Our matches with St Peter's over the last couple of years have been dour, intense struggles that have seen us lose by one or two points each time and this year’s match frustratingly turned out to be the same result with our team going down 14-15 after we turned around at half-time ahead by one point 7-6.
The game started off as a real arm-wrestle with both teams giving away little territory and strong defence from both teams snuffing out any try-scoring opportunities. Our discipline let us down twice inside our own half and St Peter's kicker landed both penalty shots to sneak out to a six point lead. After several phases of pressure, King’s strong-running and powerful Number Eight AJay Mua was rewarded with a well-taken try in between the posts that First Five Ciarahn Matoe converted to give us the 7-6 lead.
Soon after, from a midfield scrum inside our own half, from a well worked backline move, Ciarahn Matoe found himself in space with only one defender to beat and two men supporting on the outside. He drew the last defender and threw a pass to one of his support players five metres from the St Peter’s line, but the pass went to their winger instead of ours and they were able to ‘dodge a bullet’. King’s had one final opportunity to score before the break when, from a series of pick ’n go moves close to their line, one of our forwards unfortunately knocked on and the referee blew the whistle for half-time.
We were still full of confidence going into the second half but, as in the first half, we lacked discipline at times and from two indescretions at the breakdown, we were penalised and their goal kicker converted both penalties to race out to a 12-7 lead. With five minutes remaining, King’s free-running fullback Jamie Stowers made one of his trademark jinking runs and when tackled close to the line, offloaded to halfback James Stanners who scored close to the posts. Ciarahn once again converted and King’s held a narrow two point lead with three minutes left showing on the clock. For the third time in the half, we were unable to secure the kick-off and immediately put ourselves under huge pressure as the clock wound down.
At a ruck inside our own 22, the referee deemed that one of our forwards had his hands in the ruck and from the penalty the St Peter's goalkicker Harry Plummer kicked his fifth penaly goal to take the lead back with 90 seconds left on the clock. King’s tried in vain to score a try or secure a kickable penalty in the dying seconds, but the ball was lost forward, St Peter's kicked the ball into touch and we were left with disappointment and regrets about what could have been and what should have been.
The coaches will have a lot to work on this week as they try to get the boys to move on from the loss and start preparing for a home fixture against Onehunga High School next weekend to hopefully pick up five points and get our season back on track.
Thank you to the following sponsors for their support of King's College Rugby:
Premier Sports Sponsor and Rugby Sponsor: Auckland City BMW