A message from the Head of Rugby
Due to our holiday dates, the majority of our teams played mid-week after school fixtures this week, which brought about an interesting break from the ‘usual’ routine of Saturday rugby.
With having to play two games in a 5 day period presents unique challenges for the players and coaches which are good tests for everyone’s learning and development. The players have to adapt to playing a game after the school day after a day of classes whilst the coaches have to manage their squads and tweaked their usual training sessions to accommodate the games. These challenges are good for our programme and helps create adaptable and resilient people who can still perform under whatever circumstances.
We enter the July break as an opportunity for some to get away from rugby and enjoy time off but for a number of King’s players there is no rest as we have a strong presence in the Auckland representative programme which is taking place throughout July at U14, U16 and U18 level across the city. The players will take place in skills and selection sessions and we know that they will put their best foot forward and represent the college well throughout the process and we wish them all the best of luck.
Once the holiday period is over, the college is straight back into the mix with training and games our first week back and with the end of the season in sight, many of our squads have top 4 places to fight for which should allow for a very exciting end to the season.
A special note of thanks to our gap year students who have been working within our rugby programme as coaches and referees. Hector, Ben and Andrew have really made an impact in their time at King’s, put in a lot of hard work and have brought a lot of laughs with them. Thank you for your efforts and hope that you will look back on your time at King’s with great fondness.
Head of Rugby
St Kentigern College
The 2nd XV travelled the short distance to take on adversaries St Kentigern in glorious early winter conditions but faced a strong wind down the pitch, which would play an important role in the match. The team were shorn of a full squad due to injuries and the college’s Kapahaka commitments meaning utility forward Jason Honor playing on the wing and a call up to U15 prop Sione Ahovoki to the replacements bench.
King’s kicked off into the strong wind and had the best of the early exchanges and the correct side of the referee who pinged St Kents repeatedly for infringments. As a result, Laith Hammond soared in the lineout allowing King’s to exert some pressure with their mauling game and were unlucky to come up short on both attempts. St Kents replied strongly with their hard running, direct style which put King’s on the backfoot and eventually took its toll with a try on the right wing quickly followed by some missed tackles on the left for a 12-0 deficit.
The boys rallied with some hard runs from Kaahuki Vaughan and Trent Taiora in the wide channels that earned a penalty kick that just fell short into that strong wind. The remainder of the half had King’s defending tirelessly but a few missed tackles against their much bigger opponents saw a further two tries to take a half-time 24-0 lead.
Some deep breaths and the knowledge of the wind behind their backs at half time refocused the team and the squad absolutely dominated the second period. Sione Ahovoki came on in the scrum and Harry Lee into the backrow and the team excelled in their half time change of tactics to play wider and with more pace, moving around the big St Kents team.
The boys rallied and two early tries from Josh Gellert and Jason Honour, put in by Kaahuki Vaughan with a great pass (he wanted to make sure that was noted), gave King’s hope after all the territory and possession with St Kent’s barely getting out of their own third. King’s were pressing hard with Ryan Gordon leading the way as captain and Ethan Stuart making some impressive line breaks but the home team managed to keep their line intact.
Finally after another excellent piece of forward play by the pack allowed Laith Hammond to bowl over converted by Jason Honour and the draw seemed a real possibility for the lads. With 90 seconds left, Sean Roberton crashed over and with that the chance to secure the draw but the conversion was missed but still enough time for the game to restart. Unfortunately, St Kent’s won the kick off and immediately kicked the ball out for the narrowest of victories.
The boys second half performance was immense but they left themselves too much to do after a first half where the opposition were on top but they can be extremely proud of their efforts against a much bigger St Kents who had a number of fresher players off the bench. Credit to the boys for their fightback.
A three week break to recharge and look forward to the remainder of the season.
Kelston Boys' High School
Tries: Oscar Marsh, Andrew Breckon, Manasa Kubuabola
Penalties: Caide Davis
The Colts took on another big team in Kelston Boys High and like all previous teams were confident on looks they could roll us. They managed to take 2 penalty kicks to gain a 6 nil lead. The Colts started to find their rhythm and Oscar Marsh found the try line for a second time in two games. Half-time 5-6.
Andrew Breckon was at the end of a well-executed move by the backs to score out wide early and Caide Davis added a penalty to extend our lead to 7 points. However, Kelston found a new lease of life and they busted our line to score a converted try to lock the scores at 13 all. As they were threatening again through their backs, Manasa Kubuabola intercepted to score, giving us an 18-13 lead. Kelston managed to intercept from our movement moments later, luckily we scrambled well to cut down the attack. Tenacious defense and good continuity in phases saw us through to good win and 4 valuable competition points.
U15 squad went down 0-8 in a tight and competitive St Kent’s team away from home. Two very tough games in a short space of time testing our squad’s depth but we are delighted to have exposed all our squad to a high standard of opposition in these games and that will stand them well for the future.
We go into the break playing good rugby and always learning at every session and every game. We hope to be more consistent when we come back from the holidays and with the talent we have in the team, we are confident we can finish the season strong.
St Kentigern College
5A traveled to St Kentigern on Wednesday for their third away fixture in a row and were unfortunately not able to come away with a win.
It was a hard fought game between 2 teams not quite at their best and St Kents managed to prevail 22-13 at the final whistle. Talon Diamond and Harry Marsh scored good tries in the second half while Nathan Robinson kicked a penalty in the first half.
The mid-season break has come at a good time and we look forward to pushing towards the semi-finals in August.
St Kentigern College
This midweek fixture against St Kents proved to be a great effort by the boys after a disappointing performance against a strong St Peters side last Saturday. Certainly from the outset there was a positive mindset and we had a lead of 12-7 at halftime, with a feeling that we could bust them open.
The second half saw some wonderful tries, six in total for the match, and a very impressive 32-7 victory at the final whistle. The squad showed that we have depth as there were a significant number of boys unavailable through injury or sickness. They also displayed resilience and spirit to battle for the last 10-15 minutes undermanned.
Finally a big thanks to both gappies, Ben and Hector, who have helped Barry coaching the team over the last term. They hopefully return to the UK with some fond memories and certainly the boys and parents appreciated their support.
Well done guys. Enjoy the holiday break, mixed with some fitness training!
King's travelled the short distance along the Southern motorway to play our away game against Rosehill College, the last time we played them it was a tough encounter and we expected no less at their home ground.
On arrival at Rosehill a large crowd had turned up to watch with a vocal and sometimes quite abusive set of home supporters(students). King's seemed as if the holidays had started and were visibly not in the right frame of mind , a short reminder by myself of what we came here for changed that.
Rosehill had stacked their team with a lot bigger boys than on the first game so it would be interesting to see how the boys coped with a bigger pack of forwards. King's were on the defensive for the first 10 mins with Rosehill attacking them from the onset, however King's forwards made sure that our defence stood up to their attack. I haven’t named the try scorers due to being busy on the side line, however in summary. King's Forwards were outstanding today and the backs a joy to watch passing the ball around, it’s the first time this season I have seen 22 players play as a tight unit with 11 tries scored and a half time score of 35-0 it was a joy to watch the boys today, as they would agree a large number of King's parents.
I must give Rosehill credit for scoring two late tries after we had switched off and become complacent.
All in all a fantastic way to sign off the end of the term for the boys, they are a credit not only to their parents but also their School, myself and the Rev would like to take this opportunity to wish all our boys, parents and families a safe and pleasant holiday and look forward to seeing you all after the break.