Round 1 of both the Auckland AFL and Canterbury AFL took place on Sunday 31 August.
In Auckland, the normal order was restored following the pre-season 9 a side competition, with the Waitakere Magpies, Mt Roskill Saints and University recording wins.
For University though, the job was a difficult one against a fierce North Shore Tigers team who fought back from a large deficit to bring the game to within nine points.
The following comes from the Auckland AFL’s Jarrod Darlington:
Mt Roskill got up and over Pakuranga with a 13.15. 93 to 3. 5. 23 victory to get their season underway with a full 8 points.
University started with a bang, running out to a 42-7 lead at half time. The Tigers came back with a vengeance, taking the second half comfortably, but Uni were able to take the win, just. Final score 7. 8. 50 – 6. 5. 41.
Out at Mountfort Park, the Magpies were too strong for the Raiders, controlling it from the middle of the park taking victory and the full 8 points, 18. 14. 122 – 3. 2. 20.
The first round of the CAFL was marked by close matches.
The Ashburton Eagles took down the Cougars 11.10:76 – 10.11:71, with the Cougars finishing strongly and unlucky to not secure the final goal needed to win the match. Strong performers for the Eagles included Josh Robles, Michael Peters and Andy Ireland.
Another heartening aspect for the Eagles was the number of new players who turned out. Strong squad depth will be essential in such a tightly contested league, and will strengthen the Canterbury team leading into the National Provincial Championships.
In the other match, the Eastern Bulldogs beat the Blues 10.11:71 – 9.9:63.
Next week’s matches will be Eagles vs Blues, and Bulldogs vs Cougars. Both will take place at Northwood Park, beginning at 12.30.
For more information on playing Open Grade Men’s AFL around New Zealand, visit this page:
Photo credit Scott Wilson.