The second half to the Auckland AFL is underway as Round six threw up some big scores over the weekend. The University Blues winning streak extends to six after they defeated Howick while the North Shore Tigers are back in the winners circle with a huge win over the Manurewa Raiders.
In the match of the round, it was Mt Roskill who took the spoils by 32 points over a gallant Waitakere side at Parrs Park.
North Shore Tigers vs Manurewa Raiders
7th October, Onepoto Domain, Northcote.
The North Shore Tigers got their Premiership defense back on track on Sunday with a comprehensive victory over the Manurewa Raiders.
Looking to replicate the result from their previous encounter, the Tigers started strong by dominating the center clearances and getting the ball inside the attacking 50.
Missing a number of key players from the regular first team squad meant that the Tigers were playing with a host of debutants and youth.
This didn’t stop them from playing with the sort of confidence and enjoyment that brought success last year.
Tall man Dan Howie has shown no ill effects from a broken nose in round two and was constantly in and around the action throughout the day.
Young Sam Watson also made the most of his time up front with some clinical finishing to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
On the occasions that the Raiders did break away and attack, the Tigers back line led again by Josh White were quick to shut it down.
Manurewa wingers Ronan Morling and Ryan Murray showed plenty of speed and skill down the flanks as Stevie Johnson was holding down the fort at Centre Half Back.
The Tigers took a nine goal lead into the half time break.
The Tigers knew they had to make the most of the momentum and set about building on their strong start. Jesse Heke, Sam Cumberpatch and Just Du Toit piled on the pressure and the game was becoming more and more open with plenty of space being found by the Tigers wide men.
Jake Tucker, Joey Alesich-Tamariki and Adam Paterson continued their good runs of form supplying plenty of options to the forward line.
As the game ticked over into the final minutes, the Raiders kicked a couple of late consolations but the damage had well and truly been done with the Tigers winning 136 – 21.
“Very impressed with how the team were able to get us back on track this week. This was the first step in setting up our run towards the finals. Our work ethic, discipline and trust in our teams mates was outstanding. This was a much needed win and we wanted to declare our intentions to the rest of the field.” Tigers Head Coach Fraser Stevens.
North Shore: Sam Watson, Jesse Heke, Dan Howie, Josh White.
Manurewa: Stevie Johnson, Ray Castle, Ryan Murray, Ronan Morling.
Howick Hornets vs University Blues
7th October, Colin Maiden Park, Glen Innes.
It was billed as a real stumbling block for the University Blues in the lead up to their game against the Howick Hornets but the Blues relished the opportunity to stamp their dominance on the competition as they got into their work early to ensure Howick didn’t get their tails up. With much of the possession and numerous inside 50’s in the first quarter the Blues managed just that kicking the first four goals of the game.
With the Hornets felling a little shell shocked, the Blues continued bullying their opposition ending the first half leading by six goals.
University were clinical and skillful moving the ball around the park in the first half as Blues midfielder Tim Stokes had his best game of the season.
The Hornets picked up their game in the second half of the match as they went toe to toe with University.
Josh Takurua had a great game in the forward line for the Hornets. In only his second outing he managed to kick his first goal of his AFL career.
When the Hornets were able to get the ball in hand in the second half they were using it far more wisely with great skill execution and getting numbers around the contest.
Collectively, the Hornets midfielders had one of their best games offensively and defensively which had what they had been focusing on at training the last few weeks.
Kieran Bevan was superb on defense, against bigger forwards he was fearless running into spoil the marks and contest the crumbs.
Dan Bushett was involved a lot from the forward line. Moving down the field he was able to link up with midfielders and provide running football into the Hornets attacking 50.
With the margin blown out by halftime, the Blues never panicked.
The scoreline didn’t reflect the game as Howick salvaged a slow start to play some superb footy in the second half but the Blues were just too good all game to make it six in a row.
“We are still looking for that extra polish in the way we move the ball and with much to play for in the weeks ahead it was good to get past the dangerous Hornets.” Blues Head Coach Chris Mundell.
University: Harrison Manks, Nic Holdsworth, Brad Ingram, Tim Stokes
Howick: Travis Walker, Ryan White, Kevin Crowe, Kieran Bevan
Mt Roskill Saints vs Waitakere Magpies
7th October, Parrs Park, Oratia.
The Waitakere Magpies welcomed back Melbourne based NZ vice captain Will Gregson for their game against the Mt Roskill Saints but it was the visitors who exploded out of the gates against Waitakere as they kicked four goals in the first quarter to set up a solid foundation early on.
It was a great start to the game for the Saints with Tristan Burnett getting early clearances to set up the experienced forward line.
Mt Roskill were able to get hands on the ball first early and provide quality entries, with Paddy Gibbs able to crumb the contest and kick the first goal.
The forward line opened up halfway through the first letting Saints full forward James McKenzie get early marks.
The second quarter was more evenly matched with Waitakere able to disrupt the ball and turn the game into more of a scrappy affair.
Mt Roskill struggled to move the ball out of the backline the way they wanted and gave Magpies Captain Shane Leat the chance to get some intercept marks.
In the second half, Magpies forwards Obe Porter and Dan McGregor gave the home side some much needed points on the board scores and opportunities in the forward line.
The Saints wanted a couple of early goals in the third quarter to push the lead out and Sam McKenzie snuck round getting the cheeky hands from his brother Josh from 50 out and banging home a great goal (a la Buddy Franklin) which gave them the early goal they wanted.
But Waitakere weren’t done and through Shane Leat getting a bit of space, they were able to find a couple of their big targets up front.
Mt Roskill were able to sneak one at the end of the quarter through Trent Morrissey to put a big nail in the coffin.
Saints Captain Sam McKenzie was delighted with the win.
“This was a great way to bounce back from last weeks performance. We set ourselves goals on how we wanted to play and were able to meet them for the majority of the game, particularly around the contest and with our run and carry through the middle of the field.
The Magpies showed some great improvement from Round 2 and we all need to be improving if we want to have a chance come the pointy end of the season.”
Mt Roskill: Matt Palmer, Josh McKenzie, Tristan Burnett, James McKenzie
Waitakere: Dan McGregor, Zac King, Will Gregson, Fadi Alias
Story – AAFL.co.nz