The Howick Hornets battled last Sunday against the University Blues at Paparoa Park. University came off a huge win against Manurewa and their spirits were high. Howick after coming off a draw with Waitakere also had high spirits but knew it would be tough against a skilled outfit like University.
The Hornets development team kicked off first against a University team stacked with senior players. The development side put in a valiant effort but were unable to quash the University's run and carry. University ended up running away with it in the end putting a big score on the Hornets Development. Some players of note was Dan McCarthy continuing his form from last week and playing well in the forward line and big James Mackinder in his first game back for the club in the ruck.
The Hornets Premier team faced an uphill battle heading into their game. University had shown their hand during the development game and the Hornets knew their game plan. The first quarter was a good battle, the Hornets were able to get into the contest and spoil and clean ball for University. It was during the second quarter where University ran away with it. The Hornets fell off the pace and University ran rampant through the middle of the field to create the overlaps in their forward line. A huge defensive effort by all six back men limited the amount of goals but University kept coming. Right into the second half it was much of the same with University carving through the middle of the field and being in a better position around the ball than the Hornets. The Hornets were unable to get clean entry into the forward 50 and when we did we were unable to translate those opportunities into goals. With the flow of points heading towards the wrong end the Hornets held tough but were unable to reverse their fortunes.
The Hornets lost 1.5 (11) to University 10.15 (75)
The day was a hard defeat but there was a lot to take of it and we will improve from this.
The Hornets hosted Waitakere in a round 1 thriller last Sunday. The weather was grim with a howling wind and periodic rain. This meant the games were going to be played off the ground in a tight contest.
The Hornets Gold kicked the day off at 1pm against the Waitakere Magpies. The Hornets started a little slow with a few new players adjusting to the game. The wet weather made it incredibly difficult to get ball to hand and a lot of the game was played off the ground where the Hornets flourish. Unfortunately the Hornets were down at half time, trailing three goals to two. A big defensive effort from Jono Pearce dried up the magpies goals in the second half. Dan McCarthy enjoyed the opened spaces and used his pace to beat his man and kick a few goals. The Hornets Gold team turned the game on its head with superior fitness and ran away with it in the end winning the game 6-3. Well done on the first up win for the Hornets.
Following the Gold team, the Hornets Blue took to the field. The club had been preparing all preseason for this opening match. The wet weather made it very hard to take clean marks meaning the game play would suit our smaller players. The Hornets played fiercely in the first quarter keeping up with Waitakere. The Hornets worked very well together and rallied around each other when their team mate went off injured in the first quarter. New recruit Steph Tabaillou opened up the Hornets scoring kicking his first goal as a Hornet.
The second quarter the Hornets regathered and played a lot better, playing into the wind. A lot of focused running through broken play opened up the field to the Hornets to keep within one goal of Waitakere. A big defensive effort from Pete Jones on the Magpies key forward meant they were not as dangerous up front as they usually were. Finishing the first half the Hornets were down 2-3 (15) to 3-3 (21).
The second half started with Waitakere coming out of the blocks fast quickly getting on top of Hornets. A strategic positional change, moving Dan Bushett into the centre half forward position paid dividends with Dan kicking a goal with his first touch.
Jay Green provided solidarity in the backline where he had the most possessions for the Hornets. The final quarter saw debutant Jason Roach pick up a few grabs which he was unlucky not to convert into goals. A last minute snap by Elliott Bennetts helped the Hornets secure the draw against the 2017 runners up.
"It was a great first hit out for the team and this has set the platform for our season. We know we can go toe to toe with the 2017 finalists and it is very exciting for what this season could hold" - Coach Ryan White.
The Hornets will take on University Blues next Sunday at Paparoa Park. This will be a huge match with Steph Tabillou playing against his old club.
Up the Hornets!!
Congratulations to Logan Kinnear being named as Captain of the Howick Hornets this year. Logan is an exceptional leader who can lead by example on and off the field. Logan's commitment to the team when playing is second to none and throws everything at it. All players will have the benefit of Logan leading them by example.
Helping Logan in the leadership for 2018 will be Brodyn Bevan & Elliot Bennetts. Brodyn is an experienced player who is a dependable back-men, with a large voice which benefits the players around him. Elliot has gone from strength to strength in the last couple of years and with the experience of playing in the AFLNZ premiership this year he will also lead by example in the forward line. Both these players act with professionalism and are a great addition to the leadership team.
Congratulations to these three players.
Up the Hornets!
The Howick Hornets AFL team have just completed their first ever pre season training camp in Maramarua, Waikato.
It was an overnight camp which saw the Hornets rise early on Saturday to be ready for first bounce at 9am. The first session was a skills based session aiming to fine tune the skills of the handpass, drop punt and tackling. The skills were well executed through intensive drills and got the legs warmed up for what would be the toughest session.
After a short break the boys were eager to get stuck into the next hour and a half session. Paul aka Taco was set to put the boys through his "Taco's Trials" that focused on team building & fitness. Taco's Trials consisted of team relays of tractor tire flipping, fence post sprints and farmer carries. Once the teams were puffing they quickly moved onto a handball drill to emphasis the importance of communication when tired. The grand finale to Taco's Trials was the cards of pain. This involved four teams (two teams sharing a pack of cards each) picking a card and fulfilling the cards suited exercises and the number of reps. The exercises consisted of bear crawls, shuttles, burpees and fence post squats & press. It was safe to say the team deserved the rest after Taco's Trials.
After lunch we went into expansive drills to replicate game situations. Splitting into two teams and playing in their preferred positions the Hornets showcased their skills they had developed through the day and the quality of football was top notch. The Hornets were able to sculpt the style of football they want to play in 2018.
The team finished off their training camp with a relaxing spa at Miranda Hot Pools. The hot water was soothing to the tired muscles after a big day. After the pools the team headed back to the rugby club for dinner and further team bonding watching the All Blacks match.
The training camp was a huge success due to the fact the players came with the right attitude; to develop and improve their skills and push themselves to the next level. Even injured players came down to support the lads as they were put through various skills, drills and fitness.
The first Hornets preseason camp was a great success and is something all future Hornets need to put in their calendars for 2019.
Big thank you to Paul Millar who was instrumental in organising the camp, Will McKenzie & Terrance Carroll for their assistance in facilitating the day and keeping the guys well fed. Thank you to Maramarua Rugby Club for hosting us and allowing us to use your facilities.
Up the Hornets!
Preseason training has been firing on all 8 cylinders the last couple of months. We have been having a turn out of 25+ players regularly with many more unable to make it due to Winter sport commitments.
The skill level has been the highest it has ever been during preseason and the Hornets are ramp up to the opening game, the first weekend of September. Keep updated on our website and Facebook supporters page for the season draw.
The AFLNZ Senior New Zealand wider training squad was announced on Monday with the inclusion of two Hornets. Luke Williams & Ryan White have been included in the wider training squad which is all part of the AFLNZ road to the 2020 International Cup.
Luke Williams' inclusion in the squad comes off the back of a successful U18 campaign with the New Zealand U18 squad. Luke was named captain of the New Zealand side, for the team when they went to play in Australia earlier this year. Luke's leadership was pivotal in helping the U18 team achieve their first ever win on Australian soil. Luke also participated in the AFLNZ 2018 Premiership as a development player. He played for many teams and was always a huge asset to which ever team he played for; even managing to kick two goals for the Western Crows when playing alongside fellow Hornet Ryan White.
Ryan's naming was based on his successful debut season for the Western Crows in the AFLNZ 2018 Premiership. Initially playing in the back pockets, Ryan was pushed forward into the centres & on ball feeding off current New Zealand players. Ryan proved to be very consistent for the Crows which earned him the Best and Fairest award for the Crows and subsequently nominated for the Overall Premiership Best and Fairest.
The Hornets are extremely proud of Luke & Ryan for being named in the wider training squad and hope that they can work hard to achieve the next level and make the senior side.
Up the Hornets.
The Howick Hornets AFL season will kick off in two weeks time on Monday 2nd July 6.00pm at the Hornets Nest (Paparoa Park, Howick).
Come on down for the first kick around and meet the new faces. Feel free to bring mates or anyone who might be interested in playing.
Up the Hornets!
Jay Green is the newest Australian expat to join the Howick Hornets Club.
Jay started footy in his country town in South Australia and won an under 16s flag. He then moved to the city and played for two years at a club called Meningie. Both these years, Jay's team made the grand final but unfortunately lost. Jay is a fast moving half back flank but can easily play up the ground in a half forward or wing position.
Jay is going to bring his experience and knowledge to the club and we are super excited to have him lineup for the hornets. Welcome to the nest mate.
Up the Hornets!
The Hornets are welcoming Steph Tabaillou to the Hornets family. Steph who had previously played for the Universtiy Blues has transferred to the Howick Hornets 2018 season.
Steph will now don the Blue & Yellow jumper along side his younger brother Oli Tabaillou (the 2017 Young Gun award winner) after playing against each other in the previous season. He brings with him vast experience of over 6 years in the AAFL for University, played for Auckland Buccaneers for over 3 years and played in the AFLNZ Premiership for the Western Crows for the last 2 years along side our Hornets Captain.
Steph is a natural ball runner which will help bolster the half back line & midfield providing a new avenue to getting the ball to the forward. He showed how effective the running of the ball wall for the Crows; clearing out of the backline and gaining forward momentum for the team.
The Hornets looking forward to Steph playing for them and are excited for the upcoming season.
Up the Hornets!
Big thank you to all the 80 participants who braved the wind and rain to compete in the inaugural Howick Hornets AFL Golf Fundraiser last Sunday. With your help the club will be able to purchase additional required uniforms and balls needed for the upcoming season.
We would also like to say a big thank you to all of the key sponsors on the day who provided awesome prizes that were well received. Howick Hornets extend their gratitude to;
Howick Golf Club
Basalt Bar and Restaurant
Scaffold Connect Limited
Sals Pizza Highland Park
Coca Cola Amatil
The day was a huge success and we look forward to improving the day to make it bigger and better next year.
The Howick Hornets have welcomed Travis Walker into the club this week. Travis brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience and will be filling in the role of Assistant Coach and Ruckman / Key Forward. The Hornets playing group is very excited to have more experience within the squad, which is also an opportunity for them to develop their own game.
Travis started his football career at Narre Warren Football Club in Melbourne. He then moved onto the EFL and payed a few years for Silvan FC with his mates before finishing up his junior year at Dingly FC. At Dingly he has achieved a Grand Final win and also achieved best on ground being awarded the Lloyd Griffiths medal.
Travis' senior career saw him move out to country football. Playing in country football provided Travis valuable experience and helped develop his game. We have heard through valuable sources that Travis is powerful ruckman who is able to win the contest by dominating his opponent. Travis finished up in Australia at Heatherton FC before jumping the ditch and coming to the Hornets.
The Hornets Club and Family would like to welcome Travis to the club and look forward to playing footy with him this 2018 season.
Up the Hornets!