University and Waitakere back on track in AAFL

In round 7 of the Auckland AFL, the Waitakere Magpies have beaten the Manurewa Raiders by 11 goals at Parrs Park while a solid defensive effort from the North Shore Tigers saw them ease past the Mt Roskill Saints. In the match of the round, the University Blues edged the Howick Hornets by 19 points in the closest match of the round.


University Blues vs Howick Hornets 

29th October, 2.00pm, Colin Maiden Park, Glen Innes.

Coming off an upset win over the Mt Roskill Saints during Round 6, the Howick Hornets knew that a win over University would put them in a position to make the finals for the first time.

The Hornets defense was tested early and with University kicking with the the wind, their defense swarmed the Blues attack to only keep them to four behinds for the quarter. Hornets forward Elliot Bennett’s provided an early highlight, pouncing on an loose ball and weaving through the University defence to kick a stunning goal to give the Hornets the lead at the first break.

A much improved effort from the Blues in the second quarter got them back into the game thanks to some great performances from Carl Williams on the wing and Liam Beattie, who was strong in the middle.

An inability to convert allowed Howick to stay in the game and the University intensity and hunger of the first half diminished in the second which allowed the Hornets to slot some easy goals.

In the final quarter, Kevin Crowe worked off ruckman Andy Cook and teamed well with forward Andrew Azzopardi to keep the Hornets in the game. The final five minutes were frantic as the Hornets kicked back to back goals but ran out of time as University held on for an 19 point win.

Ryan Marsland was once again best for the Blues along with hard running Chris Bailey.

“A solid win for the boys today but certainly not as polished as I would have liked, despite dominating the contest and ball possession for most of the first half. We look ahead to the next three weeks and anticipate only tougher challenges to learn from.”

North Shore Tigers vs Mt Roskill Saints

29th October, 2.00pm, Onepoto Domain, Northcote.

A tough assignment awaited the Mt Roskill Saints has they turned up to Onepoto Domain on Sunday, taking on the Top of the table Tigers. With the odds stacked against them but a strong wind at their backs the Saints opened the scoring and took the lead for the first and last time in the game.

The Tigers backline settled nicely following this through the experience of Josh White and both the Sucu brothers, for the first time this season. Some strong runs out of the backline through recent backline converts, Jake Tucker and Joey Alesich, created opportunities for the forward line who found the middle sticks ensuring the Tigers would take the lead into the first quarter.

The second quarter saw the run increase and a dominating backline performance kept the Saints trapped in their half. Smart use of the footy created some good opportunities for the Tigers and if not for the howling wind the scoreboard may have looked a little bit more daunting for the visitors.

A small fight back in the third quarter saw the Saints create some opportunities in the forward 50 but were unable to come away with anything to show on the scoreboard. The dynamic duo of Josh Cunliffe and Conor McWilliams were causing mayhem for the Saints defenders with their willingness to run from one end of the park to the other to get the footy.

Captain Jackson Clince and Rhys Pegoraro once again were a force to be reckoned with in the middle of the park and with Ty Smith and Tyler Paul alternating in the ruck it became a difficult task for the Saints to get their hands on the footy out of the middle. Another strong performance from the Tigers should see them maintain the top spot on the ladder.

Coach Mitch Ryan was pleased with the result and the efforts that the team put in, no doubt there will be a little bit extra time spent on set shots this week at training.

Waitakere Magpies vs Manurewa Raiders 

29th October, 2.00pm, Parrs Park, Oratia.

The Manurewa Raiders travelled to Waitakere for Round 7 of the AAFL season and with the Magpies coming off an 85 point loss in round 6 to the Tigers, the Raiders were looking to pounce.

Manurewa kicked with a strong breeze behind their backs in the first quarter but a five star performance from Magpies defender Josh Copeland held the Raiders to a single point.

In the second, accurate work through the midfield helped give forward Declan Crann some quality football as he ended the game with five goals. Kenny Ariens was useful on the wing for the Magpies.

After the half time break, Manurewa midfielders Joel Brown and Vandyn “Diesel” Hartman provided a spark early on as the Raiders kicked a couple of goals to get themselves back into the game but the midfield pairing of Joel Griffiths and David Rattenbury showed the experience they have controlling the game as the Magpies ran away with the game to record a 68 point victory.

Ray Castle and Roger White also made an impact for the Raiders and were included in their best.

“A game we knew we needed to perform strong with and we did that in most parts, now it is just fine tuning it into a full 80 minute performance.” Magpies Captain Shane Leat.


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Photo credit – Western Leader