1st XV vs Rangitoto on Saturday 1 July
The Woodhouse Shield was up for grabs as well as semi-final placings for this encounter in wet weather on Saturday. From the kick off, Rangitoto kept possession of the ball for lengthy periods of time. Their forwards were committed and turned over ball at regular intervals throughout the match. Although Rangitoto had long periods of possession they did not threaten the Westlake line largely due to an organised and resolute defence.
Markku Venter opened the scoring after the backs showed how dangerous they can be with ball in hand. Johnny Cooper added the second and converted both tries despite the windy and wet conditions, in helping Westlake take a half time lead of 14-0.
Westlake continued to look threatening in the second half and left a number of scoring opportunities on the field in both halves. Tristan Shepherd added the third try after continued pressure and a number of phases. However, Rangitoto spotted a gap and after a quick tap penalty, ran in a try from 50 metres. Tiennan Costley, who had a great game in defence, went crashing over for a deserved try and a convincing victory.
The Woodhouse Shield is still safe in the cabinet and will be defended against Massey on 29 July to earn the right to put our name on the shield again. This week Westlake play Birkenhead and then Takapuna in the holidays, followed by an exchange with New Plymouth Boys High on 22 July.
Scoreboard: Westlake 28 Rangitoto 5
Tries: Markku Venter, Johnny Cooper, Tristan Shepherd, Tiennan Costley
Conversions: Johnny Cooper (4)
1st XI v Auckland Grammar School
The first game of round two welcomed perennial rivals Auckland Grammar School. The game started brightly for Westlake and after some good build-up play the ball fell to Jackson Woods, who shot goal-wards, only for the ball to strike the legs of a defender and deflect away from the goal, with the Grammar keeper seemingly beaten. However, the first goal was not far away, with Matt Conroy winning the ball in the box and a clumsy tackle from the Grammar defender resulting in a penalty. Matt scored from the spot and Westlake went deservedly 1-0 up. Unfortunately, soon afterwards Westlake conceded a free kick just outside the penalty area and a direct shot hit the underneath of the crossbar and bounced down towards the goal line. After consulting the assistant referee, a goal was given and the scores were even.
The second half started with both teams pressing on attack to break the deadlock. It took a shot wide out from Dylan Hobson to regain the lead. With the score at 2-1, Westlake started to show more enterprise and shortly thereafter, a Westlake goal was ruled offside by the referee. Thus, the game ended with Westlake winning both the away and home games against Grammar this season, a double that has been achieved for the first time for a number of years.