Northcote College have emerged victorious from the 2014 Junior Hawks Cup cluster tournament, defeating Glenfield College and Birkenhead College.
With a strong emphasis on sticking to a clear gameplan, Northcote were able to pull together as a team and record big scores against their opposition.
Both Glenfield and Birkenhead showed glimpses of their potential throughout both matches they played. However they were often unable to capitalise on strong work setting up scoring opportunities, and came up against a clinical unit in Northcote College.
The first match of the day saw Northcote College pull off a massive victory over Glenfield. At both ends of the field, Northcote were simply too accurate and disciplined, and they managed the rare feat of keeping their opposition scoreless. The match ended 9.5:59 – 0.0:0.
Next Birkenhead College took the field against Glenfield, who worked hard to improve on their first effort. A classy win to Birkenhead ensued, though Glenfield significantly improving their defensive and midfield play to keep the score down to a respectable margin. Birkenhead took the game 5.2:32 – 0.0:3.
With the tournament on the line, Northcote College held their nerve to beat Birkenhead in a much closer encounter. The skillfully executed rotations of Northcote allowed them to maintain their intensity throughout the contest, which they won 4.6:36 – 2.3:15, taking the tournament in the process.
The best player on each team was awarded a football for their efforts. For Northcote, that honour went to Lucas Barrow-Young. Delane Raupatu Bell and Jayden Tearohatai Ripia earned the award for Birkenhead and Glenfield respectively. The overall player of the tournament was named as Terry Tauki Peterson.
Many of the players involved in the Hawks Cup have been rewarded with invitations to be part of the AFL New Zealand High Performance Programme. Members of this programme take part in development, training and matches, before having the opportunity to represent New Zealand.
Without the support of teachers, volunteers and coaches, the Hawks Cup programme would not be possible. The victorious Northcote had teacher Paul Hewson leading them, with Andrew Henley and Gail Collier taking charge of the Birkenhead and Glenfield teams respectively.
The tournament was also assisted by AFL New Zealand High Performance player Josh Copeland, and the expertise of Auckland AFL umpire George Hauiti. Mr Hauiti umpired matches and mentored staff and students, explaining nuances in the rules and passing on his experience.
Attention will now turn to the North Island Championships, to be played at the Trusts Arena on the 15th and 16th of November.