King's College Rugby Reports
Auckland Grammar School
13-17 to Auckland Grammar
Tries: Iliesa Ratuva
Conversions: Zarn Sullivan,
Penalties: Zarn Sullivan, Meihana Grindlay
Saturday 17 May saw the highly anticipated match between Auckland's two oldest rivals played out at Auckland Grammar School, and as expected it came down to the wire like most Cooper-Greenbank Cup fixtures. The end result, a score of 13-17 to Auckland Grammar, saw them regain the coveted cup from King’s as last year’s champions.
Televised live on Sky TV, the match setting was perfect with the sun shining, very little wind and a large crowd present to witness a very entertaining and tightly contested match between two evenly matched teams.
As is tradition, the two teams lined up facing each other on the field while the students of King's College followed by the boarders from Grammar's Tibbs House performed their respective hakas.
The first half saw both teams fighting for dominance. King's opened the scoring with a penalty to Zarn Sullivan (Year 12, School) before Auckland Grammar replied with a penalty when both teams infringed in their own halfs. In a crucial turnover at a tackle, the ball was passed to our Fijian lock - Iliesa Ratuva (Year 13, Selwyn)who ran 60m to score the opening try of the match. He did not have a straight run to the line and had a lot of work to do to reach the tryline, which made his efforts so much more appreciated by the rest of the team. First five-eighth Zarn Sullivan slotted the conversion from the touchline for a 10-3 lead.
Right on halftime, King's made several attacks deep into the Grammar zone, which eventually resulted in a penalty straight out in front of the posts. Unfortunately, Sullivan's attempt struck the post and the chance to take a 10 point lead into the break went begging.
There were still high hopes and lots of confidence going into the second half. The Grammar team created several scoring opportunities and from one, their prop crossed over in the corner; their kicker converted from the sideline to tie the game up at 10 all. The game then went back and forth and King's went onto attack in Grammar’s 22m and looked like scoring to open up the game. However, in a crucial moment, the last pass to put the extra man over the tryline was intercepted by a Grammar player who raced 85m to score the killer blow. The Grammar kicker converted from the sideline and Grammar had opened up a 7 point lead.
From a foray into the Grammar half, the opposition infringed and replacement kicker - Meihana Grindlay (Year 11, School) converted the penalty to close the gap to just four points with 10 minutes to go. Despite throwing everything into the last stanza, King's was unable to score again and the game ended 17-13 to Auckland Grammar.
Head of Rugby Tasesa Lavea says this was a game played in conditions similar to a semi-final.
“Our team must maintain this level of commitment and application in the next two games against St. Peter’s College and Mount Albert Grammar School to go into the holidays still positioned as one of the top two teams of the competition.”
De La Salle College
20-7 to King’s
Tries: Leandro Vakatini, Ben Taylor and Ro'anis Lamond
Conversions: Josh Numanga
Penalties: Josh Numanga
In this top of the table clash, King's proved too dominant at the first phase and slowly wore down the larger team from De La Salle.
Clever tactical play and kicking from Reece Waters and Ben Taylor ensured King's stayed on the front foot in the first half. After spending a good period of time on attack, the hard working forwards were rewarded with Leandro Vakatini powering his way over from 10 metres out. An awkward conversion was successful from Josh Numanga.
A strong lineout, with Laith Hammond and Billy Coman dominating their own ball and the oppositions, ensured King's had ample opportunities. Jason de Heer was outstanding in breaking the line until unfortunately leaving the field through injury. Numanga finished the half with a further penalty to see King's leading 10-0.
Losing Luke Tuhaka to another injury further tested the thin bench. However, after much shuffling and people playing out of position, the combinations gelled for two outstanding tries. Firstly Ben Taylor shot down the blindside to outpace the cover defence, before the try of the match, with Oliva Mason popping to a hard running Taylor who drew the last defender to put Ro'anis Lamond clear in the corner.
In that same play, Mason was injured and as such King's further tried to see out the game with whoever could play. It was no surprise to finally see De La Salle score after some very brave defence, and make the final score 20-7.
Next week will see old rivals Mount Albert Grammar School at King's, and our key work will be on getting a full backline on the field injury free.
St Kentigern College
8-10 to St Kentigern College
Tries: Mogammad Smith
Penalties: Tamati Panoho
A top of the table clash between these two teams lived up to expectations. The boys scored early within the first couple of minutes with an outstanding 50m penalty slotted over by full back Tamati Panaho into the wind. This set the tone for a classic encounter. St Kentigern with a much bigger side than ours, tried to out muscle our forwards but tenacious defence from our forward pack including Fraser Hardy, Jack Lock, Seb Mines, Milan Urlich and Tom Ludbrook repelled their attack. Amorangi Kuka stole almost 50 per cent of their line out throws. King’s backs were led well by Xela Pathan and Mogammad Smith directing attack, with Mogammad breaking the line early in the first half racing away for a well-deserved 30-metre try. St Kentigern scored on half time and one minute into the second half after much possession swung their way. With no conversions from either team the score stayed at 10-8 with minutes to go. King’s had their opportunity to win the game late in the match but dropped the ball in attack, which St Kentigern took advantage of and received a penalty, kicking the ball out to win the battle.
A massive effort from our players the team is building nicely for the championship round.
St Peter’s College
22-12 to King’s
Tries: Dayton Iobu, Mitchell Irwin, Chicago Doyle
Conversions: Mitchell Irwin, Chicago Doyle
After last week’s draw with Auckland Grammar School we tweaked a number of aspects in our game plan and our preparation. The boys responded well to the changes and played with much more composure, implementing the game plan well. In recent games we have panicked when teams have scored against us; however, when St Peter’s College scored early in the second half to make the score 5-7 our Captain, Israel Otunuku, took control of the situation and showed excellent leadership. The boys responded positively to his captaincy and scored 15 unanswered points. The opposition scored a try in the last play of the game. This was a must-win game for the team and it was encouraging to see the development in our performance from last week. This week we play Mount Albert Grammar School at home.
St Kentigern College
0-17 to St Kentigern
Despite a vast improvement from the huge loss in our first encounter, we were still disappointed with the loss. Missed tackles permitted St Kentigern College a 17 nil lead, which they did not surrender. All credit to our boys who dominated the second half but were denied the ability to score by a valiant opposition. We remain positive and the benefits of our fitness levels are starting to show.
Auckland Grammar School
0-6 to Auckland Grammar
No match report available.
12-17 to Macleans
Tries: Fergus McLay, Pumisak Supachaisakron
A much better performance this week. We were able to string multiple phases together and applied good pressure. However we were unable to breach a resolute defence from Macleans College and conceded a try late in the game to lose 12-17.
Auckland Grammar School
0-74 to Auckland Grammar
Kings suffered another frustrating loss to Auckland Grammar School. A promising first half was quickly undone by a poor defensive second half effort, allowing for a flood of Grammar tries. We will be back to the drawing board this week at training.
St Peter’s College
13-5 to King’s
Tries: Ben Snell, Harry Holdsworth
Penalties: Nathan Robinson
This weekend has been on the radar for many weeks and we knew that it would be our biggest challenge of the pool matches. It turned out to be everything we expected and it was a fantastic opportunity to test ourselves against a team that was our equal on paper.
St Peter’s College came out of the gates like a whirlwind and King's did well to withstand the 10 minute onslaught without conceding points. We made some headway slowly and never committed heavily to the breakdown which gave us extra defenders in open play. St Peter’s scored just before half time to make it 5-0 at the break.
A good, honest and frank discussion at the break about responsibility for tasks worked well and with a few changes made, King's were able to take absolute control of the second half. The forward pack got stuck into their work and gave the backs time to control the territory with excellent field kicking and penetrating running.
St Peter’s couldn’t hold off the way King's had in the first half and their defence began to wilt under the pressure. St Peter’s gave away a slew of penalties and King's applied the blowtorch mercilessly. St Peter’s did not see King's territory in the second half and two tries and a penalty were good reward for a victory to savour.
7-10 to Mahurangi College
As expected this game against the table leader was going to be tough. Mahurangi College had a slight edge for the first half and were deserving 5-0 leaders at half-time. King's bounced back after going 0-10 down 10 minutes into the second-half and finished very strongly. The game in the end was very close but we walked away disappointed, learning some strong lessons. Attendance at training with the right attitude needs to occur all the time - there is no doubt we are capable of performing much better.