Following our disappointing result against St Peter's College the previous week, there was a feeling that Onehunga would get the ‘backlash’ from the King’s lads who were keen to restore some pride after their first loss of the 2016 season.
There was quite a stiff breeze blowing across the field on Saturday but the sun was shining and the field was firm, despite quite a lot of rain falling throughout the week. King’s loves to play open, running rugby and the boys did not disappoint – scoring 13 unanswered tries on the way to the biggest total we have ever posted against Onehunga. There were a lot of try-scoring opportunities created in the first half, but at times we were just not clinical enough and our execution lacked finishing at times. However, we still managed to score six first half tries with Ciarahn Matoe converting five of them for a half-time score of 40-0. One area where we were performant on the day was our defence and Onehunga never looked like crossing our line and in fact, very rarely ventured into our 22m.
Fullback Jamie Spowart left the field in the first half with a niggly injury but the boys picked up where they left off in the first half scoring a further seven tries of which Ciarahn Matoe kicked two conversions and replacement flyhalf Isa’ako Enosa kicked a further two.
The final scoreline of 83-0 was very pleasing and showed glimpses of what this team is capable of. We now need to work on being more consistent in our performance.
It was a welcomed return to play for Year 11 student Lukas Halls who played his first match for the First XV after a serious injury in 2015. He celebrated his return to play with a brace of well taken tries. Others to dot down on more than one occasion were Bailyn Sullivan and Ciarahn Matoe who both each bagged a hat-trick and also Millenium Sanerivi who scored a double.
At the after-match function the Coogan-Takataka Trophy, that is played for between the two schools, was presented to captain Joe Johnston by the Onehunga captain as they were the holders, having beaten us in the final match of pool play in 2014. The trophy was not contested in 2015 but it will be returned to the College trophy cabinet where it will hopefully reside for a number of years to come.
This weekend sees a welcomed break as there are no matches over Queen's Birthday weekend, and will give the lads a chance to recover and freshen up before two huge matches back-to-back await against Sacred Heart College and Auckland Grammar School.