In a game that swung back and forth throughout the match, it came right down to the final play of the game where Sacred Heart College used their ‘get-out-of-jail free card’ to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with a well-taken dropped goal by their Head Boy and first five eight to win 23-22.
Our boys started the game strongly and had Sacred Heart under pressure, which created several scoring opportunities. Two of these were converted into tries to our explosive number eight AJay Mua and mobile lock Junior Ratuva, with one conversion to Ciarahn Matoe. Unfortunately, several other opportunities were not finished off, which allowed Sacred Heart to stay in the game with two penalties following infringements from our team. Playing into a steady wind with a 12-6 lead at half-time, we were confident that if we played the game in their half after the break, that we could win this very important match.
Several other scoring opportunities were created before AJay Mua crossed for a second try after some good lead-up work by the forwards, and Ciarahn Matoe converted. However, our defence let us down twice as Sacred Heart crossed for two converted tries to put them back in the lead by 20-19. From the kick-off we put some good phases together and made some good off-loads that saw one of our players tackled high and Ciarahn Matoe kicked the penalty goal to give us back the lead with about three minutes to play. We really needed to play the ball down in their half, however, Sacred Heart managed to run the ball back at us and put together 10+ phases, trying to break our defence or force a kickable penalty. Our defence, however, was impenetrable and our discipline was fantastic. With time up on the clock, the ball was passed from a ruck back to the first five eight who snapped a remarkable dropped goal to secure the win for Sacred Heart and left us ruing lost opportunities and suffering our second one point loss this season.
Despite this one point loss, we still sit third on the table but have two huge games coming up in the next three weeks with traditional rivals, Auckland Grammar School at home this Saturday then after playing Dilworth School, we head across to Saint Kentigern College for what will be another huge encounter, as we strive to maintain our place in the hotly-contested top four.
Thank you to the following sponsors for their support of King's College Rugby:
Premier Sports Sponsor and Rugby Sponsor: Auckland City BMW