Bye for now …

I hope the blog has helped keep some of you updated with the tour.

Can I take this opportunity to thank all of the players for their effort and commitment to the cause.  Also to the coaching and management team for preparing the boys in such a professional and thorough manner.  Thanks to the parents for being so supportive of the squad and the coaches.  A huge thank you to our sponsors for making the trip possible.

The very best of luck to all of our players for their respective seasons.  Hope to see some of you in Taupo for Nationals later on in the year.

Well done one and all for making the 2013 tour such a memorable one.

 

 

Advertisements

England Schoolboys 1 – New Zealand Schoolboys 1

After an even first half,  this final game of the tour saw the New Zealand boys take the lead in the second half through striker Judd Baker,  unfortunately they couldn’t hold on to their advantage,  with the hosts equalising late in the game.

Player’s Match Report vs Wales – Sam Brotherton

It was a pleasant sunny afternoon arriving in Port Talbot, Wales after our long drive from our base in Birmingham. After a thorough examination of the pitch we found it to be very dry, hard and bumpy. It looked as if both teams would struggle to play pretty football foreshadowing a tough, physical affair.

The game started frantically with both teams playing long ball, clearing their lines and fighting for scraps in the final third. New Zealand started brightly with Judd Baker and Ben Thomas winning possession up front and creating a few half-chances for themselves and teammates. However, Wales also had positive movements going forwards but struggled to find the final ball to unlock the solid New Zealand defence, who kept an excellent defensive line in the early stages catching the Welsh forwards offside several times.

The game begun to settle down after the frantic start and both sides beginning to play more passes to feet with Daniel Bowkett starting to get on the ball and directing play for New Zealand. After beating two players and winding to the bye line Ben Thomas played a great cut-back ball to the penalty spot for Sam Brotherton to finish and put New Zealand 1-0 up. The New Zealand side were working incredible hard and dominating the second phase ball with tough tackling centre backs Stewart Mackay and Shuiab Khan preventing the Welsh from seriously testing goalkeeper Cameron Hogg. New Zealand’s pressure eventually paid off again forcing set-pieces and corners in the final third. From a Sam Brotherton corner the ball found Ben Thomas charging in at the back post to bundle the ball over the line. 2-0. New Zealand went into the changing room at half time in good spirits with the advantage and determined to finish the job at hand.

The second half saw Wales make several substitutions and come out with more attacking flair, they had more attacking purpose and the New Zealand midfield and defence had to work very hard to maintain their lead. The New Zealand players begun to tire and the forwards were struggling to hold the ball up, leaving the defence under high pressure. Thankfully, the New Zealand back four were up to the challenge, restricting Wales to only half chances. From a resulting Welsh fee-kick, the ball was played into the box with the Welsh player losing his man and firing a good header past Cameron Hogg.

The 2-1 score line set up a fiery, feisty end to the match. The New Zealand team was desperate to hold out for the win however Wales pushed numbers forwards looking for an equaliser. The Kiwis battled breaking down Welsh attacks and trying to keep the ball high in the final third with Daniel Ridgley winning several free-kicks to release the pressure on the New Zealand defence.  After a long second half, with many minutes of injury time due to the foul riddled last fifteen minutes, the final whistle blew and the Kiwis discipline, hard work and determination won them the game. This win and the previous win against Northern Ireland meaning they were the first New Zealand Schoolboys team to beat two of the “home nations,” on a tour, a great achievement.

The team now looks forward to Monday when they take on England and look to finish their tour on a successful note.

Starting Line-up vs Wales

  • GK Cameron HOGG
  • 2 Jared GIBBS
  • 3 Hamish CADIGAN
  • 5 Stewart MACKAY
  • 6 Daniel RIDGLEY
  • 7 Daniel BOWKETT
  • 8 Sam BROTHERTON
  • 9 Judd BAKER
  • 10 Ben THOMAS
  • 14 Shuiab KHAN
  • 15 Luke BULAY (sub. Sinclair)

Subs

  • 4 Cameron SINCLAIR
  • 11 Xavier PRATT
  • 12 Jevon WILLIAMS
  • 13 Henry CRAYTON
  • 16 Reid DRAKE
  • 17 Jacob Harris
  • GK Damien HIRST

Day trip to London

What a day the boys have just returned from.

They have seen many of the sites of London ; Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Number 10 Downing Street,  Horse Guards parade,  Picadilly Circus.

Although I am sure the highlight for many of them was meeting the current All Whites Captain,  and West Ham United player Winston Reid at Upton Park.  Special memories …

See more photos of our day on the page named “Day Trip to London”.

Image

Cuesports Foundation Player’s Match Report v Ireland – Cameron Hogg

“The luck of the Irish” in a 2-1 loss

The ground for this game posed a similar challenge to the Scotland one in relation to the size of the pitch; we had a lot of ground to cover. The open surroundings of the field also gave a distinct wind advantage for one half.

The match started with a New Zealand side riddled with national debutantes,  all looking to secure a place in future starting sides. As the match began the inexperience and possible nerves of the side became apparent, poor decisions and lack of physicality saw our boys regularly under pressure in our own defensive third. The Irish seemed to physically dominate the midfield and successfully convert that dominance into attacking moves, something our boys could only achieve on a few occasions in the first half, and when we did, a number of questionable refereeing decisions prevented us from capitalising on our attacking moves. Late in the first half an Irish free kick was cleared  to what seemed a safe area, however the resulting delivery into the box caught the strong wind and floated in over the goalkeeper Damian Hirst, the ball lost in the sun in the process. Only two minutes later our left back, Hamish Cadigain, was penalised in the box resulting in an Irish penalty. The responsibility fell to the goalkeeper Damian Hirst. The spot kick was struck low to the left, however the keeper became the hero, saving the penalty and regaining the loose ball. The boys were able to hold on and go into the changing rooms at half time only 1-0 down.

The second half saw a new side with six substitutions being made, Danny Hay bringing on his more experienced players in an effort to regain this game after a questionable performance in the first half from the New Zealand side. An encouraging start to the half resulted in an early equaliser by striker Judd Baker :  a result of a scramble in the box of the Irish, 1-1. The substitutions brought a new found physicality to the kiwi side which greatly improved the standard of the match. Disappointingly the officials prevented the New Zealand side from benefiting on their new found physical dominance,  turning down a dead-set penalty when one of their defenders fell on the ball in their area and clearly handled.

As the game progressed both sides seemed to cancel out each other’s efforts, resulting in both sides becoming frustrated and resorting to the long ball. As the game carried on it seemed more and more likely to end in a draw, but late in the game Cameron Sinclair brought down the Irish striker in the box resulting in a penalty kick being awarded. The kick was struck hard, low and left. The keeper Cameron Hogg picked the right way but the pace of the ball resulted in a goal, 2-1. Following the goal the NZ side seemed more desperate and yet again resorted to the long ball,  forcing the two centre forwards Judd Baker and Ben Thomas to work extremely hard. Thankfully the NZ side came to their senses and began to get the ball down and try to play structured soccer, unfortunately it was too late and the damage had been done, the game was lost.

However the resilience of the boys will become apparent in their second half performance,  and will serve them well in the upcoming matches against England and Wales. Hopefully the boys can use this loss to fuel their efforts when squaring off against the English and the Welsh.

Cuesport blue logo new Jan 07 (1)