The Waitakere Magpies have made it 14 games undefeated after overcoming a strong North Shore Tigers side in round 2 of the Auckland AFL over the weekend. In the remaining games, the University Blues have scored a big win over the Manurewa Raiders while the Mt Roskill Saints have their first win of the season after a 77 point thumping of the Howick Hornets.
Manurewa Raiders vs University Blues
10th September, 2.00pm, Mountfort Park, Manurewa.
Another strong performance from the University Blues saw them keep their lead at the top of the Auckland AFL ladder after a 70 point win over the Manurewa Raiders in difficult conditions at Mountfort Park in Manurewa.
Manurewa came out firing from the first bounce but University managed to settle into their game plan and some strong kicking playing into the wind held Manurewa early on.
Midfielder Tim Stokes received his second best on ground in as many weeks as he allowed the Blues midfield to dominate the stoppages for the majority of the game. Stokes was aptly supported by former New Zealand Level 2 Academy Captain, Seb Serrano who was back playing his first game for University in a year.
“I thought our skills and intent in the conditions were really good and we stuck to the way we wanted to play throughout. From there we were able to use the ball well and pick them apart to ensure we were kicking goals from desired positions.” University Blues head coach Chris Mundell.
Harison Manks and Damien McDowell were also strong for the Blues in their 11 goal victory.
“With three big games ahead, we are certainly happy with how we are progressing but are aware of how dangerous our coming opponents can be.” Mundell is happy with the sides start to the season.
University will now look forward to their next game against the North Shore Tigers at Onepoto Domain next Sunday. With both sides boasting strong squads, this game will no doubt be a blockbuster.
Mt Roskill Saints vs Howick Hornets
10th September, 2.00pm, War Memorial Park, Mt Roskill.
Wet ground conditions at War Memorial Park was always going to make it hard to play some running footy in the match between Mt Roskill and Howick. A strong breeze favouring one end of the ground meant that both teams were looking to capitalize while they had the opportunity.
The intent and intensity of Howick in the opening quarter gave the Mt Roskill team a few problems with rushed delivery into the forward line. Veteran Matt Kemp got a few early touches sitting in the half back line mopping up the back of the contests and freeing the midfield to allow better forward entries which the forward line were able to make the most off.
Full forward Andrew McKenzie kicked three goals for the game and could have easily been four after missing a golden opportunity right in front of goal.
Saints captain Sam McKenzie was impressed by the physical pressure that the Hornets played with. “They were a good side and another few rounds playing together they will be a force!”
Howick were unable not able to make the most of the wind in the 2nd quarter gave the Saints a healthy half time lead. Half time message must’ve been powerful for Howick who came out strong and put numbers round the ball in the wet and shut down Roskill for most of the 3rd (who were playing with the wind).
In the 4th quarter, the Saints regrouped and were able to kick a few goals into the wind on the back of Jessie Baty taking some strong marks and recording their first win of 2017.
North Shore Tigers vs Waitakere Magpies
10th September, 2.00pm, Onepoto Domain, Northcote.
A strong North Shore Tigers side were out to stop the rampaging Waitakere Magpies who were on a run of 13 games undefeated dating back to the beginning of the 2016 season.
With wet conditions under foot it proved hard for the players to string some some good passages of play together. Waitakere played a better first half while North Shore took the lead in the third quarter after two quick goals through Captain Jackson Clince an Josh Cunliffe.
In his first game for the club, former New Zealand Under 18 player Luke Dunning was awarded best on ground after a stellar debut on the wing for the Magpies.
New Zealand player David Rattenbury was clinical down back for the Magpies along with Nico Donnell-Brown and 2016 AFL New Zealand Premiership number 1 draft pick, Josh Copeland.
Carlos ‘The Weapon’ Donnell-Brown gave the spectators something to cheer about with a huge one handed mark over fellow national representative Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas.
With a one point lead in the fourth quarter, a big moment in the game came in the dying minutes of the final term where the Tigers gave away a free kick followed a 50 metre penalty in which Joel Griffiths kicked a goal right in front to seal the win for the defending premiers.
Story – AAFL