The Waitakere Magpies have defeated the Howick Hornets to make it 4 wins in a row.
In the remaining games, the Mt Roskill Saints have fought off the Uni Blues to claim a 4 point win and the North Shore Tigers beat a gallant Manurewa Raiders side.
Howick vs Waitakere
The Waitakere Magpies have made it 4 wins in a row after defeating the Howick Hornets over the weekend.
In a tight match over all 4 quarters, the Magpies win came down to experience under pressure. Josh Copeland and Fraser Worthington were both immense in the backline and helped rebound any ball that came down there way.
Clayton Walters captained the side for the first time and had a strong game on the wing.
For the Hornets, Travis Walker was hungry for the footy, while small forward Elliot Bennetts finished with 4 goals for the game.
After trailing for most of the game, the Hornets produced a fourth quarter fight back as they kicked two quick goals which were superbly set up from the middle. The Magpies defenders kept their cool and helped stop the momentum as the Magpies ran out 32 point winners.
“Really great to see our side working together and producing our fourth win in a row. Looking at the scoreboard, our forwards will have to work on their accuracy but all in all, it was another polished performance.” Waitakere Coach Steve Howard
“Our team showed a lot of heart and fight today. To go all four quarters at the 100% effort, all credit must be given to the boys.” Ryan White, Howick.
Manurewa vs North Shore
The North Shore Tigers continued their winning ways with a solid victory of the ever improving Manurewa Raiders.
Both teams came into the game off the back of victories and the Tigers were wary of the confidence that the Raiders would be carrying into the clash.
Last time the two teams met, the Raiders broke early with 3 quick goals but on this occasion it was the Tigers who controlled the play, maintained possession and converted 3 unanswered goals off their own to get off to a solid start.
The swirly conditions made accuracy in front of goals a challenge for both teams but the tigers continued to press hard and lock the ball in their forward 50.
Morgan Huggins and Dale Johnson were getting their hands on the footy through the middle and delivered quality ball to Mitch Ryan in forward line.
Xavier Bryham continued his impressive season to date with plenty of run off half back.
As expected, the Raiders maintained their physicality throughout the match with some solid defence against a much smaller Tigers outfit. Raiders Captain Kiko Hibbs was showing his muscle and worked well with Ahku King in the middle.
A string of consecutive behinds from the tigers in the last quarter should have put it well beyond reach but the runs were already on the board as the Raiders fought hard until the end.
“Happy to get the win today over the Raiders. They continue to improve every match and we knew we would have to work hard for the points today. A few big games coming up as we move towards finals so looking forward to the test.” Dan Pearce – Captain, North Shore Tigers.
“Cheers to North shore for the game. It was a hard fought but fair game and best of luck for the rest of the season. For our boys, heads up, it was a great effort and as always huge thanks to the boys who travel to play. The young boys really stepped up today in the middle and down the wing. Let’s finish the season strong and keep improving every game.” Kiko Hibbs, Manurewa Raiders Captain.
University vs Mt Roskill
On a typical Auckland afternoon with the sun out and strong winds sweeping across the ground, both University and Mt Roskill had to adapt their game plan to the conditions which made for an even game around the contest early on.
Lachlan Salmon was playing off the half forward line for the home side and was superb early on. Salmon worked well with winger Josh Fisher, who produced his best game of the season.
Although undermanned, the Saints pulled together as a team under the direction of club legend and Co-Captain Michael Boyce.
Saints defenders Al Maisey and Tommy Burke were brilliant off the half back flank all game and got the Saints out of trouble on multiple occasions.
It was a push and pull contest across the ground with neither team willing to give up possession of the ball, with the likes of Michael Boyce, Will Dickinson and Mitch Weir making their presence heard on the field with their run and gun style of play through the middle relieving the Saints of pressure from University’s impressive forward line.
NZ Falcon representatives Ben Hick and Liam Beattie were on song as they pushed through the middle of the ground.
With scoring at a premium, every kick at goal or opportunity created was vital to be converted. It came down to the final quarter where Roskill managed to surge it forward and a scrappy loose ball was collected by Mitch Weir who kicked true and won them the game.
“To come away from today with a hard fought win over our rivals, it makes playing for this club even more special. To be able to accomplish what we did against the Blues and without some of our clubs key players, showed us what hard work and resilience can do when we work as a unit. From here on out we’re looking to improve on our work ons in an attempt to get to the end goal and secure that home semi final.” Jonathan Ilaua, Mt Roskill.
“While Roskill claim the points in what was another physical and tough encounter, we look forward to hopefully seeing them again come the finals.” Chris Mundell, University.
Story – AAFL.co.nz