1st XV VS TANGAROA COLLEGE, KC 74 - 0 TC (HT 50 - 0)
On Saturday, the King’s College 1st XV travelled across to Tangaroa College in Otara for our fourth consecutive away match. The goal for this match was to secure a bonus point victory, not pick up any major injuries and use this match as preparation for next weekend, our traditional match against arch-rivals Auckland Grammar School who we will be hosting here at King’s for our first home match this season.
There was a very strong wind blowing straight down the ground at Tangaroa College, so it was decided that if we won the toss, that we would play with the wind at our backs. We did win the toss and from the kick-off, we made an early mistake, were penalised in our own 22m, but their kicker missed the penalty shot from a very handy position and that was to be the only real scoring opportunity they would claim in the first half. After that let-off, the boys picked up their game, used the strong wind advantage to their benefit and ran in eight superb first half tries to second five-eighth Francis Manuleleua, right winger Eric Va’afusuaga (3), fullback Chicago Doyle, centre Ali Leiataua, halfback Dayton Iobu and number eight Lawrence Ualesi. Manuleleua kicked five conversions and the scoreboard at halftime read 50 – 0 to King’s. The team’s defence was rock-solid and when that was added to the strong set-piece performance of the forwards and the enterprising flair and skill shown by the backline, the coaches were very happy with the team’s first half performance.
In the second half, it was our turn to play into the strong headwind and the key was to continue to work really hard on defence, hold onto the ball as much as possible, have patience and accuracy, as we knew that if we gave away penalties or turned over possession, that we would very quickly find ourselves pegged inside our own half. It was not long before Chicago Doyle received a fantastic long pass from his cousin, Budda Doyle, that set him away for his second try of the match. The score remained 55 – 0 for quite some time as we did lose possession and give away penalties when on attack over the next 15 or so minutes. However, the coaches emptied the bench and allowed all the reserves some valuable match-time and we finished the match strongly, scoring three more tries to replacement loose forward Bradley Fifita, a fourth try for right winger Eric Va’afusuaga as well as reserve winger Piki Mihinui. Max Webb and Budda Doyle added one conversion each and when the final whistle blew, the final score was a resounding 74 – 0. Credit must be given to our opposition who never stopped trying and were very physical but it was a very fair and clean game. Last week, it was centre Ali Leiataua that scored four tries and this week, it was the turn of right winger Eric Va’afusuaga to score four superb tries. Special mention therefore to Eric and hopefully these two, as well as the other members of the team, can maintain this try-scoring form next weekend!
So, onto this weekend’s crucial 1 versus 2 match against traditional rivals AGS here at King’s. As always, we are expecting a bumper crowd and also as has been the case every year over recent times, the match will receive so much attention and interest and be televised live on SKY TV. The opportunity to claim back the very special Cooper-Greenbank trophy that is played for between our two schools, that we last won in 2018 and is currently held by Grammar.
We are very grateful for all the support we can summons for next weekend and hopefully our boys can play to their full potential, retain our top-of-the-table position and maintain an unbeaten season so far.
2nd XV VS SAINT KENTIGERN COLLEGE, KC 11 - 7 SKC (HT 3 - 0)
The game was played on the #2 ground at St Kent’s with a strong, cold breeze blowing across the field.
King’s played into the wind the first half and for the initial eight minutes controlled possession and field position but could not breach the St Kent’s defence. The next phase of the game saw two teams of a similar ability both play attacking rugby when they had the ball.
However, the defensive work of both teams was strong and repelled the attacks.
King’s gained a penalty in front of the posts after 25 minutes which Trey Alatini kicked for the only points in the first half.
The second half was once again a tight tussle with enterprising play from both sides backed up with solid defence. Trey Alatini kicked another penalty after 5 minutes and there weren’t any more points scored until the 28th minute when Lawrence Sullivan-Pahl scored a try in the left hand corner after a great attacking chip kick from Ethan Stuart. St Kent’s then went on attack in the last two minutes of the game and were repelled again by the King’s defence. The last play of the game saw St Kent’s attacking the King’s try line when Jamie Cooper hit the ball away while going for an intercept, so St Kent’s were awarded a penalty try.
A good game that showed that the areas that have been concentrated on at training are coming through at game time. All players contributed to the result with Tevita Likiliki and Hamish Harkness having very strong games in the tight, and the loose trio of Seb Macdonald, Lawrence Sullivan-Pahl and Senio Pulega outplayed their opposites. Jack Elliot and Trey Alatini ‘drove the bus’ well, with Ethan Stuart directing the game well in the second half. Unfortunately, Lawrence dislocated his shoulder in the last minute of the game and this may be his last game for the squad this year.
1R MAROON VS MOUNT ALBERT GRAMMAR SCHOOL, KC 20 – 7 MAGS (HT 10 - 0)
King’s 1R Maroon squad secured their first victory of the season against a resilient MAGS side on the hallowed King’s No.1 pitch this Saturday. Despite a promising start King’s spent the first quarter of the game defending, however some intelligent tactical kicking from fly half and Captain Nathan Robinson meant King’s were able to play in the right areas after some resolute defence to keep the opposition from scoring in the opening exchanges.
Some good interplay between the backs and forwards allowed number eight Ben Howard to crash over from close range following some sustained pressure from the King’s forwards. A monster long range penalty from Robinson on the stroke of half time meant King’s took a deserved 10-0 lead into the half time break.
King’s now playing some excellent rugby in parts, started to dominate exchanges and manged to score two well worked tries and take a 20-0 lead mid-way through the second half. Some ill-discipline allowed MAGS back into the game in the latter stages, however King’s managed the game well in the final ten to seal a well-deserved victory. There were some excellent performances across the park however Man of the Match went to number eight Ben Howard for his tireless work rate in both attack and defence alongside his brace of tries.
1R GOLD - BYE
UNDER 15 OPEN VS WESTLAKE BOYS, KC 29 – 10 WB (HT 24 - 0)
King’s U15s team had the privilege of playing against Westlake Boys. Westlake brought the physicality in the opening minutes of the game with some staunch defence holding off King’s attack. Some silky skills from the backs to showcase their talents scoring some great tries late in the half. As the game went on, King’s got better and better heading in into the half leading their opposition.
King’s managed to put together some phases and collectively scoring 29 points to nil with 12min left on the clock, Westlake managed to string together two quick tries in that time to give them confidence ending the game.
King’s took the win 29-10 kicking off their season. Players to mention Liam Denny with two tries and Dillon Vaoga and Louie Ballan setting up and scoring tries. Jack Sloane and Daniel Wyber led from the front with big tackles and strong ball carries. Always room for improvement as a team for next week when we take on St Kent’s at home.
Aaron Wetere (Year 9, Parnell)
5B VS ROSEHILL COLLEGE, KC 21 - 10 RC (HT 7 - 10)
After a strong start we lost some crucial turnover ball and gave away two soft tries. Crucially we scored a converted try to go in 7 - 10 down at the break. We maintained the momentum in the second half to score two more tries to come out 21 - 10 winners. MVP Palmer Nand for excellent work in the lineout and two tries.
Tries: Palmer Nand x2 Abbas Jiwanji
Conv: Will Crawford x3
6A VS SACRED HEART COLLEGE, KC 0 – 20 SHC (HT 0 - 12)
With six players out with injuries or Y10 camp, it we knew it was going to be a tough game against Sacred Heart, who had beaten AGS convincingly two weeks ago.
The boys started strongly and pushed Sacred hard with a sustained period of attack near their goal line. However, we weren’t able to convert this to points and a couple of penalties allowed them to escape and despite some excellent defence Sacred scored in the corner to take a 5-point lead.
This was extended to 12-0 just before halftime.
We knew we needed to start the second half strongly and score the first points. We got close to their line in the opening 5 minutes of the half. However, errors and a penalty allowed Sacred to once again escape their 22. We managed to build some promising plays but consistently lost possession at crucial times to relieve the pressure on Sacred and hand over possession.
Against a strong side, this was the difference – they were able to build and sustain pressure. Sacred took a penalty shot and extended their lead to 15-0 and near the end of the match, scored a good try through their backs to extend their lead to 20-0, which was the final score. Henry Kaye and Ollie Wright had strong games up front for us and Nick Withers and Jack McKay looked good with ball in hand and defended well in the backs. Our boys kept fighting and showed good commitment and teamwork.
UNDER 15 RESTRICTED VS AUCKLAND GRAMMAR SCHOOL, KC 15 – 20 AGS (HT 5 - 10)
In a tight match that was willingly contested by both sides, King’s ran out of time to haul in the competitive Auckland Grammar A side and unfortunately started their competitive season with a close loss.
Despite tit-for-tat try scoring, King’s were always chasing the try that would put them ahead and every time they drew level, Grammar would respond and maintain their tentative 5-point margin.
Despite some great conversion efforts, Morgan Tapper was unfortunately unable to convert any of King’s three try tally from try scorers Freddie Gilbert, Bailey Harris and Luc Quesnel – all of whom had outstanding games.
While not the first up result they were looking for this side will take a lot away from this extremely close match and no doubt be far more formidable in their next competitive encounter next Saturday.