On Saturday Auckland Grammar School hosts King’s College in the much hyped Cooper-Greenbank First XV rugby fixture.
Jack Seton will be part of the 500 strong ‘Augusta Army’ cheering on the Grammar boys. The Year 13 led group spend lunchtime practicing chants for the big game and are hoping their chorus of support can inspire a similar outcome to that of the Birchall Shield hockey final recently.
Auckland Grammar School won the Auckland hockey championship for the third year in a row defeating King’s College on their turf 1-0. David Bates scored the winning goal. Two years ago against the same opposition, and at the same venue, his older brother Johnny Bates scored the winner. Seton, who plays in goal, captures the drama of Bates’ winning strike.
“There wasn’t long left and we won the ball in defence. We advanced it forward and got the ball into the circle. The ball pinged around a few times in between sticks and then fell for David who blasted it into goal.”
It’s a sweet feeling beating King’s in any code.” Seton continued.
Hockey might not generate the same fanfare as rugby, but it’s a well-supported code with home games well attended and a history of 23 Rankin Cup titles to be proud of. Last year Grammar was on target to perhaps add to that tally, but came unstuck in controversial fashion in the first round of elimination.
“We played Wairarapa College and were ahead 3-1. We had a couple of calls that went against us and had two players carded. Wairarapa levelled to send the game into extra time and then won it. We won every game except that one, it really hurt.” Seton laments.
Grammar had 21 players carded in seven games. Maintaining composure under pressure has been a big area of focus in 2017.
“We lost our cool a lot last year. We need to control our emotions better when calls go against us.” Seton believes.
When focused, Grammar was hard to topple. In the Super City competition featuring the top four Auckland and North Shore schools, Grammar beat Kristin College 6-1 in the final last year to capture the crown. In their first meeting in 2017, Grammar emulated that score.
“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but we have a pretty good team and have started well.” Seton cautious.
Seton has been a rep level player since the age of 10. He began in the field, but was forced to retreat into goal to make one side and laughs, “once you’ve played in goal, there is no going back.”
Seton has won three Auckland titles with Grammar and has became a sturdy shot stopper much like his father John Seton who was a Black Stick goalie.
In 2018 Jack intends to study law and commerce at Victoria University in Wellington.
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