This weekend saw a number of close encounters throughout all grades, with some pleasing wins especially for the Under 15 Open team away to Massey High School. They also had a successful day running the Land Rover BBQ at the 1st XV traditional fixture against Sacred Heart, fundraising for Tournament Week in September. Thank you to Archibald and Shorter for providing the BBQ, and to Anna Khun, Lucky Smythe and Tony Muagututia-Saipele for their help in assisting with this and their consistent hard work all round to lift the team to their win in the weekend.
6A also had a fabulous win and their continual improvement from the start of season is very visible and paying off. The players were excited to get an encouraging result but mostly to perform well. The trust and patience of coaches Boaz Raela and Eamon Reily is working its magic in slowly developing their team. 5A also had a close and well-deserved win away to rivals St Peter’s which will lift them going in to face a strong Sacred Heart team this week.
There was a lot of excitement and anticipation for the 1st XV traditional fixture with Sacred Heart which was also the celebration of 125 Years of 1st XV Rugby. The pre-match function was a sell out and Old Collegian Matt Willis did a fantastic job of containing the always entertaining Marc Ellis in a humorous Q&A sit down. King’s started well with two quick tries stunning Sacred and never looked back. A fine defensive effort to hold Sacred Heart out in the second half was a positive sign going into an away Grammar game this week. We look forward to seeing all our King’s Supporters at Grammar this Saturday.
Head of Rugby
FIRST XV VS SACRED HEART COLLEGE:
WIN 22 – 5
The First XV defeated Sacred Heart College 22-5 in their traditional fixture on Saturday on the back of an outstanding defensive effort.
Despite being starved of possession throughout the second half, King’s kept Sacred Heart at bay with relentless tackling and commitment at the breakdown.
The victory meant King’s won the Fitzpatrick-Kirkpatrick Cup, while continuing to set the pace at the top of the 1A competition.
The match marked the first time this season King’s didn’t collect a bonus point to go with their win but they hold a superior points difference to Kelston Boys’ High School who are also undefeated through four matches.
King’s co-captain Chicago Doyle was reliable at fullback throughout the game and scored a try to go alongside two conversions and a penalty goal.
“Big win there. Hardest game yet,” he said after the final whistle.
“Just proud of the boys for holding in there right until the last whistle. Credit to Sacred though for giving it to us right until the end as well. It was a good game.”
Both sides were well-supported with a big crowd in attendance at King’s College as the morning rain cleared and the players were greeted with good weather.
The platform for Saturday’s victory was laid in the first half where tries to Che Clark and Doyle gave King’s a 14-point lead inside the first 10 minutes.
In what was a physical encounter, both teams were keen to move the ball around and Sacred Heart’s only points came mid-way through the first half courtesy of an intercept try.
Doyle’s boot kept the scoreboard moving as King’s took a 17-5 lead to the break.
The second half was barely underway before centre Ali Leiataua scored for King’s, which punctuated a strong individual performance in the midfield.
King’s were camped in their own territory for most of the second half and tackled themselves to a standstill as they had to tough out a tricky 10-minute period with 14 men after losing a player to the sin bin.
Doyle said they still had to improve their discipline and support play but was proud of his team’s effort this season.
“We couldn’t ask for a better start but there’s a long way to go and hopefully we keep building and finish off strong.”
In their next match, the First XV will head to Auckland Grammar School for another traditional encounter on Saturday 26 June as they look to reclaim the Cooper-Greenbank Cup.
Relive this afternoon’s action on demand with Sideline app.
SECOND XV VS KELSTON BHS:
LOSS 10 – 25
Driving out West from windy conditions in Papatoetoe on State Highway 1, the conditions were completely the opposite with beautiful clear blue skies in the Kelston area.
King’s College kicked off to Kelston with the early exchanges between the two sides seeing both teams trying to gain territory around the field with a lot of kicking from Kelston finding the grass and turning King’s around. King’s struggled to gain momentum with our kickers around the field. We were found defending our try line and a penalty to Kelston turned into points seeing them go up 3 – 0. King’s quickly responded with their own penalty kick from Harry Sinclair, 3 – 3. Kelston found possession in our own 22m zone, penetrating our try line and were then rewarded with a try; 8 – 3 to Kelston into the half time break.
Kelston gained some confidence from the half time break and King’s weren’t able to hold out a second try from them which was unconverted. There were a couple of good phases from the forwards and backs combining in Kelston’s half, however we just couldn’t convert them into points. It started to frustrate the players. Kelston made a line break and busted through some tackles from King’s, scoring their third try which was converted.
King’s were looking to get some momentum back with a few penalties awarded to them by the referee, unfortunately we didn’t see a yellow card to Kelston for repeated infringements close to the try line, however, the forwards strung together a couple of phases and our No. 8 Seb Su’a went over the try line for our first try of the morning. Kelston led 20 – 10 with 5 minutes remaining in the game.
Kelston played the territory game really well turning our outside backs around and finding the grass on their kicks. King’s were short on the outside in their own half, a solo effort fourth try from Kelston’s winger was the last points of the game. Kelston was the better team on the day winning 25 – 10.
It’s back to the drawing board for the players who are still working hard to get better and learning from each game. We will take the positives out of this game and build on that with a good performance next week against arch rivals Auckland Grammar under the lights at College Rifles, playing for the College Rifles Cup on Friday night, 7.30pm kick off.
1R VS SACRED HEART:
LOSS 8 – 16
The 1R squad’s winning run came to a halt against a well-organised Sacred Heart College side on Saturday. King’s were slow out of the blocks in the opening quarter with poor first up tackling, several unforced errors and lapses in discipline allowing the opposition to take a deserved 10 – 0 lead.
The home side started to get a foothold in the game and produced several scoring opportunities, however, poor execution let Sacred off the hook. Fly half Tom Paranthoiene kicked a penalty before the half time break to reduce the visitors’ lead to within 7 with a halftime score of KC 3 – 10 SHC.
Following some stern words at half time King’s started the second half well, implementing a more territorial kicking game by making use of the breezy conditions. After creating several opportunities, centre Moziah Latu scored from close range after a period of continued pressure in the Sacred half. Continued ill-discipline allowed SHC back into the game and they stretched their lead with two penalties in quick succession midway through the second half. King’s continued to create opportunities however continued infringements and poor decision-making in an extremely frustrating afternoon for the home side meant Sacred claimed the spoils with the closing score of 16 – 8.
In an extremely competitive grade, King’s must quickly learn and adapt from the defeat and bounce back next week against rivals Grammar to get their campaign back on track.
MVP: Oliver Farag
U15 OPEN VS MASSEY HS
WIN 27 – 0
The King’s College U15A travelled for the third time in four games to Massey High School on Saturday. After the torrential downpour earlier in the morning we arrived to a blue sky, sun shining and only a very light breeze: perfect winter rugby conditions. As a team we had trained well all week and arrived to the game with the intention of playing free-flowing and accurate rugby.
Massey controlled the first few minutes of the game, however, King’s staunch defence meant we were never put under real pressure. As momentum changed, we then dominated most facets of the game, if it wasn’t for the bounce of the ball, a couple of forward passes or the dropped ball we would have scored another three or four tries. First half tries to outstanding players Sione Manuopangai and Hawaiki Morrison meant we went into half time with a 10 – 0 lead.
In the second half, the coaches were able to get all the reserves onto the field for some good game time and with sustained pressure we were able to score three well-executed tries to Zion Heiloa Savaka, a second for Hawaiki Morrison and our last try to Kahu Cotterill. Keanu Ezekiela was able to add one conversion for the game to finish 27 – 0.
The most pleasing aspect of our game was our ability to keep Massey scoreless, the whole team took a big step forward but none more so than Hawaiki, Sione, Bailey Harris, Qortezz Tuala, Taniela Ngata, Zion, Keanu, Kahu, TJ Anae-Paila and Levi Saipele.
With eight key players now away on camp, we will need three forwards to help cover our backs. This will be a great test of our depth but gives the whole squad a great opportunity to cement themselves a starting position before our key players return. We have another away game next week before the team looks forward to playing at home again.
5A VS ST PETER’S:
WIN 20 – 15
A much-improved effort resulted in a good win for King’s 5A over a very abrasive St Peter’s team 20 – 15. Playing at the Domain, the fields had been closed to junior rugby in the morning and the ground was understandably very muddy.
After a disappointing start and conceding a try while camped on defence, the King’s team started to find space out wide and made a number of breaks. Charlie Webb scored with Nick Tapper converting from out wide to see a narrow 7 – 5 lead at half time.
Some changes at half time seemed to energise the team and after multiple phases Corban Drake slid in out wide for a try that was unconverted. A further penalty from Tapper stretched the lead to 15 – 5.
St Peter’s stayed in the game, helped by our desire to run the ball a little too much in the poor conditions. They scored to make it 15 – 10 before a wonderful length-of-the-field run by captain Suede Cowley to seal the game. St Peter’s scored a late consolation try but King’s were deserved winners.
Special mention to Jack McKay who played outstandingly on the wing and then moved into halfback and was just as effective. The entire forward pack can be proud of their efforts – they dominated the contact and laid the foundation for the victory.
5B VS MACLEANS COLLEGE:
LOSS 5 – 17
We were far more competitive in this game. The team was able to retain possession for large parts of the game and if not for some lapses in defence the score could have been quite different. The new-look front row dominated in the scrum resulting in a number of turnovers. Needless to say this was a much improved performance which hopefully generates some momentum going forward. Player of the day was front rower James Wilson.
6A VS SELWYN COLLEGE:
WIN 35 – 12
The first half was evenly contested early on. The team applied pressure working hard in the muddy and wet conditions. The contact area at the breakdown was very physical with neither team giving anything away. King’s scored the first points by taking a penalty kick and converting.
Selwyn had some quite big boys who were managing to create doubt within our boys. But some very solid and confident tackling by both the forwards and the backs enabled the boys’ confidence to grow. King’s scored through some good build up and link play between backs and the forwards. Spencer Capper put in a strong burst in midfield breaking tackles to score. Selwyn replied very quickly after this. After this King’s dominated the rest of the half scoring another two more tries to Spencer and the other to Charlie Kaye.
The second half was no different to the first. Both teams looked to dominate and control possession. Even in the muddy conditions the pack and back line combined well to move the ball around. For King’s this game highlighted how much they have improved lineouts and scrums, areas of weakness that lacked consistency that have became areas of strength.
With the increased confidence the team became more cohesive – they were strong in the tackle. Henry Wagstaff, Jaydan Arahanga, Rocco Purea and Dominic Lunjevich – were invaluable making strong confident tackles and stopping Selwyn from breaking away. The team was also strong in the breakdown area contesting and winning possession and penalties. After some concerted pressure and strong running Henry and Jaydan scored a couple of good team tries. Although Selwyn replied with a converted try, King’s had the last say with a well-taken try by Will Lauchlan from broken play. He ran hard and strong breaking tackles and brushing players aside before scoring in the corner.
Congratulations on a great team effort across the board. There were lots of positives in terms of the team’s game plan and structure, the links between the forwards and backs, the continuity of play and the strong defensive effort.
Keep it up – kia kaha!
U14 OPEN VS DE LA SALLE:
LOSS 12 – 17
Off to a good start, King’s scored in the first eight minutes of the match with Christian Collins crossing the line off the back of sustained forwards pressure inside De La Salle’s 22. Saia Manu converted the try. Under some pressure late in the half, King’s defended well and exited under pressure from set piece. Half time score was 7 – 0 to King’s.
De La Salle reacted with urgency and capitalised on King’s mistakes upon receiving the kick-off, scoring an unconverted try. With good possession on attack not long after, Johan Schaumkell scored following some great back play which was set up by some consistent phase play by the forwards. The conversion was unsuccessful. Gaining confidence with some good possession and territorial advantage behind them, De La Salle scored two tries, the first after sustained forward pressure on our line, and their third try which was converted came from broken play.
The remainder of the match was highly contested between the two teams with King’s hard on the hunt for a match-winning try, applying pressure in De La Salle 22. An intercepted pass and try by Charlie Burn in the final minute of the game was heartbreakingly disallowed for an offside penalty.
Parents and spectators were treated to a great game of rugby on Saturday and excellent sportsmanship was demonstrated by both teams at the conclusion of the match in thanking the supporters on both sides. So many improvements were noted in this game by all players. Sean Angilau consistently made some good runs on attack down the sideline, and half time substitutions all made good contributions to impact on the match. The forwards are showing some improvements especially in set piece. Our thanks to Afeaki-Mafile’o family for half-time oranges for the players.
Tries – Christian Collins (1), Johan Schaumkell (1)
Conversions: Saia Manu (1/2)