The North Shore Tigers have bounced back from their Round 1 loss to score a massive win against the Manurewa Raiders as they look to get their Premiership defence back on track.
The University Blues and Mt Roskill Saints have won back to back games to start their season as they crushed their opponents to make an early statement in the 2018 season.
Manurewa Raiders vs North Shore Tigers
9th September, Mountfort Park, Manurewa.
The North Shore Tigers have bounced back from a disappointing start to the 2018 season with a comprehensive victory over Manurewa Raiders in round 2 of the Auckland AFL.
Looking to improve on the basics from the previous week, the Tigers displayed some great ball movement across the park and outplayed the Raiders in all aspects.
North Shore were on top from the first bounce with Ty Smith covering a lot of ground to help establish a solid base in the centre of the park.
The Tigers made the most of the dry but windy conditions with some slick hand balls and accurate kicks to targets.
Newcomer Dominic Parkes-Dolan earned Man of the Match from the Tigers with a solid display in the middle racking up tackles and moving the ball to the forwards.
Other key influencers for the match were veterans Josh White, Josh Cunliffe and Tom Hayhoe.
First year players Sam Watson and Bjorn Wojt performed well making some big plays on the ball throughout.
There were some good signs for Manurewa with Sean Andrews playing well in defence. Tom Thexton had a good game playing off the half back flank along with Ryan Murray on the wing.
A big win in the end for the Tigers against a valiant Raiders outfit.
Tigers Head Coach Fraser Stevens was pleased with how the squad bounced back from last weeks defeat.
“Very happy with the way the boys bounced back this week. We had some pretty clear ‘work-ons’ and we executed them brilliantly. Kicking accuracy on goal needs a bit of work but the windy conditions probably contributed those high numbers. All in all a great turn out and I’m confident that we can continue to build for the rest of the campaign.”
Manurewa had a number of key players missing but Coach Dave Abetz couldn’t fault the effort of his players. “The effort from the guys today couldn’t be faulted but North Shore are a class act and controlled the game.”
North Shore will travel to Paparoa Park this Saturday as they take on the Howick Hornets.
Howick Hornets vs University Blues
9th September, Paparoa Park, Howick.
It was a dominant performance by University who outplayed local rivals Howick in a clinical display at Paparoa Park on Sunday afternoon.
The game started very tight with the Howick defence (Pete Jones and Tim Elsey) able to shut down Universities main targets in the forward 50.
University midfielders, Huw Beynon (Ruck) and Liam Beattie (Rover) were dominating the centre clearances which led to repeated forward entries.
The Blues were efficient with their disposals and running play as they sliced through the Hornets midfield creating the overlap and opening up the forward line.
Selfless actions from many of players allowed University to to stick to the intended game plan.
Universities victory was only hampered by their inability to convert in the tricky wind conditions.
Playing in only his second game for Howick, Harley Jenkins put in a big effort in the forward line is shaping to be a key forward for the Hornets
Jay Green put in another solid performance for the second week in a row playing on the wing. His defensive efforts earned him the best on ground as chosen by University.
“As a club it was a good reminder that if we don’t execute the basics around the ground we expose ourselves to the opposition. Playing with quick ball movement and the ability to keep possession meant we were able to maintain the score ticking over but also keep pressure on the Howick outfit, enabling us to rebound the ball often.” Head Coach Chris Mundell.
“It was a very tough day against a better team. We struggled to shut down their running play through the middle. We now have a lot to work on as we build up to taking on North Shore next week.”
Mt Roskill Saints vs Waitakere Magpies
9th September, War Memorial Park, Mt Roskill.
Mt Roskill were on a high after their victory over reigning premiers, North Shore Tigers in round 1 and hosted 2017 runners up, the Waitakere Magpies.
The Saints lost key midfielder Tristan Burnett in the first contest of the match but two early goals from the home side set the tone early as they pushed hard on attack in windy conditions.
Callum McLean covered for Burnett as he was thrown into the midfield and did a stand up job all day.
Already down on experience with several players unavailable, the Magpies suffered a huge loss in the second quarter when they lost defender Josh Copeland to injury. Copeland is a rock down back for Waitakere and the Mt Roskill forward line certainly made the most of his absence.
The Saints talked about finding the space at half-time and moving the ball across the ground. The team then executed this very well and as the Saints started to dominate in the third quarter.
Magpies ruckman Jordan Pereira almost pulled off the mark of the year which was not paid by the umpires but some quick thinking by Zac King (2 goals) crumbed the ball and snapped a goal from the pocket.
Hunter Grey who was playing his first game for the Magpies had an outstanding game picking up best on ground.
Saints Captain Sam McKenzie was all smiles after the match.
“Another pleasing effort from the team.
Again we played how we want to play, looking to attack and create space.
Waitakere were tough through the middle of the ground, but as the game opened up in the second half we were able to find runners and move the ball quickly.
I’m excited to see how much we can develop our game as we move through the season.”
Magpies Captain Shane Leat knows there is work to do if Waitakere are going to be seen as a threat this season.
“We’ve got alot of work to do when it comes to fitness if we want to push for the title. Lack of experience really hit us hard in the second half which blew out the final score but was happy how the young players stepped up in their absence.”
It doesn’t get any easier for Waitakere as they takew on the unbeaten University Blues in round 3 while Mt Roskill will host Manurewa next Sunday.
Story – AAFL.co.nz