A message from the Head of Rugby
Sport is competitive by nature whether you are at elite level Olympic standard or having a kick around in the back garden with jumpers for goal posts - everyone wants to keep score. On any given Saturday, a team is either going to win or lose but it is the manner in which we win or lose which sets our great sport apart from others.
Rugby players play hard, are tough, put their bodies on the line for the team and do everything they can to come out victorious against the opposition, but no matter the result on the pitch, the fundamental outcome must be that they enjoyed the experience, they learned from their success or failure and they tried their very best. The mindsetrequired for this to happen is scientifically known as ‘Growth Mindset’, developed by educational psychologist Dr Carol Dweck at Harvard University. Dweck found through her research that people fall into two mindset categories, Growth and Fixed, with each having fundamental traits that impact on learning, development, attitude and achieving potential. Dweck’s work is illustrated perfectly here.
What we must strive to achieve through the environment we create at King’s is where failure is not ridiculed or scorned but learned through, effort is praised more than ‘talent’ and where we set our players challenges for them to learn through and facilitate them during that process. Those students with growth mindsets will transfer these attributes into every aspect of their lives, not just sport. They will embrace challenges, welcome and seek feedback, be resilient in the face of adversity, accurately reflect and be honest with themselves and others. Sure, it will make them better rugby players but through our environment we will make them better people too.
The holidays have come around quickly and with it bring a week full of after school games for our teams. A huge thank you to our coaching staff who are giving up their time to help coach the teams and to the families of our players who are on the side-lines supporting, transporting players across the city for games or supporting from afar. Your continued support is invaluable to the success of our programme.
Head of Rugby
Kelston Boys' High School
67 - 14
Our final game for the term was against old foes and traditionally strong Kelston Boys' High School here at King’s College on Saturday. Kelston were coming off a big win against Auckland Grammar School and were sitting just behind us on the table in 5th position, 6 points in arrears. We therefore knew that their season and chances of making the semi-finals was dependent on their result from our match. So, throughout the week, the coaches instilled in the boys the importance of a win to secure a semi-final spot and remove Kelston from the race for the top four play-offs. I am certain that, if you said before the season started, that by the end of Term 2 we would have won 7 matches with 1 draw and 1 loss, that everyone from King’s would have been very satisfied. That is exactly how we have finished the term and although we currently sit 4th on the table, the two matches we have left to play next term are against two of the bottom placed teams, and although we will not allow ourselves to become complacent, we would expect to win both games comfortably, whilst the three teams above us on the table all have to play each other, so our chances of finishing 2nd or 3rd look very strong.
Kelston have a young team this year and up until our match, had put together some good performances that had seen them win 5 out of 8 matches. Our coaches asked the boys to start well, something that we have not always done in previous matches this season. This is exactly what happened and before 15 minutes was up on the clock, we had already scored 4 tries to secure a bonus point to captain and No 8 Millenium Sanerivi, centre Lukas Halls, lock Isaiah Mapusua and halfback Thorn Parkes. Kelston were just unable to get into the game as we played some superb rugby at pace and showed patience and skills that their coaches told us after the game, they had not seen from any of the teams they had played this season. By halftime, we had added three more tries to flanker Judda Turahui, first five-eigth Zarn Sullivan and fullback Aidan Morgan. Morgan converted 6 of the 7 tries and by halftime the game was over at 47 – 0.
Our large halftime score allowed the coaches to bring the reserves into the game in the second half and gave everyone once again, some valuable game time for the 22 players chosen to play this game. To their credit, Kelston did not drop their shoulders and continued their attacking style of rugby that eventually paid dividends for them as they scored 2 converted tries. Unfortunately for them though, we scored a further 4 tries to right wing Temple Kalepo, Sanerivi again (before he was replaced), Halls again and finally, to left wing Meihana Grindlay to finish the game with a resounding victory – 67 - 14. Once again, our defense was superb and although we let in 2 tries, was the major difference between the two sides, especially in the first half. This was the perfect way to round off what has been a very successful and pleasing term’s rugby.
On the second weekend of the school holidays (Saturday 21st July – kickoff at midday), we have a traditional match against Palmerston North Boys High School here at King’s. It will be good for the boys to have a bit of a break now, following an intense term of rugby, but not too much, as we have our next Championship match on the last Saturday of the holidays before we return to school (28 July – kickoff at 2.30pm) at home against Liston College. There are also a number of players that have been deservedly chosen to represent various Auckland Blues schoolboy representative teams in the holidays; we wish them all the best as they enjoy higher honours and a chance to represent our beautiful city.
Sacred Heart College
19 - 19
What a match! King’s College Second XV played Sacred Heart College at their home ground. Right from the start you knew we were in for a good one. Sacred Heart scored first in the right hand corner of the field early and unconverted. Following this, a penalty was awarded to the opposition which took them out to an early lead. Just before half time Piki Mihinui combined well with Max Web, running a simple move putting Tahu Watson in for try right on half time. Ethan Stuart converted at the break.
King’s moved up a gear in the second half and worked their line out and scrum well. Tries to Trent Foaafo and Roanis Lamond put King’s into a good lead but Scared Heart hit back on the scoreboard with the game going back and forward. Two converted penalties by Ethan Stuart and Jason Honor put King’s ahead with the clock ticking down, but Scared Heart hit back with a last minute try. With time then up, this try was converted to make the final score a draw.
A very encouraging performance from our boys against what is always a strong Second XV from Sacred. Well done to all.
14 - 17
Tries: Sam Brewer, Oscar Marsh
Conversions: Caide Davis (2)
A depleted 2B Rugby team could only field 14 players for the weekend game. Injuries and sickness was the main reason for this unavailability of players. Thank you to our captain Nicholas Johnson, whogot off his sick bed to play.
Regardless of injuries, we had the team to still beat the bigger Liston College team. Playing 30 minutes each way and not 35min halves help them to survive the game. Our decision making was poor though, and we didn’t help ourselves by not playing quicker and running into space. Sam Brewer and Oscar Marsh scored for the team. Because of this costly loss, the next few games will by require us to put more points on the table. However, there is a strong core spirit in the team and they will give it everything against Kelston Boys’ High School mid-week.
Auckland Grammar School
On a beautiful sunny Auckland Winter’s day, the Under 15 team travelled away to play arch rivals Auckland Grammar. With King’s previously unbeaten and Grammar only one win behind them, this was a crucial game for competition points.
From the kick-off King’s immediately got on the front foot after they regathered the ball from an Auckland Grammar mistake. Good lead up play from backs and forwards eventually resulted in Budda Doyle managing to barge his way over the line in the left hand corner with three defenders on his back. The touchline conversion rebounded off the post to leave the score at 5-0 to King’s. Unfortunately, a string of basic errors and some poor decision making meant that the King’s team defended for the remainder of the half. Some stoic defence by King’s managed to hold out wave after wave of Grammar attacks until the 29th minute of the half when the large and very mobile tighthead prop managed to breach the defence and score under the posts. The simple conversion was added to make it 5-7 in Grammar's favour at halftime.
The second half started in the same fashion as the first half had ended, with Grammar on the attack. The defence held firm led by some strong tackling from Senio Pulega but an infringement earnt Grammar a penalty which they duly converted to take the score out to 10-5. From the ensuing kick-off some uncharacteristic missed tackles by the King’s outside backs allowed the Grammar fullback to break on the outside and then run 60m to score under the posts. The conversion was added to leave the score at 17-5 to Grammar.
The soft score however, seemed to finally spark the King’s boys in to life. From a scrum on the Grammar 10m line, Maikel Tuala made a 40m break after a slick backline play had created the hole for him. The forwards rumbled the ball up for a couple of phases before Budda Doyle picked up the hall from the back of a ruck and barrelled his way over for his second try. He converted his own try to leave the scores at 12-17. The score seemed to give the King’s boys some belief and it wasn’t long before they were on the attack again.
After some phases of forward hit ups the ball found its way out to Xavi Taele. Xavi bamboozled the defence with some great footwork and then broke 50 metres down the touchline. He was stopped just short of the corner where a Grammar knock on resulted in a 5m scrum being awarded to King’s. Despite being under huge pressure the forwards managed to supply clean ball at the scrum. Bradley Fifita made a strong carry towards the line followed by Hamish Dalziel before once again Budda Doyle latched on to the ball and battered his way over the line right under the posts. The simple conversion put King’s back in front at 19-17.
With time running out on the clock all King’s had to do was hold on to the ball and see out the game. Unfortunately, a soft turnover gifted possession back to Grammar and they started to build the phases. Despite some heroic tackling from the King’s boys, Grammar managed to manufacture some space on the left and their tight head prop proved too strong crashing over for the winning try.
This was certainly a match that the King’s boys should have and could have won, but hopefully they will heed the lessons learnt about controlling possession and making one on one tackles.
0 – 34
The fourth competition game of our season saw our side take on last year’s finalists’ Glendowie College on an icy field at their home. Our side came into the game with the outstanding performance against Auckland Grammar from the previous week at the back of their minds. If the boys were going to play anywhere as good as that, our defense would have to be upfront and strong, ensuring that we made those one on one tackles. As well as this, despite numerous injuries to some of the players, our boys were keen for the challenge that lay ahead of us.
The match started off well with our boys starving the opposition of possession by retaining good, clean ball out of the ruck. Forwards captain, Johnathan Tatu led the pack from the front with outstanding defense, pushing our opponents backwards over the advantage line at every opportunity possible. Another contributing factor was down to our backs’ ability towards the start of the game which allowed us to progress down the field and camp on their 5m line. Unfortunately, some messy ball meant that we were not able to capitalize on the great field position we held. Our center Luke Fenton and right winger Josh Anga continued to find gaps in the midfieldworking the team up into the oppositions’ 22m however once again silly mistakes cost us the opportunity to convert this momentum into possible tries. Towards the end of the first half, our defense let us down and they were able to counter upon our mistakes. This saw us let in a couple of soft tries leaving the score at 19-0, with us trailing the home side at half time.
During the break, the team talked about the positives to take away from the first half, with those being good retained ball and upfront defense which gave us a glimpse of what could have been an opportunity to lead at half time. What needed to be done was for us to score first, off the kickoff, in order to get ourselves back into the game.
The second half began well with us sustaining multiple strong advances from the opposition which had stepped up from the first half. One aspect of our game in which we built upon from the previous week was our lineouts where locks Te Ariki Tuavera and Ben Johnstone consistently retained ball in the air. Captain Jared McKenzie once again was outstanding throughout the entire game, allowing himself to make every tackle as well as link up with his outside backs in order to work their way up the field, especially in high pressure situations. Much like the first half, our boys managed once again to gain territory within their 5m line with ball in hand most importantly. Despite multiple man overlaps at various times during this period, Glendowie’s defense held strong and we eventually knocked the ball on two metre from the line. After this, our loose forwards Ben Howard and Tontal consistently made their tackles ensuring not to give away any more territory for the rest of the game.
With the end of the game approaching, our boys could be seen to lose steam with ball in hand forcing errors against us. Although they fought up until the final whistle, the opposition was able to exploit cracks in our defense leading them to score an additional three more tries.
Although the boys were disappointed with the loss, there were many points during the game where our defense outshined our opponents and therefore looked promising. Our boys will look to maintain this strong defense into next week’s mid-week clash where we will travel away to face Sacred Heart’s B side in the competition in which looks to be a promising clash.
5A travelled to Howick to consolidate their position on the log after a hard fought win against Mount Albert Grammar last week. Though the referee calls may not have gone in our favour, the boys eventually got the job done under immense pressure.
The forwards were brilliant in controlling long passages of play and were dominant at the set piece while the backs defence was watertight. Unfortunately, we were never given due credit by the official who allowed Howick to continuously infringe and spoil our ball.
A try each to Ben Snell and Dominic de Latour with a penalty to Ben McCutcheon got the job done.
Up into a playoff spot is just reward for two very tough weeks in the trenches.
St Peter’s College
7 - 18
Playing at the Domain again, versus St Peters, the 6A team started slowly and as a result found themselves 10 nil at half-time. The opposition were very clinical and in their forward play and their skipper in particular proved a force to be reckoned with.
The second half saw a much better efforts by the lads and both teams score a try apiece. Our lineouts were much more impressive and our running back play at times caused St Peters headaches.
The final score was a 7-18 loss, proving that you cannot make silly mistakes against quality opposition, when there is a need to make correct tactical plays combined with safe passing and handling.
With a few injuries on board, the challenge will be to bounce back well against St Kentigern College in the mid-week fixture before the holidays.
St Peter’s College
51 – 19
The 6B rugby team played a home game verses St Peter’s College. The boys were quick to get into their pre-match warm-up due to the freezing fog and frost. The game began well with Yanz Chen going in for a converted try early-on after the team put together seven well-constructed phases to make the score seven nil to King’s.
St Peters came back with a quick try, 7 – 5. King’s continued to concentrate on building phases throughout the remainder of the first half which resulted in great team tries to Cody Heron, Luca Seerden, Yanz Chen, Harry Grieve and Harry Perrit. At half-time the score was 32 – 7 to King’s. St Peter’s responded in the second half with attacking rugby and scored two good converted tries. However, King’s were determined to keep the phases going linking backs and forwards together well, resulting in tries to Gautam Malhotra, Chris Ferguson and James White for his first try in a game of rugby. The final score was a win to King’s, 51 – 19. Thanks to Head of Rugby David Ross for his work with helping the coaches improve on our coaching methods.
39 – 7
Tries: Freddie Forsythe (2), William Olde, Jack Elliott, Kia Patua, Myka Newman and Henry Kaye
Conversions: Harry Sinclair (2)
King’s 7A squad fronted up for their last Round Robin game of the competition against Takapuna Grammar on Takapuna’s No 1 field and ran away easy winners 39 – 7.
Playing on a fog covered field during the first half, it was difficult to see some of the finer detail but after some very good forward work it was only four minutes into the half when left wing Kia Patua finished off a good short-side move with some fabulous footwork and speed to score under the posts and this put the King’s side 7-points up when Harry Sinclair, who has settled well into his captain’s duties, raised the flags with an easy conversion.
It took only another three minutes for Jack Elliott, who had another outstanding day at halfback, to add King’s second try for the day and take the lead out to 12 points.
Great forward pressure, with Thomas Stewart, William Olde, Freddie Forsythe and Felix Moran reveling in their work soon allowed the King’s backline to add another try courtesy of centre Myka Newman.
As the fog started to lift, the forward pack continued to raise their game and after some sustained pressure and some great loose forward work by Charlie McKay, Freddie Forsythe added to his try tally for the season with another well-earned five points. Not to be outdone, his locking partner William Olde, finished off the first half with an outstanding bullocking run that took King’s out to a 27 – 0 lead. Both these locks are in outstanding form and their constant impact on the field is worthy of acknowledgement.
Great first half efforts were also recorded by Jack McKay, (who, with a constant supply of quality ball and clever variation in King’s back play allowed a positive backline to moving forward with sustained pressure); second five, Nick Tapper, who was solid throughout his 30-minutestintwhile right-wing Jack Willis was unlucky not to add to his tally - only being denied by a desperate ankle tap on his second flying foray. Myka Newman was again at his best as his earlier try attested.
The second half saw a major change to the backline - Kruz Scott moving into halfback, with William Crawford, Luke Swanepoel, Harry Kaveriri and Kolby Davis taking up the next four positions. Coming on fresh at halftime is never an easy task for a backline but to their credit, they quickly settled into their work and Takapuna spent the half trying desperately to defend their line against a different but just as antagonising backline.
In the forward pack, Corban Drake and Henry Kaye moved into their allotted loose forward positions and Henry Kaye soon ensured he was going to make an impact on the game with a well-deserved try just seven minutes into the half. Converted by Harry Sinclair, King’s took a 34 – 0 lead.
As if to warn them against complacency, a loose ball was kicked through by the opposition and this was quickly gathered and saw Takapuna get a well-deserved converted try under the posts.
With just ten minutes to go Freddie Forsythe again proved his worth with a second try after the forward pack had again raised its game. Despite being 32 points ahead, one of the most pleasing aspects was that the lessons of previous weeks appeared to have been learnt and at no stage did King’s let up the pressure they were exerting on the Takapuna side. Hopefully King’s efforts should have secured them a place in the Top Four when the competition resumes after the holidays.
King’s player of the day was Felix Moran who gave a solid 60 minutes in the tight while Takapuna justifiably awarded Freddie Forsythe their opposition player of the day.