The National Tennis Championships were held at Scarbro Tennis Centre in Auckland, between the top eight schools in the country. Westlake Boys’ first fixture was against St Kentigern College, one of the tournament favourites. All our players tried hard but only Chris Zhang was able to win his singles match, with some outstanding shots. Our next opponents were Christ’s College, the Christchurch champions. We lost 2-4 but Chris Zhang once again played extremely well, defeating the under 17 national champion. Bailey Sutton also played a very solid game to win his match.
On Wednesday Westlake played Hamilton Boys High School and sealed a very satisfying 6-0 victory. The team then played doubles matches against Tauranga Boys High School, but suffered their most disappointing loss, 1-5. Up against Auckland Grammar next, Westlake fought hard with a 3 – 3 result losing on a countback. Chris was back on form again and combined with Harry Browning to win their doubles. Aden Borlase-Mills also played well for another win.
Despite some challenges with rain, venues, traffic and injuries, the standard of tennis played by the team was outstanding and resulted in a 7th placing at Nationals.
Team: Chris Zhang No1, Leo Cho No2, Harry Browning No3, Bailey Sutton No4, Aden Borlase-Mills No5.
The Premier Water polo team gained 5th place at the North Island Championships. They only narrowly missed out on a top four place and made solid improvements over the last few days of competition. Westlake were pleased to beat Rosmini 8-3 on Sunday morning and are hopeful of gaining a top four place at Nationals, as they certainly have the skills to do so.
3 x 3 BASKETBALL
The Westlake 3 on 3 basketball team came 3rd at nationals in Tauranga. They fought hard over the opening two days of the competition play to be placed equal top in their pool. However, they lost key player James Moors to an ankle injury in the process. They had to play the final five games of the competition, including the knockout rounds, without a sub. The semi-final was a narrow four point loss to Palmerston North, which showed the strength of character in the boys.
Team: James Moors, Thabo Manyere, Rueben Fitzgerald and Joshua Hidalgo.
Westlake Boys’ Junior Orienteering team experienced outstanding success at the Auckland Sprint finals, taking all the medals:
1st – Campbell Syme
2nd – Alex Jobbins
3rd – Hayden Williams
Nathan Borton came 7th.
In the New Zealand Rogaine Championships, the Westlake Boys team of Taylor Haynes, Ashton Philo and Charl Urlich came 3rd in the four hour event.
After a day and a half delay due to wet weather, Westlake were finally able to kick off their summer sports week T20 tournament at Waikaraka Park against Mount Albert Grammar. Westlake won the toss and elected to bat first on a ‘sticky pitch’ and struggled to 109/9 after their 20 overs. Jock McKenzie’s score of 29 off 34 balls was the only one of note. This small total was always going to be hard to defend but Westlake’s effort got off to a great start, restricting MAGs to 12-4 by the 5th over, mainly due to some very good bowling by Jock McKenzie. MAGs recovered, but at 75-6 after 16 overs they still required another 35 runs off just 24 balls. Their lower order batted very well and got them to within 7 with one over remaining. It was a real nail biter and it came down to 1 run required off 1 ball. Unfortunately, MAGs were able to score it, winning by 3 wickets. Pick of the bowlers was Jock McKenzie with 3-14 in 4 overs.
OTHER WEEKEND SPORTS FIXTURES
The Premier A Tennis team played St Kentigern College 2 on Saturday, April 1. All members of the team played well and had an excellent 6 – 0 win, despite being very tired after a week playing tennis for the school at Nationals.
Team: Chris Zhang, Harry Browning, Bailey Sutton, Aden Borlase-Mills
WBHS 1stXV RUBGY v DE LA SALLE
The official start to the North Harbour rugby season is still more than a month away but already the 1st XV preparations are in full swing. Saturday saw the first pre-season game against De La Salle College, in what turned out to be a very exciting and promising opener. Unfortunately the team had its numbers severely depleted with injuries sustained in the earlier 7s and 10s tournaments. Also missing were players representing Westlake at volleyball and water polo. This, however, presented opportunities for several newcomers, who admirably stepped up to the challenge.
The game began as a real arm wrestle, with both sides probing hard at each other’s defences. Several opportunities on attack were thwarted by De La Salle infringements. Brady Rush was unlucky not to score after a quick tap. Eventually, De La Salle broke through at the opposite end to go 5-0 up at half time. Forwards Coach, Brad Emslie, would have to be happy with the line-outs as locks Harry Forbes and Jackson Tu’inukuafe secured quick, clean ball. While De La Salle used their weight advantage in the scrums, the Westlake forwards performed extremely well at the breakdown.
With time running out, Westlake found themselves 10-0 down but responded with an amazing period of relentless attack on the try line. Flynn Willemse dived over, only to be ruled held up in goal. Blake de Nys had yet another crack at the line. De la Salle made a quick run with the ball until loosehead Ben Mitchell stole it back. After several more pick and goes, half back Jackson Ephraims spun the ball out to Brady Rush who slipped an inside ball to send Finau Paea diving over the line for a try. Casey Smith slotted the conversion taking the final score to 7-10.