It has been a busy start to the season for all of our Winter Sports teams. There are many sports teams playing most nights of the week if you want to head down and support any of our teams. Monday you can watch Y78 Basketball and Girls 2nd XI Hockey. Tuesday is when you will see our Boys 2nd XI Hockey Team. Wednesday is a busy day with Girls 1st XI Hockey and all Year 9-13 Basketball teams playing. A break on Thursday to come back Friday evening to check out all Year 7/8 Hockey teams and our Year 9-13 Netball girls down at the Harbourside Courts. Round out the week with Saturday morning Netball, Football and Rugby on around the Bay.
Netball has been off to a busy start with our 15 teams completing a week of grading and now into the first round of competition. A change this year has seen only Year 7/8 Teams playing on Saturday mornings (8.30am and 9.30am), and all other teams playing on Friday evenings (5.45, 6.55 and 8.05). Most teams have managed to secure multiple wins over the last couple of weeks which has been a great start tp the season. Thank you to all of our student umpires who are out there giving back to their sport.
Football has also had a good first few weeks of competition. With 5 teams this year, it is always busy on Saturday mornings with at least 2 home games at Aquinas. The Boys and Girls 1st XI have enjoyed 3 satisfying wins to start the season, with a young girls team this year, this is a great start to the season. Our 1st XI Teams are looking forward to Winter Tournament already and AIMS Football is also getting underway with team selections.
Rugby 1st XV: The first 3 weeks for the 1st XV has been a real test of depth and fitness due to injury, illness and other commitments. The boys however have been up to the challenge and have represented Aquinas with pride. The season to date has seen two home game wins, the first being a hard fought 5-0 win against last years division 1 winners John Paul College and an away loss to Trident in Whakatane which will see the team playing off for third place against Tauranga Boys Second XV this coming Saturday. The team has benefited from a tough pre-season training regime which has seen the team perform very well during the latter stages of all their games.
U15: The Aquinas/TWON Under 15 Rugby team have built some solid platforms in the early season to ensure that they not only should they be Playing in the Div 1 grade for 2019, but could potentially be contenders for the Baywide title come end of the season. They started by putting in the ‘Mahi’ when the School year commenced with fitness sessions every Tuesday and Thursday.
The team started with a Pre-season game against the Combined Otumoetai/Bethlehem College Baabaas team. This was a good hit-out for our boys against a team that played in Div 1 last season. After the 3rd quarter the boys were holding a deserved 14 – 10 lead. But full credit to Baabaas team who scored 2 good tries in the last quarter to end up taking the win 22-14. The boys suffered a nail biting loss in their 1st Grading game against TBC Blue, going down to a last minute try and losing 28-29.
Their second grading game was against TBC White, and again the boys stepped up with combinations starting to gel across the field. The Aquinas/TWON team went down 27-22, but were pressing the TBC While line hard in the last 3 minutes of the game, but could not quite get the final try to snatch the victory.
The third grading game last Saturday was against the Otumoetai/Bethlehem College Baabaas team that they had played in their pre-season game. The Aquinas/TWON team took to the game in positive fashion wanting to turn the tables of the pre-season result. Two excellent team tries in the 1st half were followed up by a couple of individual tries in the 2nd half. With all tries being converted, the boys came away with a convincing 28-5 win under their belt.
After the 3 Grading the Aquinas/TWON Under 15 team sit within the Top 8 teams, being one of only 2 teams to get the 4 try bonus point in every game so far. If they can manage a win in their final game this Saturday against Te Puke they will meet their first goal of the season (to qualify for the Div 1 competition). With all 24 Players turning up to trainings every Tuesday and Thursday to do the ‘Mahi’, the boys are building a great team culture and attitude. This bodes well for the remainder of the 2019 Rugby season.
A huge amount of gratitude and appreciation must go to the job the Coaches (Darren and Nathaniel) and Management (Rangituaia) have done and will continue to do for our team.
U14: The under 14 Aquinas / TWOM rugby team has started strongly in the Bay wide grading competition. The team consists of 9 players from both Aquinas and Te Wharekura who are playing together for the first time this year. Our first pre-season hit out and first run as a team saw us beating a Bethlehem /Otumoetai/Katikati College Baabaas team 139-0. We were brought down to earth pretty quickly the next weekend in our first grading game by Papamoa College going down 92-24, little did we know that the Papamoa would be currently sitting at the top of the table.
The second grading game against Tauranga Boys Stripes ended in another good win for the team 105-0 and our third game against Te Puke was a tougher 65-15 win.
The team is showing improvement every week, they are gelling really well together, they understand each other’s strengths and have bonded brilliantly, it is amazing to see a bunch of kids combine and get on together so well. We have opted to play a very mobile game this year which is working the kids hard, our forwards are great ball carriers who are well supported by a very strong mid field combination and some stunning outside backs. We are however still very keen to increase our playing numbers as our squad is only currently standing at 18 players on a good day, with 15 or 16 being our average for Saturday games.
A big thank you to the coaches Lance Berger, Karam Hood, Steve McGregor and a few appearances from specialist forward coach Scott Kahle.
We would also like to make mention of Grace Kahle who is playing for the Te Wharekura o Mauao women’s 1st XV and playing extremely well. Grace started the season playing for our under 14 team and scored a number of impressive tries. We hope next year to be able to field at least one women’s team in the Bay wide competition.
During the second term we are also commencing our drive for fielding AIMS games sevens teams in both the boys and girls competitions. The teams will be coached by members from the 1st XV.