BLUES PLAY OFF FINAL MATCH REPORT:
1st XV vs Mount Albert Grammar School Saturday 27August
The following quote form the SKY Sport College Rugby Facebook page was all that was needed to motivate our team to arguably one of their best performances of the season.
“ Both sides only lost one competition game in 2016, but despite Westlake achieving their biggest win in the North Harbour final in a decade it’s hard to see them getting close to MAGS…….The sheer size of the MAGS pack will be tough for Westlake to contain.”
No-one but the team themselves believed that in would be so close and the boys left everything out on the field. The defensive effort was monumental and we may have had less possession at the end of the game but with the possession we had we at times had MAGS stretched.
A fantastic individual effort from Arikitoia Hood-Kaitapu opened the scoring midway through the first half. Ariki received a pass from Fine Inisi after Jack Heighton had created an overlap on the outside for Ariki. Ariki faked to kick but then side stepped his wing and ran the 45meters to score in the corner. The kick was unsuccessful in a strong wind. MAGS replied soon after with a try to level the scores before the break.
After the break Westlake were put under pressure and in this period of 15 minutes MAGS added to their score with a try and a penalty to lead 13 – 5. Westlake were not done and Keepa Wiki kicked a penalty to close the gap. Soon after Jacob Katipa broke the line and set up a possible try but the MAGS defence were up to it and turned over the ball ad immediately put us under pressure again. The attack was relentless by both sides using differing tactics. MAGS used their big forward pack to make ground while Jack Heighton was comfortable putting the ball behind the MAGS backs to keep them pinned in their own half. Keepa had a chance to kick another penalty but pushed the ball wide. Despite the frustration of the MAGS forwards slowing our ball down from the rucks Westlake finished the stronger but we were unable to get across the line again.
Nothing more could be asked of the team and the result was a surprise to many. Hopefully in years to come North harbour Schools can be more competitive in this fixture and we look forward to our region being represented at the national Top 4 Competition.
Scoreboard: Westlake 8 - MAGS 5 (Half time 5 – 5)
Tries: Arikitoia Hood-Kaitapu
Penalty: Keepa Wiki
Pic - Westlake at MAGS Aftermatch
North Harbour 1st XV Report – 18 and 20 August 2016
By Trey Tupu-South of Westlake BHS
The Inisi brothers well and truly stole the show this week as Westlake took on Massey for the 1st XV North Harbour Championship at North Harbour stadium. Although Massey obtained a lot of noticeable confidence and belief at the start of the game, drawn from beating Rosmini the previous week, by half time the game was all but over with Westlake ahead 24-3. In the end, Westlake stretched their lead to an overwhelming 34-3 win.
The perfect pitch and conditions foresaw the great running game, which both teams established early on. However, the initial upper hand was gained by Massey, which had faster pace and a stronger backline. Fullback Mackenave Pisi threatened to dominate the game after breaking the line a number of times and setting up a potential try for hooker Christian Lemalu under the posts, one disallowed by the TMO. Fine Inisi’s superior speed saw Westlake take the early lead, after the second five out-ran the opposing team as only he could to collect a punt by right winger Spencer McDowall, scoring in the right hand corner. Despite this, Massey maintained dominance and after lock Sone Teo gave a great backdoor pass to blindside flanker Christian Lio-Willie, Massey were certain that they had scored through the hands of their captain. However, Massey was starved of another try as the TMO disallowed this second effort within just two minutes of the first. The TMO was kept busy throughout the game. Nevertheless, Massey halfback Miracle Naititi managed to salvage some points by converting a penalty kick positioned twenty metres out and in front of the posts. These were the last points for Massey and from this point forward in the match the Inisi brothers took over. QBE Player of the match, Fine Inisi scored his second try and then sealed his hat-trick within the first 26 minutes. The second five showcased amazing speed and incredible instinctiveness by supporting his teammates and swerving through Massey’s backline. His brother Lotu capitalized upon Westlake’s great half with a try of his own. Taking a ball off a rolling maul from 5 metres out, he stormed over the try line. Thanks to the incredible strength, speed and scoring ability of the Inisi brothers Westlake entered halftime with a comfortable 24-3 lead.
Westlake’s usual starters reserved for this game, halfback Casey Smith and blindside flanker Arno Mouton, made a major impact in the second half and eliminated any idea of a Massey comeback. However, it was Lotu Inisi who dominated the half. Inisi demonstrated a unique range of skills by grubbing the ball on the run and setting up Smith in the left hand corner. His powerful running remained a pivotal part of Westlake’s game throughout the second half. Despite Massey spending a large amount of time in Westlake’s 22 for the latter part of the half, Westlake’s strong defensive line and Jack Heighton’s great kicking ability ensured that they never saw the line. Arikitoia Hood-Kaitapu put forward an impressive running performance in the second half, establishing a signature ability to slip out of tackles and through Massey’s defensive line. Despite Westlake’s domination of the game, Massey demonstrated great sportsmanship by fighting till the end, even after the final hooter, though to no avail as Westlake secured the 34-3 win and the schools 13th championship in the 26 years since the competition’s commencement.
In the 1A Plate final Rangitoto defeated Orewa 31-17 at home to lock in 5th place for 2016. In the 1B championship semi-finals Mahurangi defeated Northcote in a close encounter 19-15 and likewise Westlake 2nd beat Rosmini 2nd XV 23-12. Long Bay won by default over an injury depleted Kristin. 1B final will be Mahurangi 1st XV vs Westlake 2nd XV. 1C semi-finals Massey 2nd XV overwhelmed Whangaparaoa 1st XV 62-7 and Kaipara 1st XV put away Rangitoto 2nd XV 45-19. The 1C final will be Massey 2nd XV vs Kaipara 1st XV.
The North Harbour Secondary School Finals will be at NH Domain Saturday 27 August. The fixtures are as follows:
1B – Mahurangi 1st XV vs Westlake 2nd XV – 12pm NH Oval
1C - Massey 2nd XV vs Kaipara 1st XV – 12pm NH Dom 1
2nd Grade – Orewa 2nd XV vs Rosmini 3rd XV – 10.45am NH Dom 1
4A – Rosmini vs Rangitoto – 10.45am NH Dom 2
5A – Westlake vs Massey – 10.45am NH Oval
6A – Rosmini vs Westlake - 9.30am NH Dom 1
7A – Westlake Red vs Rosmini - 9.30am NH Dom 2
All other finals will be at the top seed school – www.harbourrugby.co.nz/webpages/club-draws-and-results/
Westlake captain Jack Heighton raises the 1A trophy - Photo By Jack Hall, Westlake BHS
Photo by Oliver Jones - Massey 1st5 Nikau Drage under pressure from Westlakes's Jack Heighton and Lotu Inisi
North Harbour 1st XV Report – 13 August 2016
By Trey Tupu-South of Westlake BHS
Massey devastated Rosmini’s supporters this week, during a championship semi- final of the North Harbour 1st XV competition, snatching a 13-11 lead in the dying stages of the game, thanks to the steely nerves of reserve kicker Ryan MacMillan. By attaining this win, Massey managed to secure a place in the final for the first time in five years. A massive upset over North Harbour rugby’s reigning champions.
Massey showed promising signs of victory early on, after holding up a Rosmini maul less than one minute into the match and securing their first points of the game in less than five, with halfback Miracle Naititi managing to convert a penalty opportunity from 18 metres out and in front of the posts. However, after Massey gave away a number of penalties, Rosmini found themselves on the forty metre line and kicking for the posts. Rosmini’s halfback Connor Leather stepped up and just like he has done, on so many occasions this season, and converted. After this, it seemed as though the game was set to be dominated and dictated by Leather’s boot, a common plan established by Rosmini throughout the season. The loss of lock Te Ruki Pierce Dunn soon after also threatened to limit Massey’s chances of success. However, the team only strengthened their resolve, by quickening their defensive line and preventing Rosmini from building upon their momentum. Second five Sebastian Tielu stood out in the match as a major force on defence, performing a number of powerful tackles and forcing Rosmini runners to knock the ball on a number of times. Eventually, Massey were rewarded for their efforts with a penalty, positioned twenty metres out and to the right side of the posts. Having missed a penalty kick from a similar position earlier in the game the team decided to kick for the corner. The risk was well rewarded, as Massey set up a maul five metres out from the try line and drove Rosmini over it, converted successfully by halfback Naititi. All in all Massey dominated the first half, retaining eighty percent of the possession and securing a 10-3 lead headed into the second.
As expected, Rosmini began the second half with a fierce determination to turn the momentum in their favour. After being awarded a penalty early on, Rosmini kicked the ball to the five metre line in the right hand corner and thereafter executed a mirror –image try of Massey’s in the first, although, Leather’s failure to convert saw Rosmini still trailing. Under a relentless Rosmini attack, Massey’s defence was sent scrambling for the ball and in the end they were forced to give Rosmini a penalty kick in front of the posts. Leather’s conversion witnessed Rosmini take the lead heading into the later stages of the game. Of course, Massey was intent on regaining momentum and managed to do so thanks to the fast feet and good hands of their backline, with both wingers exhibiting great speed and subsequently gaining a lot of ground. Despite being rewarded a number of penalties within range, Massey showed great determination to score a try. Although, after finding no success in attempts to penetrate Rosmini’s strong defensive line, the team finally decided to take the shot at goal. Positioned twenty metres out and to the right of the posts, reserve kicker Mac Millan showed great composure by executing the kick. Despite Rosmini’s best attempts to score, thereafter, another crunching tackle performed by Massey’s second-five Tielu, forced his opposing number to knock on the ball, ending the game, with Massey winning 13-11.
In the other championship semi-final Westlake marched on beating Whangarei 32-5. Westlake dominated the first half getting out to 17-0 but Whangarei bounced back to score a try at the beginning of the second half but couldn’t sustain the pressure and Westlake came back to score another 15 points to secure top ranking for the 2016 Canon North Harbour 1st XV final at 5.15pm on Thursday 18 August at QBE Stadium. In the Plate Semi’s, Rangitoto held out an up for it Birkenhead College side to win 24-22 and Orewa edged Takapuna 13-9 in a tight encounter. The Plate Final will be Rangitoto vs Orewa at Rangitoto at 12pm Saturday 20 August. All remaining secondary school finals will be on Saturday 27 August at North Harbour Domain.
In the 1B final games of the round, Westlake 2nd XV just beat Rosmini 2nd XV 6-0, Mahurangi put away Long Bay 43-5 and Northcote were too good for Kristin 31-10. In 1C final games of the round, Whangaparaoa beat Rangitoto 2nd XV 34-14, Kaipara had the edge on Massey 2nd XV 30-24 and Albany had the bye. In the 1B semi - finals 20 August Mahurangi will play Northcote and, Westlake 2nd XV face Rosmini 2nd XV. Long Bay will play Kristin in the 5th/6th play-off. In the 1C semi – finals, Kaipara host Rangitoto 2nd XV and, Massey 2nd XV will play Whangaparaoa.
1B Points: Mahurangi 21, Westlake 2nd XV 18, Rosmini 2nd XV 14, Northcote 13, Long Bay 5 and Kristin 1.
1C Points: Kaipara 19, Massey 2nd XV 15, Whangaparaoa 10, Rangitoto 2nd XV 5 and Albany 0.
Photo by Jack Hall (Westlake), Massey Flkr Christian Lio-Willie tries to evade the Rosmini defenders
Photo by Oliver Jones (Westlake) Westlake 2nd5 Baylee Katipa takes on the Whangarei defence
North Harbour 1st XV Report – 6 August
By Trey Tupu-South of Westlake BHS
Positioned in fourth place and only two points clear of Whangarei in the overall standings, all of the pressure lay on Rangitoto to perform this week, during the twelfth round of the North Harbour rugby 1st XV competition, in order to cement their place in the competitions semi-finals, 13 August. Despite the team’s best attempts to avenge their 41-19 loss from earlier in the season, in the end Massey managed to hold the team to a painfully close 15-3 loss.
As expected Rangitoto began the game with fierce determination, running with great intent and committing more numbers to the breakdown. Their efforts were rewarded early on with a penalty kick forty metres out and in front of the posts, however, first five and captain Matt Millar failed to convert. Unable to penetrate Massey’s strong defensive line, Rangitoto eventually gave way to the running strength and agility of their mid field runners and usual standouts, second five Sam Samu, centre Alex Tavita and fullback Dave Puleiala. The three have lead the team’s offense throughout the season, performing arguably as well as any in New Zealand’s secondary school competition, this week witnessed no exception. Although, Massey suffered a yellow card to a tight forward, their onslaught continued, thanks to the fast feet and strong fend of their mid-field. Subsequently forced against their line, Rangitoto’s loose head prop Hamish Woodd showcased great heart and determination by throwing himself at the opposition. Although, Massey were eventually awarded a penalty kick ten metres out in front of the posts, one easily slotted by left winger Ryan MacMillan. Under a relentless onslaught, Rangitoto tried to take advantage of playing 14 men but instead Massey took full control of the game with second five Samu pushing over in the left hand corner. Although Rangitoto was able to create momentum of their own, late in the half, when centre Anton Ronald intercepted the ball at half way, the team failed to convert the opportunity into points and as a result the first half finished with Massey ahead 8-0.
In the second half Rangitoto’s captain Matt Millar took full control and utilized a greater kicking game to give his team the momentum. An early chip kick performed by the first-five and collected by second-five Caleb Foster, saw left winger Josh Corrigan take the ball to the left hand corner of the field before being taken out in a tremendous try saving tackle performed by Massey’s MacMillan. Although the team failed to take advantage of this opportunity, their halfback Morgan Huggins eventually managed to salvage some points, successfully converting a penalty kick twenty metres out and to the left of the posts. Millar continued his great kicking performance in the second half, pinning Massey in their twenty-two. Although Rangitoto managed to keep Massey down their end of the pitch, their defence proved to be impenetrable. On top of this, Rangitoto ultimately cemented their loss by choosing to tap and run rather than opt for the penalty kick a number of times. Eventually Massey’s midfield stepped up yet again to turn the momentum in their teams favour one last time. Managing to reach Rangitoto’s twenty-two for the first time in the second half, twenty-five minutes in, full back Puleilala added insult to injury by stepping his opposing number and sealing the win with a converted try under the posts. Massey finished the game strong with a 15-3 win.
Rangitoto’s loss and Whangarei’s 46-0 win over Birkenhead witnessed a change in the standings, with new comers to the North Harbour competition, Whangarei BHS, managing to make the championship semi-finals in their rookie year.
In the other games Westlake put away Takapuna 54-15 and Rosmini thumped Orewa 43-3. This confirmed the semi-final spots for 13 August – Championship semi’s are Westlake vs Whangarei and Rosmini vs Massey with the Plate semi’s being Rangitoto vs Birkenhead and Orewa vs Takapuna, with all semi’s at the top seed school. The Championship final is at 5.15pm Thursday 18 August as curtain-raiser to the opening Mitre 10 Cup fixture – North Harbour vs Counties Manukau. The Plate final will be at the top seed school on Saturday 20 August.
1A Points: Westlake 64, Rosmini 62, Massey 49, Whangarei 35, Rangitoto 32, Orewa 16, Takapuna 14 and Birkenhead 2.
In the 1B division, Westlake 2nd XV defeated Northcote 1st XV 24-0, Rosmini 2nd XV edged Long Bay 1st XV 13-7 and Mahurangi 1st XV put away Kristin 1st XV 46-10. In the 1C grade, Rangitoto 2nd XV beat Albany 1st XV 20-10, Kaipara 1st XV thumped Whangaparaoa 1st XV 65-12 and Massey 2nd XV had the bye.
1B Points: Mahurangi 16, Westlake 2nd XV 14, Rosmini 2nd XV 13, Northcote 8, Long Bay 5 and Kristin 1.
1C Points: Kaipara 14, Massey 2nd XV 13, Whangaparaoa 5, Rangitoto 2nd XV 5 and Albany 0.
North Harbour 1st XV Report – 30 July 2016
By Trey Tupu-South, Westlake BHS
Westlake’s captain Jack Heighton and second-five Fine Inisi performed formidably this week, during the twelfth round of the North Harbour 1st XV competition, leading their team to a convincing 27-5 win over Massey. Heighton exhibited a great rugby brain by setting up all three of his teams tries in the first half whilst Inisi lead the teams running metres and shares the team’s top try scoring numbers with Jack Fuller, securing two tries each.
Despite Massey’s strong performance against Rosmini last week, Westlake’s relentless attack and signature ability to generate points out of thin air saw the team runaway with a relatively overwhelming victory. Westlake year 12 student Casey Smith debuted as starting half back and Heighton out of his regular position, playing at first-five. This duo performed powerfully together, with Smith delivering fast ball and allowing Heighton a greater amount of time and space to run the offence. Heighton capitalized early on and demonstrated great awareness by sending a grubber through Massey’s flat backline for Fine Inisi to recover and score the team’s first try of the game, ten minutes in. Although Westlake were forced to play without powerhouse forward Lotu Inisi this week due to injury, the teams forward pack remained dominant at the set piece and breakdown area. The team exhibited superior fitness by committing more numbers to the break down area and forcing momentum, in their favour. Heighton set-up the second try of the match off the back of a ruck by sending a great miss-pass and opening up a hole for blindside flanker Tupou Afungia to run through in the right hand corner. After a dropped ball from the kick off, Massey managed to enter Westlake’s 22 for the first time twenty-five minutes into the match. Massey were eventually rewarded for their efforts with a penalty kick twenty metres out and in front of the posts, however the kick was wide of the posts. Despite Massey’s best attempts to stop the scoring of Westlake’s backline, Heighton set up one final try in the first half, exhibiting amazing skill by stepping and spinning out of three tackles before performing a backdoor pass to winger Jack Fuller who took the ball under the posts to score and set up Westlake’s only successful conversion of the match. Westlake entered the second half with a comfortable 17-0 lead.
Westlake started the second half with a similar dominance shown in the first. Beginning with Fine Inisi grubbering the ball behind Massey’s backline for Jack Fuller to dive on in the right hand corner. Cross field kicking remained a pivotal part of Westlake’s offence throughout the game and lead to many try scoring opportunities. Left winger Ariki Hood-Kaitapu stepped up in the second half and showcased blistering speed as well as precise chip kicking, chasing and collecting his own kicks down the left sideline on a number of occasions and was unlucky not to score. Toward the end of the second half Massey’s offense intensified and the team managed to develop momentum of their own through the running strength of their mid field runners, centre Alex Tavita and second five Sebastian Tielu. After a number of pick and go’s left winger Dave Pulelaila managed to muscle over in the left hand corner and secure Massey’s first points of the game. Although any idea of a Massey come back was quickly silenced by Westlake’s Fine Inisi after he ran fifty metres down the field and ultimately set up his second try and the last one of the game.
In the other fixtures Rosmini fresh from their South Island tour thumped Birkenhead 92-0, Orewa reversed the first round result to beat Takapuna 13-5 and Rangitoto on their home track edged Whangarei BHS 20-17. Orewa forfeited the deferred 29 June mid-week fixture to give Westlake a default win. The final games of the second round will see Takapuna host Westlake, Massey at home to Rangitoto in the match of the week, Birkenhead travel to Whangarei and Rosmini play Orewa at home.
1A Points: Westlake 59, Rosmini 57, Massey 45, Rangitoto 32, Whangarei 30, Orewa 16, Takapuna 14 and Birkenhead 2.
On the 1B division, Northcote 1st XV edged Rosmini 2nd XV 22-20, Mahurangi 1st XV beat Westlake 2nd XV 24-15 and Long Bay 1st XV were too good for Kristin 1st XV winning 17-8. In the 1C grade, Whangaparaoa 1st XV beat Albany 1st XV 17-8, Massey 2nd XV defeated Rangitoto 2nd XV 18-3 and Kaipara 1st XV had the bye.
1B Points: Mahurangi 11, Westlake 2nd XV 9, Rosmini 2nd XV 9, Northcote 8, Long Bay 4 and Kristin 1.
1C Points: Massey 2nd XV 13, Kaipara 9, Whangaparaoa 5, Rangitoto 2nd XV 1 and Albany 0.
Photo by Jake Hall, Westlake BHS - Massey Ctr Alex Tavita gets the ball away in the tackle of Westlake Fbk Keepa Wiki
Photo by Oliver Jones, Westlake BHS - Westlake Ctr Baylee Katipa takes on Massey defender Miracle Naititi
North Harbour 1st XV Report – 23 July 2016
By Trey Tupu-South, Westlake BHS
Rosmini rewarded their home field support by surviving a late onslaught by Massey this week, the eleventh round of the North Harbour 1st XV competition, by salvaging a 16-14 win. In spite of Massey’s best attempts to avenge their 19-11 loss from earlier in the season, Rosmini’s exceptional passing ability and superior forward strength saw Massey come up short yet again.
Rosmini established early momentum through the powerful running of props Ryley Bagose-Cave and Leon Bongare. Despite the wet conditions, Rosmini managed to build on this momentum through the great handling and awareness of their backline, this sustained pressure earning a penalty kick, awarded 40 metre out and in front of the posts. Half-back Connor Leather demonstrated great kicking ability by successfully converting the opportunity in the face of a strong head wind. With Rosmini holding on to the ball throughout most of the first half, Massey failed to use a tailwind to any great extent. Eventually Rosmini were awarded another penalty 20 metres in front, one easily slotted by Leather. After being awarded a penalty late in the first half, Massey managed to reach Rosmini’s 22 and secure their first real chance at the try line. Massey then cleverly capitalized on this opportunity after No.12 Sebastian Tielu took an inside pass from first-five Nikau Drage and streaked through Rosmini’s defense untouched to score under the posts. Massey’s half back Miracle Naititi successfully converted the try, snatching a 7-6 lead and Massey’s only one of the match. The team quickly relinquished this lead less than five minutes later, when Rosmini’s No.8 Josiha Ngatipa capped off a great performance with a similarly impressive try. After picking up a loose ball thirty metres out, Ngatipa bowled his opposing back rower to clear his path to the line. One more try scored by Rosmini’s left winger Aviata Leaoaniu secured a 16-7 lead heading into the second half.
Although Rosmini retained approximately ninety percent of possession in the first half, Massey’s solid line of defense left them with a striking chance headed into the second. Rosmini managed to maintain momentum in the earlier stages of the second half, as No.10 Sekuini Tanimo smartly utilized the wind and pinned Massey in their 22. Less than ten minutes into the second half the team was awarded with yet another penalty in front of the posts but leather had a rare miss. After this, a series of poor passing by Rosmini and tremendous runs made by Massey saw the team threatening to score yet again. Massey’s substituted loosehead prop Vili Sio established the start of his tremendous impact in the second half by taking an inside pass from Naititi to muscle over the line. Massey continued their assault through the impressive running of No.12 Sebastian Tielu and centre Alex Tavita. Sio nearly stole the lead after crossing the try line one more time, only to be denied by the touch judge. Naititi attempted to steal the lead, first from forty metres out and then thirty metres out to the left hand side of the field. Although both kicks came up painfully short, Vili Sio managed to follow the second kick and secure the ball, giving Massey one final chance to take the lead but to no avail. In the end they came up short and Rosmini managed to hold on for a hard earned victory.
In the other deferred fixtures from 26 June mid-week round, Rangitoto comfortably put away Birkenhead 29-0 and Takapuna travelled north to Kensington Oval to give Whangarei BHS a scare just going down 35-33 to the home side. Orewa and Westlake have a game in hand from the deferred round. The 30 July penultimate round of games will see Orewa host Takapuna, Rosmini away to Birkenhead and Rangitoto take on Whangarei on their home track. Match of the week will be Westlake facing Massey at home. All other secondary school grades resume rugby 30 July.
1A Points: Rosmini 52, Westlake 49, Massey 45, Whangarei 29, Rangitoto 28, Takapuna 14, Orewa 12 and Birkenhead 2.
North Harbour 1st XV Report for 8 and 9 July
By Trey Tupu-South, Westlake Boys’ High School
The superior strength and running speed of Massey High School saw them secure an overwhelming 54-5 win this week over opposition Takapuna Grammar. Despite the score, each team gained great experience in the 11th round of the XV competition, played as the curtain raiser to the Blues vs Brumbies game at Eden Park.
Massey’s second-five Mac Pisi opened the scoring early, stepping and swerving through Takapuna to score under the posts. Massey continued their attack through the running strength of standout players No.6 Christian Lio-Willie, Mac Pisi and fullback Alex Tavita. Despite Massey’s relentless offense, Takapuna exhibited a solid line of defence, forcing Massey turnovers. However, the work of Lio-Willie and company meant Massey was able to penetrate the team’s line, thundering through their defence from twenty metres out and scoring to the left of the posts. After this, Massey’s right winger Dave Puleila showcased blistering speed down the right hand side of the field, starting from sixty metres out and scoring in the right hand corner. Takapuna managed to gain momentum in the latter part of the half, with No.10 Oscar Koller kicking for the corners and securing greater field position. Takapuna eventually reached Massey’s 22 for the first time, 20 minutes in to the game, when the team managed to convert upon the rare opportunity. Fullback Jasper Edgar took a brilliant inside pass from centre Iverson Chan-Tung, to score the team’s first and only try of the game. Although Takapuna attempted to maintain their position within Massey’s half, the powerful tackling of Massey’s No.7 Nathan Vaatausili saw the team unwillingly sent back into their own territory. Under the relentless pressure of Massey’s offense, Takapuna were forced to field many clearance kicks. One of these kicks was collected by Massey’s left wing Sam Samu at halfway and carried through Takapuna’s line to the five metre line, where an offload saw No.10 Nikau Drage secure his first of two tries in the match and Massey with a 26-5 lead headed into half time.
Massey continued their dominance in the second half with Lio-Willie once again sprinting away from the Takapuna back line, running sixty metres and dotting down. Other Massey try scorers from the 2nd half also include No. 7 Nathan Vaatausili and Tavita. Any field position Takapuna was able to make was quickly lost, due to the strong tackling and skilful ruck of Massey. The TMO, a special feature to Blues and Eden Park curtain raisers, was used four times to question tries, three being disallowed as a result. But nothing could halt Massey’s eventual domination and skilful play.
In the other 1A fixtures, Rosmini put away Rangitoto 58-0 on Friday afternoon and Westlake defeated Whangarei at Kensington Oval 22-6. The other match was a thriller with Birkenhead in the lead 14-13 at Orewa with 5 minutes to go and looking like taking a well deserved win for the first time in the season. BC was ahead at the break 14-5 through a good work rate and the help of a strong south-westerley. Orewa cranked it up in the second half scoring a try and kicking a penalty to come back to 14-13. Birkenhead held out the Orewa attackers several times and gained possession then kept it tight but the ball went wide to be ripped away in a tackle by the newly subbed reserve winger Thomas Taula who scampered to score under the posts taking the score to 20-14 and carried the day for Orewa in front of a jubilant crowd.
The competition takes a break 16 July for school holidays but three deferred mid-week games will be played 23 July – Birkenhead v Rangitoto, Rosmini v Massey and Whangarei v Takapuna. A postponed mid-week game, Orewa v Westlake is yet to be scheduled. The 1A competition will then resume for the final two rounds of pool fixtures 30 July and 6 August. All other secondary school grades resume 30 July.
1A Points: Westlake 49, Rosmini 48, Massey 44, Whangarei 24, Rangitoto 23, Takapuna 13, Orewa 12 and Birkenhead 2.
Pic by Jack Hall, Westlake BHS
Pic by Oliver Jones , Westlake BHS
North Harbour 1st XV Report for 2 July 2016
By Trey Tupu-South of Westlake BHS
Rosmini managed to seize a close 15-13 victory over Westlake this week, the tenth round of the 1st IV competition, thanks to the steely nerves and remarkable kicking ability of half-back Connor Leather. The picture-perfect conditions helped Connor to convert 5 from 6 penalty kicks and in doing so devastate Westlake’s home field support.
After losing to Westlake earlier in the season, Rosmini demonstrated a clear determination to settle the score, utilizing the running strength of prop Leon Bongare to secure the front foot early on. Westlake’s defensive line performed impressively, with flanker Tupou Afungia and centre Baylee Katipa performing powerful tackles, whilst wing Jack Fuller performed numerous try saving tackles. Although Westlake performed well on defence, Rosmini were eventually awarded a penalty and another just one minute later and Leather converted both. On the back of this, Westlake heightened their pressure and managed to gain some attacking momentum. After managing to enter the opposition’s 22 for the first time more than twenty minutes in, the team scored through the fast feet of No.12 Fine Inisi, who took a blindside pass from halfback Jack Heighton on the 22m and slipped through a two metre gap for a clear stretch to the line. Inisi showed good intelligence by taking the ball under the posts to ensure his team the lead. First-five Cooper Green converted the try, placing Westlake ahead 7-6. Leather secured the lead again with one last penalty kick in the first half from forty metres. Just before halftime, ill-discipline saw two yellow cards issued, one each to both teams. After a flawless kicking performance by Connor Leather, Rosmini took the 9-7 lead into halftime.
Rosmini started the second half like the first with Leather extending the lead, executing another penalty kick. Westlake created momentum of their own through the incredible performance of reserve kicker No.22 Keepa Wiki and Heighton, who punted for the corners to secure good field position. Westlake continued their assault through the running strength of prop Leon Thambarin and No.8 Lotu Inisi. Wiki capitalized with a penalty kick from 30m. After this, Keepa managed to take a one point lead from Rosmini with an amazing penalty from forty metres out and to the right side of the field. However, Rosmini recovered and after a strong push into the Westlake 22, were awarded with a penalty, 20 metres away and directly in front of the posts. Connor Leather converted and gave his team the lead in the dying stages of the game. Despite a last ditch attempt by Westlake, Rosmini’s No.6 Tamarau McGahan performed the most crucial play of the game, stripping the ball from Westlake’s Lotu Inisi to seal the victory.
In the other 1A fixtures, Massey beat Whangarei 45-28 in a high scoring encounter, Rangitoto defeated Orewa 31-18 and Takapuna had the edge on Birkenhead winning 31-20. This week will see Massey play Takapuna at Eden Park at 5pm on Friday night as curtain-raiser to the Blues vs Brumbies, Whangarei host Westlake at Kensington Park, Rosmini take on Rangitoto at home and Birkenhead travel away to Orewa.
1A Points: Westlake 45, Rosmini 43, Massey 39, Whangarei 24, Rangitoto 23, Takapuna 13, Orewa 8 and Birkenhead 1.
In the 1B division, Westlake 2nd XV defeated Kristin 1st XV 32-7, Northcote 1st XV put away Long Bay 1st XV 21-12, and Rosmini 2nd XV edged Mahurangi 1st XV 14-8. In the 1C grade, Kaipara 1st XV thumped Albany 1st XV 60-5, Massey 2nd XV edged Whangaparaoa 1st XV 22-19 and Rangitoto 2nd XV had the bye.
1B Points: Westlake 2nd XV 9, Rosmini 2nd XV 8, Mahurangi 1st XV 6, Northcote 1st XV 4, Kristin 1st XV 1 and Long Bay 1st XV 0.
1C Points: Kaipara 1st XV 9, Massey 2nd XV 9, Rangitoto 2nd XV 1, Whangaparaoa 1st XV 1 and Albany 1st XV 0.
Photo by Oliver Jones, Westlake BHS
Westlake 2nd5 Baylee Katipa takes on Rosmini defenders wing Jordan Brenan and 2nd5 Taine Wattie -OJ
Photo by Jack Hall, Westlake BHS
Westlake Ctr Fine Inisi evades Rosmini defender 2nd5 Taine Wattie and is away down the sideline
North Harbour 1st XV Report 25 June 2016
By Trey Tupu-South, Westlake BHS
Rangitoto’s No.8 and captain Reegan Pukepuke lead his team to a well-deserved win this weekend, during the ninth round of the 1st XV competition, over their hosts Takapuna Grammar. Although the wet conditions contributed to a large number of unforced fumbling errors, each team exhibited amazing resilience and ability throughout the match. In the end, Rangitoto managed to hold on for a comfortable 38-22 win.
Both teams started the game with a great level of intensity, however Rangitoto achieved early momentum with a try by Reegan Pukepuke less than ten minutes into the match. Although Rangitoto remained with the ball in hand, as the game progressed the wet conditions eventuated into a number of handling errors, with Takapuna managing to make their way into Rangitoto’s 22 for the first time. Takapuna’s No.8 Miller Hazelman exhibited an incredible set of skills not usually attributed to the No. 8 position, by successfully converting a penalty to the right and twenty metres from the posts. After this, Rangitoto raised their level of intensity and struck right back, thanks to the fast feet of No.6 Malcolm Spellman, who swerved through Takapuna’s defensive line to score. Rangitoto’s 2nd five Josh Corrigan and Centre Anton Ronald dominated most of the first half, working well together to push through the centre of the field. However, Takapuna exhibited a vigorous defensive line, keeping Rangitoto from converting many opportunities. Takapuna, on the other hand, found far greater success down the other side of the field, converting the very few times they managed to reach Rangitoto’s 22, into points. The team salvaged five points after 2nd five Jackson Tuhiwai performed an intelligent cross kick from the 22m line on the right hand side of the field across to the left hand corner. Although Rangitoto managed to loosely recover it, 1st five Jasper Edgar demonstrated adept alertness by stealing the ball and diving over the line to score. Rangitoto cemented the majorly one-sided first half with two tries of their own and headed into halftime 33-8 ahead.
Takapuna started the second half with greater determination after wing Adrea Tuqov caught the kick off and placed his team on the front foot. No.10 Jasper Edgar amplified his team’s intensity, swerving through Rangitoto’s defense yet again to score his second try of the match. The running strength of prop James Sesoni and No.8 Miller Hazelman also heightened in the second half, with each player powering through Rangitoto’s tiring defensive line. Unlike the first half, Takapuna struggled to convert opportunities during the second against the fierce tackling of Rangitoto locks Matiu Spooner and Josh Tanner. In one case Spooner managed to tackle and force a Rangitoto player back an incredible ten metres. Tanner highlighted his terrific performance with a try scored during the latter stages of the game. Although Takapuna managed to score one more try near the end of the match, this was not enough as Rangitoto secured a well-deserved 38-22 victory.
In the other 1A fixtures Westlake overwhelmed Birkenhead 76-0 at home, Rosmini edged Whangarei 12-0 on a very soggy pitch up north, and Massey held out Orewa 15-6 in the big wet out west. The top 4 are distancing themselves from the rest with just Rangitoto close enough for a shot at 4th place but must do well in the remaining fixtures to displace improving Whangarei. The mid-week games for the second round are scheduled for this week with just Orewa hosting Westlake on Wed 29 June and the remaining fixtures (Birkenhead vs Rangitoto, Rosmini vs Massey and Whangarei vs Takapuna) deferred until 23 July during the school holidays. And on Saturday 2 July it is Takapuna hosting Birkenhead, Rangitoto on their home track against Orewa, Massey at home to Whangarei and Westlake hosting Rosmini in the match of the round on SkyTV.
1A Points: Westlake 44, Rosmini 39, Massey 34, Whangarei 24, Rangitoto 18, Takapuna 8, Orewa 8 and Birkenhead 1.
In the 1B division, Westlake 2nd XV defeated Long Bay 1st XV 20-3, Mahurangi 1st XV put away Northcote 1st XV 29-17 and Rosmini 2nd XV beat Kristin 1st XV 15-8. In the 1C grade, Kaipara 1st XV edged Rangitoto 2nd XV 15-12, Massey 2nd XV dominated Albany 1st XV 45-7 and Whangaparaoa 1st XV had the bye.
1B Points: Mahurangi 1st XV 5, Westlake 2nd XV 4, Rosmini 2nd XV 4, Long Bay 1st XV 1, Kristin 1st XV 1 and Northcote 1st XV 0.
1C Points: Massey 2nd XV 5, Kaipara 1st XV 4, Rangitoto 2nd XV 1, Albany 1st XV 0 and Whangaparaoa 1st XV 0.
Photo by Jack Hall, Westlake BHS
Rangitoto Fbk Zac Martin takes on Takapuna defenders
North Harbour 1st XV Report – 18 June 2016
By Trey Tupu-South (Westlake BHS)
The powerful tackling of Whangarei’s defensive line took its toll on Orewa this week during the eighth round of the 1st XV competition. Despite a closely contested first half concluding with Orewa ahead 6-0, Whangarei shocked Orewa’s home field support in the second half, running away with an overwhelming 42-18 victory.
In spite of the scoreline, the first half was thoroughly dominated by Orewa, their greater level of fitness enabling them to commit more numbers to the breakdown and force the easy turn over while Whangarei failed to make any significant ground as Orewa swarmed their offensive line. Eventually Orewa were rewarded for their efforts, with second-five Tom Jordon successfully converting two penalty kicks within Whangarei’s 22. Although, Orewa’s halfback Klay Murray made a tenacious effort to create more scoring opportunities, performing grubber kicks and “back door” passes, the team struggled to accomplish anything more in the first half against a monstrous defensive line. Despite being on the back foot for most of the half, Whangarei’s blind-side flanker Matt Harrison and No.8 Wiremu Greig fronted an impenetrable stronghold, devastating Orewa’s offence with powerful tackles. The team’s dynamic defence began to take its toll on Orewa in the latter stages of the half, as their offence slowed and the tide began to turn.
Orewa entered the second half a different team, having succumbed to the superior size and strength of Whangarei in the first. Their lack of tenacity widened the field for Whangarei to score straight away, with halfback Tukaha Wihongi dotting down under the posts within the first two minutes of the half. Soon after, Orewa suffered the loss of key player halfback Klay Murray through injury which proved to be a significant loss for the team. The running strength of Whangarei’s first-five Scott Gregory, fullback Jayden Leupepe, and Wiremu Grieg dominated the second half, with each player powering through Orewa’s dismantled defense. Winger Euan Sapwell also demonstrated an amazing running game, performing the match’s greatest single act of brilliance, kicking a grubber down the sideline from forty metres out, recovering the ball and running around his opposition to score a try in the right hand corner. Scott Gregory performed flawlessly with the boot, successfully converting all six of his team’s tries. Although Orewa fought back to score two tries late in the game, the damage had well and truly been done, with Whangarei winning 42-18.
In the other 1A fixtures, Westlake overwhelmed Rangitoto 49-7, Massey were too good for Birkenhead 45-3 and Rosmini comfortably beat Takapuna 20-3. In the mid-week fixture held 15 June deferred from week 3, Rosmini defeated Massey in a close encounter 19-11. There is now a clear top 4 in the first week of the second round. In the 25 June fixtures, Takapuna host Rangitoto in the match of the week, Westlake play Birkenhead at home, Orewa travel to Massey and Rosmini take the road trip to Whangarei.
1A Points: Westlake 39, Rosmini 34, Massey 29, Whangarei 24, Rangitoto 13, Takapuna 8, Orewa 8, Birkenhead 1.
Open B played their last fixtures of round 1 before splitting up into the 1B and 1C divisions. In the Cardinal Pool Mahurangi 1st XV defeated Kristin 1st XV 27-17 mid-week in front a big crowd at Warkworth. Massey 2nd XV put away Whangaparaoa 1st XV 38-19 and Westlake 2nd XV defeated Glenfield 1st XV by default. In the Cardinal Pool, Long Bay 1st XV edged Rangitoto 2nd XV 14-11, Rosmini 2nd XV were a try better than Kaipara 1st XV winning 21-14 and Northcote 1st XV thumped Albany 1st XV 45-5. For the 25 June fixtures, the 1B division will comprise of Mahurangi 1st XV, Westlake 2nd XV, Kristin 1st XV, Rosmini 2nd XV Northcote 1st XV Long Bay 1st XV and, the 1C will be Massey 2nd XV, Whangaparaoa 1st XV, Rangitoto 2nd XV Kaipara 1st XV and Albany 1st XV. Glenfield 1st XV will drop to the 2nd Grade.
Open B points: Cardinal Pool – Mahurangi 1st XV 22, Westlake 2nd XV 19, Kristin 1st XV 15, Massey 2nd XV 10, Whangaparaoa 1st XV 5 and Glenfield 1st XV 0.
White Pool - Rosmini 2nd XV 22, Northcote 1st XV 20, Long Bay 1st XV 14, Rangitoto 2nd XV 10, Kaipara 1st XV 8 and Albany 1st XV 0.
Photo by Jake Hall
Pic - Whangarei No. 8 Wiremu Greig in heavy Orewa traffic
North Harbour 1st XV Report – 11 June 2016
By Trey Tupu-South of Westlake BHS
Whangarei’s first five and captain Scott Gregory and prop Wiremu Grieg formed a powerful duo this Saturday during the seventh round of the first XV competition, leading their team to a comprehensive 62-0 victory over Birkenhead college. The two demonstrated a high level of skill and strength within a well-rounded team performance, scoring two tries each, causing anguish among Birkenhead’s home field support.
Despite a series of shaky performances over the last month, Whangarei well and truly bounced back this week, showcasing a thoroughly dominant performance, which began with a try scored by Wiremu Grieg in the first five minutes. Due to the damp conditions, both teams were forced to centre their games around the power of their forward packs early on - each side managed to do so by cleverly utilizing short lineouts and running off the ruck. Although Birkenhead exhibited superior strength by dominating the scrum area, the greater fitness of Whangarei enabled them to commit more numbers to the breakdown area and force the easy turnover. As Whangarei imposed their dominance within the ruck area, Birkenhead became complacent and conceded numerous penalties. First five and kicker for his team, Scott Gregory took full advantage of these by securing great field position. Gregory played a prominent part throughout the game, executing a near flawless kicking performance and demonstrating dynamic ability with the ball in hand. However, his standout performance was greatly helped by the rest of his team, with a well-executed back door pass by fullback Jayden Leupepe assisting Gregory’s first try of the game. As the sun came out, Whangarei expanded their passing game and this lead to a delightful try, started by wing Euan Sapwell on the right hand side of the field and fifty metres out, before the ball was offloaded countless times and dotted down in the left hand side of the pitch by lock Sam Marsh. One more try scored by the other wing James Dempster saw Whangarei holding onto a 31-0 lead heading into the second half.
Euan Sapwell continued Whangarei’s dominant performance with a try scored in the first few minutes of the second half. Sapwell exhibited blistering speed in the two tries he scored in the second half, running around his opposition untouched. Scott Gregory exhibited his multi-dimensional ability yet again with the games’ single greatest act of brilliance, sprinting from fifty metres out and passing nine opponents to score under the posts, demonstrating an amazing level of power for his position, which commentators could only attribute to his national success within the sport of hammer throwing. Although Birkenhead fought valiantly till the end of the game, their efforts were never rewarded, with Whangarei securing a well-deserved 62-0 triumph.
In the other games the rest of the top four on the table dominated the results with Massey too good for Rangitoto winning 41-19, Westlake overwhelmed Takapuna 64-5 and Rosmini had a comfortable 36-0 win over Orewa.
1A Points: Westlake 34, Rosmini 26, Massey 25, Whangarei 19, Rangitoto 11, Takapuna and Orewa 8 and Birkenhead 1.
Rosmini and Massey have a game in hand and will play mid-week 15 June at Massey. The second round commences 18 June and the match of the week will be Orewa vs Whangarei after the Northlanders just edged the Hibiscus Coast team in the first round. Rangitoto host Westlake, Birkenhead face Massey at home and Rosmini take on neighbours Takapuna at their home turf.
Open B results in the Cardinal Pool saw Westlake 2nd XV and Mahurangi 1st XV draw 24 all, Whangaparaoa 1st XV defeated Glenfield 1st XV 48-17, and Kristin 1st XV were too good for Massey 2nd XV winning 32-7. In the White Pool Rangitoto 2nd XV defeated Albany 1st XV 28-0, Rosmini 2nd XV edged Northcote 1st XV 9-7 and Long Bay 1st XV put away Kaipara 1st XV 29-15. Final round of Open B pool play is this Saturday 18 June and the teams will be assigned to either 1B or 1C for the second round.
Open B Points:
Cardinal Pool - Mahurangi 1st XV 17, Kristin 1st XV 15, Westlake 2nd XV 14, Whangaparaoa 1st XV and Massey 2nd XV 5, and Glenfield 1st XV 0.
White Pool - Rosmini 2nd XV 18, Northcote 1st XV 15, Long Bay 1st XV 10, Rangitoto 2nd XV 9, Kaipara 1st XV 7 and Albany 1st XV 1.
Photo By Jack Hall, Westlake BHS
Birkenhead wing Peter Woodriffe takes on the Whangarei defence
Photo by Oliver Jones, Westlake BHS
Whangarei Flkr Mitchell Reader is through the Birkenhead defenders with 2nd5 Caleb Boswell-Smith in support
North Harbour 1st XV Report – 4 June 2016
By Trey Tupu-South of Westlake BHS
Week after week, Westlake’s Inisi brothers have managed to bring their team’s efforts to fruition. The sixth round of 1st XV competition saw a similar fate on Saturday, as the two sealed Westlake’s 24-12 victory over Massey by scoring one try each late into the second half. Despite the dismay of the home crowd, nobody could walk away disappointed with the picture-perfect settings of the game, or the nail-biting and fast-paced play which ensued.
Truly a thrilling match, made up of two halves, which Massey dominated the first. Their bigger and stronger players commanded control from the outset, making the bigger impacts on both offence and defence. The Massey No. 7 and captain Nathan Vaatausili set the game in motion with a try within the first ten minutes of the game, shocking ‘Lake supporters and forcing them to brace for a potential first loss of the season. Although as the game continued, Westlake exhibited a high level of vigilance in the face of Massey’s merciless pressure, holding the team to just one more try, scored by No. 10 Nikau Drage, who stepped and swerved his way through the Westlake defence to score and extend his team’s tally to 12-0. Nikau Drage also demonstrated great ability during a kicking exchange with his opposition No.10 Cooper Green, which lasted the first half, with each player performing banana kicks, grubbers, punts, and exhibiting an amazing competence with their kicking. It was Cooper’s kicking which saw Massey pinned within their 22 towards the end of the first half. Massey’s half-back Miracle Naititi attempted to punt his team’s way out of this unfamiliar territory, but his box-kick off from the ruck was well anticipated by Westlake’s No. 6 Lotu Inisi, who swatted the ball down for his brother No.12 Fine Inisi to recover and score the team’s first try of the game. Despite Massey’s dominant performance during the first half, this try and a successful conversion, saw Westlake behind by just 12-7 heading into the second half.
As the second half commenced the crowd observed a turn of events. A rejuvenated Westlake team entered the pitch with every player radiating a new sense of strength. Lock Blake Houghton began Westlake’s second half assault by securing their team’s kick off to place Westlake on the front foot. Deciding not to kick for goal when given penalty opportunities, their persistence eventually paid off as Blake Houghton pushed over in the left hand corner, equalizing the score. Blake remained pivotal throughout the second half at the break down area, as well as on the run, demonstrating great agility for a lock. Despite Massey’s backline making some punishing tackles, they were unable to remain tight against the running strength of the Inisi brothers who eventually scored one try each and secured Westlake’s 24-12 victory late in the second half.
In the 1A other fixtures, Rosmini comfortably defeated Birkenhead 48-11 on Friday afternoon, and Takapuna beat Orewa 13-3 at North Shore rugby club, despite good pressure from Orewa, TGS secured the win with a converted try and two penalties. Whangarei and Rangitoto were tied up 7 all at half-time and it was Whangarei who hit the front early in the second half and despite Rangitoto coming back into the game, Whangarei held on to win 29-22 with three more tries.
This week’s match of the week is Birkenhead vs Whangarei which will be telecast on SkyTV on Saturday 11 June. Westlake host Takapuna, Rangitoto have Massey at home and Orewa will face Rosmini on their home track.
Photo by Jack Hall, Westlake BHS
Westlake Fbk Cameron Hey takes on Massey defenders