Rugby 1st XV vs Rangitoto College, Saturday 20th May
Despite the atrocious conditions, the top of the table class did not disappoint. Both teams came into the game unbeaten after Rangitoto had accounted for Rosmini College and Massey High School in earlier rounds. With the Woodhouse Shield up for grabs, there was a lot to play for on the day.
Both teams played some good rugby at times and gave everything for the full 70 minutes. Rangitoto had early dominance in the scrums before Westlake wrestled the advantage. The backs were prepared to run the ball and did very well in the conditions. Rangitoto had two long-range penalty attempts at goal in the first half but both came up short. Westlake created but squandered a few chances and it was only deep into referee’s optional time at the end of the first half that Tupou Afungia managed to get over the line for the opening try of the match. Casey Smith duly converted.
With the wind behind their backs, Westlake continued to dominate possession and it was only handling errors that prevented them from extending their lead and exerting their dominance. Lotu Inisi continued his mammoth work rate from the first half. He regularly took the ball up, broke tackles, drew in the opposition defence and made good metres to put Westlake on the front foot. It was no surprise, and just reward for him, when another of these runs ended in him crashing over for Westlake’s second try. Casey smith again converted, in tricky conditions. Rangitoto pressed hard in the closing minutes but the Westlake defence held strong and kept Rangitoto scoreless.
Westlake was delighted with the victory and winning back the Woodhouse Shield.
Scoreboard: Westlake 14 Rangitoto 0 (Half time 7 – 0)
Tries: Tupou Afungia; Lotu Inisi
Conversions: Casey Smith (2)
First XI Football vs Macleans College, Friday 19th May
- Williams, J. Woods, M. Wood, H. Piper, C. Foulds, M. Lamont, R. Wynne, D. Hobson, D Mitten, J. Olivier, L. Wilson
- Scopas, A. Al-Majmuei (on for L. Wilson 83rd minute) J. Scott (on for M. Lamont 65th minute), E. Tessadri (on for D. Hobson 45th minute),
Half time score – 0-0
Full time score – 0-0
The First XI looked to bounce back from a heavy defeat against Sacred Heart College with an away trip to the east of Auckland, matching up against Macleans College. They hoped to play more free-flowing football than they had in recent weeks.
The team were buoyed by the debuts of both Matt Lamont and Dylan Hobson, both of whom had suffered injuries to delay their first team bow thus far. Unfortunately, Westlake Boys were without their skipper, Bronson Kelly, who looks to be faced with at least two weeks on the side-lines, owing to an ankle injury. Matt Conroy, the talismanic international striker, is still to feature for the side due to his own injury problems. Westlake are yet in a position to get all of their best players on the field at the same time.
The opening stanza was a cagey affair with very little action of note. Westlake had the lion’s share of possession, but struggled to make any meaningful inroads with the ball. A couple of half chances fell to the feet of Levi Wilson, largely of his own making, due to some intelligent running. However, Westlake were unable to find an answer for the staunch Macleans side that they found in front of them. Goalkeeper, Bradley Williams, barely needed his gloves as Macleans had no chances of their own in the first half.
The half ended much as it had begun, with a pedestrian pace and a lack of tenacity. Half time saw Dylan Hobson’s debut curtailed as he felt a reoccurrence of his injury and, with a reshuffle of the midfield, Enzo Tessadri entered the fray.
Westlake started the second half with a greater sense of urgency and an increased vigour. The ball was now moving with a little more fluency in midfield areas and the side looked far more likely to fashion a break through. Striker Levi Wilson came close to breaking the deadlock when a ball to him saw him take an instinctive first touch to beat his marker on the turn, but his left-footed shot couldn’t find the net. A further chance came through Daniel Mitten down the left, as he drove into the box, but snatching at his shot meant that the ball missed the target.
Macleans almost opened their account when a lack of urgency to press the ball from Westlake lead to their striker bearing in on goal. However, a good save from goalkeeper Williams at the feet of the Macleans’ striker averted the danger.
At around the hour mark, it was Matt Lamont who was next to join the injury list with a back injury, a real shame for the Year 13 student as he looked in command of the midfield up to this point. He was replaced by the Year 11 winger, Jayden Scott.
The pace of the game had reverted to one similar to the first half and looked to be petering out to a dismal conclusion. Matt Wood hit a good free kick that the Macleans’ goalkeeper was equal to, but Westlake failed to follow up on the rebound.
Two incidents at the climax to the game could have seen Macleans take all three points. Firstly, only another good save from Bradley Williams prevented Macleans taking the lead. Secondly, with barely a minute left to play, an innocuous free kick, some 35 metres from goal, was struck by a Macleans player. What appeared to be a rudimentary catch from Williams, was left to chance by him and as it went over his head, it cannoned off the cross bar, for the Westlake defence to scramble clear. This incident marked the end of a match that cannot be considered as a good advert for the First XI.
A slightly lacklustre display, coupled with a lack of tenacious intent, will have left the side feeling this was very much two points lost, rather than one gained. Westlake’s next fixture sees them start their knock out cup campaign.
Premier Basketball vs Auckland Grammar School, 19th May
Auckland Grammar School visited Westlake Boys High in arguably the game of the round in the Auckland Premier Grade basketball on Friday, May 19th as two of the top four sides from last season went head to head. Despite a second straight thirty points haul from Tom Higgins, a more balanced home- side scoring effort prevailed, with Westlake recording an 85-78 win in front of a good-sized crowd.
Campbell Green opened the scoring for Auckland Grammar but point guard Josh Hidalgo scored a couple of baskets worthy of a highlights reel and Reuben Fitzgerald knocked down a pair of jump shots as Westlake forged a handy 23-13 first quarter lead.
Green executed a couple of strong baseline drives to give AGS impetus, but a dunk and then a left- handed put-back from Thabo Manyere put a stop to that. Westlake led 33-24 with AGS coach Dave Mackay needing a time out.
An Anzac Risetto tip-in got AGS on the move again. Manyere scored in transition but play was interrupted by a spate of fouls at the back end of the first half; one the hosts were content with as they led 38-28. Fitzgerald, with 10 points, led all scorers at the break.
Manyere showed his versatility by landing a triple to open the second half, but five quick points from the tireless Tom Higgins and a reverse lay-up from Leroy Brown kept AGS in contention. Westlake coach Zac Fitzgerald wasn’t happy with his team’s start to the half and called a timeout with offensive turnovers high on his agenda. A Matthew Cairns-Hita three helped Westlake’s cause, as did Malingin’s transition points. Teancum McCarthy defied the tall timber to grab an offensive rebound and put-back and when Brown scored on the break the scores were levelled, 55 apiece. At three-quarter time Westlake were protecting the slimmest of leads at 60-59.
In the final quarter, a Moors’ three followed by a mid-range jumper moved Westlake 67-61 ahead. Cairns-Hita extended the lead to 73-61 with a transition basket before AGS became more and more dependent on their go-to man Higgins. He had 27 points in the second half alone but, despite his best efforts, Westlake was always able to retain close to a ten points buffer in the final stanza.
The lead was 81-69 after a score from Ethan Martin, who had a fine game, and despite late baskets from McCarthy, Higgins and Brown, the hosts controlled the closing minutes to record a second straight win.
Score: Westlake 85 – Manyere 17pts/13rebs, Moors 15pts/6 blocks, Hidalgo 14, Cairns-Hita 12. Auckland Grammar 78 – Higgins 33, Brown 10, McCarthy 9