2018 WAFL Grand Final Review

Saints Depose Bulldogs Dynasty

Wellington City Saints Captain Andrew Bissett raises the cup after their 2018 Grand Final win.

It may have been the third consecutive Grand Final match-up between the Bulldogs and the Saints but it was anything but routine. It was a warm, sunny day with a sizable northerly breeze blowing down the ground when the two teams marched onto Hutt Park for the last time in 2018. The Saints were able to take the lead in the first, playing with the wind, but by halftime the Bulldogs had brought the scores level at 17 a piece in what was proving to be a grinding, low-scoring affair.

After the halftime break, the Saints came out of the blocks firing, piling on an additional 20 points before the 4th quarter, with the Bulldogs scrounging up just a lone behind in response. The skills of the Saints shone through, with clean kicking and marking setting their side well above their competitors.

Early in the 4th there was a friendly fire collision, and the game had to be put on hold for the ambulance to come and ferry one of the Bulldogs off to the hospital. Fortunately he is recovering well, suffering ‘only’ a concussion, broken nose, and requiring a few stitches for bleeding on the inside of his lip. Once play resumed, the Bulldogs mounted a massive comeback, but the Saints defence was able to hold strong. Under immense pressure of the momentum shift, the Saints were able to fend off the loss, and when then final siren went, were 3 points ahead on the scoreboard, despite the fact they didn’t score in the final term.

Final score:
WC Saints: 5-7-37
ES Bulldogs: 4-10-34

After the Cup and medal presentations on the field, players and coaches from all the teams headed to the Stop Out Clubrooms for the end of season awards presentations. Congratulations to all awards recipients, and the All-Wellington Team:

League MVP: James Kusel (HV Eagles) – 26 votes, played 7 games

Leading Goal Scorer: James Terry (ES Bulldogs) – 29 goals over 8 games. Most goals in a game: 10 vs Demons, Round 6

Rising Star (under 18): Doug McJarrow (WC Saints) – 9 votes, played 8 games

Margaret Lavery Award (Volunteer of the Year): Donna Gill – Demons Manager

-All-Wellington Team-
Full Backs: Alex Awatere (Demons), Pat Lovelock (Eagles), Adam Moore (Saints)

Half Backs: Sam Sherring (Eagles), Andrew Gavaghan (Saints), Andrew Bissett (Saints)

Centres: Blake Neve (Bulldogs), Tom Robby (Bulldogs), Tayne Lockwood (Demons)

On Ball: Peter Halstead (Bulldogs), Jalan Farris (Eagles), Stanley Chung (Bulldogs)

Half Forwards: James Sharp (Bulldogs), James Kusel (Eagles), Will Kempt (Saints)

Full Forwards: Phil Wakefield (Bulldogs), Luke Vincent (Eagles), James Terry (Bulldogs)

Interchange: Ray Turner (Eagles), Luke Shervey (Bulldogs), Michael Martinez (Bulldogs), Coby Dodd (Saints), Doug McJorrow (Saints), Paul Willis (Bulldogs)

Congratulations to the Saints on an impressive victory, after a hard-fought campaign in a much more competitive WAFL season. Congratulations as well to the Bulldogs on yet another impressive season. This loss will be hard to take, but will surely strengthen their resolve in 2019.

Wellington Tigers Name Wider NPC Training Squad

Wellington Tigers Coaches John Jackson and Garth Sabo have named a strong 35-man training squad to face the Canterbury Cobras and Otago Riot at the 2018 NPC being held in Christchurch on 15th and 16th of December. The 2017 NPC champions the Auckland Buccaneers have decided to not enter a team. The squad was selected on form over the first six rounds of the 9 round WAFL competition and is littered with talent from recent AFLNZ Academy graduates Jonah Christians and Doug McJorrow, New Zealand age grade reps Alex Awatere, Lewis Gill and Tayne Lockwood as well as International cup stand outs Misilifi Faimalo, Peter Halstead, James Kusel and Josh Morgan-Ranui. With such a strong squad Coaches Jackson and Sabo will have a tough time trimming the final squad. The squad will be trimmed to 26 for the competition.

Congratulations to the 2018 Wellington Tigers Training Squad!
  • Alex Awatere (NCD)
  • Andrew Bisset (WCS)
  • Simon Charles (WCS)
  • Jonah Christians (HVE)
  • Stanley Chung (ESB)
  • James Cocoran (WCS)
  • Cody Dodd (WCS)
  • Misilifi Faimalo (NCD)
  • Jaylan Farris (HVE)
  • Andrew Gavaghan (WCS)
  • Phil Gerald (ESB)
  • Lewis Gill (NCD)
  • Peter Halstead (ESB)
  • James Kusel (HVE)
  • Matt Lewis (ESB)
  • Dan Lewy (ESB)
  • Tayne Lockwood (NCD)
  • Pat Lovelock (HVE)
  • Michael Martinez (ESB)
  • Doug McJorrow (WCS)
  • Kewa McMillan-Parata (ESB)
  • Dean Milburn (HVE)
  • Josh Morgan-Ranui (NCD)
  • Adam Moore (WCS)
  • Blake Neve (ESB)
  • Tom Robby (ESB)
  • John Sabo (ESB)
  • James Sharp (ESB)
  • Luke Shervey (ESB)
  • Keegan Taig (ESB)
  • James Terry (ESB)
  • Peter van Kampen (HVE)
  • Luke Vincent (HVE)
  • Hugh Wilson (ESB)
  • Michael Willis (NCD)

Tigers Squad & Awards Nights Announced

Functions for Tiger’s Squad Announcement & Season 2018 Awards Presentation Set

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The Tiger’s head coach, John Jackson and his coaching panel will announce the 2018 Tiger’s squad at a function after Round 7 on Sun 18 November, at the Stop Out Clubrooms on fringe of Hutt Park.  The announcement will be coupled with food supplied by the WAFL and the bar at Stop Out will be open with refreshments for young and old available for purchase.  This is the Squad that Wellington will take to the South Island to take on Canterbury AFL and Otago AFL in the 2018 NPC!  Come on out to support your teammates, and the wider Wellington Squad!

For the first time in recent memory, Wellington AFL will announce the winners of 4 awards at the Season 2018 Awards Presentation.  This function will be held after the WAFL Grand Final (Sun 9 Dec) in the Stop Out Clubrooms, a stone’s throw from the Hutt Park Oval.  Come on out to support the two teams competing in the 2018 Grand Final (both slots still wide open), and then come out and celebrate the season that was, with food supplied by the WAFL, and drinks for adults & younger ones available for purchase at the Stop Out bar.  Awards for this season include: Rising Star, Coaches Vote, Umpires Vote, and Golden Boot.

See everyone out there for both functions to celebrate our great sport in the coolest little capital!

2018 Wellington Youth Competition Kicks Off

The 2018 Wellington Youth Competition kicked off last Sunday with great representation for the under-15 and under-17 competitions.  Headed by AFL New Zealand, The Youth Competition for boys and girls was created to compliment the pathway for participants to enjoy and excel in AFL.

Each session involves drills, enhancing the players’ skills, confidence & fitness, followed by a game of AFL for the second half of the session.  Each week will introduce new skills and build on the previous weeks, developing well-rounded athletes.

The sessions are held on Sunday mornings before the Senior WAFL competition, and the Senior teams help out with the drills and umpiring of the games.  All skill levels are welcome and represented, from those who are only just hearing about the game to those who have represented New Zealand in the U-18 Boys and Girls sides.

It’s not too late to come on out and give AFL a go, just make sure you register for the AFL New Zealand Youth Competition 2018, and we’ll see you out there!

The Tiger’s Roar: Rounds 1-3

1st Round-Robin Review

At the end of the first round-robin, each team has had the chance to play the others once, and it brings us one-third of the way through the WAFL 2018 season!  As expected, the reigning premiers: E.S. Bulldogs came out of the blocks firing, but through each of the first two games they were behind at some point during the second half, with late goals just before and just after the siren sealing their wins.  Can they carry this momentum through the break and into the Grand Final?

The H.V. Eagles have had a great start to the season, although Player/Manager Peter Van Kampen says there is still a long way to go with the fresh-look Eagles side.  Sitting second on the ladder brings little relief though, as they know they have a target on their back that grows with each win.

The W.C. Saints are pleased to have picked up a few players in the off-season that give them better speed and endurance.  This has always been a challenge, and now they feel they can compete across the field.  The next step is getting a consistent line up across the park (an struggle for most of the league).  Coach Gregor Kempt is “Happy with where we are at, and looking forward to the second round-robin.”

The young-gun Demons have struggled to get a win on the board, but have plenty of positives to take out of the first round-robin of the season.  Competing teams have noted how the Demons are noticeably playing better as a team (ie: shepherding), working through the midfield, even against an experienced Bulldogs side, and how even when they are down on the scoreboard, they are still on the attack until the final siren.  An expected influx of several senior players from Wellington GAA (Gaelic Footballers) after the Labour Weekend break could just be the injection the Demons need to make a convincing shot at playing in the Grand Final in December!

Here is the table after the first round-robin, heading in to the Labour Weekend break:

Position Team Played Won Lost % Form
1 Bulldogs 3 3 0 254 WWW
2 Eagles 3 2 1 153 WLW
3 Saints 3 1 2 83 LWL
4 Demons 3 0 3 33 LLL

2018 WAFL Schedule Published!

AFL GF Viewing and WAFL GF set

The 2018 WAFL Season is about to kick off, with Round 1 featuring a 2017 Grand Final rematch between the Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs & the Wellington City Saints at 1pm, followed by the always tenacious North City Demons taking on the new-look Hutt Valley Eagles at 3pm.

Catch the full 2018 WAFL Schedule, including important dates at the Schedule page.

 

AGM Voting Points & Committee Nominations

Voting Points:

  1. Formalise Society name change

Change Society name from “Wellington Australian Rules Football Club, Incorporated” to “Wellington Australian Football League, Incorporated

  1. Formalise new Society rules

See proposed new rules

  1. Formalise Committee Nominations

See below “Committee Nominations”

  1. Formally approve FY2017 Finances

See WAFL Accounts 2017

  1. Formalise WAFL Codes of Conduct

See: https://wellingtonafl.co.nz/resources/   

Committee Nominations:

Note: Any WAFL member may nominate other WAFL members up to the time of the AGM.  Email wellingtonafl@outlook.com if you would like to nominate someone for any of these positions.

President

Byron Roff Played over 100 games for Eastern Suburbs bulldogs, 7 seasons for Wellington Tigers and was in the NZAFL international cup squads in both 2002 and the tournament winning side in 2005. Byron has previous sports administration experience having been at WAFL committee member (2002-2008), NZAFL board member (2006-2008) and surf lifesaving committee member(2013-2017). Byron is currently a board member for two companies and is an owner of a project management consultancy. Byron offers strong governance and leadership skills, coupled with a good understanding of our game.

Secretary

Matt Lewis ES Bulldogs Secretary 2016-present. Co-founder of the Wellington AFL development league

Treasurer

Matt Lewis Submitted WARFC finances 2015-present, assisting then-Treasurer: Margaret Lavery

AFLNZ Representative

Rebecca Smith AFL Kiwikick coach 2013 – 2014. AFL New Zealand Head Office 2017 to present

Umpire Representative

Hugh Wilson Qualified level 2 AFL umpire & Wellington Tigers rep for last 3 years. Joint founder of Wellington AFL development league

Youth Academy Representative

Renaldo Christians AFNZL Academy Manager – Wellington (2016-current), AFLNZ Level 2 Team  Manager 2016, 2017

Notice of 1st Annual General Meeting

The 1st Annual General Meeting of the Wellington AFL will be held on Tuesday the 7th of August at 19-23 Taranaki St commencing at 6:00pm*.

This meeting is the single most important meeting of the year for the Members of the League, and your attendance is requested.  At the meeting the Management Committee will present several items affecting the structure of the League, and WAFL as a Chartered Society.  The Secretary will distribute documents relevant to the voting points no later than 7 days before the meeting.

Voting Points

  • Formalise Society name change
  • Formalise new Society rules
  • Formalise Committee Appointees for 2018
  • Formally approve FY2017 Finances
  • Formalise WAFL Codes of Conduct

Agenda Items

  • 2018 Season Format discussion
  • 16 aside competition discussion
  • WAFL Registration Broadcast
  • WAFL Medical Consent Forms Broadcast
  • More TBC
*Note: the doors will be locked, so please be there by 5:50 to be let in.  Call Matt at 02192201 if you get stuck, but the meeting will start promptly at 6pm.

2017 WAFL Grand Final

Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs vs Wellington City Saints
26 November, 3:00pm, Hutt Park

The stage was set to continue the fierce rivalry that has simmered over the past few seasons. It was a warm day with a light southerly blowing down the ground, and the physicality started from the opening bounce. With the wind at their backs, the Saints looked to capitalise quickly, with the ball staying locked in their attacking half early, but the Bulldogs were able to wrestle the momentum back, winning the quarter.
The second quarter saw the Bulldogs use the wind advantage, piling on 5 goals, and holding the Saints scoreless. The halftime siren sounded with the scores set at ESB 8-5-53 v WCS 0-2-2.
Lesser teams would have called it quits at this point, but the Saints rose to the challenge, and dominated the third quarter, with the ball rarely leaving their attacking half. The Bulldogs defense was under constant pressure, and after keeping the Bulldogs scoreless, a Saints goal after the siren saw them in high spirits.
The Bulldogs bounced right back though, and even with a Saints goal in the middle of the quarter, the wind coupled with the Bulldogs experience made them clear winners by the final siren: ESB 11-9-75 v WCS 2-3-15
BOG for the 2017 Premiers was Dan Lewington who held strong in a tough ruck, and notable mention of Blake Neve (wing), who bagged 5 goals. Also notable is first year ‘pup’ Jayden Plumb (18yr) is the first recorded occurrence of a father-son playing in WAFL GF’s [Dave Plumb: GF’95 & GF’96]!
BOG for the Saints was James ‘Smokey’ Corcoran with a stellar performance in the ruck, and notable mentions for the on-ballers: Tim Parkes, Andrew Bisset, and Coby Dodds, with the experience of Simon ‘Red’ Charles and Jason Cox providing a solid foundation. Great to see the young saints Jonah Christians (16yr), and Jaydn Robson (16yr) standing up in their first Grand Final, and showing plenty of potential for the future! Although they weren’t happy with the scoreboard, the Saints felt they delivered a strong performance in the centre of the park, and at either end to suggest they are in good shape looking towards 2018.
This is the second Grand Final appearance in a row for the Saints, and the 5th Premiership in a row that the Bulldogs have won. Will the Bulldogs be able to grab a 6th straight flag in 2018, or will their dynasty be broken?