The Mt Roskill Saints train keeps on rolling as they continued their unbeaten run making it 4 wins on the bounce defeating Howick by 10 goals on Sunday afternoon. Hot on their heels are the University Blues who defeated the reigning premiers, North Shore Tigers by 12 points in a thriller at Onepoto Domain.
Out west, the Waitakere Magpies secured their first win of the season with a 48 point victory over the Manurewa Raiders.
Howick Hornets vs Mt Roskill Saints
23rd September, Paparoa Park, Howick.
Mt Roskill travelled out East to take on the Howick at the Hornets nest.
The Saints welcomed back some key players with Tristan Burnett, Jessie Baty and NZ midfielder Will Dickinson, who has spent a year on the sidelines all returning to the side.
Howick brought the intensity from the first bounce getting the ball cleared through the middle of the ground and setting up the forwards to kick the first goal of the game.
Hornets Full Forward Jason Roach had a strong game up front taking some strong contested marks.
The Saints had to work themselves into the game, but some good passages of play allowed them to spot up Mitch Smith 35 metres out in front of goal who kicked two goals in the first.
Heading into the second quarter Mt Roskill lifted the intensity and started to get their ball movement right allowing deep entries into the forward line where small forwards James McKenzie, Zach Maio, Anthony D’Aloisio were able to take advantage racking up the goals to give them a big lead at the main break.
Roskill looked to press forward with their advantage, but Howick were able to regroup and held their own for the second half, using the small ground well, not letting Roskill break their lines to get quality forward entry.
Hornets midfielder Travis Walker was one of their best, throwing his body into the contest to try and win the ball. He teamed with Kevin Crowe who also had a strong game.
The Saints midfield of Jesse Baty, Tristan Burnett and Michael Boyce went well competing while defenders Tim Hollingsworth, Lachie Stewart, Al Maisey and Matt Kemp worked hard to limit the opportunities for Howick to score.
The Hornets were able to kick a few goals in the 4th quarter and looked to be all over Mt Roskill but unfortunately left their run to late as Mt Roskill made it four wins in a row.
“This was always going to be a tough game at Howick. The smaller ground didn’t suit us, but we worked hard around the ground. It was especially evident through the second quarter where we were able to get some quality forward entries off our backline pressing forward and turning Howick around.
I was impressed by Howick in the 2nd half where they stayed in the fight and kept it even.
They’ll be one to watch for the second half of the season.” Saints Captain Sam McKenzie.
Hornets Coach Ryan White can see potential in his side.
“We are working so well as a team in phases. We are constantly improving and when we are able to play our best football for a full 80 minutes, we will start knocking over the top teams.”
Mt Roskill: Tristan Burnett, James McKenzie, Callum McLean, Tim Hollingsworth.
Howick: Fraser Kessling, Jay Green, Jason Roach, Kevin Crowe.
North Shore Tigers vs University Blues
23rd September, Onepoto Domain, Northcote.
The University Blues proved too strong for the North Shore Tigers in sunny but blustery conditions at Onepoto Domain on Sunday.
In the same fixture last year, University experienced one of their heaviest defeats in the clubs history as the Tigers demolished the Blues by 70 points.
The Tigers playing their first home game for the season were keen to continue their run of good form against a solid University side.
The Blues broke early, using the wind to their advantage catching the Tigers midfielders and defense on the back foot with accurate kicks to solid leads – and ably converting from around the 50m arc.
James Considine up forward was outstanding from the goal square, kicking 5 goals for the day but could well have been a few more, he was dominant above his shoulders and lead perfectly to allow our midfielders a strong target.
Contested ball on the ground was being dominated by the Blues and they made the most of it on the scoreboard in the early stages.
In a physical game, young Tiger Jake Tucker was leading the way with some fierce attacks on the loose ball while returning Tiger Te Kopa Tipene-Thomas was adding some spark and energy to the middle.
Unable to capitilise on the wind advantage in the second quarter, the Tigers lost some key players to injury resulting in a constant shuffling of positions on the field.
University remained on top going into the half time break up by 4 goals.
The Blues opened the third quarter with a couple of quick goals as they maintained their accuracy in front of goal. The Tigers were able to peg a couple of vital goals late in the third to remain in touch going into the last quarter.
North Shore started strong in the final term with club legend Steve Howard dominating in the air and some slick finishing by Rob Mostert slowly dragged the Tigers back in the game however; the damage had been done by the Blues as they ran away with a 2 goal win.
Blues Coach Chris Mundell stated that persistence and hard work is paying dividends for the club.
“Last year’s loss highlighted our weaknesses and the flaws in our game plan and set us on a journey to rebuild and redesign the way we play.
The result today highlighted how far we have come.
Overall it was a true club effort, it is by no means the end of the road in our learning and we certainly have tough challenges ahead, but from this point last year to now it shows the real progress of the club.
“We did well to hang in there against a good University side after losing a few players to injury.We showed good heart to keep fighting and only go down by 2 goals in a game where we didn’t play our best footy.” Tiger Coach Fraser Stevens.
University: James Considine, Huw Beynon, Damien McDowell, Matt Danielson.
North Shore: Steven Howard, Josh Cunliffe, TK Tipene-Thomas, Josh White.
Waitakere Magpies vs Manurewa Raiders
23rd September, Parrs Park, Oratia
The Waitakere Magpies were still searching for their first win of the 2018 season as they took on the Manurewa Raiders at Parrs Park in West Auckland.
Manurewa won the toss and decided to kick with the wind. The Raiders were confident with a number of returning players coming back in the side for this weeks game.
The home side produced a solid defensive effort in the first quarter as Manurewa couldn’t convert a number of scoring opportunities early on.
Ray Castle produced a strong second quarter in defence for Manurewa as he held the Magpies to only one goal.
The second half started well for Waitakere with New Zealand midfielder Carlos Donnell-Brown dominating the centre clearances, gathering possession multiple times and delivering long into the forward line.
The Raiders made the Magpies pay in the third term as they pounced on the home sides mistakes and capitalised with a couple of goals.
Some good link play from Shane Leat, Carlos Donnell-Brown and Zac King to get the ball into their forward 50 swung the momentum back in the Magpies favour.
The Magpies kicked away in the last to secure their first victory of 2018 with their only blemish coming from their accuracy in front of goal kicking 15 behinds for the game.
Magpies forward Obe Porter ended with two goals for the game and was one of their best.
Huge performances from the Waitakere Ruckmen, ruckmen Andrew Johnston, Joe McPhee and Jordan Pereira who won alot of the hitouts to give their midfielders quality ball to play with.
Magpies Captain Shane Leat was happy that his team is starting to gel.
“It was a much needed victory to kick start the 2018 season. We worked on our defensive patterns and they worked much better for us this week. We are starting to build as a team, I look forward to what we can put together for the rest of the season.”
Waitakere: Jordan Pereira, Obe Porter, Shane Leat, Declan Crann.
Manurewa: Stevie Johnson, Sean Andrews, Ronan Morling, Ray (Razor) Castle.
Story – AAFL.co.nz