Kerikeri High School kick off Hawks Cup

Kerikeri High School have kicked off the Junior Hawks Cup, winning the Northland Cluster Tournament against strong opposition.

Coming in to the tournament, all eyes were on 2013 champions Bay of Islands College, who were returning to defend their crown. The other returning school, Dargaville High School, were keen to improve on their previous efforts. The draw was rounded out by Whangarei Boys High School.

Played over 3 rounds, the Northland Hawks Cup offered all players a fantastic opportunity to learn the sport of AFL. With expert coaching and plenty of time playing matches, the improvements shown by all teams over the course of the tournament was phenomenal.

The first round saw Bay of Islands College and Kerikeri High School record their first wins of the tournament, against Dargaville High School and Whangarei Boys High School respectively.

Next up Whangarei Boys High School pushed Bay of Islands College hard, coming close to an upset win, while Kerikeri continued their winning ways against Dargaville.

The final round effectively became a set of playoffs for positions, with Dargaville kicking straight and true to upset Whangarei BHS by a very narrow margin, despite not having the best of territory or possession. Their score of 8 goals and 2 behinds was a remarkable feat of accuracy, and would be impressive at any level of AFL.

In the final match of the tournament, Kerikeri hung on to record a 3rd win of the day, beating Bay of Islands College by a comfortable margin. Their win was built on explosive running, confident play over the ball and accurate kicking.

Many of the players in the tournament have been invited to trial for the AFL New Zealand High Performance programme, which provides a pathway for talented athletes and players to represent New Zealand at AFL.

Coaches for two of the teams, Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas and Liam Caldwell, from Bay of Islands College and assistant coaching for Whangarei BHS, have been part of this programme, and have represented New Zealand in the process. Their experience was invaluable for their teams, and their presence showed the younger players what is possible through sticking with AFL.

Teachers also play a vital role in the Hawks Cup, with each school well served by the teacher in charge of the team. Dave and Lynda Scott from Bay of Islands College returned for another year, after being instrumental in putting together a school team over previous tournaments. Kevin Rebbechi from Whangarei BHS, Tui Raeli and Curtis Gaylor from Dargaville High School and Ryan Baker were outstanding as the teachers in charge of their school teams.

Assistance also came from Grant Caldwell, who helped manage the tournament, while Kerikeri HS were assisted by Sports Coordinator Bettina Simpson and volunteer Brendan Rosetta.

The Junior Hawks Cup programme will continue over the next week and a half, before culminating in the Junior Secondary Schools North Island Championships on the 15th of November at the Trusts Arena.


Round 1

BOIC 8.5:54 beat Dargaville HS 3.7:23

Kerikeri HS 9.10:64 beat Whangarei BHS 4.8:32

Round 2

Dargaville HS 2.4:16 lost to Kerikeri HS: 8.13:61

Whangarei BHS 4.4:28 lost to BOIC 6.6:42

Round 3

Whangarei BHS 6.10:46 lost to Dargaville HS 8.2:50

Kerikeri HS 8.7:55 beat BOIC 4.3:27

Best on Ground Awards:

BOIC: Bailey Bently-Hape

Whangarei BHS: Branden White

Dargaville HS: Hoani Rogers-Brown

Kerikeri HS: Brady Rush

Tournament Best and Fairest: Joe Wadman – Kerikeri High School


All four teams that competed in the 2014 Northland Junior Hawks Cup cluster tournament.
All four teams that competed in the 2014 Northland Junior Hawks Cup cluster tournament.