First XV vs Aorere College
38 – 3 Win
The King’s College First XV got their 1A campaign underway with a dominant 38-3 win over Aorere College on Saturday.
Playing with a gentle breeze behind them during the first half, King’s enjoyed long periods of possession coupled with good field position.
Both sides were guilty of making a few early handling errors as they tried to find their rhythm in overcast conditions at Aorere College.
It was King’s who got on the board first courtesy of a try to hooker Senio Pulega after he crashed over following a successful lineout drive.
Second-five Francis Manuleleua brought his kicking boots and knocked over the conversion from the sideline to give King’s an early 7-0 lead.
Co-captain Che Clark added to the tally as halftime drew closer and when Manuleleua got a try of his own, King’s took a 21-0 lead to the break.
The second spell provided more of the same from King’s who were able to turn their possession into points with left wing Maikel Tuala looking particularly dangerous as he cashed in with two tries.
Ali Leiataua added another five-pointer as the game wore on and Clark said he was pleased that his side didn’t concede a try with Aorere only able to muster one penalty goal.
“That’s always what we want,” Clark said.
“The win was good, obviously it was the first game of the season, so we all came out here pumping, we were fizzing looking to get the dub [and] we got the result.”
King’s made sure they kept the scoreboard ticking over when they got into Aorere territory and Clark said one of their goals was to execute their set pieces efficiently.
“Just the boys’ tempo. That was one of the things we were focusing on all week was just tempo. Get to the lineouts and scrums early, which we did well, so, yeah, proud of the boys for that.”
Manuleleua and Leiataua ran hard in the midfield throughout the game and put Aorere under pressure, while tighthead prop Bradley Fifita made some strong carries with ball in hand.
Despite having made a positive start to the season, Clark said there were still plenty of things to improve on.
“Keep working on our stuff, we’ve got a review on Monday, so we’ll go back, see what we need to work on, train that during the week and come out prepared for our next game.”
The First XV’s next outing will see them host Dilworth School at King’s College on Saturday.
2A vs Wesley
10 – 0 Win
Kicking off the season with King’s College vs Wesley College, conditions were great on the Wesley No. 2 field in Paerata, south of Auckland.
The first 20 minutes was a lot of crash and bash with each team trying to figure out how the other was going to play the game. KC camped in their own half for the majority of that opening 20 minutes with strong defence and try-saving tackles from our backs to prevent Wesley from scoring early on.
We went into the game with a plan to limit Wesley’s running through their big forwards, so key words were “chop tackle” and “zero ruck”. We were rewarded in the 30th minute with a quick-thinking moment from our half back Luca Fuller to quick tap and pass onto Sam Afu scoring on the left-hand side, try unconverted by Lachie Palmer.
Halftime tack was all about ruck defence and continuing to make chop tackles and fighting for the ball in the collision ruck area.
The second try in the game came from a midfield break with Stacey Numaga making some good metres with a few tackle breaks and setting up that first ruck on Wesley’s 22m line. Backs cleaned out that first ruck followed by a pod of forwards hitting that second ruck. With space out on the left, Sam Afu takes the ball to the line, bends it and creates an offload and try assist to Daniel James-Nanai who runs in 10m and scores on the left side, try unconverted by Lachie Palmer.
For some reason the second half was cut short – the ref said his time was correct – ending the game 20 minutes early.
Overall, pleased with the outcome, however a lot of areas for improvement.
1R vs AGS
87 – 0 Win
King’s 1R squad put the Grammar B team to the sword on their No. 1 pitch on Saturday. Backs and forwards combined well to score thirteen tries in a one-sided game with scrum-half Will Crawford kicking 11 conversions. Another good performance but areas to focus on with sterner tests on the horizon in the coming weeks.
U15 Open vs Westlake
3 – 25 Loss
The King’s College U15A travelled across the Harbour Bridge on Saturday to play Westlake with the intention of continuing the style of play we showed against a very strong MAGS team the week before.
Just before warm up our field changed from the Lower Sports Field to the No. 1 field at the school. The conditions were ideal for the type of rugby we have been training to play with a well-grassed and fairly firm field and only a small breeze with the sun shining.
Westlake had a well-drilled team who have played together through the younger grades, they had beaten a strong Auckland Grammar team the week before so were coming into this game with a lot of confidence. Our build up had not been ideal after the strong showing against MAGS the week before. Due to quite a few players unable to train during the week because of sickness and Zion Heiloa Savaka being ruled out through injury we had to make a few changes to our playing 22.
Friday night Timote Funaki was ruled out because of sickness so the team played with 21 players. Our disrupted training during the week had an impact on our performance against a well-structured and disciplined Westlake team. King’s made a lot of unforced errors in our red zone which allowed Westlake to attack our line and they were able to expose our numbers out wide resulting in three tries in the first half. Westlake’s ability to dominate field possession and King’s inability to find touch from three penalties meant we only came away with a solitary penalty kick by Harrison Martin in the first half.
Westlake again in the second half were able to expose our numbers out wide to score a try and their only other second half points came from a well-executed lineout win and drive close to our try line. King’s lost Blake Kayes to an awful no arms shoulder tackle. With Blake off the field the team regrouped to play out the final few minutes with the game finishing 25 – 3 to Westlake. Henry O’Leary and TJ Anae-Paila played well in the forwards and backs respectively, and Flynn Hamilton-Muller and Harrison Martin made great line breaks in the game but unfortunately, we were unable to convert these into points. Levi Saipele and Kahu Cotterill led the team well but the players know they need to bring the same intensity and passion they showed against MAGS week in week out moving forward.
This week the team has key areas to work on so we can put in a better performance this weekend including but not limited to converting our attacking opportunities, first up tackles, line speed on defence, running with purpose and playing eyes up rugby on both attack and defence.
U14 Open vs Massey High School
29 – 14 Win
Tries – Saia Manu (3), Charlie Burns (1), Johan Schaumkell (1)
2 conversions from 5 attempts: Saia Manu
A hard-earned win not reflected by the final score, the U14 open boys showed up to the competition opening match this Saturday at Massey High School enthusiastic and ready to compete. They played most of the first half of game in Massey’s half with two well-constructed tries finished by Captain Saia Manu. Both tries were unconverted by him. After sustained attack in the last ten minutes, Massey scored from turnover ball in our half which they promptly converted.
Early in the second half, forwards captain and loosie Charlie Burns scored an opportunistic try which was converted by Saia. After a good period of sustained pressure, Massey scored and converted. King’s replied almost immediately with a great line break and finish by Saia completing his hat trick of three tries. Our final try was scored by Johan Schaumkell who was rewarded for his phenomenal work ethic throughout the entire match. The try was converted by Saia. Johan was a standout in both back and forward play, and regularly ripped the ball free from the opposition to turn defence into attack.
Under watchful eye of halfback Joseph Fatuvalu, the tight forwards demonstrated good execution in set play with lock Christian Collins winning lineout ball on opposition throw, and a couple of tight-head wins from scrums. Back play was, as usual, exciting to watch on attack with the occasional small mistake denying us a try or two. This team is steadily improving with ALL players stepping up to make a worthy contribution on game day. Our inexperienced and lighter players deserve a shoutout, as they played particularly well.
King’s College U14 Open team coaches and management would like to especially acknowledge and thank Mr Soni Manu, father of Saia Manu, for generously refereeing our match. Incredibly, he also refereed the game prior. Mr Manu demonstrated outstanding knowledge of the game and refereed with skill and objectivity. Malo aupito Mr Manu!
Thanks also to Taanilasike’s parents Emeline Afeaki-Mafile’o and Pate Mafile’o for bringing in oranges and bottled water for the boys which they enjoyed thoroughly and shared with the opposition.
5A vs St Peter’s
7 – 7 Draw
A determined St Peter’s team dominated the second half and managed to score on full time to draw 7-7.
King’s looked strong early with a try to wing Ben Tapper off a lovely backline move. Nick Tapper then converted from the sideline for a 7 – 0 lead. Multiple further opportunities were squandered with passing being slightly misdirected or mishandled.
Credit must be given for a brave defensive effort from King’s to hold out St Peter’s until the final minute.
Competition commences next week with competition favourites, Sacred Heart.
5B vs Rosehill College
0 – 57 Loss
This was a tough start for this team, though not due to lack of endeavor. It was mainly due to start of season inaccuracy. Surprisingly we enjoyed long periods of possession, stringing good phases together but when the errors came we were punished severely. The boys never gave up but ultimately ran out of puff. Players to mention : Alex Grant, Thomas Williams and Sione Latu.
6A vs St Peter’s
7 – 31 Loss
Defence and teamwork were the main focuses for the day. The 6A team began the game strongly pressurising SPC early however due to defensive lapses SPC scored a couple of quick tries. This caused KC to tighten up and work more as a team – competing well at the breakdown and winning possession or penalties. The backs ran well as did the forwards when they had possession. Half time score was 12 – 0 to SPC.
The second half was much the same. SPC was well structured as a team however KC was able to compete in the contact area close to the ruck and breakdown making strong dominant tackles. KC managed to score a well worked try to Spencer Capper who ran strongly throughout the game. A great effort from both the forwards and the backs. This is a sign of what the team can achieve when everyone is working together.
The final score was 31 – 7 to SPC. This result was not a reflection of the intensity of the game nor the effort and attitude of the team. Thank you to all the players and the parents for their support.
With each passing week since the team started this year there has been noticeable improvements.
Kia kaha 6A!
U15R vs St Peter’s
32 – 14 Win
Tries to: Johnny Wilson (3), Milan Gibson (2) and Ricco Woodhams
Conversion to: Ollie Davies
Half time 20-7