in a row as they defeated the Northern Suns at QBE Stadium. The Giants were victorious by 36 points and once again, the forward line duo of James Bowden and James McKenzie were outstanding as they combined to kick another eight goals for the match.
In the second game of the day, the Western Crows were ruthless on attack as they wowed the crowds with a 79 point demolition of the Southern Saints to leave the reigning Premiers reeling at the bottom of the Premiership ladder.
Central Giants vs Northern Suns:
The Central Giants were aiming for to win their third game of the season and came up against a confident Northern Sun’s side who knocked off the Southern Saints back in round 2.
It wasn’t long before the Giant’s were on the scoreboard when James Bowden kicked the first goal of the match after only 90 seconds. This was followed up by fellow forward James McKenzie who kicked the next three goals of the term to give them a 30 point lead at quarter time.
Only two goals were kicked in a defensive second quarter, but the goals rained down in the third as James Bowden kicked another two and was supported by the hard running Tayne Lockwood.
The Sun’s continued to fight and not give up but the Giant’s were too strong as they continued their perfect start to the season.
With a brand new song to sing, the Giant’s were full of glee after the game.
“The Sun’s kept us on our toes all game as they kicked some late goals in each of the quarters, but we managed to put on a four quarter performance quarter today and are happy to get through the first three rounds undefeated.” Giants Assistant Coach Wayne Sullivan.
Sun’s defender, Alex Awatere had another game to remember with his second best on ground performance in as many weeks. The Wellingtonian’s efforts in defence are keeping them in the game as he will play a key role for the remainder of the season.
Giant’s Captain Sam McKenzie (2 goals) is leading the way with his leadership skills on and off the field. The New Zealand forward has grabbed the reigns in 2018 and is steering them in the right direction.
James Bowden keeps delivering for the Giants.
The former New Zealand star kicked five goals on Sunday bringing his tally to nine goals for the season.
The support cast:
Nicholas Rhodes continues to improve and impress in his first season of Premiership footy. From Canterbury, Rhodes defensive efforts against the Sun’s earned him his first best on ground.
The consolation effort:
Alex Awatere produced another best on ground performance playing in defence for the Sun’s and Midfielder Joel Brown played his best game of the season.
Central Giants: James Bowden 5, James McKenzie 3, Tayne Lockwood 2, Sam McKenzie 2, Declan Crann 1.
Northern Suns: Jackson Clince 2, Ari Cohen 2, Heta Scarf-Matthews 1, Josh Mackie 1, Joel Brown 1.
Best on ground:
Central Giants: Nicholas Rhodes
Northern Suns: Alex Awatere
Western Crows vs Southern Saints:
The Western Crow’s have stamped their names as Premiership contenders after piling on 112 points to demolish reigning Premiers, the Southern Saints by 79 points on Sunday afternoon at QBE Stadium.
Crow’s Captain Jay Johnson played a vital role in the win with a exceptional performance in the midfield. The New Zealand representative kicked two first quarter goals to lay the foundation as Otago based defender Christian Blackie helped keep the Saints scoreless in the first quarter.
A four goal to two second quarter gave the Crow’s a handy 40 point lead at half time.
Shane Leat showed his class in the second half with a number of centre clearances and gave forwards, Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas (3 Goals) and Joey Alesich-Tamariki (1 goal) some quality football.
Former New Zealand star Vandyn Hartman got one over current New Zealand squad member Misilifi Faimalo, when he picked up a loose ball close to the sideline and spun to evade Faimalo’s attempted tackle. This lead to another goal for the Crow’s.
The Crow’s kept the foot on the throttle as they notched up a big win and finished the day with 10 different goal kickers.
Zac Maio finished the game with 3 goals bringing his tally to 6 goals for the season. The small forward has been a handy inclusion for the Crow’s in 2018 and is becoming a strong target up front.
Hayden Johnston was named best for the Saint’s. The 18 year old defender is strong in the air and hard at the contest. With more game time under his belt, Johnston will grow into a key player for the reigning Premiers.
Crows Head Coach Andrew Crighton has brought a new culture to team in 2018 and it seem’s to be rubbing off on the players.
“It was a good fun day out there today and you could see that the team were really enjoying themselves. I thought (Christian) Blackie was awesome for us down back and Ronan was exceptional in his first game as well.”
After his four goal effort in last week’s game, Joey Alesich-Tamariki put in another great performance as he was named the Crow’s best. Joey has developed his contested marking ability and that, combined with an accurate boot and fast pace makes him a strong team member.
The support cast:
New Zealand players Jay Johnson and Christian Blackie put their hands up for ANZAC selection. Johnson’s efforts and skill execution opened up the game for the Crow’s and allowed them to attack while Blackie’s defensive tackling put the Saint’s under pressure and held them to only five goals for the game.
The consolation effort:
Missing a number of stars for this weeks match, Saints Captain Michael Boyce was thrust into the midfield to provide more experience in the centre of the ground. The New Zealand defender never gave up all game and even managed to kick two goals in an inspiring effort.
Western Crows: Zac Maio 3, Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas 3, Jay Johnson 2, Brad Wade 2, Joey Alesch-Tamariki 1, Lewis Gill 1, Jed Williams 1, Alastair Maisey 1, Steph Tabaillou 1, David Rattenbury 1.
Southern Saints: Ryan Marsland 3, Michael Boyce 2.
Best on ground:
Western Crows: Joey Alesich-Tamariki
Southern Saints: Hayden Johnston
The Crow’s and the Sun’s kick off round 4 next Sunday the 4th of March at 11.30am. Both sides play a similar attacking style of footy so it could be raining goals in this match.
The Southern Saints will be hoping to cause an upset against the Giants when they clash at 1.45pm. The Saints will welcome back big names Andriu Sucu and Carlos Donnell-Brown who were sorely missed in their round 3 loss to the Crows.
It all happens at QBE Stadium in Albany and entry is FREE!!!