NZ Regional Championships 2019

This last weekend, the Wellington League was on break while the NZHF has invited all regions to compete at the New Zealand Regional Championships in Christchurch.

First of all, huge thank you to Canterbury Handball for organising and running the event. Without those volunteers working relentlessly to create an awesome tournament.

NZ Handball community at NZ Regional Champs 2019
NZ Handball community at NZ Regional Champs 2019

You will probably ask now”how did it go?” and from a Wellington perspective, it went great. Both Wellington teams won all their games and therefore are the big winners of the tournament.
While the men team dominated each competition, the women games were a bit closer but still the Wellington girls came out on top.
The Wellington region is blessed with such an amount of talent and work done by volunteers to keep growing, and at this tournament, you could see that all the hard work led to success.
But all other participating regions – Auckland, Canterburry and Otago – showed also that Handball is growing in their regions and that they were there to compete.

Results – Men
Canterbury B vs Otago 44:25
Auckland vs Canterbury A 34:25
Wellington vs Canterbury B 47:19
Auckland vs Otago 53:25
Wellington vs Canterbury A 44:27
Auckland vs Canterbury B 38:29
Wellington vs Otago 52:27
Canterbury A vs Canterbury B 36:25
Wellington vs Auckland 38:21
Canterbury B vs Otago 42:20

  1. Wellington – 8 points, +87
  2. Auckland – 6 points, +29
  3. Canterbury A – 4 points, +7
  4. Canterbury B – 2 points, -29
  5. Otago – 0 points, -94

Results – women
Canterbury vs Auckland/Otago 28:22
Wellington vs Auckland/Otago 24:14
Wellington vs Canterbury 28:26
Canterbury vs Auckland/Otago 30:18
Wellington vs Auckland/Otago 24:18
Wellington vs Canterbury 26:18

  1. Wellington – 8 points, +26
  2. Canterbury – 4 points, +8
  3. Auckland/Otago – 0 points, -34

Congratulations to all Vikings players who represented Wellington!
Paul Ireland, Harry Ireland, Miguel Aizpuru, Alexander Bickers, Madeleine Hazelton, Michaela Jensen, Inga Zuzevičiūtė

Team Wellington 2019 - women
Team Wellington 2019 at the NZ Regional Championships (women)
Back row (left to right): Coach Fred Han, Laura Macready, Taylor Noble , Maddy Hazelton, Bella Anastasiou, Michaela Jensen, Valerie Chan, Erin Roxburgh, Maddie Stephen
Front row (left to right): La Winitana, Meli Plit, Inga Zuzevičiūtė, Abbey LÉstrange, Rowan Moloughney, Kathleen Griffin
Team Wellington 2019 - men
Team Wellington 2019 at the NZ Regional Championships (men)
Back row (left to right): Coach Daniel Triebsch, Harry Ireland, Tim Rayner, Paul Ireland, Scott Balmforth, Nicholas Potter, Antoine Desnos, Jack Gallagher
Front row (left to right): Tim Banks, Alexander Bickers, Thomas Roxburgh, Yoshi Watanabe, Miguel Aizpuru, James Cochrane
Missing: Luke Naylor

League Day 9

Another Sunday, another day of Handball.

Both Vikings teams – women and men – faced today teams from Victoria University.

The women started off the day and we finally had almost everyone available to play, only our injured players weren’t playing.
The game started off pretty well for us and we were playing good Handball in the attack. In that phase, our defence was a bit passive and allowed too many easy scoring opportunities for the opposition and therefore we were unable to build a lead. Instead, the women from Vic Uni were building a small lead until halftime.
The trend of an improved defence from the end of the first half followed through to the second half and we forced multiple turnovers. Unfortunately, our offence lost the success from the first half and instead of team handball we often ended up in too much individual play which made it easier for the opposition to stop us.
After the final whistle, the scoreboard showed a 23:28 against us and the feeling was there that we could have won that game. Though we haven’t, many players seem to gain more confidence by each game and we are definitely moving in the right direction as a team and as well the players themselves.

The men game followed later and it’s a pain to say, it followed the usual Vikings behaviour. We started not well into the game and Vic Uni was building a lead quickly (1:3, 2:6, 3:8). Mainly because we decided to shoot straight at the goalkeeper or at the post and in defence we were pushing them as designed to wing shots but still gave them to much room.
Mid first half we started catching up and our defence stabilised a little bit (6:10, 9:11, 12:12), we even took the lead just before halftime but with a lucky last-second shot Vic Uni equalised with the halftime whistle (15:15).
In the second half we kept going strong and finally were able to put some distance between us and them (20:17, 23:18, 28:20). Halfway through the half, an unfortunate defence situation led to an injury that required stitches to one of the Vikings players.
At the end, the scoreboard showed a 36:28 win for the Vikings men, which felt like a win that required some heavy lifting.
As a team, we need to find ways how we start more focused and not having to play catch up in every game as we make it hard for ourselves if we keep doing it – still lots of work ahead of us.

Men – stats
Northern Aguilas HC vs Spartanz HC 42:19 (?:?)
Yoshi W; Jono R (8), Tim B (6), James C (6), Max B (4), Tim R (4), Pavlo P (3), Tyler W (3), Oscar B-I (3), Cameron R (3), Zac J (2), Will S
SPA: Thomas R, Rhys M; Nick P (5), Scott B (4), Aidan (3), Antoine D (2), Jonan (2), Te Hoera S (2), Willy M (1), Tom R, Frank G, Hayden O, Esrah

Vikings HC vs Victoria University HC A 36:28 (15:15)
Vikings:Petr H, James W; Daniel T (8), Miguel A (7), Liam M (6), Harry I (4), Alex B (4), Nico P (3), Paul I (3), Malte H (1), Sam C, Jay M
VUW:George G, Alban N (6), Luke N (5), Matt S (4), Felipe R (4), Sean F (3), Freddy G (3), Fabio S (3), Syloun P (1)

Fruit Flies HC vs Victoria University HC B 36:26 (17:10)
???; Luke I (8), Edmund C (7), Patrick L (6), Jack G (5), Jared P (4), Brendan C (2), Ben C (2), Josh B (1), Raphael C (1)
VUW B: William R; Freddy G (9), Felipe R (8), Patrick W (3), Matt S (2), James M (2), Tom C (1), Liam A (1), Santiago L, Jaxson C

Women – stats
Spartanz HC – BYE

Vikings HC vs Victoria University HC 23:28 (?:?)
Vikings:Kristina H, Lizzie S; Maddy H (13), Inga (6), Ella A (1), Rosa C (1), Michaela J (1), Ruby O (1), Maya M, Petula M, Georgia M, Izzah S, Elizabeth T
VUW:Chrissy M; Sam G (15), Meli P (4), Frances B (4), Antonella C (2), Valerie C (2), Nina (1), Vanessa

NZ U17 vs Hutt Valley Hunters HC 27:18 (14:9)
Faith H, Valini V; Eleminioti P (10), Breanna A (5), Mercy-Lee T-L (4), Waimarie W (2), Tawhirikura D (2), Anneka W (2), Kiera-Leigh D-K (1), Paris T-F (1), Clare T, Metiria D
HVH: Tahndae W; La W (9), Ailish A (4), Acacia S (2), Leonie (2), Bridget K (1), Taylor G, Emily M

League Day 8

We have passed halfway through the season now.
Yesterday, on day 8 of the Wellington League, both Vikings teams were scheduled to play, the men team versus the Fruit Flies HC and the women team versus the NZ U17 team.

The women started off the game day at 2:15pm and we finally had some numbers, including four new players who were recruited by Michaela!!!
Welcome to the team – Petula, Sophie, Lauren and Gabe.
The team started off well and was only held off by the bloody post. Still, our agile attack generated scoring opportunities and we were able to build a lead (4:3, 7:5) which grew to a 9:6 halftime lead.
At this stage, we already ‘mourned’ the loss of our pivot LIzzie who unluckily got injured on her knee while being fouled. (Hopefully it’s nothing too serious and her recovery will go quickly!)
In the second half, the U17 team played a very offensive defence and generated a few turnovers, that quickly turned around the game (9:10, 10:14). While the Vikings women kept fighting our attack couldn’t reproduce what they did earlier in the game and at the end, the NZ U17s won 12:20.
Great progress from some of our younger players – we are getting visibly better but it doesn’t show in the results – yet.

The Vikings men team faced on Sunday evening the Fruit Flies, not just playing a league round game but also playing for the “Horn of Triebsch”.
Both teams started the game highly motivated and energetic. The Vikings men were visibly on a mission – and only the posts and/or the Fruit Flies goalie (Stefanos) were the reason the Vikings didn’t rush out to a larger lead in the first half (4:4, 7:6, 10:8). After 15 minutes the Fruitflies were able to find their own flow and scored some nice goals so that the 18:17 half time lead for the Vikings actually reflected the performance of both teams.
In the second half the Vikings men started with a bang and played very focused in both defence and attack, extending the league more and more (20:17, 24:19, 28:20, 31:21). But then with 12 minutes to go a few slobby fastbreaks, some unnecessary turnovers and the lead started shrinking (31:24, 33:28, 34:31). The Fruit Flies were suddenly on the roll and the Vikings men were visibly struggling to play with the same focus they started the second half with.
After all, we secured a 36:34 win, but the last 12 minutes of the second half is something that needs to be addressed and worked on.

Besides the win, the Vikings team is keeping the Horn of Triebsch” in their possession until the next time those two teams will face each other.
As part of the tradition, the losing team has selected the MVP of the game – and the MVP is …………. Miguel A

Congratulations Miguel, well deserved and hard work pays off.

MVP - "Horn of Triebsch" - Game 2

Men – stats
Spartanz HC vs Victoria University HC B 24:18 (16:10)
Thomas R, Rhys M; Scott B (6), Te Hoera S (6), Tom T (4), Nick P (2), Tom R (1), Hayden O (1), Willy M (1), Esrah (1), Aidan, Jonah
VUW B: George G; Felipe R (5), Milan (4), Syloun P (2), Freddy G (2), Matt S (2), Tom C (2). Liam A (1), Santiago L, Maric F, Jaxson C

Vikings HC vs Fruit Flies HC 36:34 (18:17)
Petr H, James W; Miguel A (8), Nico P (6), Paul I (5), Daniel T (5), Liam M (4), Harry I (3), Alex B (3), Riley G (2), Jay M, Angus H
FF: Stefanos; Luke I (11), Tim R (6), James B (5), Jack G (3), Raphael C (2), Brendan C (2), Ben C (2), Patrick L (2), Josh B

Northern Aguilas HC vs Victoria University HC A 33:26 (18:12)
Yoshi W; Jono R (6), Tim R (5), Cameron R (5), James C (5), Tim B (5), Max B (2), Pavlo P (2), Oscar B-I (1), Zac J (1), Lucas O-G (1), Tyler W, William S. Alex J
VUW A: George G; Luke N (8), Sean F (7), Alban N (4), Lars H (3), Felipe R (2), Sylouen P (1), Fabio S (1)

Women Stats
Hutt Valley Hunters – BYE

Vikings HC vs NZ U17 12:20 (9:6)
 Lizzie S; Maddy H (7), Inga Z (3), Georgia M (1), Petula M (1), Lizzie B; Maya M, Ruby O, Izzah S, Michaela J, Sophie H, Lauren H, Gabe A-S
NZ U17: Faith H; Paris T-F (4), Anneka W-L (3), Kiera-Leigh D-K (3), Tawhirikura D (3) Breanna A (3), Clare T (2), Waimarie W (1)

Victoria University HC vs Spartanz HC 13:9 (6:3)
Abbey L; Sophie T (4), Antonella (3), Meli P (3), Nina 2, Frances B (1), Valerie C, Chrissy M, Vanessa
SPA: Meghan W; Rowan M (5), Jordan T (2), Erin R-M (1), Taylor N (1), Elise G, Laura M, Geena P-V, Claudia

Game Day 7

Sunday evening, the night of the Cricket World Cup Final (New Zealand BlackCaps vs England), all players really just wanted to get out of the gym and watch the Cricket game.
Long story short, the Vikings men faced the Spartanz team. On paper it was clear that the Vikings should win, but as usual we managed to play the opposition’s game with low intensity and low pressure, as a result, while we were leading from start to finish, we weren’t building a comfortable lead until late in the first half (3:2, 8:6, 13:10), with a half time score of 21:14.
The second half went way more the way this game was envisioned (32:20, 38:23) and only in the last five minutes, we dropped the ball a bit and allowed some easy Spartanz goals.
The final score was 43:28. A win we needed and over the next two weeks we will face the Fruit Flies and the Vic Uni A team, which are decisive games for all teams involved. With two wins we would solidify our spot in the League Final 2019.

The Vikings women had to cancel their game due to most of the players being away/unavailable (school holidays and personal reasons).

Men – Stats:
Fruit Flies HC vs Victoria University HC A 32:29 (18:14)
FF: Stefanos H, Cassius P; Luke I (12, Jack G (5), Brendan C (4), Tim R (2), James B (2), Josh B (2), Adam B (2), Ben C (1), Patrick L (1), Raphael C (1), Jared P, Michael F
VUW A: George G; Luke N (7), Lars H (6), Alban N (5), Sean F (5), Jason R (2), Felipe R (2), Fabio S (2), Freddy G, Milan C

Northern Aguilas HC vs Victoria University HC B 61:14 (28:7)
Yoshi W; James C (11), Cameron R (10), Tim B (9). Oscar B-I (7), Jono R (7), Tim R (5), Pavlo P (3), Max B (3), Zac J (3), Tyler W (2), Luca G-O (1)
VUW B: George G; Santiago L (4), Freddy G (2), Milan C (2), Patrick W (2), James M (2), Felipe R (1), Jackson (1), Liam A, Matt S, Tom C

Vikings HC vs Spartanz HC 43:28 (21:14)
Vikings: James W; Paul I (11), Miguel A (5), Liam M (5), Daniel T (4), Harry I (4), Riley G (4), Jay M (4), Nico P (3), Samuel C (3)
Spartanz: Thomas R (1), Rhys M; Nick P (13), Scott B (6), Willy M (3), Frank G (3), Te Hoera S (2), Hayden O

Women – Stats:
Victoria University HC – BYE

Spartanz HC vs NZ U17 17:14 (8:8)
Jordan T; Rowan M (11), Paola N (3), Taylor N (3), Laure M, Alex, Claudia, Giney
NZ U17: Faith H; Anneka W (3), Mercy-Lee T-L (2), Paris T-F (2), Metiria D (2), Breanna A (2), Eleminioti P (2), Tawhirikura D (1), Valini V

Vikings HC vs Hutt Valey Hunters HC 0:10 (Vikings defaulted)

Game Day 6

While the Vikings women team had a bye week, the Vikings men were facing their arch rival, the Northern Aguilas.

Before the game started, we already got a few players who reported they couldn’t play due to sickness/injury and that meant we had to play again with a thin bench.
The game started, as usual, with the Vikings not quite ready to compete and the Aguilas took advantage of that and was building a quick lead (4:6, 7:11). While the team started playing much better in the second part of the first half, the Aguilas goalkeeper (Yoshi) had one of his many golden-days showcasing goalkeeper from another star. The Vikings created great goalscoring opportunities but either Yoshi or the goal post was in the way.
At half time the team found itself with a 6 goal deficit – 10:16.
In the halftime break, we discussed our strategies for the second half and the emphasis was clearly on starting to scoring successfully on our many goalscoring opportunities and also to play more aggressive defence to force more turnovers.
And we came out blazing and were able to reduce the Aguilas lead goal by goal until we were only two goals behind (18:20). In that phase, it felt the momentum of the game could push the Vikings on top, but a turnover and a 2-minutes suspension stopped our run and allowed the Aguilas a moment to catch their breath and refocus to stop the Vikings momentum. In the last 10 minutes, the Aguilas defended their lead (20:24, 22:26), and were able to secure the win.
Congrats their win, and hopefully the unfortunate injury to one of their players will not be as bad as it looked at that time.

For the Vikings men, the leanings of this match are very simple – (a) wake up earlier so you don’t have play catch up all the time. and (b) a successful play is only successful when you score at the end, so focus on the shot as well. Besides that, the team fought great by showcasing an agile defence and finding consistently team play solutions in the attack.

Stats – men
Vikings HC vs Northern Aguilas 23:29 (10:16)
VIK: Petr H, James W; Liam M (6), Paul I (4), Daniel T (3), Miguel A (3), Alex B (3), Will O (3), Nico P (1), Jay M
AGU: Yoshi W; Tim B (7), Zac J (6), James C (5), James P (4), Tim R (3), Max B (3), Jono R (1), Pavlo P, Oscar B-I, Tyler W, Alex J

Fruit Flies HC vs Spartanz HC 40:25 (18:13)
Stefanos H, Cassuis P; Tim R (8), Luke I (7), Raphael C (7), Jack G (5), Edmund C (4), Brendan C (3), Jared P (2), Josh B (2), Ben C (1), Michael F (1)
SPA: Thomas R, Rhys M; Nick P (14), Scott B (6), Willy M (2), Frank G (2), Te Hoera S (1), Travis S, Hayden O, Tom R, Sam G

Victoria University HC A vs Victoria University HC B 43:26 (22:11)
George G; Jason R (9), Syloun (8), Alban N (7), Fabio S (7), Lars H (7), Luke N (4), Sean F (1)
VUW B: Felipe R (3); Milan C (7), Santiago L (4), Freddy G (4), Matt S (3), James M (3), Liam A (1), Maric F (1)

Stats – women
Vikings HC – BYE

Hutt Valley Hunters HC vs Spartanz HC 23:10 (12:6)
Andrea; La W (10), Acacia S (4)< Shreena M (3), Bella A (2), Taylor G (2), Hope H (1), Tahndae W (1), Emily M, Phoenix P, Kaylin D, Anatia R
SPA: Jordan T; Rowan M (5), Paola N (4), Courtney J (1), Lottie J, Emma K, Geena P-V

NZ U17 vs Victoria University HC 28:14 (14:7)
NZ U17:
Faith H; Eleminioti P (7), Anneko W (5), Paris T-F (5), Breanna A (4), Metiria D (3), Waimarie W (2), Clare T (1), Tesara-Rose F (1), Valini V
VUW: Abbey L; Nina (5), Sophia T (4), Chrissy M (3), Meli P (2), Kathleen G, Valerie C