Ist XI v St Kentigern College – 24th June 2017
The last game of the first round found the 1st X1 playing the unbeaten and top of the table St Kentigern College. The game started in heavy fog, which rolled in even more during the early part of the game but lifted enough for the game to continue. Befitting their position on the table, St Kentigern created a number of opportunities which a hesitant Westlake defence could not cope with, resulting in Westlake being 3-0 down at half time. Neil Emblen, the Westlake coach, had a positive discussion with his team at half time and what a difference it made.
At the start of the second half, Westlake started to win the 50/50 contests and from one of these challenges, the ball was played deep into the St Kentigern half and they failed to clear it. The energetic and skilful Matt Conroy latched onto it and fed Ronan Wynne on the left, who hit a first time shot across the keeper into the far corner of the goal. Very quickly afterwards, a long ball found Conroy and as quick as a flash he went past two defenders and another shot across the keeper into the net and Westlake were well back into the game. Within minutes the score was 3-3. Matt Conroy was tormenting the St Kentigern defence with his pace and incisive running and it came as no surprise when another ball found him just outside the box, where he drove it past the keeper and into the net.
Unfortunately, Westlake could not quite grab another goal and it was against the run of play when a square ball in defence was intercepted and St Kentigern took the lead again at 4-3. Shortly afterwards another error at the back made it 5-3 to seal the match for St Kent’s.
It was a brave performance by the 1st X1 who had an outstanding second half against the top team and they now go into the second round knowing how well they can play.
1st XV vs Whangarei Boys – 24th June 2017
Westlake opened the scoring early against their Northern visitors with a try from Johnny Cooper, his first of three tries on the day. Markku Venter soon dotted down thereafter and within 10 minutes the score had stretched to more than 20 points. The referee, Ryan Borthwick allowed the game to flow and despite the wet weather, Westlake continued to play an expansive game.
The backs scored 11 of the 12 tries on the day and the second half was a steady procession of points. David Toia, the only forward to score, barged over just on full time. The 1st XV stuck to their structure and game plan, and showed what they are capable of.
Next week, Westlake will face a much improved Rangitoto and will have to defend the shield. This promises to be a big game and the team are looking forward to the challenge.
Scoreboard: Westlake 78-0 (Half time 31 – 0)
Tries: Johnny Cooper (3); Arikitoia Hood-Kaitapu (2); Nikau Graham (2) Baylee Katipa; Nikau Drage; Markku Venter; Spencer McDowell; David Toia
Conversions: Johnny Cooper (9)