The Wellington AFL Tigers wrapped up the AFL Season with a trip down to Christchurch to take on the Otago and Canterbury in the 2019 National Provincial Championship (NPC). Both Wellington and Otago teams made the last stretch from the city to the ground on a fleet of Lime Scooters, bringing an unexpected boost to the local economy. On to the footy: Canterbury took out Otago in the first match of the day, and the Tigers did much the same vs Otago in the second match. While the competition was better than the scoreboard indicated (Tigers 144 v Otago 1), it was a good chance for the Tigers to try out field placements, and work out how best to read teammates who only the week before were opponents.
In final match of the day, the Tigers took on the Canterbury Cobras. Due to the strength of both sides defenses, it was a very low-scoring affair, but the standard of football was at an exceptional level. While trailing by a couple of goals headed into the final quarter, the Tigers were able to keep pegging the score back, but three late behinds in a row to the Tigers meant that they weren’t going to be able to get enough points on the scoreboard before the siren went. Final score: Canterbury 3-4-22 v Wellington 2-8-20
Congratulations to Canterbury for taking out the 2018 NPC Shield, and to both Otago and Wellington for getting teams together and travelling to Christchurch to compete! Thanks to Canterbury for organising the field, umpires, and other gameday requirements to make the day possible! From conversations after the games, it sounds like everyone was looking forward to locking in the 2019 NPC asap, and hopefully Auckland AFL (or any other province interested for that matter) will be able to send a team down to add to the competition!
And a special thanks to the Tigers Coaces and management that traveled to support: John Jackson, Garth Sabo, and Donna Gill! This trip would not have been possible without your support!
If you are in any of the below regions and are interested in giving AFL a go, follow the links to the various provincial leagues!