2023 Day 4 Update

2023 Day 4 Update

The forecasted lightning storms did not appear for the first game of the day after a night of heavy rain.  This allowed our games to start once again in brilliant sunshine.  The playoffs for third and fourth in the men’s draw was between NZ Pasifika and NZ Maori Jr was another intense game as both teams fought for pride.

Pasifika opened the goalscoring early as a diving Zane Ah Yuk swept in a ball into the goal.  Te Manawanui Macpherson equalized minutes later converting a wide baseline shot after the keeper saved the initial PC attempt.  The Maori Jr team kept applying the pressure with another goal in the first quarter where Solomon Haenga-Plank pushed a ball through the keepers’ legs to take the lead into the first break.

From there, Pasifika lifted their play, but more importantly, converted their opportunities in the circle.  Goals to Kelvin Ratubuli, Daniel Scanlon and a final goal from captain, Jan Peterson, completed the scoring taking Pasifika to three wins from four games.  It must be noted that the NZ Maori Jr Men did fantastically well all tournament and, despite their results, pushed all of their opposition to the very end.

The third-place playoff for the women was a repeat of yesterday with the NZ Maori Jr Wahine playing the NZ Indian Women.

In another tight game where both teams pushed hard to covert their opportunities, it was difficult to separate the two.  The Maori Jr team would look to have control in patches but the perseverance and ‘never give up’ mentality from the NZ Indian team meant that both teams could not rest on their laurels until the final whistle.

The difference came from a penalty corner late in the first quarter where Grace Hilton-Jones converted to complete the scoring.  NZ Maori Jr win their first game of the tournament 1-0.

Men’s Final

The final between NZ Maori Men and NZ Indians started with a passionate haka led by Tuterangi Raharuhi wielding the Tino Rangatiratanga flag.  The haka appeared to lift the Maori side in the early stages as they dominated possession early.

Dylan Thomas created a chance for the Maori with a nice carry through the midfield, beating a player on the 25 yard line and then a draw and reverse pass into the circle.  Raharuhi showed a nice touch to control the ball and slip a quick shot between keeper and the left post to take the Maori up 1-0 after three minutes.

That sparked the Indian team into life and the game became more even as both teams parried back and forth, looking for a chance to break the opposing defense.  A couple of searching balls from NZ Indians could have had interesting consequences had they connected with the high runner, but those opportunities went begging with the score remaining the same at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter started out with the majority of possession with the Indian side.  However, the Maori defense was resilient for a long period, forcing the Indian to pass back and forth around their defensive line without making too many inroads.  One chance came five minutes in where a long pass from the right led to a circle entry on the baseline.  A quick flick shot had to be saved by the keeper as the Indians looked to capitalise on the heavy possession they had had.

A second shot a minute later from Black Stick, Jared Panchia had the Maori on the backfoot briefly before they looked to turn defence into attack.

A class finish from Jury Herewini after a save by the Indian keeper from a quick flick shot from Herewini Iverson punctuated a short period of sustained possession by the Maori.  Jury showed cat like reflexes to slap down the ball from above his head and into the goal as it looked to rebound past him.  While the Indians dominated the early stages of quarter two, it was the Maori who finished strongly with opportunities to extend their lead not taken.  The lead at half time 2-0.

The third quarter was nearly all NZ Maori as they held the lion share of possession and had several opportunities inside the Indian circle that went unrewarded. The Indians finished the quarter with their own opportunity with McIntosh in goal making a nice save to keep the score line unchanged.

The fourth quarter played out with the Maori shutting down any chance the Indian team had to try and get back into the game.  With three minutes remaining, the Indian team substituted their goalkeeper to try and take advantage of a ten-man Maori team but to no avail.  Final score was 2-0 to the NZ Maori Men making them back-to-back NZ Heritage Hockey champions.

Women’s Final

Despite a 3-0 loss in yesterday’s dress rehearsal, there was never going to be a chance where the NZ Pasifika Women would not lift their game against reigning champions, the NZ Maori Wahine.

In the early exchanges, it was Pasifika who held possession and territory as both teams looked to measure each other.  A penalty corner was awarded early after a skilful run by Carissa Makea, whose stickwork beat numerous defenders to send early warning signs to the Maori.

With the PC unconverted, it was Maori’s turn to step up and have a share of the possession.  Oriwa Hepi making some telling runs and the Pasifika defence having to work hard to hold the Maori out of their defensive circle.

It was the Maori Women finishing the first quarter strongly with numerous penalty corners going unconverted.

The second quarter was yet another period of shared opportunities.  Gabrielle Smith stood out with some probing circle entries for the Maori.  Meanwhile some nice work by Pasifika led to some good shots on goal without reward.

The final half was more of the same.  Tight defence keeping out some good attacking chances from both teams.  Kaea Elliot had the shot of the third quarter that was nicely saved by keeper, Brodie Cochrane, for the Maori.

Through the fourth quarter, as each minute ticked by, the tension around the ground grew.  No score with everything to play for. All players on both sides kept fighting as the minutes and seconds ticked by.  A yellow card late in the fourth quarter for Pasifika had them put numbers behind the ball and build a wall around their defensive circle.  Wave after attacking wave from the Maori was kept at bay until the final seconds when a penalty corner was awarded on the stroke of full time.  All eyes were on one end of the field as Pasifika looked to hold out the Maori one last time.  And that defence was resolute once more, holding the score at 0-0 and taking the final to the deciding shoot out.


Penalty Shootout

Maori – Oriwa Hepi drags left and sends a reverse stick lift over the diving goalies’ stick and into the goal

Pasifika – Carissa Makea – right drag from Makea, stick save from Cochrane and then another save on the line as Makea struck hard from from a second attempt from the right of the goal.  Maori up 1-0

Maori – Tyla Goodsell-Matthews drags right, holds the keeper, then drags left with a quick reverse stick shot past the diving Blacklock to convert the goal

Pasifika – Halle Scurrah drags left and then right and dives to sweep in the wide shot only to be denied by a diving Cochrane who had scrambled back.  Maori up 2-0

Maori – Hayley Cox leads right and then buries a beautiful reverse stick shot in the top of the net

Pasifika – Kaea Elliot glides left and then right and keeps going right and wide waiting for Cochrane to commit. Then calmly flicks the ball in from wide.  Maori up 3-1

Maori – Rachael Peck draws the keeper and tries a 360 shot which is well saved by Blacklock.  A second desperate shot out from high and wide goes wide of everything.

Pasifika – Hannah-Rose Elia draws left and then leads right past the diving keeper who misses on the first attempt, but Cochrane has a second and successful swipe at the ball on her reverse to stop the shot attempt and ultimately win the final.  Maori win the shootout 3-1

The NZ Maori women wait for confirmation of their win and celebrate, rushing Cochrane who had done wonderfully well in goal.  A three-peat for NZ Maori Women who go through the tournament undefeated.


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One Foundation Sponsorship

Thank You One Foundation

NZ Heritage Hockey would like to thank One Foundation once again for their funding and sponsorship grant. This is the 3rd year in a row