Saint Kentigern College
Tries to Thorn Parkes, Millenium Sanerivi, Temple Kalepo
Conversions to Zarn Sullivan (2)
The First XV had an important match against Saint Kentigern College on Saturday as both teams had away wins in the first round of matches last weekend. More importantly though, this was our opportunity to find out how we would fare against the defending Auckland 1A Champions and one of the top-ranked teams in the country.
The team sheet read slightly differently to last weekend as we sustained a couple of injuries to left wing Meihana Grindlay and reserve halfback Dayton Iobu. The coaches therefore started Zarn Sullivan on the left wing and brought onto the bench, two Year 11’s Luron Iosefa and Max Hennessy-Webb. There were also two changes in the forward pack with the return of lock James Brown for Che Clark and blindside flanker Judda Turahui for Noah Perelini.
The morning rain cleared before kick off, so the field was firm but in very good condition with little breeze. We had great support from the wider King’s community and this helped the team settle into the daunting environment of Saint Kentigern College. The Saint Kentigern College forward pack was large, and they started strongly, putting us under pressure, particularly in the set-pieces. Despite having to defend for the majority of the first half, our defence was strong, however, we lacked accuracy at times and made some simple mistakes and kicked away hard-earned possession several times.
Eventually, our opposition took advantage of a poorly executed lineout in our 22m and their number 8 scored next to our posts. The try was converted and not long after, they were back near our line again. One of our players was deemed offside and their kicker converted the penalty in front of our posts to make the score 10 – 0 to Saint Kentigern College at the break.
We were still very much in the game and after some firm words from the coaches at halftime and some clarification about how we should be playing the game, we were confident that we could turn the tables on them in the second half. Unfortunately, we lacked accuracy and made some basic errors which gave Saint Kentigern College the opportunity to scoring three tries and kick one conversion to shift the score to 27 – 0.
With 15 minutes to go, our chance of a come back looked slim. However, the coaches made changes, bringing on six of the reserves and Saint Kentigern College started to tire. With fresh legs on the field and a superior fitness level, we started throwing the ball around and moving their big forwards around the park. This opened up holes in their defence and we scored three excellent tries in the space of about 10 minutes. The scorers were halfback Thorn Parkes, captain Millenium Sanerivi and right-wing Temple Kalepo. Zarn Sullivan was able to convert two of them and we were now back within striking range at 19 – 27 with about 5 minutes to play.
Despite our very best efforts and another couple of chances, we were unable to score again and finished the match narrowly missing the bonus point with some great regrets about what we could have done had we played with the same intensity and passion in the first half, that we did in the second.
There will be things to work on and improve this week as we have no time to sit back and relax with old rivals Mount Albert Grammar School coming to King’s next Saturday, who will be looking to make amends for the two home games they lost against Saint Kentigern College and De La Salle College in the first two rounds.
Tries by Lawrence Ualesi and Tahu Watson
Conversions by Ethan Stuart
The King’s College Second XV played Wesley College in very wet and trying conditions. The opposition was much bigger and taller than our boys and looked like a mixture of their 1st XV. King’s started well with good structure and defensive line speed forcing Wesley College into several errors that King’s capitalised on with wing Lawrence Ualesi scoring in the corner to bring score to 5-0. Minutes later Tahu Watson went over for a well-set move from scrum time to score under the posts playing in the unfamiliar position of 2nd five-eight.
12-0 quickly turned into 12-12 with 5 minutes to go as Wesley College fought back to level the score with weight of possession. The lads dug in defensively and earned two penalties, both converted by Ethan Stuart taking the match score to 18-12. All the boys played well and gave a great performance.
Onehunga High School
Try to Stuart Macalister
King’s 2B/Colts team took on Onehunga Second XV on Saturday. In very wet conditions not conducive to free-flowing passing, the King’s team controlled the game very well. Despite a significant size and weight disadvantage across the whole side, King’s played a very controlled game and aggressive tackling enabled them to shut down any Onehunga attacks when they did have the ball.
The forwards were led well by captain Oscar Marsh and he was ably supported by Will McTaggart and Sam Brewer. In the backs Stuart Macalister controlled the game well in difficult conditions with Tinirau Rairi and George Bennett making numerous damaging runs. Scoring opportunities were limited in the rain with a solitary penalty to King’s being the only score in the first half for a 3-0 advantage at the break.
In the second half, following a long period of King’s territory in the Onehunga 22m area, an individual piece of skill from Stuart Macalister yielded a great try. Seeing the defense advancing fast at him, he grubbered the ball through and won the chase to the ball to ground it for a try. The easy conversion was added for a 10-0 lead and King’s looked to be on their way to a simple victory.
However, as the saying goes, it isn’t over until it’s over. After having tackled like demons for the whole game, a couple of simple missed tackles allowed Onehunga to score an easy try. Onehunga missed the conversion though, to leave the score 10-5 to King’s. With the clock ticking down, the hard-running Onehunga number eight swatted off two soft tackles to run 60m to score in the corner. The conversion was then missed to make it 10-10. With still one more passage of play to come, all King’s had to do was make a couple of tackles. With fatigue setting in amongst the King’s players, Onehunga shifted the ball to the left side and broke the line again. With the winger streaking away for the corner, it looked as if Onehunga were going to steal the game in the space of three short minutes. As it was, George Bennett pulled off a try saving tackle to thwart the attack and sound the final whistle at 10-10 as a thrilling end to an entertaining game of Rugby. The game showcased some good things from the King’s boys but also a few thing’s to work on for the coming weeks.
The Under 15s travelled to Liston College to play their second match of the season. In difficult wet conditions the team kept their composure to notch up a win against what turned out to be a very well drilled Liston side. The team are still trialling many players, so continuity was difficult to establish as the players were changed.
When the forwards were able to supply clean ball, the backline impressed again. Xavi Taele and Francis Munuleleua scored a try each, and the team were awarded a penalty try as Senio Pulega was felled by a dangerous tackle on his way in for a certain try. Still lots to work on for the team but signs of promise as we move towards the start of the competitive season.
Sacred Heart College 4A
The team showed some promise against a very strong side. They stayed focused and did not give in to sustained pressure. There will be lots to work on now and we will look to make some improvements in time for next week’s game.
Sacred Heart College
It was a great effort from the boys in difficult, wet conditions. Unfortunately, the result was not the one we were hoping for, but it was only a pre-season match before the official matches begin in June.
Sacred Heart College
19 – 10
Tries to Sio Vaolupe (2), Trey Alatini (1)
Conversions to Joe Taylor (2)
In very wet conditions the boys played well and adjusted to the slippery ball and muddy ground. It was a forwards’ day and they delivered. The whole pack stood up when it mattered but they were led by strong performances from Aubrey Hunt, Joe Taylor and Jack Proctor, who worked tirelessly throughout the game.
In the backs Trey Alatini controlled the game from flyhalf, with Josh Schaaf and James Charteris combining well in the midfield to create space for the players out wider. Sio Vaolupe was the recipient of the hard work and scored two tries.
Playing away at Sacred Heart College is always a tough game. This is the first time that a King’s 6A side has won away at Sacred Heart College for several years. Overall, this game has given the boys a good start to their season and allowed them to build their confidence for the first competition match next weekend.
Westlake Boys High School
Following last week’s courageous win over Saint Kentigern College, the King’s 7A team were keen to measure themselves against the Westlake 7A Green squad in their first competition match of the season.
In extremely wet playing conditions, King’s were quickly on attack and following several well-constructed plays, soon found themselves rewarded with a try to winger Myka Newman, who, despite his perfect kicking record the previous week, was unsuccessful with the conversion.
In a series of very competitive exchanges, King’s seemed to be having the best of the half but were unable to turn their excellent pressure into points. Then, 10-minutes before the half ended, Westlake crossed the line near to the King’s posts and with an easy conversion and were able to go into half time leading 7-5.
The second half was almost a replay of the first with numerous attacks by both sides meeting just as rigorous defensive screens. With just five minutes to go in the second half, a lightening raid by Westlake from broken play saw the King’s defense on the right-hand side slow to regroup and Westlake pressed home a numbers advantage with a second try that went unconverted.
In very trying conditions, the whole squad played extremely well but special mention should be given to Thomas Stewart, William Olde, Freddie Forsythe and Charlie Webb in the forwards and Jack Elliott, Jack McKay, Nick Tapper and Myka Newman in the backs.
Next weekend the squad travels to Mauhurangi College in Warkworth for a midday game where they will be hoping to record their first competition points for the season.