Following the long-awaited victory against Auckland Grammar School the week before, there was every confidence that King's would be able to string back-to-back wins to enable us to maintain third equal place on the points table.
While the victory was secured at 16-3, King's only managed to score two tries against a fired-up and very physical Dilworth side that had very little to lose and so very much to prove.
Having lost our midfield pairing to injury over the last two weeks, the backline that ran out was very much re-jigged with regular 1st 5/8 Ciarahn Matoe playing at 2nd 5/8 and young Isa’ako Enosa playing in Ciarahn’s pivotal position.
We did not, however, really get out of first gear in the first half and gifted Dilworth an easy penalty goal after some indiscipline at a ruck. The forward pack then started to take back control of the game and some strong play forced several errors from Dilworth that allowed Matoe to kick two penalties to leave us 6-3 ahead at the break.
In the last five minutes of the first half left wing Liam Baker-Smith left the field with a knee injury that he sustained in a tackle and just before half-time, fullback Jamie Spowart was illegally tackled by the Dilworth hooker that left him dazed and he too left the field. The Dilworth hooker earned himself 10 minutes in the sin-bin for his ill-discipline to join his 1st 5/8 partner who was also placed in the sin-bin for ten minutes for continued infringements around the ruck area.
Given a two man advantage and following a low key half-time talk with simple instructions from the coaches, the King's side set about trying to score the four tries that would give them the bonus point win that we had come expecting to claim.
There was possibly the fact that we had played our biggest rivals the week before as a reason for why we could just not get our usual game going against a tenacious Dilworth side that never gave in. It is always hard to get the boys back up to the same level as they were during the Grammar match, and despite scoring two tries to No 8 AJay Mua, and centre Edward Vaeau-Mulitalo, King's were unable to score the other two tries needed for the bonus point.
With Saint Kentigern College having beaten Grammar with the bonus point, they move into third position, one point ahead of us where we sit fourth on the table. The other positive news from the afternoon was that St Peter's College and Sacred Heart College drew their match, so King's maintains its place in the top four and St Peter's drop two points behind into fifth position.
Thank you to the following sponsors for their support of King's College Rugby:
Premier Sports Sponsor and Rugby Sponsor: Auckland City BMW