Headed off Thursday Morning hoping to make it to our accommodation in Grafton with time for a rest before heading out to Westwave for our first game.
A stop in Ngatea for some Baking (thanks Parents) a well earned coffee for the driver and off again making good time up to Auckland.
After a couple of wrong turns and a bit of pedestrian rage (thanks Nicolai) we checked out our accommodation and headed out to Westwave.
We met up with Brendan and settled in to watch some polo before our game.
Pool Game VS Hutt International 9 – 3 win
Our first game started off a bit slow with 6 missed shots on goal and a 0-1 first quarter score. Brendan remained calm (not sure I did) and the second quarter saw us even at 2 -2. With a positive half time talk we finished the third quarter 5-3 up and then smashed another 4 goals in the 4th quarter to win 9-3.
Kiahi 1, Marshall 5, Connor 1, Loui 2. Steals from Loui, Noah Van O and Zane.
With no time to head back in Auckland traffic to our accommodation, we hit the Westfield mall for some sushi and tank juices and a bit of window shopping. We headed back to the pool to watch some more polo and get ready for our second pool game.
Pool Game VS MAGS 16 – 4 Win
The boys came out firing, with a 3-1 lead in the first quarter (4 missed shots on goal . They backed it up with another 4 goals in the second, scoring off exclusions and a 5m to take it to 7-2 lead at half time. 5 goals in the third quarter and 4 more in the 4th quarter took us to a 16-4 win. Marshall 4, Kiahi 2, Loui 4, Noah Van O 2, Zane 1, Noah Orchard 3. Loui led the way with 7 steals and Troy made some great saves.
Our late game meant we missed out on dinner at Uni Hall so we hit up Burger Fuel and King for some well deserved food. Our accommodation was great with the boys all having their own room. Although I mentioned several times about not locking yourself out of your room, we still managed some lock outs!! With a late game the next day the boys hit the pillow around 10 pm. Our hardest game of pool play would be the next day.
We headed up to the North Shore to watch the Aquinas girls play, with the boys managing to look up from their phones towards the end and get some chants going.
Pool Game VS Westlake 7-4 Win
Westlake had a couple of very good players so we headed in to the game knowing it would not be easy. First quarter saw us down 1-2 on the scoreboard with 4 missed shots. Second quarter we pulled it back to 4-3 up with another 3 missed shots. Third quarter we only managed one goal and with Troy making 3 amazing saves score was 5-4 going into the 4th. 4th quarter we managed to score off two exclusions and keep them scoreless to take it to 7-4 win. Connor 2, Loui 1, Kiahi 2, Marshall 2. Loui and Marshall 3 steals, Kiahi and Noah Van O 2 steals.
Finishing 1st in our pool meant we crossed over to play Kings College in our quarter final which was to be played that night. We headed off to the mall again for a light dinner (healthy) and to kill some time before our game.
Quarter Final VS Kings College 13-8 win
Having watched Kings play Brendan had a game plan all sorted for us. We came out firing with 5 goals slammed in in the first quarter to their 1. Their coach called a time out to try and stop our flow. Second quarter we managed another 2 goals to bring the half time score to 7-4. Only one goal in the third with 3 missed shots and the score was 8-5. We came alive again in the 4th with 5 goals winning 13-8. Kiahi 3, Loui 3, Noah Orchard 1, Marshall 3, Noah Van O 2, Zane 1. Noah Van O led the steals with 5.
With a duty after our game, no time to make dinner again so our lovely parents bought the boys pizza (Thanks Orchards). With the duty boys having to wait to eat theirs – according to Joe Bensley you can’t eat pizza and score properly. Back to our accommodation and in to bed for a big Semi Final against Sacred Heart (probably the strongest team we would meet).
With our Semi being at 5 pm we had a day to kill. The movies were the best option and we walked into Queen St to see Magical Beasts. Our game was back over on the Shore, so we had our lunch and some games room play time with the other teams staying at Uni Halls, then headed up North. We had identified two really good players in the Sacred team we needed to shut down. With Brendan’s game plan sorted we hit the water.
Semi Final VS Sacred Heart 8-7 win
We started out well with four goals to two with 3 seconds to go and Sacred managed a buzzer beater to take it to 4-3. Second quarter saw us miss 5 goals and score 0, but they didn’t score either with Troy making some crucial saves, so half time score was 4-3. Third quarter we managed 1 goal to their 2 taking the score to 5-5. With our loyal fans screaming encouragement we went in to the 4th quarter. With 50 seconds to go it was all tied up at 7-7. Brendan called a time out and opted for the ‘flying duck’ move. The boys drove up the pool in V formation, leaving Kiahi at the back to receive the ball and bang it in the back of the net for an 8-7 win – Wahoo!!! We were in to the final. Marshall 3, Loui 2, Kiahi 2, Noah Van O 1. Kiahi led the steals with 4. We high tailed it out of there to make dinner for the first time at Uni Hall, ironically it was make your own burgers.
Our final was to be played at Dio at 4.50 pm on Sunday, so another big day to kill before we could get in the water. We headed out to an Under Armour Sale where some of us grabbed a bargain for Christmas. Then we were lucky enough to go to the Kayaking water park in Manukau for a tour with Ian Ferguson. Was very cool to see the kayakers heading down the river with a barrel roll or two to impress us. (Thanks Brendan for organizing). We headed to Dio to watch the girls game with lots of chanting and support, and they won!! Very Exciting, no pressure boys!!
Gold Final VS Westlake 11-9 Win
Having beaten Westlake in pool play, we knew we could take the final but also knew not to take it lightly as tournaments can be strange things! Our team was on fire, with plenty of encouragement from Brendan, we took the first quarter 4-0. The second quarter we only managed 1 goal and they got one past Troy to make it 5-1. Third quarter the boys fired up again slotting 4 goals to Westlake’s 2 taking it to 9-3. Fourth quarter Westlake came back hard with 6 goals to our 2 (one of their goals was caused by our Coach taking an ill timed time out – he was sure he pushed the button earlier!!!) Final score with everyone getting pool time (including the coach and manager) was 11-9. Noah Van O 2, Kiahi 3, Noah Orchard 1, Loui 3, Marshall 2. Kiahi again leading the steals with 5.
Massive congratulations to Kiahi for being MVP of the tournament, and Loui for making tournament team. We all agreed Marshall should have also made the tournament team.
I was an absolute pleasure to manage these boys. They were all fantastic and provided us with some great laughs and some amazing water polo. A massive thank you to Brendan for all your passion, time and knowledge, coaching our boys. Thank you to all our supporters who were great at providing cheers and food for after the games.