Over the weekend of February 16/17 the inaugural Twin Harbour Classic was held in Auckland. While the number of teams competing was less than expected it still provided an ideal opportunity for teams to warm-up for Nationals next month. The weekend saw hot dry conditions with a fairly steady breeze to keep everyone honest that saw teams bring out their zones.
With only three teams playing in the Womens division; Vixen DS, Vixen and NZU23 Womens, their tournament was reduced to a one day event. Sunday was used by the teams as a training day. In the early round robin games Vixenz easily accounted for the Vixenz DS and NZ U23s with their superior skill set and experience leading the way. The final round robin game saw Vixen DS and NZU23s play-off to match up against Vixenz in the final. The game was a tight contest with zones being played, and going to time cap before Vixen DS prevailed. The final then saw Vixenz playing Vixenz DS, – a standard Saturday training session for the Auckland Club. Once again Vixenz dominated running out
The mens division saw five teams : Magon, Magon DS, Nova, Kea (NZU23s) and Jackhammer, playing a round robin before semis and a final. Nova, Magon and Magon DS were all playing with smaller squads due to a number of their squad turning out for the Keas. In the final round on Saturday Magon took on the Keas. Early in the game the teams traded points until Magon missed an opportunity to score upwind and Kea converted to start a run to take half 8-7. After half Kea’s zone kept the Magon offence in check making them throw alot of passes stretching their lead out to 10-8. Magon then went on a run, during which time cap came on making it a game to 12, to take it to 10-11. Magon then had a chance to win it but a drop in the endzone saw the Keas score to tie it up 11-11. The Magon offence then received coming up wind and executed to win the game 12-11.
The final round of pool play saw Magon DS register their first win. Trailing Nova by 3 they then went on to score 5 of the last 6 points to win setting up 3-way tie for third place. Nova was then placed third based on point difference with Magon DS and Jackhammer playing the play-in game for semis. It was another close game for Magon DS but this time Jackhammer prevailed winning by 2 in time cap. The semis saw Magon and the Keas easily account for the Jackhammer and Nova respectively.
The final gave the Keas a chance to avenge their 1 point loss against Magon from the previous evening. Magon started on offence coming up wind for the first score. The keas then followed suit. The teams traded with each getting a break. The Keas zone that slowed the Magon offence previously did not have the same effect and when the Magon defence stepped it up they went on a run to take half 8-6. The Magon defence started the 2nd half the same way they finished the first converting blocks to take a 10-6 lead. The teams then traded with Magon running out winners 15-10.
The inaugural Twin Harbour Classic was a success and will be back next year to provide teams the opportunity to have a hit out before Nationals so mark it in your calender now.
Thanks to Auckland Ultimate for their support.
Halftime tweet during the final: (check out Auckland Ultimate on Twitter!) https://twitter.com/AuckUltimate/status/302957644891693056