Round three of the Auckland AFL saw the North Shore Tigers fight out a tough battle with the Howick Hornets in a great game of footy to win by 15 points on Saturday afternoon at Paparoa Park. On Sunday, University continued to impress this season with a convincing win over the Waitakere Magpies while the Mt Roskill Saints moved to the top of the ladder as they ran riot over the Manurewa Raiders at Mountfort Park.
Howick Hornets vs North Shore Tigers
15th September, Paparoa Park, Howick.
Howick hosted the North Shore Tigers at Paparoa Park on Saturday in their round 3 clash. But the day meant something more than just footy as the home team were raising funds and awareness for those affected by breast cancer.
With the Hornets having a stronger squad in 2018 and North Shore still warming into their season, this game was going to be a great contest between two very well balanced sides.
The first quarter was back and fourth with each side struggling to gain any ascendancy.
Big defensive efforts by the Hornets backline led by Pete Jones limited the Tigers offence.
By sticking to their game plan, the Hornets had multiple inside 50 entries which had them matching with the defending Premiers early on in the game.
North Shore pounced quickly in the second quarter and goals to Rob Mostert and Captain Josh Cunliffe the Tigers took the lead into the half time break.
The third quarter saw a new look Tigers midfield stand up and dominate the centre clearance and middle of the park, this lead to a number of scoring opportunities which the forwards were able to convert.
Similar to their round 10 clash in 2017, the Hornets found their second wind in the final term and dug deep to swing momentum back in their favour.
A five goal quarter helped to close the gap but the damage had been done in the third term.
With both sides having the same amount of shots on goal, it proved to be accuracy that won the game for the reigning champs as they came away with a 15 point victory.
Hornets forwards Andrew Azzopardi and Dan Bushett finished with four goals for the game.
“Very proud of our teams effort on Saturday. Most other games you kick 12 goals and you end up winning so it was a true contest between the two teams.” Hornets coach Ryan White.
Andriu Sucu from the North Shore Tigers was pleased with the victory.
“It was great to see a lot of the younger group really step up and lay claim to their senior spot. No doubt this will create some good headaches for myself and Fraser in the coming weeks with a number of senior players returning from injury. Well done to Howick on organising a great event in honour of a great cause”
Following the game, both teams headed upstairs to join on the Mary Jury day festivities.
Ryan White couldn’t be happier with how the day turned out.
“Big thank you to North Shore for joining in on the festivities after the match and participating in the jersey auction (picking up a jersey). North Shore also donated a few prizes to be used as a raffle with all proceeds going towards our cause.
The day was great success and we look to do more in the future.
Overall our day managed to raise over $10,000 for Mary Jury.”
North Shore: Xavier Rice, Jake Tucker, Connor Hill, Justin Du Toit (Backline).
Howick: Harley Jenkins, Travis Walker, Jay Green, Peter Jones.
University Blues vs Waitakere Magpies
16th September, Colin Maiden Park, Glen Innes.
University and Waitakere have been solid rivals over the past few years and with University enjoying a great run to start the season, Waitakere had been sluggish.
The Magpies performed well in the first quarter and with key defender Josh Copeland missing, Waitakere only let the Blues score once in a impressive defensive effort.
In the second, University made the most of Waitakere’s lack of concentration through the midfield to have repeat inside 50’s.
The Blues piled on seven goals throughout the second and third quarter as they took a stranglehold on the game.
Waitakere sparked a late comeback with three goals in the final term to Ben Hutton (2) and Luke Dunning (1) but it was too late as University made it three wins on the trot to start their 2018 season.
The youngest and smallest player in the team Lachlan Salmon had a blinder of a game collecting a lot of hard ball gets and showing pin point accuracy on his kicking.
Half forward Sam Anderson was immense all day, with his leading and marking above his head a thing of beauty.
Head Coach Chris Mundell was ecstatic with how his side played.
“One of our best performances as a unit for a long time, much can be gained from today but much can be learnt also for a couple of big tests ahead”
University: Sam Anderson, Tim Stokes, Stephen Parton, Sam Barrett.
Waitakere: Dan McGregor, Nico Donnell-Brown, Carlos Donnell-Brown, Jordan Perera.
Manurewa Raiders vs Mt Roskill Saints
16th September, Mountfort Park, Manurewa.
With a number of players with limited game experience, the Manurewa side were looking for an improved performance from the previous weeks while Mt Roskill had a focus on trying to play the game as they wanted to play it.
The first quarter saw Raiders players showing good intent for the ball and had a good tussle with the opposition.
Mt Roskill finished the quarter with 3 goals with Trent Morrissey working hard and getting himself into great spots up forward.
The Saints looked to move the ball quicker through the ground in the second quarter with midfielders and wingers Logan Selvadurai, James Ilango, Matt Palmer and Luke Cooper finding space.
The experienced Michael Boyce laid down the challenge to get the hands on the ball first and he showed everyone what he meant throughout the second half getting his hands on a heap of the footy and delivering directly to the forward line where Mitch Smith, James McKenzie, newcomer Jake Blood and Sam McKenzie were working hard.
Matt Kemp, Lachie Stewart, Tim Hollingsworth and Alastair Maisey ran the backline very efficiently, getting their positioning right so they could rebound back.
2018 AFL New Zealand Premiership Golden boot winner James McKenzie finished the game with 9 goals as it was another good performance from Mt Roskill playing the game in their style and improving as the season goes on.
With experience guys still missing, it is hoped that Manurewa will be back to full strength for their round 4 clash with Waitakere.
“We spent a bit of time at training on our forward entry this week from our halfbacks and midfield. So to have 42 scoring shots was positive, as when we got the ball forward we managed to create opportunities.
We hit targets, or worked hard to support each other to get a shot on.” Saints Captain Sam McKenzie.
“The effort can never be faulted by the lads. We had more intent for the ball this week but playing against a team like Mt Roskill who are running hot at the moment, we need to control the game more.” Raiders Coach Dave Abetz
Mt Roskill: James McKenzie, Michael Boyce, Matt Kemp, Lachie Stewart
Manurewa: Ash Thompson, Sean Andrews, Sami Brown, Aku King.
Story – AAFL.co.nz