Blues qualifying game
After the excitement of winning the Auckland 1A title on Saturday the team had a very short turnaround before they played Whangarei Boys' High School in the first qualification game to see who will represent the Blues Region at the Top 4 New Zealand Championship.
MAGS began with intensity but lacked a bit of accuracy for the first few minutes as Whangarei defended reasonably well. From a set play just outside the MAGS 22m line the ball went to Damon Niko on the blindside and with some fantastic inter-passing between players Shaun Devine scored the first try that was converted by Matt McGahan. This showed the MAGS team that they were able to put the pedal down and in the next 6 minutes they scored another two tries to Matt McGahan and Albert Nikoro with each player converting their own try.
Whangarei Boy's then had their best period on attack and MAGS were caught offside at a ruck. The penalty attempt was successful for the score to be 21-3 in favour of MAGS.
Powerful running and crisp passing for the rest of the first half saw three further tries scored by Damon Niko, Sean Brookman, and Milford Keresoma, two converted by Matt McGahan and one by Albert Nikoro to make the half time score 42-3 in favour of MAGS.
Louis Devery scored the first try in the second half from some very good phase play. This try was converted by Matt McGahan. Then the threatening rain clouds let loose with a torrential down-pour that went for 10 minutes. During this period both teams tried to play as best they could in the conditions before the weather cleared to once again let flowing rugby continue.
MAGS scored further tries to Matt McGahan, Albert Nikoro, Sean Brookman and Tama Keresoma with Albert converting one and Jarrod McAlister-Poi converting two to make the final score 75-3 in favour of MAGS.
This was a comprehensive team performance which saw 11 tries scored, 10 of which were converted.
Whangarei Boys' did have some of the ball but were not used to the pace that the game was played at. Their captain, Jake Heenan, and Ben Berridge had good games for them.
Now the MAGS 1st XV are to play Westlake Boys' High School next Tuesday. If that game is won then they are off to the Top 4.
Players of the Day: Michael Faleafa & Matt McGahan
Match report written by Kerry Baker
Photos supplied by Kate Meads
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