The North Shore Tigers will play the Waitakere Magpies in the 2017 Auckland AFL Grand Final after both sides won their semi finals on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers did the damage early on as Mt Roskill showed a lot of heart to stay in the game until the final whistle as they were defeated by 35 points.
At Parrs Park, the Magpies defence was instrumental in their victory over the Blues only conceding four goals for the match and are now one win away from becoming back to back Premiers.
North Shore Tigers vs Mt Roskill Saints
26th November, 2.00pm, Onepoto Domain.
With the return of the Samuel and James McKenzie and influential Captain Michael Boyce to the Saints, the Tigers knew this would be far from the walk in the park they experienced earlier in the season.
With the wind at the backs of the Tigers they were off the a good start through early goals to Tyler Paull and Rob Mostert.
The Tigers backline were a dominating force but a poor read late in the first quarter cost them a clean score sheet when James McKenzie found himself in space with a clear run at goal.
The second quarter began with Saints Midfielder Jessie Baty kicking a monstrous goal from well outside the 50m and the Saints fought back creating a number of opportunities in the forward 50m but weren’t able to find the middle sticks as often as they would have liked.
The shift of ruckman Ty Smith into the forward line paid dividends within minutes as he found himself rewarded for some strong leads and good delivery out of the Tiger Midfield. Tigers French import Ronan “Frenchy” Bourre wasn’t about to be outshone by the other Tiger forwards and came out with a strong performance in the third quarter and once again treated teammates and supporters to his “Eiffel Tower” Goal Celebration. Good run out of the backline and through the middle of the park created good opportunities up front and helped the Tigers stretch their lead in the third quarter.
The Saints weren’t prepared to give it everything in the fourth as Sam McKenzie moved up front to join fellow family members Andy and James. The never say die attitude of the Saints showed as they stepped up the intensity and were able to find goals on multiple occasion in the final quarter.
A disappointing final quarter for the Tigers as they let the Saints back in with a few penalties, but overall a pleasing performance which sees them with a chance to win their first flag since their last success in 2008.
Waitakere Magpies vs University Blues
26th November, 2.00pm, Parrs Park Oratia.
It was the second time in as many weeks that Waitakere and University have met, but this time, the Magpies held the home ground advantage.
Both sides were contesting for possession early with University getting the ball inside their 50m but were unable to convert their scoring opportunities into goals. The Magpies fought back well as they transitioned the footy out from the half back line into the middle of the ground for the midfielders to deliver the ball into their attacking territory. Young forward Declan Crann opened the scoring for the Magpies kicking a tremendous banana kick from the pocket.
The Magpies caught the Blues sleeping in the second quarter as ruckman Obe porter and Andrew Johnson began to dominate the centre clearances and Waitakere were able to kick well into the forward line to kick four goals for the quarter.
The Magpies had struggled in the third quarter in recent games, but knowing what was on the line, they came out from the main break with high intensity for the football and managed to hold University to only two behinds for the quarter.
Ben Hick and Liam Beattie were best for the Blues as they gave their side the best opportunities throughout the game.
The never say die attitude from University gave them a couple of late goals but the class from the defending premiers shone through as they responded with two of their own to seal the win and give them a shot at back to back Premierships.
“We wanted to come out and set the tone in the game from the get go. We controlled the game early and kept the tempo to our game style throughout the entire game. We are playing for one another and do everything for one another. The Magpies are ready for a huge Grand Final against North Shore at QBE Stadium on Sunday.” Magpies Captain Shane Leat.
“It was a snapshot of our year yesterday, great In parts but a lack of consistency let us down. Well done to to the Magpies and we wish both finalists the best of luck.” University Head Coach Chris Mundell.
Story – AAFL