“It was a real surprise to make it. I’m not exactly sure what I’m in for, but my goal is to represent New Zealand one day,” Harry Lawson states when asked about being selected in the 34-man Black Sticks squad which will undergo six days of extensive training in Auckland from December 5-10.
Lawson from Lindisfarne College in Hastings is one of three schoolboys picked alongside Malachi Buschel from King’s High School in Dunedin and Connor Greentree from Kristin School in Auckland.
Lindisfarne are hardly world beaters. They finished 25th at Nationals, beating Napier Boys’ High School 4-2 to retain their place at Rankin Cup in 2018.
Lawson’s pedigree has never been in doubt. He played 99 games for his First XI and was captain in 2017. A Central Region under-21 representative when he was 16, Lawson was named Hawke’s Bay Secondary School hockey player of the year in 2016, a title he is likely to reclaim this year. Being the most accomplished player in his team has been both a blessing and a curse.
“Sometimes it’s annoying when your teammates aren’t as serious as you, but I enjoy the challenge of helping younger players get better. It’s hard to get regularly tough competition in a small region like Hawke’s Bay, but when we compete against the likes of Auckland, I get a lot of defensive work against the better teams.” Lawson explains.
Lawson is noted for his resolute defense, but doesn’t see himself exclusively in that capacity.
“I play defense, but have moved into the midfield a bit recently. I would like to think I am a sounder tackler who isn’t afraid to take calculated risks. I enjoy taking players on if the chance arises and it’s good for the team.” Lawson elaborates.
A hockey player since he was 4, Lawson, is also a handy cricketer reaching 2nd XI level at Lindisfarne, unable to commit to the First’s due to hockey commitments.
Lawson has been a Hawke’s Bay age group hockey rep from under-13 Hatch Cup level to under-18s, Lawson believes the biggest rep breakthrough he had was in the Central Region under-21 team which finished fifth in their national competition last year.
“That was a real eye opener playing as a 16 year old, but I did pretty well and it’s motivated me to work harder.” Lawson reveals.
In 2018, Lawson intends to either reside in Auckland or Wellington and undertake a building apprenticeship. His parents are farmers.
Three current school players and a 2016 Rankin Cup winner have been selected in a Black Sticks hockey squad today.
The three current school players in the 24-strong squad are midfielder Malachi Buschel from King’s High School in Dunedin, Connor Greentree from Kristin School in North Harbour and Harry Lawson from Lindisfarne College in Hawke’s Bay.
The fourth teenager is Reuben Andrews who won the Rankin Cup with St Paul’s Collegiate last year (pictured above).
The purpose of the camp is to assess talented players who stood out this year at the Vantage Under 18s, Vantage Under 21s, Ford National Hockey League and Australian Hockey League tournaments.
Athletes will be put through an extensive six days of hockey, physical, psychological and leadership challenges from 5-10 December.
Performances at the camp in early December in Auckland will help decide final selections of the 2018 National and Development squads.
Not all 2017 National Squad members will take part in the camp with several being moved immediately onto their physical programme following an intense 12 months of international and European club commitments.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to bring players who have come through our talent system into the Vantage Black Sticks environment and see how they stack up,” Smith said.
“You look at the likes of Hayden Phillips, who came into the national programme as a 17-year-old and ended up earning a spot at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
“We have a lot of talented athletes around the country so the sooner we can expose them to top level hockey and everything that comes with that the better.”
The full squad is:
“I took the same shot as I did in the Canterbury final against St Andrew’s College. A little right to left drag and then a reverse shot because the keeper went down on the right side leaving the opposite side open.”
Henry Phelps reflects on his successful penalty stroke in last week’s Rankin Cup hockey final for Christ’s College against Christchurch Boys’ High School.
Phelps’ penalty propelled Christ’s into a 2-1 lead after the fourth of five rounds. Christ’s had trailed 1-0 after missing their first two shots. Phelps captured what happened next.
“Christchurch had to score to extend the shootout, but our keeper Louis Beckert saved their last shot which meant we won. Louis is the reason we won. He is awesome. He is a New Zealand Under-18 keeper and loves penalty shootouts and that’s not normal,” Phelps laughs.
A tough tussle between Christ’s College and Christchurch Boys’ High School is very normal. The fierce Canterbury rivals failed to score in regulation time and the extra periods. Christ’s first Rankin Cup title since 1991 would have to be earned via the lottery of penalties.
“It was a super even game, back and forth the whole time. Christchurch was dogged and made things really tough.” Phelps recalls.
“There was one chance they had when one of their players went running up into the circle and hit a hard reverse shot, but Louis dived full length to save it.” Phelps continued.
Mount Albert Grammar School and Rathkeale College didn’t pull off many saves in the round robin matches against Christ’s. Christ’s scored 15 goals in those matches, but were soon to strike a roadblock losing to King’s High School who eventually finished 10th.
“The King’s High game was important for us. It was one of those games where nothing went right, but reminded us we had to be switched on all the time,” Phelps insists.
Christ’s easily accounted for Phelps’ old school Rathkeale College 4-1 in the round of 16 and dispatched Paraparaumu College by the same score in the quarter final. King’s College from Auckland presented a stiff challenge in the semi-final. Christ’s battled gamely to a 1-0 win.
“The King’s game wasn’t as physical as the final, but they were a good side. They had a lot of dangerous players who needed to be marked closely,” Phelps praises.
Phelps’ band Run 77 didn’t make the podium at the finals of the Smokefree Rockquest in Auckland after winning the Christchurch title, but with a Canterbury and National hockey title and a popular band away from sport, 2017 has been kind to Phelps.
“It was awesome to have so many mates from the Wairarapa in the final last year and to be involved myself this year was pretty surreal to be honest. It’s been a good year,” Phelps concludes.
Christ’s only lose five players from their First XI in 2018.
Christ’s College Rankin Cup Results
By her own admission, winning title silverware has proved elusive in recent times for St Margaret’s College hockey First XI captain and striker and Junior Black Sticks player Emily Wium.
Last week, Emily’s St Margaret’s side beat Christchurch rivals Villa Maria College in the bronze medal match at the NZSS Federation Cup tournament. Emily scored the winning goal in extra time - see sequence of photos above.
“Last year we came third as well,” she told College Sport Media. “I have spent five years in the team and we won it in my year 9 but not since! We also came second in the Canterbury SSL competition this year, losing to Rangi Ruru Girls’ School in our final.”
In July, the Canterbury U18s, featuring Emily and some of her St Margaret’s teammates, finished runners-up to Central in the National U18 tournament, while her club side High School Old Boys also finished second this year.
That title win could be coming up over the next few days, with the Canterbury Cats in the NHL tournament that started in Wellington over the weekend.
Emily is the only current secondary school player in Canterbury’s senior representative women’s squad and Canterbury are the defending champions.
The Canterbury Cats opened their tournament with a 3-0 victory over the Southern Storm – with Emily one of the goal-scorers – before beating Capital 1-0 on Sunday. Their last pool game is tomorrow against Auckland, leading up to the final next Sunday.
Beating Villa Maria College in the recent Federation Cup bronze medal match was still good consolation for St Margaret’s.
“We’d had a really close loss [to winners St Cuthbert’s, 1-0] in our semi-final the previous day, it was hard to pick ourselves back up but being the last school game for quite a few of the girls in the team and with the Pat Barwick Shield to defend helped us.”
“It was also kind of a weird feeling playing Villa as we have played them so many times this season.”
St Margaret’s didn’t start well, finding themselves down 2-1 and on the back foot. In the 50th minute, Olivia Allan scored an equaliser and there was no further scoring in regular time. Going to extra time, where first goal wins, Villa Maria put a shot across the face of the open goal, before Emily attacked from halfway for St Margaret’s. Threading her way through the defence, she drove home the winner.
Some of the best rivalries in New Zealand secondary school sport are found amongst the leading Canterbury hockey girls First XIs. Three of the four top finishers at this year’s Federation Cup were Canterbury SSL sides, with Rangi Ruru Girls’ School the beaten finalists.
Emily said the next few years of the St Margaret’s first XI hockey side are looking good. “The majority of our St Margaret’s team are years 11 and 12, and one year 10 too, so the future of our team looks promising.”
Up until 2015, St Margaret’s dominated the competition, winning 12 consecutive titles up to that year.
Hockey runs through Emily’s veins, since playing for the first time at a young age after first filling in for her older sister’s team.
The specialist striker spent two years in the New Zealand U18 team in her year 11 and 12 years.
Plus making the Junior Black Sticks in 2016 as a 17-year old. “Last year I was also in the New Zealand U21 team that played in the Junior World Cup in Chile.” Emily and Kayla Reid from Rangitoto College were the two schoolgirls in that side.
Hockey is Emily’s main sport, although she used to play tennis. Some of her St Margaret’s teammates also play other sports, such as Melanie Puckett who combines hockey with rugby for the Canterbury rugby squad.
After this week’s NHL tournament, Emily will be staying fit for a national U18 training camp in New Plymouth in December.
Emily is unsure what her exact plans are for next year. “My options are open at this stage, I am looking at studying for a geography degree but I don’t know where yet and I want to keep playing hockey and see where that takes me.”
“We were really determined to win the final knowing that it was the last game for the school in an environment where a decent amount of students and family are present,” Hunter Stent recalls of the mood before the Premier I hockey final between Wellington College and Paraparaumu College.
Despite being reigning champions, Wellington wasn’t the favourite to prevail, having been thumped 6-1 by their opposition a few weeks earlier.
“We tried to forget about that result because we had played them a few times before and the results had been closer. The seniors were really driving the will and game plan to succeed,” Stent explains.
Wellington held Paraparaumu to 1-1 in regulation time and with 40 seconds left in 7 versus 7 extra time Marco Brown scored a golden goal to win Wellington the title for the fourth time in six years.
“We’ve had a really good run, but this season wasn’t going so well until that result. We have a lot of young guys and are rebuilding so to win P1 was really special,” Stent acclaims.
Wellington will be forced to rebuild without Stent in 2018, leaving a massive hole in experience. Hunter was the first player in seven years and among a select few to play over 100 games for Wellington College.
“It’s possible to reach 100 games now because we play between 25 and 30 fixtures a season, but even so it's pretty special to think I have played 100 games. I have a lot of great memories,” Stent acclaims.
Hunter’s first game was in Year 9 and he hit the post with his first shot. In Year 10 and 11 he was a striker and a prolific goal scorer alongside Daniel Harris who has been selected in several New Zealand teams.
“Daniel was a great player for us. It was a privilege to play alongside him and I learned a lot from watching him,” Stent praises.
In 2015, Wellington was Premier I champions and finished fourth at the Rankin Cup with Harris scoring 52 goals.
Another fond memory was in 2014 when Stent was a member of the Wellington under-15 side who had to come from behind to beat North Harbour on strokes in the final of the National tournament. It was Wellington’s first win in the event since sharing the title with Auckland in 2004, and it was the first outright win for Wellington since 1997. What’s more Wellington was the only unbeaten team at the event while every other team lost at least twice and Stent was the leading goalscorer, with 11.
Stent played his last three seasons in the midfield. In 2016 he helped Wellington reach the quarterfinals of the Rankin Cup where they were eliminated by eventual winners St Paul’s Collegiate in a controversial fashion. Stent explains what happened.
“It was 1-1 with about five minutes to go when St Paul’s scored a goal to get into the lead. I didn’t see it at the time, but watching it later on video the St Paul’s player touched the ball with his hand. It was unfortunate to lose that way, but who knows what would've happened in extra time?”
This year at Nationals, Wellington was beaten in the final of the India Trophy (second tier) by Saint Kentigern College.
Shortly a hockey honours board will be built at Wellington College. After a fine century Stent is bound to be one of the first names printed.
Last year St Cuthbert’s College lost the final of the AON Federation Cup in golden extra time to Christchurch’s Villa Maria College, making Saturday’s 1-0 triumph in the 2017 final over Rangi Ruru Girls’ School all the more sweeter.
“Last year’s loss to Villa Maria in the final is the only competition match we have lost in two years. Eleven of our players were in the side last year that lost the final so winning this year’s final was extra special for that group of players,” coach Mitch Hayde told College Sport Media this week.
Saturday was the third time that St Cuthbert’s College have had their name etched on the Federation Cup, the pinnacle girls secondary school hockey tournament in New Zealand, after previous wins in 2008 and 2012.
Coach Mitch said this year’s final was as tough as expected, with Rangi Ruru’s defence proving hard to break down, in the first half especially.
It was 0-0 at halftime. What was said at halftime?
“We spoke a lot about sticking to the process and making sure that we have a strong defensive structure first. We knew if we could defend well that we could create enough opportunities and it was just a matter of making sure we put those away, which is what we did with the penalty stroke.”
St Cuthbert’s broke out twice early in the second half and the winning penalty came from Madi Doar in the 8th minute of the second half.
“It is always good to have that one goal buffer, and straight after we scored there was definitely a boost in energy where we had two or three other pretty good chances to score. To Rangi’s credit they defended these well again and got right back in the match, creating some good opportunities themselves.”
The final was a nail-biter to the very end, with Rangi Ruru almost drawing level in the dying seconds with a penalty corner.
“The team defended a penalty corner on full-time in both our quarter and semi-final matches so we were well prepared to defend this. The defenders put themselves in some brave positions to cut down Rangi’s options and Sophia Howard (GK) made an outstanding save.
“Defending that corner, and the whistle blowing almost straight after is a moment those girls will certainly remember forever.”
Prior to the knockout matches, St Cuthbert’s had scored 32 goals and conceded only one.
Completing an unbeaten season, St Cuthbert’s had beaten neighbours and rivals Auckland Diocesan in the finals of both the Auckland and Super City competition. “A highlight would have been overcoming a number of injuries, including not having one of our co-captains, Madi Doar, to beat Dio 5-1 in the Super City final, said Mitch.” Madi and Kendall Vaughan were the two co-captains of the St Cuthbert’s team this year.
“The team was very ‘values based’, with all players having a good understanding of the teams values and the behaviours that were required. These values created a hard working a positive environment in the team with every player leading themselves to be ‘the best they can be.”
Madi made her debut for the Black Sticks earlier this year, while Madi, Katie Doar and Sophia Howard will all represent Auckland at next week’s National Hockey League. Madi, Katie, Sophia and Tonya Botherway were all recently named in the New Zealand U18 squad.
The team scored 101 goals and conceded just six in the Auckland Super City competitions and scored 43 goals and let in two in the Federation Cup (144 -8 combined score all season).
Madi was the top scored at Fed Cup with 10 goals, Tonya Botherway wasn’t far behind with eight.
Coach Mitch is in his second year as coach and is looking to continue on 2018. Scott Vaughan is assistant coach and Ash James and Shelley Ireton are the co-managers.
The future looks bright for the playing roster.
“We only lose three players from this year’s team and we have a good group of up and coming players in our second XI and U15 team.”
Christchurch Schools came second, third and fourth, but it was Auckland’s St Cuthbert’s College that held aloft the AON Federation Cup in Napier this afternoon.
St Cuthbert’s beat Rangi Ruru Girls’ School 1-0 in a hard-fought final to claim the title, while St Margaret’s College defeated Villa Maria College 3-2 in the playoff for third and fourth.
Waikato Diocesan won the division 2 Marie Fry Cup, with Christchurch Girls’ High School runners-up.
The only goal of the final came in the 8th minute of the second half, a Madison Doar penalty, after Grace Parkinson had gone desperately close.
The majority of the rest of the second half was tense and willing. With 40 seconds to play, Rangi Ruru’s Annabelle Wilson was checked in the circle, winning her side a last-gasp equalising penalty corner.
St Cuthbert’s defence had been outstanding throughout the final and it held one last time and they went on celebrate fulltime.
Earlier, a heavy rain shower at the start had left the large crowd on the Park Island terraces scrambling for umbrellas and wetting the playing surface. That and the occasion meant both took sides a long time to hit their straps. The first clean shot of goal wasn’t until the 20th minute by Rangi Ruru.
St Cuthberts’ drove forward with several counterattacks that were just stopped by desperate defence. The score remained deadlocked at halftime.
St Cuthbert’s had two clear chances right after halftime, before their winning goal, Rose Parkinson and Grace Parkinson both looking likely.
In winning the Federation Cup, St Cuthbert's played the tournament unbeaten, topping their pool with a 14-0 and a 13-0 win. They beat Westlake Girls’ High School 2-1 in their quarterfinal and St Margaret’s 1-0 in their semi-final.
The St Cuthbert's squad that won the 2017 Federation Cup was:
Ella Greenwood, Kendall Vaughan, Charlotte Penny, Tonya Botherway, Lucy Stokes, Katie Doar, Monique Pitt, Abigail Jackson, Tiana Currie, Hannah Stewart, Madison Doar, Emma Rankin, Eliza Hay, Sophie Howard, Grace Parkinson, Rose Parkinson.
In the playoff for third for fourth between the two Christchurch schools, St Margaret’s College and Villa Maria College, the former won a thrilling match in extra time.
Team captain and Junior Black Stick Emily Wium drove home the winner in the second minute of added time to give her school a 3-2 win.
Just moments earlier, a Villa Maria shot from a tight angle had sailed across an open goal. But St Margaret’s counter-attacked and set up the winner.
St Margaret’s had come back from 1-2 at halftime and also survived a concerted period of attack by Villa Maria, which included two consecutive penalty shots, either of which could have won the contest.
St Margaret’s held their composure and with five minutes of regulation time remaining, they scored the equaliser that was send the match into extra time.
Both sides had started in a flurry, both finding the back of goal and it was 1-1 early. Villa Maria scored their second and what proved to be their last goal of the match and tournament with a 23rd minute penalty corner.
As well as finishing third, St Margaret’s defended the Pat Barwick Shield, presented as a challenge shield akin to schoolboy rugby’s Moascar Cup. St Margaret’s, the original holders, had regained the silverware off Rangi Ruru earlier in the season.
“Rosmini is a great side. We lost to them 6-0 in the round robin. It was our biggest loss ever and we were way off our best. We resolved if we played them again, that wouldn’t happen again,” asserts Jack Seton goalkeeper for the Auckland Grammar School First XI hockey team.
Last Wednesday in the Super City final, Grammar upset Rosmini 1-0. In the round robin Rosmini had outscored all opponents 38-1.
“We decided our best player Harry Ratcliffe would mark their best player. That didn't happen in the last game. It was a gamble, but we wanted to weather the storm,” Seton explains.
Rosmini was contained for the first fifteen minutes and Grammar’s confidence began to grow. After 15 minutes the underdogs had a major breakthrough. Ishan Naik scored a goal from a penalty corner.
“Rosmini like to play fast so we wanted to frustrate them, slow it down and catch them on the break. Ishan took his chance,” Seton praises.
In the last fixture of the regular season Grammar was beaten by fierce rivals King’s College, a result they managed to reverse in the semi-finals the following week. Seton was a major player in that success.
“The semi-final was a great game. Three times we went down, three times we came back. It went to penalties and I managed to save one and they missed two. It was a lot of fun, but I wouldn’t want to do it again,” Seton laughs.
Grammar’s resilience was telling. Rosmini was unable to breach the defence and lacked their usual polish even sacrificing their own keep late in the contest in pursuit of an equaliser.
“It was a huge effort by the boys. We’ve had a couple of losses this year, but we have learned from them and are training hard for Rankin Cup,” Seton enthuses.
Grammar is grouped with three South Island schools in John McGlashan College, St Bede’s College and Christ’s College who they beat 5-0 in the 9th placed playoff in 2016.
The Rankin Cup and India Shield tournaments start in Hamilton next Monday.
View the draw here: https://hockeynz.altiusrt.com/competitions/203
Boys secondary school hockey is rapidly approaching the business end of the season with the Rankin Cup being held in Hamilton in September.
In the leading competitions nationwide most finals will happen in the coming week.
There are only five undefeated teams at this stage heading towards the India Shield and Rankin Cup.
The undefeated teams playing in secondary school competitions are: Rosmini College, Hamilton Boys’ High School, Paraparaumu College, Christ’s College and King’s High School from Dunedin. Coincidentally both Rosmini and Paraparaumu qualified for Rankin this year by winning their respective tier three tournaments last year.
It should be noted that some schools play in the men’s competitions such as Whangarei Boys’ High School, Palmerston North Boys’ High School and Tauranga Boys’ College.
Much has been made of Hamilton Boys’ record of 17 unbeaten wins this season, but they only beat 2016 Rankin Cup winners St Paul’s Collegiate by a solitary goal in the first competition match. St Paul’s toured Christchurch last month to play Christ’s, Christchurch BHS and St Andrew’s College. They lost their first game 5-1 to Christ’s, but performed better in their second game only losing 3-2. St Paul’s unfortunately didn’t get to play Christchurch Boys’, because of poor weather
Rosmini heads into the Auckland Super City league final as warm favourites to capture the title. Rosmini has dispatched its opposition convincingly, including beating last year’s third place finisher, Rangitoto College by ten goals along the way.
Although Rosmini only just beat Westlake in their semi-final, they will prove tough to beat at Rankin. What adds further credence to their claim is that they have three field players and a goalie who have been selected as part of the New Zealand U18 Development Camp squad which has just been released comprising 33 players.
Rosmini had the following players in the North Harbour reps: Callum Dempster, Ryan Harrison, Kiharoa Iversen, Joshua Paul, Sam Schofield, Joachim Tan, Issac Houlbrooke and Taimana Iversenand Joe Holloway.
Paraparaumu College is an enigma with no New Zealand representation despite convincingly winning the Wellington round robin with seven wins on the trot and a goal difference of 40-6, a staggering 21 goals better than the next best team Wellington College who has consistently placed in the top eight at Rankin Cup for the last four years.
Paraparaumu beat Wellington College 6-1. Wellington College boast Hunter Stent who has amassed over 100 games for his First XI.
Of note, Rosmini and Paraparaumu played one another in the final of Mayhill Cup in 2010, which Rosmini won. That year their centre half was George Muir who made the Black Sticks two years later.
“We are a completely different team from that in April. We have some players in different positions and are playing a different style of hockey. I think were heaps better,” warns captain Tim Neild when talking about the Hamilton Boys’ High School First XI.
Hamilton is unbeaten in 17 games in 2017 and in addition to being the only team to win all their matches at the ANZAC festival of hockey in April won the Super 8 title for the seventh time in Gisborne last week.
The Super 8 tournament is a fine dress rehearsal for Rankin Cup.
“Five games in three days is a heavy workload, but its good preparation for Rankin. Often tournament play is a survival of the fittest,” Neild explains.
Hamilton topped pool play at the Super 8 and had far too much gusto for Gisborne Boys’ High School winning by the staggering scoreline of 19-0. Neild scored three goals, but was quick to commend Gisborne’s spirit.
“We’ve struggled to score goals at times this season and the Gisborne game was one of those games where everything went in. Obviously they weren’t the strongest side, but they never gave up and I respect them for that.”
Napier Boys’ High School proved a far tougher nut to crack, but two goals by Neild secured a 3-1 victory and a place in the semi-finals.
Hastings Boys’ High School had to beat Hamilton to keep their finals prospects alive, but a drab encounter resulted in a scoreless draw.
“That was a boring game. Hastings played well, but we lacked polish and had one eye on the semis,” Neild moans.
Hamilton was switched on for the semi-finals eliminating Palmerston North Boys’ High School 3-1.
“Palmy have been our main rivals over the years. We started slowly, but two goals before halftime settled some nerves. Palmerston North pulled a goal back in the second-half, but I think we always had their measure,” Neild reflects.
For the first time in 13 years New Plymouth Boys’ High School contested the final. Neild, originally from Taranaki, reveals New Plymouth were stubborn opponents.
“We won 4-1, but New Plymouth played with a lot of passion. We got an early 2-0 lead before New Plymouth got some momentum and pulled a goal back via a PC. It was always competitive, but the boys stuck to the task.”
Neild scored a goal in the decider and reinforced his considerable promise which has seen him represent the Junior Black Sticks and both the Midlands U18 and U21 squads.
Neild has been a member of two Rankin Cup winning teams in 2014 and 2015. This year he believes Christ’s College, St. Paul’s Collegiate and Whangarei Boys’ High School are among the biggest threats for the 4-9 September tournament, which is being played at home in Hamilton.
In addition to being First XI skipper, Neild is deputy head prefect and an academic prefect who is achieving at excellence level and hopes to study engineering in 2018.
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