North Shore sting the Hornets to remain unbeaten in AAFL

The North Shore Tigers have run out 27 point winners over Howick Hornets in round 2 of the Auckland AFL over the weekend.

Elsewhere, the Mt Roskill Saints have handed the Waitakere Magpies their second loss of the season as they triumphed by 4 goals while the Manurewa Raiders were gallant in defeat to the Uni Blues.

Howick vs North Shore

The North Shore Tigers continued their good early season form with a comfortable win over Howick on Saturday.

Blustery conditions challenged both teams kicking abilities and it was the Tigers who opened strongly, applying early pressure on the opposition. The Tigers hardworking midfield of Robert Harris, Xavier Rice and Jake Tucker controlled the loose ball resulting in good supply to the forward line.
Going into the main break, the Tigers were up by 4 goals.

With a couple of changes to the whiteboard, the Tigers looked to close out the contest in the 3rd quarter with quick ball movement however; it was the inaccuracy in front of goals that stood out despite going into the final quarter with a 36 point advantage. The Tigers backline worked hard throughout the match to keep the opposition forwards restricted in the scoreboard.

In the final term, the Hornets weren’t ready to retreat and they piled the pressure on the tiring Tigers legs but were unable to convert chances – while at the other end, the Tigers forward line hit the posts 4 times while trying to seal the victory.

In the end, the Tigers finished 27 point victors in a hard fought contest.

“Another good display by the team. We’re really starting to work the ball around nicely. Thanks to Howick for another tough contest as well as the amazing hospitality during the after match function.” Dan Pearce – Tigers Captain

Manurewa vs University

Blustery conditions led to a hard and scrappy encounter between University and Manurewa.

Although having the wind at their backs in the first quarter, the Raiders were unable to capitalise against the reigning Premiers. Clayton Hicks was impressive early along with Jevaan Croft who was playing off the half back flank.

The Blues took control in the second quarter. Reed Cathcart, back after an absence from the club scene showed his skills in controlling the play. Assisted by the always consistent Tim Stokes and Ben Hick, it allowed our younger players to thrive off the back of the senior players.

Manurewa came out in the third with a purpose and brought themselves back into the game by kicking a few goals and reduce the margin heading into the last quarter.

While controlling possession and ball movement throughout the game, University were unable to really kick away from a determined Manurewa and despite a strong lead going into the second half the game was very much back and forth through until the Blues finally locked it away through the middle of the final term.

Passages of play from the likes of Reef Bainbridge and Tyrone Stubbs really showed the growth in the Blues younger players.

“While pleasing to get the result we are still a yard or two off where we would like to be and continue to develop the way we want to play this year.
With a number of new and inexperienced faces making up our playing group this week, it was pleasing to see the future of the club in full flight and taking ownership of the game.”
University Head Coach, Chris Mundell.

“Really good effort from the guys. Started to click well and should keep getting better as the season goes on. The improvement from last season is starting to show and that’s the base where we want to start from and continue to get better.” Jordan Thompson, Manurewa.

Mt Roskill vs Waitakere

In years gone by, the Saints have often been caught napping in the first quarter, but it wasn’t to be against Waitakere as they burst out of the blocks to get on the board early whilst keeping the Magpies scoreless.

It was in the second term where the Saints let the Pies back in as they swung the momentum their way. Jamie Gresham played well on the wing and linked well with Dan Bushett on the half forward line.

After the main break, Saints Midfielders Will Dickinson and Tristan Burnett stepped up and almost put the game out of the Magpies reach. The quarter was played inside the Saints 50 and the Magpies were held to another scoreless quarter.

To their credit, the Magpies rallied in the final term but Hamish McKay and Al Maisey stood up, taking contested marks and rebounding strongly.

This was a game that the Saints should have sewn up sooner but still came away with the 4 points.

“A lot of new players and and old players playing in different positions and developing well. The Saints were very strong out of the middle and this hurt us all day. Doesn’t get any easier with Uni next week, but looking forward to the challenge.” Magpies Head Coach Steve Howard.

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