Hawks make it two from two

Played at Hutt Park in Wellington the NZ Hawks went into the game looking to take the series after winning the first game on ANZAC Day at Wellington Stadium. As many observers noted, both teams were playing two games. One with the wind and one against it.

A reasonable crowd arrived to watch the match, family members of players, and AFL fans who had come for the chance to see some live footy.

The South Pacific Academy started with the wind, and made full use of it, having four goals on the board before the Hawks scored. The Hawks were put under tremendous pressure, and eventually regained their composure late in the first quarter.

The Hawks midfield started to work its way into the game, and the backs, led by Captain Justin Clark, started using the ball better. The Hawks machine was starting to fire and they were well and truly in the game. Even so, they were down 9-26 on the scoreboard.

In the second quarter the Hawks reasserted control switching to a more direct style of play given the veracity of the breeze favouring their end this quarter.  McGregor was the initial beneficiary of this kicking a goal from a strong mark at the 3 minute mark, and then Butler popping up for an opportunistic rovers goal shortly thereafter.

Butler was to have two more scoring shots in the next 6 minutes and finished the quarter with two goals one. South Pacific were pinned back in their own territory for much of the quarter, and only managed a few points. The first half ended with the score at 36-28 to New Zealand.

The third quarter was to prove to be the match winner.  The breeze favouring the South Pacific was now officially a wind.  The Hawks set up with one extra defender and ran the ball particularly well.  The midfield pressure was excellent and the South Pacific struggled to get forward with any sort of accuracy kicking one goal, five behinds for the quarter.

Cam Lubransky was getting on top in the ruck for the Hawks, with Ash Duncan and man of the match Mike Gregson making the most of his good work. The third quarter finished with the teams locked at 42-42.

With scores level at the last change the Hawks were implored to work smart.  Blazing away with the wind was not going to win the game.  Careful forward entry was the order of the last stanza with the coach emphasising the importance of the first goal. Christensen obliged kicking a long bomb within the first minute of the last.

After winning the lead, the floodgates opened with the Hawks completely demolishing South Pacific in emphatic style. Goal after goal went in, with South Pacific unable to consistently get out of their own half.


The Hawks kicked another seven goals, four behinds in the last, and ran out 54 point winners.While the final score was one sided, it masked the fact that for the first three quarters the teams had been close. The match ended 96-42.

Final Score:  NZ Hawks 14.12.96 defeated South Pacific 5.12.42

Best Players: 

NZ Hawks: M. Gregson, W. Gregson, Johnson, Lubransky, B. Sucu, A. Sucu, Leat, McGregor, Van Wijk, Kusel.

South Pacific: Major Alphonse, Kade Riddell, Siope Ngata, Jame McKenzie, Hugo Philllips, Tevita Misiloi


NZ Hawks: McGregor (4) Butler (3)  McKenzie (3) W. Gregson (2) Duncan, Christensen, B. Sucu

South Pacific Academy: Westrupp (2) Mong, Morgan, Fonohema