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Uni Blues Three-peat with Auckland AFL Grand Final win

  • Monday, December 06 2004 @ 07:40 pm ACDT
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Oceania Dominant Auckland AFL side the University Blues have again won the premiership in New Zealand's biggest city and biggest league. This is believed to be their 12th senior premiership since formation in 1981, and their third in a row. In what has been described as the best Grand Final in many years, the Blues won by 18 points over Mt Roskill. After a great effort to make both the League and Reserves grand finals, it was a bad day for Mt Roskill, as they also went down in the early game to North Shore. The following is a report from the NZAFL website. Auckland AFL Grand Final

University Blues 8.1 (49) defeated Mt Roskill Saints 4.7 (31)

In front of a healthy crowd of over 350 people, the University Blues overcame a determined Mt Roskill side in the last quarter to win its third Premiership in succession.

The Saints got off to a solid start and were very hard at the contest which seemed to unsettle the skilful Blues team. Saints Ruckman Matt Callaghan set the tone for the day with some brilliant work in the centre square. Little players such as Peter Boyce, Richard Ault and Ben Jansen were on top of their Blues counterparts early in the match. When the Blues did venture into their forward line, the Saints half back line stood tall, rebounding strongly. Chris Blyth started well for the Blues and was gathering plenty of uncontested ball through the middle of the ground.

The second quarter saw the Saints continue to apply colossal pressure to their much fancied opponents. Dion Nash was playing an outstanding game in defence in only his eighth game of Aussie rules. The former Black cap was almost singlehandedly keeping the Saints in the match. Veteran forward Steve Fairweather was providing a great target up forward for the Saints, leading well and kicking truly. Fairweather was harshly dealt with by a Blues player during the quarter. The end result was a free kick to a Blues player and Saints player David Kay been sent from the ground by umpire Ian Bull. This incident was pivotal in terms of the Blues gaining ascendency. The Saints should have scored, however the Blues rebounded and kicked a goal. At the other end of the ground, David Kuss was playing the game of his life on dangerous Blues forward Steve Froggatt. Blues defender David Cory-Toussaint was his teams best player in this quarter. Playing across half- back, he was simply inspirational with his attack on the ball and ability to read the play. Cory-Tossaint has an enormous future as he is athletic, tall and possesses enormous courage. Some of his marking was reminisent of the great Carlton player Ken Hunter.

The third quarter saw the Blues spring into action. Young forward James Monaghan became more invloved and in addition to setting up a few goals with some clever assists, he kicked a miraculous goal from the forward pocket. Matt Callaghan continued to underline his rapid improvement with his clever positioning across half back where he assisted Dion Nash in repelling many of the Blues forward moves. The scores were deadlocked on 31 points each at the last break.

The last quarter saw the Blues overun a gallant Saints team. Williams, Calleju, Taverner and Blyth, who had been consistent all day, stepped up a gear and ran all over their tired opponents. Two goals through a 50m penalty and a crude late tackle by a Saints player allowed the Blues to move away. The Blues never looked pack, kicking 4 goals to the Saints none in the last quarter.

One of the features of the Blues game was their accuracy in front of goals, kicking 8.1 with nine scoring shots as opposed to the Saints who had 11 scoring shots.

Todd Taverner and his team are to be congratulated for another outstanding season. The current Blues team have now won 35 games on the trot which is a great record in any league.

Peter Boyce, Greg Cairns and the Saints team proved that they are very close to the mark. With a young team that will only get better, the Saints could be set for a very strong period in their history over the coming years.

Blues midfielder, Murray Wiliams was awarded the "Wells" medal for the best player on the ground. His work rate and linking defence with attack was a feature of his game.

Best Players

University - Murray Williams, David Cory-Toussaint, Todd Taverner, Chris Blyth and John Calleju.

Mt Roskill - David Kuss, Dion Nash, Steve Fairweather (3 goals), Ben Jansen, Richard Ault and Matt Callaghan.

Umpires - Stewart Meek and Ian Bull.

University players celebrate their Premiership win.

Reserves Grand Final - McKay Rogers Shield

North Shore Tigers 7.2 (44) defeated Mt Roskill 1.4 (10)

Best on Ground - Ben Browne (North Shore)

Special thanks to all clubs who hosted finals, particularly the University club for hosting the Grand Final. In addition, the Auckland AFL Committee are to be congratulated on a successful season. Special mention to Terry Carroll who worked tirelessly to ensure the League operated professionally at all times.