The last weekend in August saw an excellent close to the season for Westlake rugby, with three teams winning their respective championships. The 2nd XV won their match against Mahurangi College 1st XV, making them 1B Champions for the fourth consecutive year. Our 6A team were dominant throughout their match against Orewa College and were worthy winners of the 6A title. 6B gave a great performance against a much bigger Massey 6A team and totally deserved their 50-14 win and the 6B championship. The 3rd XV were unlucky to lose 26-29 to Orewa 2nd XV after a magnificent comeback.
Westlake had already taken the 3rd Grade and 7B titles, so the season closed with a tally of five rugby championships in total for 2017.
Westlake also had a good day last Saturday, with our Football teams clinching the 13A1 and 13A2 Auckland titles. 13A1, coached by Mr Nick Dale, went through the whole season undefeated. After winning their grading round, they played nine further games in the championship, taking eight wins and one draw. They scored thirty-one goals whilst conceding only five.
The 13A2 team, coached by Ms Natasha Leighton, had finished third in the qualifying round to earn a semi-final place against St Peter’s College and won this to take a slot in the final. They duly defeated Macleans 1-0 away to take the championship title.
On Friday, Westlake took on St. Peter’s College in their final home game of the season. The team knew that 3 points was essential if they were to hit their target of a 3rd place finish in the league.
All appeared to be going to plan when Joe Benbow opened the scoring inside five minutes. The striker was first to react to a parried shot and tapped home from close range. Although the side were in the lead, this was a fractured performance where Westlake did not retain possession to any great effect. At half-time, the scored remained 1-0 but Westlake were anything but comfortable, having had to call GK Bradley Williams into action on a number of occasions.
St. Peter’s pulled themselves back level in the second half when the Westlake defence were caught napping, allowing an SPC striker to apply the goal bound touch to a neat move. The equaliser rallied Westlake somewhat and their brief resurgence was rewarded with a fine counter attacking goal. A strong run from Joe Benbow saw him get behind his marker on the right side of the goal, his accurate cross then found the left foot of Dan Mitten who duly slotted the ball into a largely unguarded net.
Westlake were back in front and now sought to hang for the victory. A lack of ball retention in key areas was still proving to be a problem and ensured that this game was never one that Westlake were in control of. This lack of control, coupled with a lack of concentration proved to be Westlake’s downfall. In the final five minutes, they abandoned their marking duties at a corner and allowed a SPC player a simple finish from close range. The game was drawn level and thankfully it stayed that way as SPC made a late surge for the spoils.
Westlake will look upon this game as one they should be winning but an absence of control on the ball and a lack of willingness to defend with the correct mindset has again cost them dearly. The highlight of the fixture were the opportunities given to more Year 10 and 11 players who performed well on the night.
The league season finale for Westlake will now be an away trip to Saint Kentigern College on Saturday at 12pm.
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)
Westlake Boys Retain their Auckland Title
The Premier Squash team have retained their Auckland Team Championships title for the fourth consecutive year after defeating Auckland Grammar School in the finals, 5 matches to nil. Prior to the finals, the formidable Westlake team reached the finals without dropping a game in all the rounds against Pukekohe College, Rangitoto College and Takapuna Grammar School.
The team hopes to carry on this strong performance as they aim to defend their 2-year reign at the National Secondary Schools Championships, to be held in Palmerston North this August.
Team members: Matthew Lucente (Captain), Gabe Yam, Akil Afghan, Tom Taylor, Jien Lim & Zonal Ali
1st XI v Rosmini College – June 21st 2017
On Wednesday 21 June the 1st XI faced North Shore rivals, Rosmini College 1st XI in the Supercity round-robin. Rosmini had been the victors earlier in the season and claimed the North Harbour title, so the boys knew they had to be clinical if they were to upset the league leaders. Westlake started strongly and were awarded a stroke in the first minute, but a close miss let the pressure off Rosmini, who found the net from distance ten minutes later. Charl Ulrich responded with a goal to even the match, but a defensive lapse saw Rosmini regain the lead before the end of the half.
Rosmini never relinquished their lead and, despite several chances with the wind behind Westlake, it was the opposition who closed out the match better. The final result was a disappointing 1-4 loss. Next week the 1st XI play Auckland champions Auckland Grammar at home.
WBHS 1st XIII vs Manurewa 1st XIII – June 21st 2017
This week’s Rugby League fixture took place on Westlake’s home turf as the 1st XIII went to battle against Manurewa High School. Westlake got off to a slow start, conceding two tries in the first 10 minutes. However, they managed to fight back into the back end of the first half with a great try by Jayden Atkinson-Dagg out of dummy half. Manurewa then struck back to lead the scoreboard 18 points to 6 at the half. Westlake seemed enthused from their half-time chat and came out firing in the second half, when they appeared to dominate the middle. A try to David Toia and a double to Lotu Inisi had the team back in the hunt. Westlake seemed to carry all the momentum but were unfortunately beaten by the clock with a narrow defeat 22-18. The team look to regroup for another big clash against Avondale at home next week.
Two combined teams of Westlake Boys and Girls travelled to Rotorua to compete in a 6 hour Adventure Racing Hillary Challenge on 17th – 18th June. This competition was extremely important, as the top 4 teams (out of 21 schools) qualify for Nationals in May 2018.
The following Westlake Boys’ students competed in Westlake RED and came in 2nd place behind Trident College:
- Brahm Erdmann
- Ryan Zent
- Andreas Hamschmidt
- Taylor Haynes
Westlake GREEN came in 6th. Although they didn’t qualify for Nationals, they had an outstanding result as they were one of the last teams to come in on their first run leg but made up for it hugely in the mountain biking. The Westlake Boys in the team were:
As is typical with winter adventure races it was wet, muddy and cold but very picturesque and adventurous, with events in Redwoods Forest and alongside the Blue Lake. The effort and determination of the students to qualify for the 2018 Nationals was evident in their performance. The training now begins for the big event which is a five-day competition held in Tongariro National Park next year. Well done to all of those that competed.
1st XI v Mt Albert Grammar School – June 20th 2017
On Tuesday the 1st X1 played Mt Albert Grammar School in the knockout cup. Westlake entered the game with a number of players unavailable and MAGS capitalised on this and went ahead early in the game to a penalty. Soon afterwards Westlake was awarded a penalty but unfortunately missed it. Despite some very good attacking play the equalising goal was not there and MAGs went 2-0 up after a quick break. Westlake were very quickly back in the game with a successful penalty from Matt Conroy but this was soon cancelled out by a third from MAGS, who ended up with a 3-1 win.
WESTLAKE BOYS RUNNERS ACHIEVE THE SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE
On Saturday 17th June Westlake Boys High School competed in the New Zealand Secondary Schools Cross Country Championships in Christchurch. This year was saw one of the biggest ever fields, with close to 1000 entrants from all over the country. The Westlake Boys 33 man squad had trained hard for this race, which was certainly evident in their outstanding results on the day. The Westlake Boys Cross Country team made a clean sweep of gold medals, winning all six team contests – an amazing feat that has never been achieved in National Cross Country Champs before.
The Year 9 Boys’ six person team, consisting of Ben Ruscoe (3rd), Etienne Piere (5th) Toby Saxby (11th), Sam Berry (15th), James Hopwood (46th) and Liam Hopwood (58th), had a dominant performance with a team score of 138, 100 points less than the second place team. Similarly in the three person team Ben, Etienne and Toby scored an impressive 19 to win gold, which was also well ahead of the nearest competition on 56.
In the Junior Boys’ race the three and six person team were Blair Hill (3rd), Jude Darby (6th), Arsh Kazi (16th), Max Johnson (20th), JJ Weston (24th) and George Luty (47th). Defending their 2016 titles, the boys put in an impressive performance, winning the six person race by 160 points and the three person by 19 points.
In the 219 strong Senior Boys’ race, Westlake ran well with the winning six person team including four Year 11 boys, who were competing in the senior division for the first time. The six person team of Joe Clark (6th), Murdoch McIntyre (7th), Stuart Hofmeyr (15th), David Moore (33rd), Daniel Robertson (55th)and Zach Keenan (75th) won gold with 191 points, 59 less than the silver medallists. Lastly, the three person team won gold with 28 points, an incredible 39 points less than the runners-up.
The wins across the board were a remarkable achievement and a true testament to the boys’ dedication, commitment and hard work, and that of their tireless coach, Theuns Strydom. The team now heads off to Kenya and South Africa on Sunday on a three week trip, where they will represent Westlake in Cross Country and Road Running.
AUCKLAND SCHOLASTIC SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS
The second round of the Auckland Scholastic Surfing Championships Comp was held in testing 3-4 foot conditions with the odd 5 foot wave at Piha. There was some epic surfing throughout the day, especially in the U14, U16 and U18 boys’ divisions. Westlake had a strong contingent including surfers: Ollie Charlesworth, Sam Charlesworth (gaining 2nd in U14 boys) Matt Archer, Oska Gosling, Ben Counsell, Jackson Crone, Jackson Peak (4th U14 boys), Daniel Gray and Kade Scheib (4th U18 boys). Despite tough conditions, the students performed well, with Sam Charlesworth maintaining the lead in the U14 Tri-series. The next event is scheduled for June 25th. The Tri-series allows boys from Auckland schools to compete for a spot at the Nationals to be held in Gisborne later in the year.
1st XV v Orewa 1st XV – June 17
Taking nothing for granted, Orewa were up to the task in the second round of the North Harbour Competition. Orewa managed to keep possession of the ball for long periods of time and put Westlake under pressure on numerous occasions. Orewa were by far the dominant team in this opening stanza.
It took almost 30 minutes before there was a score in the match. Baylee Katipa opened the scoring and was soon followed by Max Tu’inukuafe adding a second try to give Westlake a flattering half time lead. Westlake were not up to their usual high standard and dropped the ball at crucial stages, missed tackles and did not get enough numbers to the breakdown.
Whatever the coaches said at halftime worked. Within 10 minutes at the start of the second half, Nikau Graham and Finau Paea scored tries and the game was put beyond doubt. The players had lifted their game and there seemed to be more energy and intensity in the way the team played. Two further tries from Nikau Drage and Arikitoia Hood-Kaitapu sealed a comfortable victory.
Next week Westlake face Whanagarei at home and a far more disciplined effort will be required.
Scoreboard: Westlake 36 Orewa 0 (Half time 12 – 0)
Tries: Baylee Katipa; Max Tu’inukuafe; Nikau Graham; Finau Paea; Nikau Drage; Arikitoia Hood-Kaitapu
Conversions: Johnny Cooper (4)
2nd and 3rd XVs
Back home the Westlake 2nd XV were taking on Mahurangi 1stXV in the toughest game of the season. Both teams were undefeated going into the game and showed an eagerness to play at pace. A quick line out by standout Jackson Ephraims saw Jarrod Ferguson punting the ball forward for Dylan Chesney to run on to and score. Just before half-time Westlake worked the ball back and forth the width of the park until No.8 Caleb MacDonald found a gap and scored. Mahurangi however were determined to make amends for their loss to Westlake in last year’s final and surged back into the game. A late converted try levelled the game 12 all, and set the stage for what is looking like another exciting Final this year between the two teams.
The 3rd XV played Albany Senior 1stX V and once again displayed some good form, winning 26-7. Try scorers included No.8 Kade Scheib, No.13 Salim Sultandi and No.6 Todd Milliken (x2).
Premier Team vs. Rangitoto College
A packed house at Rangitoto College bore witness to a clash of the heavyweights as the only two unbeaten sides left in the premier competition met head to head on the 9th June 2017. Despite huge Westlake support, Rangitoto led early at 12-7. Proving that defense was to be the story of the night, Jesse Winter, a mid-season addition due to an ankle injury to Sam Mennenga, immediately made his presence felt. He checked into the game midway through the first quarter and made it extremely hard for Rangitoto to gain a rhythm early. The score at the end of the first was 19-19.
In the second quarter, a James Moors 3 and good work around the bucket helped the boys end a 4 minute drought of scoring and Ethan Martin made his presence felt with an aggressive slash to the lane. A Thabo Manyere dunk, off a James Moors pass, got the crowd in voice and 3s from James Moors and Alex (Ash) Freeman brought Westlake back within 2 at the half, trailing 39-37.
A pull-up jumper from a struggling Reuben Fitzgerald opened the second half and this seemed to spur the Westlake team into action. James Moors gained a warning for excessive hanging on the rim after a thunderous transition dunk off an assist from Reuben Fitzgerald. Defence was proving to be the key to a victory in this match, and with Westlake struggling to execute their game plan, Rangitoto proved their 3 point shooting was the difference, taking a 62-48 lead at the end of the 3rd.
Seven straight points for Reuben Fitzgerald trimmed the deficit to 10 points midway through the final period. Successive steals led to Fitzgerald pushing the ball and gaining two quick assists. Jesse Winter and Josh Hidalgo were responsible for finishing the plays, as the lead was trimmed to 65-63. Westlake provided the clamps on defence from here on in and a Fitzgerald isolation 3 stole the game.
Final score: 74-67 – Moors 19pts/12rebs, Fitzgerald 15pts/11rebs, Manyere 13pts/19rebs.
Premier Team vs. MAGS
On the 16th June 2017 the Premier Team took on Mount Albert Grammar School at home. The opening quarter of the game was very back and forth, as the inside presence of the MAGS pairing proved difficult for Westlake to keep out of the paint. With the absence of both starting power forwards, James Moors, and starting centre Thabo Manyere, the Westlake boys had to dig deep to keep the score to a close 23-19 in MAGS’ favour at the quarter’s end.
The second quarter started off being all MAGS. The Westlake boys struggled to keep the MAGS big players off the glass, ensuring that MAGS kept the lead midway through the 2nd. However, the introduction of Jesse Winter proved a catalyst to spur the Westlake boys into action; four straight 3s gave Westlake a 44-42 lead at the half.
The third quarter began with Westlake holding off the MAGS defence, allowing the boys to get out and run on the fast break, led by Marc Malingin and Reuben Fitzgerald. This equated to a 14 point lead early in the 3rd for Westlake. However, MAGS began to grind the lead back through stiff defence and a well-executed offensive game plan, bringing the score back to a 63-59 lead for the visitors at the end of the period.
Being down going into the 4th has been the story for this year’s Westlake Premiers and this Friday proved no different. The deficit amounted to as many as seven early on in the 4th before Reuben Fitzgerald riled up the defence, leading to some quick fast break points. The Westlake boys responded well to this quickening of pace, with Matthew Cairns-Hita heating up for 8 quick points, including two 3s. The game came down to the wire, but again the Westlake team proved composed in another high pressure situation. The home side closed the game out, 85-80 and go to 7-0 on the season.
Final score: Westlake 85 – Mt Albert Grammar 80 – Fitzgerald 22pts/5ast/4reb, Winter 16pts, Cairns-Hita 14.
1st XI vs. St. Peter’s College – 16th June 2017
- Williams, D. Hobson, H. Piper, E. Tessadri, C. Foulds, M. Wood, M. Lamont, B. Kelly, J. Benbow, J. Olivier, M. Conroy
- Scopas, A. Al-Majumei, R. Wynne, D. Mitten L. Wilson
Half time score – 1-0
Full time score – 2-2
Scorers – J. Benbow, M. Conroy
The First XI travelled to St. Peter’s College to play this week’s ASSFA Premier League game on Friday evening on the SPC artificial turf.
The team were looking to build upon the winning momentum they had gathered against Mount Roskill Grammar the week before. Coach Neil Emblen selected another attacking line up, in a game that Westlake were very much looking to take three points from. However, the game did not go well from the start, with Westlake looking cagey and sloppy in possession. The side were punished midway through the first half when they failed to stop a rudimentary cross into the box and then inexplicably left the SPC striker free, 8 yards from goal, to head the ball past GK Williams. Rather than galvanising the team, the goal had the opposite effect and Westlake began to look even nervier as the half wore on.
Nevertheless, the side did finish the half on level terms, with a goal from a penalty. A blocked shot was adjudged to have been handled and the referee pointed to the spot. Joe Benbow stepped up to take the kick, coolly slotting into the bottom corner. The goal marked his 7th of the season and a fine return for the makeshift striker.
The second half saw Westlake play slightly better and they looked more intense, when with and without the ball. The increased intensity was what saw the team take the lead. NZ U17 striker, Matt Conroy, picked up the ball and ran at the SPC defence. After beating a couple of players, he fired a precise left footed drive into the bottom corner giving the GK no chance. A fine solo goal for the recently returned front man.
It now looked as if Westlake were the more likely to push ahead and put the game beyond SPC’s reach. Alas, this was not to be the case as SPC were awarded a penalty of their own. A long ball into the box, led to a clear push on the SPC attacking player. The referee put the whistle to his lips and duly awarded the spot kick. The SPC player stepped up and set GK Williams the wrong way to level the score.
Little action of note followed in the closing stanza and the game petered out to an anti-climactic finish. A point was little consolation to the Westlake side, as they had firmly set this fixture aside as a winnable contest. The lesson here must surely be that anything other than giving 100% effort and sticking to a game plan, inevitably leads to an error prone and lack lustre performance.
Nonetheless, the team must pick themselves up quickly, for Tuesday’s KO Cup game vs. MAGS at home (3:15pm) on our Turf. The team will surely be looking to right a few wrongs in their performance, as they seek to advance to the Quarter Final stages.
First XI Football Home v Mount Roskill Grammar – 9th June 2017
- Williams, J. Woods, H. Piper, E. Tessadri, C. Foulds, M. Lamont, R. Wynne, B. Kelly, J. Benbow, J. Olivier, M. Conroy
- Scopas (on for B. Williams 65th minute), A. Al-Majumei (on for M. Conroy 75th minute) D. Hobson (unused), D. Mitten (on for R. Wynne 60th minute), L. Wilson (unused)
Half time score – 3-0
Full time score – 6-0
Scorers – J. Benbow 2, J. Olivier, M. Lamont, B. Kelly, A. Al-Majumei
The First XI hosted Mount Roskill Grammar on the QBE Artificial Turf on Friday night and welcomed backed Head Coach, Neil Emblen from his sojourn with the NZ U20 World Cup team. Knowing that a win would likely lift Westlake into 3rd place on the table, the team set about their task with purpose and precision.
Westlake found themselves in front in the second minute of the game and this settled any nerves or apprehension they may have had. A quality delivery from the cultured left foot of Jordan Olivier saw a scramble in the box. Captain Kelly was brave as he seized on an opportunity to poke the ball home from close range, kick starting a really positive evening for the home side in the process.
The lead was doubled inside the first 15 minutes as a ball down the line from wing back, Jackson Woods, brought to life the jet heeled striker, Matt Conroy. His pace, which unsettled MRGS all night, easily beat his marker and his cut back found a waiting Jordan Olivier. A great first touch set the attacking midfielder up for a simple tap in and with it, Westlake’s attack minded tactics had sprang to life.
The third and final goal of the first half was a real moment of individual brilliance from holding midfield player, Matt Lamont. The commanding and composed player found himself on the ball a full 30 yards from goal, he set himself with one touch and arrowed a superb strike that beat the keeper, cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and bounced into the net – a real moment to savour for him in his maiden season.
With a three goal lead, the Westlake side returned to the changing rooms in a commanding position and safe in the knowledge that if they carried on playing such offensive and penetrative football, they would see another three points chalked beside their name.
The First XI very much did what was asked of them at half time and the second half started much as the first ended, with Westlake fully in command and attacking at will.
Goal number four, came courtesy of striker Joe Benbow, who was put into a crossing position by Woods. Although the industrious forward looked to pick out a recipient for his cross, fortuitously for Benbow, the ball arced beyond the Goalkeeper’s reach and into the net.
Benbow wasn’t finished with his scoring for the evening however and in the 75th minute, he had his brace. A great cross from Jackson Woods would see the Goalkeeper only parry it out a short distance and onto the waiting head of Benbow. The striker’s looping header beat the keeper and the First XI now had their fifth goal. By this stage the bench had already been cleared and it was one of the substitutes who would cap the evening. A deep corner was headed back across the box by Enzo Tessadri and the first player to react in the 6 yard box was Abdul Al-Majumei, who wrapped his foot around the ball and powered it home.
Westlake must be given credit for an assured performance that will give them much confidence; six goals and a clean sheet was a fitting outcome for team, who had prepared diligently throughout the week. From start to finish the side dominated possession and created numerous chances, whilst being largely untroubled in defensive areas, owing to some good performances from the three centre backs.
With a full strength squad now at his disposal, Coach Emblen has the type of quandary he has waited for all season – having to pick his starting XI from a larger number of quality, committed and determined players.
The First XI will look to build upon this result when they travel to St. Peter’s College on 16th June for a 6pm kick off.
1st XV v Rosmini – 10th June 2017
The scene was set for another epic battle between the two leading North Harbour teams. Rosmini had everything to play for including winning back the Woodhouse Shield.
From the kick-off it was evident that this was going to be another tough battle. Rosmini kicked off and immediately put Westlake under pressure. An attempted clearance kick was charged down and Westlake were judged off side. Rosmini decided to kick into the corner and after a couple of phases went over and scored to great jubilation. The Rosmini defence soaked up the pressure and it took a full 25 minutes before Westlake opened the scoring when Lotu Inisi used his strength to get over for a try. Rosmini replied immediately by kicking a penalty to regain the lead. The Westlake backs started gaining ascendency and made inroads into the Rosmini defence. It was no surprise that just before half time Baylee Katipa made his way over for a well-deserved try. Rosmini closed the gap through a penalty in the 40th minute, just before the half-time whistle.
In the second half, Westlake dominated territory and possession. A solid Rosmini defence and a lack of patience by Westlake kept the score very close until Nikau Drage left his defenders flatfooted and scored under the posts. It was only late in the second half that Preston Smith-Owen scored the bonus point try.
This match concluded the first round of the competition and next week we travel to Orewa College. Westlake retained the Woodhouse shield and need another three defences in the forthcoming games against Whanagarei, Rangitoto and Massey to win the right to put our name on the shield again.
Scoreboard: Westlake 28 Rosmini 13 (Half time 14 – 13)
Tries: Lotu Inisi, Baylee Katipa; Nikau Drage, Preston Smith-Owen
Conversions: Johnny Cooper (4)
2nd XV v Northcote College, 3rd XV v Takapuna Grammar
Once again the 2ndXV were in try-scoring form. The team are playing some really good rugby characterised by their wingers scoring in the corners. By half time they had a healthy 26-7 lead over Northcote College. By full time they stretched it out to 61-19. The real test for this team will be next week’s home game against Mahurangi 1stXV who have also been winning by similar margins.
The 3rds saw some great tries by Jackson Hemmingsen and Luke Mihaljevich. The team didn’t make life easy for themselves however, letting Takapuna 2ndXV back into the game. It took a try by Zac Stevenson to win back the lead and with it the game. The final score was 17-15.
The 5As were defeated by an on-form Kelston side, but in true Westlake spirit a good number of the team returned to the school to cheer the firsts on.
|WEEKLY RUGBY DRAWS AND RESULTS||DATE:||10-Jun|
|1st XV||Rosmini 1st XV||WBHS 1||12.00pm||W||28-13|
|2nd XV||Northcote 1st XV||Northcote||12.00pm||W||61-19|
|3rd XV||Takapuna 2nd XV||WBHS 1||9.30am||W||17-15|
|4th XV||Albany Senior 1st XV||WBHS 2||9.30am||L||17-19|
|5B||Albany Jnr||WBHS 2||10.40am||L||20-33|
|6B||Takapuna A||WBHS 3||10.40am||Friendly game|
|7 Green||Kaipara College A||Kaipara||9.30am||W||72-17|
|7 Red||Takapuna A||Takapuna||9.30am||L||17-20|
- Williams, J. Woods, M. Wood, D. Hobson, C. Foulds, M. Lamont, R. Wynne, B. Kelly, J. Benbow, J. Olivier, L. Wilson
- Scopas (unused), A. Al-Majmuei (on for L. Wilson 80th minute) J. Scott (unused), D. Mitten (on for R. Wynne 45th minute),
Half time score – 1-0
Full time score – 2-2
Scorers – J. Benbow, J. Olivier
The First XI travelled to Mount Albert Grammar School for one of their few Saturday fixtures of the season. The team were coming off the back of a competent cup win against One Tree Hill College and looked to take this form into the league. A backlog of sickness and injuries forced stand-in coach Tony Readings into a formation change as he looked to shuffle the pack to provide the team with more attacking options.
The game started with both teams trying to assert their influence, particularly in an overcrowded midfield. A glut of free kicks denied any real flow to the game and the stop-start nature of proceedings did not lend itself well to Westlake’s desire to dominate possession.
The first 20 minutes passed without incident or goal scoring opportunities, but this was more than made up for in the rest of the half. After Westlake had failed to deal with a high ball from the MAGS goalkeeper, it bounced into the box and put the MAGS forward through on goal. Westlake goalkeeper, Bradley Williams, mistimed his challenge and brought down the on rushing attacker. A penalty was rightfully awarded. A mixture of nerves and poor technique saw the MAGS player blaze the ball over the crossbar and allowed the Westlake contingent to breath a collective sigh of relief.
It looked as if the half would finish as a stalemate but it was MAGS who put the first goal on the board. A mistimed tackle led to a breakaway and ended up with a MAGS midfielder playing in their forward. Although he appeared to be offside by a significant margin, no whistle was heard or flag seen and he duly placed the ball into the bottom corner of the goal.
Westlake went back to the changing rooms a goal down but far from out of the game. The second half started with Westlake playing at a much higher tempo and intensity and it was the aforementioned traits that led to their first goal. Some neat interplay led to a ball squared to forward, Joe Benbow, who jinked his way into the box. His quick footwork deceived the MAGS defender into a foul and a penalty was duly awarded. Benbow, who probably had his best game for the school, dusted himself off and slotted home the penalty. Westlake were back level and very much looked the more likely to fashion a lead; a lead that did come their way around 10 minutes later. A surging run from captain Bronson Kelly put the ball at the feet of Jordan Olivier. His quick feet and even quicker thinking ensured he expertly popped the ball past the out-coming goalkeeper and Westlake now had their noses in front.
A good chance fell to the feet of Daniel Mitten that would have put the game to bed, but he wasn’t able to provide the decisive touch to send the ball goal-bound. The match was now a see-saw affair as Westlake looked for the killer goal and MAGS pushed to equalise.
A number of chances, last ditch clearances and goal mouth scrambles at both ends ensued, but it was MAGS who were able to put one away with five minutes left to play. Westlake pushed hard to score again, but time was not on their side and they had to settle for a share of the spoils.
As the final whistle blew, the Westlake team were left to rue some missed chances
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
Home vs. Sacred Heart College – 12th May 2017
- Williams, J. Woods, M. Wood, H. Piper, C. Foulds, B. Kelly ©, R. Wynne, J. Benbow, D Mitten, J. Olivier, L. Wilson
- Scopas, A. Al-Majumei (on for L. Wilson 65th minute) J. Scott (on for D. Mitten 75th minute), E. Tessadri (on for B. Kelly 70th minute), M. Lamont
Half time score – 1-0
Full time score – 1-6
WBHS Scorer – Joe Benbow
A wet, cold and windy evening greeted the First XI as they hosted Sacred Heart College for their first home game of the season, under floodlights at QBE Artificial Turf. With Head Coach, Neil Emblen on international duty with the NZ U20 team, it was Football Ferns Head Coach, Tony Readings who deputised for this fixture.
Knowing that SHC would pose a huge attacking threat, plans had been laid out by Coach Emblen to contain the visitors, play on the counter and look to be assertive in midfield areas.
The match started just as planned, with Westlake seeking to narrow the pitch and apply strength in numbers in central areas. It was a strategy that looked to be proving somewhat successful, as in the 10th minute, the home side took the lead. A hopeful ball into the box, led to a robust challenge on the SHC GK from Joe Benbow. As the GK dropped the ball from his hands, it fell to the feet of Benbow, who turned and shot into a largely unguarded net. Despite some significant (and valid) protestations for a foul by the SHC players, the goal stood and Westlake had found themselves a platform to build upon.
The goal galvanised the side and they fought hard to protect their lead, with some disciplined play, committed defending and intelligent pressing. A few SHC chances of little note came and went, with neither side showing any real quality on the ball. As the first half ended, it was Westlake who were certainly the happier side, heading into the changing rooms.
The side knew that they would be under extreme pressure to hold onto their lead for a further 45 minutes, but were certainly motivated for the task ahead.
As the second half started, it was Sacred Heart who upped the ante and started to exert their influence upon the game. Despite this, Westlake were very much in the game at this stage and only a good save from a Jordan Olivier free kick, stopped them doubling their advantage.
Relentless pressure told in the 55th minute as WBHS failed to clear their lines and a bobbling ball in the box was duly dispatched by the visitors – an ominous sign of things to come.
Westlake barely had time to regroup, when the second SHC goal (a good header from their forward) put them 2-1 ahead. The Auckland and National Champions looked dangerous now with every attack. Unfortunately for Westlake, the Year 10 Centre Forward, Levi Wilson, who had been a tireless runner all night, pulled up with a hamstring injury and had to be replaced. This disrupted the Westlake flow somewhat, as his intelligent pressing did unsettle the SHC back four.
Goal number three for Westlake was the real hammer blow that effectively ended this as a contest. A dropped ball by Goalkeeper Bradley Williams, then led to a rash lunge with his feet at the SHC attacker. The referee had no option but to give a penalty, which the SHC forward slotted into the bottom corner. At 3-1, a despondent Westlake side, who had toiled admirably, now looked weary and susceptible to further damage. A blitzkrieg of three well worked goals in the last twenty minutes, saw the score blow out to 6-1. This was a real disappointment and not a score line that Westlake truly deserved to be on the end of.
However, the reality for Westlake, despite their best efforts, hard work and character, was that the better, stronger and more physical side won on the day. Westlake can take heart from their first half performance, particularly the way they stuck to a game plan, but the manner in which SHC attacked at will in the second half, leaves Westlake with much to ponder.
The First XI now visit Macleans College on Friday 19th May, knowing that they have every opportunity to put this disappointment behind them and get back to winning ways
- Williams, J. Woods, M. Wood, H. Piper, C. Foulds, B. Kelly, R. Wynne, J. Benbow, D Mitten, J. Olivier, L, Wilson
- Scopas, A, Al-Majumei, J. Scott, E, Tessadri, B. Old
Half time score – 1-0
Full time score – 1-0
Scorer – Ronan Wynne
As the sun shone on a cloudless Auckland day, a sense of anticipation and excitement hung in the air, as the First XI made their first foray into the 2017 season. Head coach Neil Emblen had embarked on an extended pre-season, that saw over 45 players take part in training and trial games. The newly appointed coach settled on a squad that blended experience and youth, the former in the shape of some loyal Year 13 stalwarts and the latter being a talented group of Year 10 and 11 Academy of Sport students, that show significant promise for this, and future seasons.
Traditionally, Auckland Grammar School has proven to be a difficult place for Westlake to win games, having lost or drawn fixtures from winning positions there on numerous occasions. With this in mind, the stage was set for an intriguing encounter that all players and staff were very much looking forward to.
The game started at a rather frenetic pace, with Westlake winning the majority of midfield battles in the opening exchanges. Combative captain, Bronson Kelly set the standard for the team with some robust tackles and challenges in the midfield engine room.
As the game settled a little, Westlake had the first genuine chance of the game. A cross field pass from the diminutive debutant, Ronan Wynne, released Daniel Mitten down the left hand side. The left winger’s first touch was good and took him into the box, where his shot at the near post, flashed into the side netting. The Westlake side were well into their rhythm at this stage and some good passages of play were on show. However, it was the home side who were the next to register a genuine goal scoring opportunity. Some indecision from the Westlake defence saw them fail to win an early challenge for an aerial ball, thus putting the Auckland Grammar forward in on goal. A slip from Goalkeeper, Bradley Williams, had the Grammar player comfortably get to the ball first. It was only a great recovery run from Daniel Mitten and subsequent last ditch tackle in the box that prevented the home side taking the lead.
It was not long after that, that Westlake scored a goal that came directly from the training ground. From successfully defending a corner, with Bradley Williams claiming a good catch in the air, a Westlake counter attack sprang into action. With lightning fast speed and some accurate interplay between Jordan Olivier and Daniel Mitten, the ball was delivered to the feet of Joe Benbow who crossed the ball to find a waiting and very grateful, Ronan Wynne, the midfielder slotting home a cool finish from six yards out.
With Westlake taking the lead, the onus was now on Auckland Grammar to try and attack with a little more intent for the remaining 25 minutes of the half. They could only fashion some half chances in the form of some set plays and long range efforts. The Westlake back four looked calm and composed, winning the majority of their duals with a quiet confidence.
For the rest of the half, Westlake’s superior endeavour and efficient work rate was the most notable feature of their play and as the referee marked the end of the half, the visitors could rightly feel that they were in the ascendancy.
The second half began with some fragmented play from both sides and neither team could find any passing rhythm. The tireless running of the youngest player on the field, centre forward Levi Wilson, ensured that Westlake always had an outlet and a chance of threatening the opposition goal. The striker showed copious amounts of application and resolve, as he hassled and harried defenders into mistakes, thus not allowing them to relax on the ball.
Again, as the second half wore on, Auckland Grammar only looked a real threat when they had free kicks in attacking areas and corners. However, the centre back pairing of Harrison Piper and Matt Wood were dealing with Auckland Grammar attacks with aplomb, looking like they could have the capacity to develop a good understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.
As the clock ticked in the 60th minute, Westlake still had the lion’s share of possession, but hadn’t created any meaningful chances of their own. The dynamic Jordan Olivier looked lively and physical, playing behind Levi Wilson but, (not for a lack of effort) couldn’t find the key pass to unlock the stubborn Auckland Grammar defensive line.
Westlake were nearly caught with a sucker punch on 65 minutes. Against the run of play at the time, the Auckland Grammar left sided attacking player managed to squirm his way into the box. With a little back lift, he hit a snapshot that cannoned off the near post; a collective sigh of relief was evident as the ball went out of play, off the upright.
Coach Emblen was forced into a substitution when midfielder Wynne, struggled to shake off a knock from a previous heavy tackle. Enter another Westlake player on debut, Enzo Tessadri, into the fray. The Brazilian went about his work with intent and was quick to get into the thick of the action with some vigorous tackles and blocks.
With around 25 minutes of the game remaining, it was Auckland Grammar who were looking the more likely to score; a few shots had cleared the cross bar and a couple of corner kicks had been scrambled away by the Westlake defence.
Coach Emblen looked to the bench once again to freshen things up. Off came Joe Benbow, who had worked hard for his team all day and on came another debutant, the adroit wide man, Jayden Scott. He was keen and eager to get on the ball and passed his marker a couple of times with ease. Westlake were looking comfortable once again, as they looked to play some effective, percentage-based football in the Auckland Grammar final third.
With ten minutes to go however, it looked like Westlake may be destined to share the spoils. From a rudimentary clearance in the Westlake box, the referee had spotted an alleged off the ball infringement between Matt Wood and his marker. The result was a penalty and despite neither side understanding why, Auckland Grammar were suitably pleased to take their chance from 12 yards out.
A hush descended amongst the crowd as the Auckland Grammar player stepped up. He struck the ball to Williams’ left, but the Year 13 Goalkeeper was equal to it, excellently parrying away for a quality save. The ball fell to the feet of a Grammar player but Williams was equal to this as well and blocked the rebound to send the ball out for a corner.
Auckland Grammar pushed hard for an equaliser from this point on and the game was delicately poised for an interesting climax. Of the two teams, it was Westlake that successfully navigated this final stage of the game, prevailing with some stoic defending and footballing nous to keep Auckland Grammar at bay, pinning them into their final third for the majority of the remaining minutes.
As the final whistle blew, the Westlake side could feel rightfully proud of a tenacious performance that showed much determination and desire. However, much can be taken from the manner in which they ground out a 1-0 win, away from home. With eight players in the squad on debut, a performance such as this bodes well for the team.
The next game will pose a different set of problems for Coach Emblen’s cohort, as they face reigning Auckland and National Champions, Sacred Heart College.