It was raining goals in round 3 of the Auckland AFL where the North Shore Tigers were back to their brilliant best, kicking 20 goals to score a big win over the Howick Hornets.
In the remaining games, the Mt Roskill Saints dominated the Manurewa Raiders to win by 104 points and the Uni Blues train rolled on as they beat the Waitakere Magpies by 38 points.
Manurewa Raiders vs Mt Roskill Saints
15th September, Mountfort Park, Manurewa.
A sunny day greeted both Manurewa and Mt Roskill at Mountfort Park for their round 3 clash.
The Raiders started strong and came out hard with the intention to get their hands on the ball early. They produced some smooth good ball movement around the ground and were unfortunate to not have a better representation on the scoreboard.
Mt Roskill had to work hard to win the ball and then was under a lot of pressure once they had it and managed to kick 3 goals for the quarter.
The Saints came out in the second term determined to be more efficient with the ball in the middle of the field and started to play at their own pace. Tristan Burnett linked up with his brother Carl Burnett well through the middle of the field and Matt Kemp continued to work hard in the ruck.
Manurewa at times with ball in hand showed glimpses of what is being worked on at training but it’s about turning those glimpses into consistent footy. Usually found in the forward line, Alex Fakatoumafi moved to centre half back and had a strong game.
James McKenzie came to life in the third term and showed he can play around the ball helping to set up and score goals. Debutant Mitch Weir moved into the middle and showed he is going to be a player to watch, linking up with other midfielders throughout the second half and opening up the Manurewa defence.
Ronan Morling kicked a late consolation goal for Manurewa but the Saints marched on to a big 104 point to increase their overall percentage.
The Manurewa defensive worked hard all game and that intent for the ball filtered through the field with some of the young guys from the Raiders stepping up this week and showed when they wanted the ball, they got the ball.
“Manurewa caught us on the hop a little early and we had to withstand some great pressure from them. But once we weathered that, we managed to add layer upon layer of how we want to play the game which helped us play some good footy.” Saints coach, Sam McKenzie
“Can never ever doubt the effort and intensity that the boys put out on the field. The guys are starting to gel at moments after a slow start to the season and if we can get the glimpses of how we want to play to be more consistent, then we will start to see the rewards.” Jordan Thompson, Manurewa.
North Shore Tigers vs Howick Hornets
15th September, Bayswater Reserve, Bayswater.
The North Shore Tigers continued their impressive start to the season with an emphatic win over the Howick Hornets in round 3 of the AAFL.
With AFL being played at Bayswater Reserve on the North Shore for the first time in over 12 years, the Tigers knew the opposition had some form under their belts coming in to the match. On a smaller ground, it meant that the Tigers had to adapt their style of play with an emphasis on ball movement through the hands.
The Hornets got off to the perfect start with a tap out of the middle by James Mackinder to Ryan White who gave off a quick handball out to Pete Jones running off halfback who delivered into the forward line for an early goal. The Hornets were in again one minute later and it looked like an upset was on the cards. However; the Tigers remained composed and hit back with 3 of their own in quick succession. North Shore worked hard around the ball and were able to dominate the center clearances before delivering accurately to the forward line.
The second quarter saw the Tigers continue to apply the pressure across the park. The hard working new recruits in Bryn Barnes-Webb, Taylor Potter and Ben Schaeffer were solid over the ground ball and relentless in tackle pressure. The forward line were strong in the air and extremely accurate. The majority of set-shots from Robbie Mostert, Brad Conner and Dominic Parkes-Dolan were confidently slotted between the big sticks.
At the half time break, the message was clear from the Tigers leadership group – keep applying the pressure and put the game beyond doubt.
The team delivered kicking away to an 11 goal lead and keeping the opposition goalless. The backline were consistent and composed when getting the ball moving forward, often working hard to run the ball in-hand from deep inside their back pocket.
In the end, the Tigers were comfortable 72-point winners.
Hornets midfielder Jay Green was as always hunting the footy but with limited options the ball didn’t transition forward well. Wade Eatts was best up forward for Howick kicking four goals and using his body well against his Tigers opponent.
Solid performances throughout the game from Tigers stalwarts Andriu Sucu, Justin Du Toit and Mitch Ryan were just another aspect of the all-round performance from which the Tigers. They will no doubt take great pride from this performance as they move through the season.
“We are hitting our groove at the right time. The team sets itself some lofty goals and they work hard to achieve them as a unit in true Tiger spirit. Our back line were solid today as always and although the goal kickers were the stars, the foundations from the back 6 deserves some recognition. We look forward to our next challenge against last years Premiers.” Sean Mayes, Tigers coach.
“It was a tough day out there against a well drilled team. Credit to North Shore who played extremely well and were very accurate in front of goal. Plenty to take out of this game which has been our poorest performance this season.” Ryan White.
University Blues vs Waitakere Magpies
15th September, Colin Maiden Park, St Johns.
It was a tough physical encounter at Colin Maiden Park as the University Blues made it 3 wins to start their 2019 campaign with a 38 point victory over the Waitakere Magpies.
As the two old rivals went at it, the first quarter was a back and forth affair with Waitakere taking a few early opportunities and capitalising on some errant play from the Blues.
The second quarter was where the damage was done from the defending premiers as they pulled clear kicking a number of unanswered goals and establishing a strong lead heading into the half time break.
The third term was another tight affair but more experience from the home side saw them pull further ahead.
The midfield trio of Liam Beattie, Ben Hick and Tim Stokes were doing all the damage, gaining centre clearance after centre clearance.
University continued to dominate in the fourth quarter and there were passages that resembled a training drill out of the middle allowing for a huge possession dominance to run the game out.
The Blues victory now sets up a top of the table clash with North Shore next Sunday.
“Defensively we allowed some easy goals through a lack on concentration so really important we work hard to ensure we are switched on for the entire game. Happy with the win against a quality side.” Chris Mundell, University.
Story – AAFL.co.nz