Westlake 1st XV claimed the scalp of Auckland 1A Kelston Boys High. On Saturday 9 April Westlake displayed more than what is expected from its teams and that was to frustrate and outplay their counterparts with more efficiency in both attack and defence.
From the outset, although smaller in stature, Westlake controlled the play through good ball control and movement of the ball. Defence was a concern where organisation around the breakdown was lacking, but desperation and commitment to their tackles kept Kelston confined. In the second period of play Westlake’s Cooper Green started to turn Kelston around with some deft kicking at crucial times. This started to wear the opposition down and it started to show with the better conditioning of the home side. Some dropped balls by Westlake allowed Kelston to stay close and mount some pressure. Scrambling defence was the order of the day.
Good performances by a number of players with forwards Jake Katipa, Harry Forbes, Luke Jones and Casey Forsyth leading the way. Leon Thambiran knows only one way to play and that is direct. In the backs along with Green, Jack Heighton, Casey Smith, Fine and Lotu Inisi were threats with ball in hand. Cameron Hey was safe at the back and Keepa Wiki was dangerous with the space provided by efficient breakdown work from the forwards.
Westlake were also buoyed by the progress of the 5A team which defeated the Kelston Under 15 team in a similar way. Against a much larger pack of forwards, Westlake under new coach Mr Robin Mildenhall, the 5 As showed composure and courage against a formidable team. A good all-round display hopefully shows signs of Westlake’s revival in this grade after a dismal 2015 season.
This week the 1st XV travels south to De La Salle who will be a stronger test for Westlake prior to their tour to the Gold Coast in the last week of the holidays. Thank you to parents and family for their support.