The New Zealand Hawks have beaten Ormond AFC in a warmup match for the International Cup 6.16:52 – 3.2:20.
On a rainy night at Elsternwick Park, it was the Hawks who were more powerful. The big New Zealand forwards Chris Mundell and Brendan Clark were hard for Ormond to stop.
The New Zealand Hawks pushed out to a steady lead during the first quarter, and extended it in the 2nd despite a fightback from Ormond. Across the 2nd half the lead grew, with goals coming for the Hawks in every quarter.
One aspect of the match that will be particularly pleasing for Hawks coach Justin Davies was the defensive pressure over the course of the match. The Hawks managed to prevent a single goal from being scored in both the first and last quarters.
AFL New Zealand CEO Robert Vanstam was particularly impressed by the welcome, facilities and community support enjoyed by Ormond, one of the leading suburban AFL clubs in Melbourne. Vanstam met with Ormond AFC Junior and Senior officials to discuss the role the club plays in the local community.
“The impact that the junior club has on providing a stream of future Ormond players cannot be underestimated. For example Club President Richard Simon has 3 sons that play for the club. Every time Ormond plays a game, the club rooms are full, and everyone does their bit to help out.”
Vanstam noted the differences in AFL culture between what he saw at Ormond and in New Zealand.
“In New Zealand, kids learn how to play through the AFL KiwiKick programme, and then go home and teach their parents. Here it is the other way around.”
Ormond AFC plays in the Victorian Amateur Football Association, and organisation which has strong links with AFL New Zealand. VAFA have been sending a touring team to New Zealand since 2009, and many of the players in the current New Zealand Hawks team began their international representative career against VAFA.
12 players in this situation took the field, including Best and Fairest nominee Will Gregson.
The match will be a big confidence boost for the New Zealand Hawks ahead of their first International Cup match, against Sweden on Sunday, at Western Oval, Royal Park, 11.30am. The match can be streamed here: http://www.afl.com.au/global/aflic14/streaming
Today the New Zealand Hawks will use the facilities generously provided by the St Kilda Football Club for their rest and recovery.
Quarter time: 4:16 – 0.1:1
Half time: 4.7:31 – 2.2:14
3 Quarter time: 5.10:40 – 3.2:20
Full time: 6.16:52 – 3.2:20
Goal scorers: Tim Morton (2) Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas, Aaron Harris, David Rattenbury, Kyle Smith.
Best and Fairest: Matthew van Wijk, Tim Morton, David Rattenbury, Will Gregson, Aaron Harris.