Massey Cling On In Gripping North Harbour Struggle!

Massey Boys High School with a combination of stoic defense and individual brilliance has withstood a determined challenge from Westlake Boys High School to emerge winners, 20-18 in the Rugby Channel feature game today. Massey playing with a stiff wind in the first half failed to take a sizable advantage and were forced to defend for the vast majority of the game to earn their 9th win of the 1A season. Massey, a far bigger side, had 45 less ruck and mauls than Westlake and was beaten 42-9 in the pick and drives count but did enough to earn two victories in the same season against Westlake for the first time since 2003.

Ngapo Wehi's penalty won the game for Massey

3 minutes: Abraham Papali’i, Massey Number 8 bursts through the Westlake defense in a 15 meter charge. Massey with ball inside the 22 wins a penalty which is kicked by Ngapo Wehi, Massey 3-0.

12 minutes: Brodie Page scraps through a crowd of Massey defenders to start a long passage of attack for Westlake who goes from halfway to the 22 in 14 phases, a Westlake knock on ends the movement, Massey, 3-0.

Defense Played a big part in Massey's Win.

17 minutes: Massey right winger Pierre Pili scores a try. A change in angle results in the try. Massey headed right, inside the Westlake 22, preform a quick cutback to the left, which wrong foots the Westlake defense opening the hole. Pili has scored 6 tries  in 1A this year. Ngapo Wehi’s conversion makes it 10-0 to Massey.

22 minutes: Brady Page, Westlake halfback kicks a penalty, 10-3, Massey.

28 minutes: Massey hooker Viliamu Motusaga is sin binned for off side play. Westlake who has controlled possession nicely force Massey into ill discipline.

33 minutes: Great rugby from Westlake spreading the ball from side to side nearly sees the Massey defense breached. A spill leads to a Ngapo Wehi kick and chase. The ball lands out at the Massey 10 meters line after a 60 meter gain for the home team.

Halftime: Massey leads 10-3. Westlake has had 59% of the ball and won the ruck and maul count 51-27.

38 minutes: Westlake lock Tim Mills scores a contentious try. Repeat phase’s leads the lock crashing over but doubt exists as to whether he grounded the ball correctly. Bray Page missed the conversion, Massey, 10-8.

42 minutes: Brady Page puts Westlake 11-10 ahead with a penalty. A nice kick into the that curls  from left to right at the 22. It’s the first time Westlake has led

45 minutes: Tevita Lee, the 95kg 16 year old left winger receives the ball on the halfway line. He instantly hits top speed, swats aside three Westlake defenders with powerful right hand fends and scores a 50 meter runaway. Try converted by Wehi, Massey, 17-11. Lee has scored 14 tries in North Harbour 1A this season.



51 minutes: A small scuffle breaks out. The referee is in no mood  for such behavior and sends Westlake captain Sam Viskovich and Massey Number 8 Abraham Papali’i to the sinbin.

62 minutes: Junior To’o sin binned for Massey. It’s now 13 against 14 and Westkae take advantage and score from a lineout drive which travels 7 meters and collapses on the Massey goal line. Ryan Flexman emerges from the pile as the try scorer. Page converts and Westlake leads 18-17.

The Lineout was a good source of ball for Westlake.

65 minutes: Papali’i back on the ground makes a storming run to provide Massey momentum. They arrive inside the Westlake 22 win an penalty and Wehi goals from in front to put Massey ahead, 20-18

70 minutes: Fulltime, Massey 20, Westlake 18, an entertaining match with heaps of movement and great spirit from Westlake. Massey had little ball but managed to break 26 tackles and their size and some brilliant individual skills proved to be the difference.


Well done to Massey who win $500 from our sponsors Under Armour.

Acknowledgments: Thanks to Fran Bromhead and Denis Henderson for the photos.

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