11th day of the WHL 2017

The indoor season is coming soon to an end. After last weekend’s NZ Club Championships, tonight were the semi finals of the Wellington League.

The Vikings women faced off versus the Hutt Valley Hunters to battle out the second finalist for the Wellington League final.
The Vikings women started good into the game and build an early lead (3:1, 6:2, 9:4), though half way through the first half, the Hunters woke up and started fighting back (18:12).
The second half saw early on two equal teams battling for the spot in the final. The Vikings women left lots of scoring opportunities unused and though the Hunters fought back and the Vikings lead started melting slowly thinner (28:24, 30:27, 32:30), but then in the last ten minutes of the game our goalie Michaela saved ball after ball and secured the team’s win and spot in the final. Final score 36:31.
Vikings HC – Michaela; Bridget 11, Maddy 9, Hannah C 6, Laura 5, Lisa 5, Siri, Paris, Taye
Hutt Valley Hunters HC – Ailish 9, Marie 9, Georgia 6, Tamara 5,  La 1, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx 

The Vikings Danes team faced the Vic Uni Turtles in the semi final and it was a game that saw two completely different halves.
The first half was a bit of a shock to the Vikings. The Turtles came prepared and put the Danes under pressure, creating numerous scoring opportunities and exploiting holes in the Vikings defense. On the other side, the Vikings attack suffered from inaccuracy and too much individual play, instead of the team play the team is known for. At halftime the Turtles led surprisingly 17:18 and the Vikings needed a wake up call during the half time break.
The second half started then with a very concentrated Vikings defense and a clinical Vikings attack. The defense forced turnovers and the fast break led to easy goals on the other side (24:20, 29:22). At the end, the Vikings cruised home to a 37:28 win, securing a spot in the final.
Vikings HC Danes – Cassius; Alex 7, Todd 7, Paul 7, Luke 6, Harry 4, Jack 3, Riley 2, Angus 1
Vic Uni HC Turtles – Jerome; Luke 9, Aleksa 6, Adam 4, Oceon 4, Sean 1, Pat D 1, Ben P 1, Ben A 1, Locky 1, Pat T, Nicolas

Other results:
Women – Spartanz HC vs Vic Uni HC Ravens 18:29
Men – Spartanz HC vs Northern Aguilas HC 13:33
Men – Vic Uni HC Wolves vs Vic Uni HC Royals (tbc)
(note: Vikings HC Norse– men – had a bye)

10th week of the WHL 2017

Now the Wellington League goes into the final weeks and today’s results have set the (semi) final tables.

In the last pool rounds today, the results of the Vikings teams didn’t matter that much as last weeks games had solidified those table positions already and so the games were played in very good spirit with each team trying to work on team play and gaining some confidence.

The Vikings women faced the Vic Uni Ravens, who are also the current team to beat in Wellington.
The game started not very well for the Vikings girls, with rushed and bad shots on attack, and sub-par defense we quickly saw us behind (1:5, 2:8, 4:12). Mid-way through the first half we finally found some rhythm and forced some turnovers that led to easy fasbreaks (8:13, 10:13). Though in the last two minutes of the first half we struggled again and the Ravens went with a 10:16 lead into half time.
The second half started like the first started and the Ravens were able to build their lead further (10:18, 11:22). This pretty much sealed the game and the last 15 minutes were all about getting back to playing good team handball. The end result was 20:32.
Congrats to the Vic Uni Ravens, leading the table now at the end of the Pool rounds and going into the Final rounds as main favourite.
Vikings HC – Michaela; Laura 6, Nina 5, Lisa 4, Maddy 3, Bridget 1, Paris 1, Siri, Taye, Malin
Vic Uni HC Ravens – Chrissy; Maddie 10, Ida 7, Sam 5, Maja 4, Hanne 3, Meli 2, Mon 1, Kathleen

The Vikings Danes were scheduled to play the Northern Aguilas, the currently unbeaten leader at the table and it was a good very good game.
The Vikings decided to move up some players of the Norse team and were able to show real strength by playing some very team Handball in the majority of the game.
The team started well of and though the game went head to head, score by score (4:4, 7:7, 9:9), the sense was the Vikings had a bit more depth then the Aguilas. Short before half time the Vikings were going up by two (12:10) and seemed to get now the upper-hand but the Aguilas finished the half strong and the final half time result was 13:12.
In the second half the game was pretty much the same, with both teams going neck to neck (16:16, 19:19). But then the Danes had a bit of a tumble with just 10 minutes to go, some sloppy defense and some rushed shots allowed the Aguilas to build a small lead (20:22, 21:24) from which the Danes didn’t recover in time. The final result was 24:28.
Well done to both teams showing a great game of Handball in very fair spirits and also thanks to the refereeing which was probably one of the better referee performances this year.
As this game’s result had literally no impact on the table and so no impact on the potential semi-final setting, both teams can agree that it was a good opportunity to prepare for the NZHF Club Champs (next weekend, 15-17 September) against high quality opposition.
Vikings HC Danes – Cass; Daniel 6, Alex 5, Nico 3, Luke 3, Todd 3, Miguel 2, Jack 1, Paul 1, Riley, Michael
Northern Aguilas HC – Yoshi; Tim 10, James P 7, Nick 4, Oscar 2, Matt 2, Jono 1, Max 1, Aaron 1, Tyler, Cam

The last game of the day was played between the Vikings Norse and the Vic Uni Wolves.
In short, the Norse showed off some good team handball and the Wolves showed their consistent improvement but the experience of the Norse team pulled through – 44:26 (20:15).
Vikings HC Norse – Cass; Jack 10, Paul 10, Miguel 9, Rakesh 6, Daniel 4, Alex 3, Michael 2, Angus S
Vic Uni HC Wolves – HeHan; Daniel M 8, Pat 6, Tile 6, Thomas 4, Alex 1, Patrick 1

Other results:
Women – Spartanz HC vs Hutt Valley Hunters HC 19:25
Men – Spartanz HC vs Vic Uni HC Turtles 24:34
(note: Vic Uni Royals– men – had a bye)

9th week of WHL 2017

What a Sunday it was!

First up the Vikings women team.
The team was almost attending with the complete squad and hyped, only Paris was absent for the game.
The game started with both teams blazing and going neck on neck (2:2, 4:4), until the Spartanz got the upper hand and build a little lead (4:7, 6:9). Later in the first half, the Viking girls were shocked by a serious knee injury of Amelie – we all hope she will be already soon and recover quickly. After that shock, the team started to refocus and to close down the deficit, goal by goal (8:10, 11:12, 12:12) and even took the lead just before the half time buzzer (13:12).
In the second half the team stayed focused and extended the lead (16:14, 20:15) and never looked back. The final score was 28:24.
All in all, the team showed especially in attack beautiful sequences with the ball flowing fats and finding the right player at the right time.
Thanks to Alex, who was helping again out and is already on her way back to Dunedin for her studies. And also thanks to our #1 fan Ellie.
Vikings HC – Michaela; Maddy 8, Nina 5, Laura 5, Bridget 4, Siri 2, Taye 2, Hannah C 1, Alex 1, Amelie, Malin 
Spartanz HC – Megan, Lottie; Paola 8, Jaclyn 6, Erin 4, Emily 2, Sharnay 2, Amelia 1, Francie 1, Ruby

Next game, the Norse were back on schedule playing the Vic Uni Royals.
Unfortunately some players were missing but we also welcomed back Eman, who was absent due to injury since May and he gave his season debut in the Wellington League.
The game started very slow and the Norse made way too many early mistakes and allowed the young Royals team to capitalise on it (4:7). Half way through the first half, the Norse started focusing a bit better and took control of the game (7:8, 12:10). The half time lead (14:11) was looking way better than the start of the game would have suggested.
The second half started like the first half finished and the Norse team played focused and lethal building further on their lead (16:11, 20:13). After building now this comfortable lead the team lost the focus again and the last 12 minutes of the game were just cruising for both teams (24:17, 28:20) and the game finished with a final score of 32:25.
Overall it was a bit disappointing for the Norse that they couldn’t focus for the full game. Though it was good to have Eman back and also Miguel showed great improvements.
Vikings HC Norse – James; Nico 10, Daniel 9, Eman 4, Rakesh 4, Miguel 3, Sam 2
Vic Uni HC Royals – Aleksa; #51 9, #99 4, Sam G 4, Sean F 3, Sahir 2, #38 1, #6 1, Jaxson 1

The last game of the day was between the Vikings Danes team and the Vic Uni Turtles.
The Danes started full steam ahead (3:1, 6:2, 10:4) but then lost a bit the momentum at the later part of the first half. At half time the team was up 15:10 and in the team huddle the coach urged to the team to show more focus and to cut out silly mistakes.
In the second half, the Danes build on the further lead and showed some great fast breaks. Especially Cassius showed great saves in the second half and showed while he was the current Under 21 National team goalkeeper.
At the end, the team won with 34:19. There were some minor things the team could have done better, but all in all we are heading into the hot phase of the season and the team seems prepared and ready for the upcoming tasks.
Vikings HC Danes – Cassius; Luke 8, Alex 6, Harry 5, Jack 4, Todd 4, Riley 4, Paul 2, Angus H 1
Vic Uni HC Turtles – Jerome; Sean F 6, #69 4, Ben 2, Patrick 2, Aleksa 1, Pat 1, Tille 1 

Other results:
Women – Victoria University HC vs Hutt Valley Hunters HC 25:20
Men – Spartanz HCvs Northern Aguilas HC 16:34
(note: Vic Uni Wolves– men – had a bye)

8th week of WHL 2017

In the 8th week of the Wellington Handball League, the men competition entered round 2. Round 2 split the 7 teams into a Cup competition (Top 4) and a Shield competition (Bottom 3).
For the Vikings men teams this translates, that the Danes will play the Cup competition as they placed 2nd in the Round 1 and the Norse will play the Shield competition as they placed 5th and narrowly missed the qualification for the Cup competition.

While the Vikings Norse had a bye on game day 8, the Danes were facing the Spartanz, who placed 3rd in Round 1.
The Danes started off with our Pivot Jacko in goal as for different reasons non of our goalkeepers could make it today. The team started the game very well off and build a quick 12:4 lead. Jacko in goal surprised the Spartanz multiple times with stunning saves and that gave the team even more confidence. Though the Spartanz didn’t want to gave this game up at all and ought back. While Danes went into half time with a 15:10 lead, the coach made clear that this game isn’t won yet and requested the team to keep going and not letting it slip.
The second half started as the first one ended, the Spartanz fought goal by goal their way back into the game (21:18). Half way through the second half, the Danes, stepped up their defense efforts and forced the opposition into turnovers and finally broke up the score with a range of fast breaks back to a more comfortable lead (28:21, 32:22).
At the end the Danes managed to come out as winner (37:27) with a well played game and lots of positives to take from. It seemed some of our less experienced players got the ‘real’ hang of it now and developed a nice feel for the game. Certainly something overall will led to more depth within the team (Norse and Danes together), especially for future competitions.
Also a great shout-out to Jacko, who had an absolute stunner game as goalkeeper.
Vikings HC Danes – Jack; Harry 10, Luke 8, Angus H 6, Todd 4, Riley 3, Paul 3, Alex 3
Spartanz HC – Rhys, Thomas R; Nick P 8, Max 6, Scott 4, Willy 3, Tom T 2, Sam 2, Fred 2, Shyam

The Vikings women team faced today the Hutt Valley Hunters. While the team had today very good player numbers, the team also had to deal with the fact that the majority of the team was participating all week on the Women National team training camp, so tiredness was part of the deal. If that wasn’t enough Michaela, our goalkeeper, couldn’t come either and therefore lots of improvising was required.
The team started great and the score was closed all of the first half, with the Hunters taking a 13:14 lead into half time. The second half didn’t go that well for the Vikings girls who wasn’t able to score much in the second half, while allowing to many own turnovers which resulted in easy fast break opportunities for the Hunters. The game ended in a 22:32 loss, but the score was misleading the fact how well the Vikings women played most of the game. Congratulations to the Hunters who played a solid game for 60 minutes.
Thanks to Catherine and Alex, our two Otago loans who were in town and helped out. Also thanks to Maddy, who was actually out of order due to sickness but she volunteered and came through as goalie replacement and showed off some good saves.
Vikings HC – Maddy; Laura 7, Catherine 4, Nina 4, Amelie 3, Alex 2, Bridget 2, Hannah C, Siri, Taye, Malin
Hutt Valley Hunters HC – Tahndae; La 9, Georgia 8, Shrena 7, Marie 3, Te Hau 3, Tamara 2, xxx 

Other results:
Women – Victoria University HC vs Spartanz HC 21:11
Men – Vic Uni HC Royals vs Vic Uni HC Wolves 20:22
Men – Vic Uni HC Turtles vs Northern Aguilas HC 20:36
(note: Vikings HC Norse– men – had a bye)

7th Week of WHL 2017

Another eventful Sunday of the Wellington Handball League.

The Vikings women team were facing off with the Vic Uni Ravens and the game was close, competitive and surely good to watch. Both teams added recently some new players, mainly foreign players, so there was a certain expectation of both teams raising their level of play.
Vic Uni started from the get go and build a slight 2 goal lead that they defended most of the game. While the Vikings played reasonable well in attack their defence still offered the Ravens way too many easy scoring opportunities and so they never really managed to equalise or even get in the lead. In the last 10-12 minutes, the Ravens, were able to add a couple of goals to the lead. The Vikings fought hard, came back to a 2 goal deficit (20:22) but the Ravens hold on to the lead and and finished with a 21:26 win.
Vikings HC – Michaela; Maddy 7, Amelie 5, Bridget 3, Hannah C 2, Paris 1, Nina 1, Laura 1, Taye 1, Siri, Malin
Vic Uni HC – Abbey; Ida 12, Maddie 8, Maja 3, Monique 1, Kelsey 1, Meli 1, Hanne, Antonia, Chrissy, Isaure

The Vikings Norse team was facing the Vic Uni Turtles fighting for a place in the Top 4. As this was the last round of the Pool – Round Robin, the winner of this game pretty much qualified for the Top 4 round. Both teams were obviously very focused and aiming to win.
The Turtles came out blazing and build a quick lead (0:3, 1:6, 3:10) that caught the Vikings team quite a bit from the side. For some reason the Norse really struggled and the Turtles knew how to capitalise on those struggles, while going with a 10:20 into halftime.
In the second half the Norse wanted to ensure the desaster happened in the first half won’t be repeated and they played with a bit more structured. Still unnecessary turnovers invited the Turtles to easy fast break goals that pretty much broke the Norse spirit towards the end of the game. The closes the Norse came was within 6 goals, but that wasn’t enough to shake the Turtles. Congratulations to the Turtles for a well deserved win (23:35) and the qualification for the Top 4.
Vikings HC Norse – Cassius, James; Daniel 13, Sam 3, Wagner 3, Nico 2, Miguel 2, PJ, Michael, Pierre, Rakesh
Vic Uni HC Turtles – Andrija, Jerome; Ben P 8, Aleksa 5, Luke 5, Ocean 5, Patrick D 4, Thomas 3, Ben A 3, Michael 1, Tile 1, Will, Sean, Pat

The Vikings Danes faced today the Northern Aguilas, a top of the table clash, first versus second. Even that both teams were already qualified for the Top4, there was a lot of pride to gain in this game. As expected the game was close most of the time, mainly with the Northern Aguilas leading by 1 or 2, but the Danes fought hard to stay close. Unfortunately too many unforced turnovers in attack invited the Aguilas to easy goals and that should proof to be the difference on this day. Both teams had really good goalkeeper today that kept the game very exciting for the audience. After a 11:13 half time lead, the Aguilas pulled away over the last 6-8 minutes of the game to secure a 20:28 win and finishing the Pool round on top of the table. Congratulations Aguilas, well done!
Vikings HC Danes – Loann; Paul 6, Luke 5, Alex 5, Todd 2, Jack 1, Harry 1, Angus 
Northern Aguilas HC – Yoshi; Nick 8, Tim 8, James C 4, James P 3, Jono 2, Cam 1, Aaron 1, Oscar 1, Max, Tyler, Matt


For the men competition that was the last day of the Pool Round and now we will have another set of Pool Rounds – a Top4 and a Bottom3 competiton based on a Round Robin.