A message from the Head of Rugby
Some terrific results from our teams this week considering the challenges of the Kapa Haka absences, injuries and a bout of sickness going around the squads. Testament to the players who took the pitch in teams light on numbers and represented the College admirably.
I hosted a very productive meeting with our grade coaches this week, discussing our rugby delivery, coaching philosophies and our plans for the remainder of the season. I have challenged our coaches to play more conditioned games at training, to help develop our players. Coaching through games allows for our players to be placed in more relevant scenarios and situations that they will find themselves in a match, thus we give them more opportunity to be exposed to the pressure of an opponent, reduction in time and space, fatigue and the problem solving needed to score/prevent a score. In addition to these player development qualities, games are fun!
Coaching through games used to be a ‘non-traditional’ coaching method but today it is common practice across the world and with the modern game of rugby being 80% unstructured with only an average of eight scrums and ten lineouts per game but around 200 rucks, it is obvious where we should be spending our time at training. I am looking forward to supporting our coaches through the remainder of the season to see where this new approach can take us.
A reminder that the first week in July has a few rescheduled fixtures being played after school, in order not to clash with our holidays. Confirmation of the draws can be found on the Auckland Rugby Union website here.
Head of Rugby
One Tree Hill College
95 - 0
Following our hard fought win against traditional rivals Auckland Grammar School the previous Saturday, we relished the opportunity to rest some of our more experienced players and ring the changes for our away clash with newly promoted and current bottom of the table, One Tree Hill College. This provided some of our squad members the perfect opportunity to get some valuable game time and push for starting positions in the team as we continue to strive for a spot in the semi-finals. Matches against teams like these are hard to fathom, firstly, because we had never played against them before, so didn’t really know what to expect, and secondly, because teams can take opposition like this too lightly and get a surprise. The conditions were perfect for our style of play and the field, although a little soft underfoot, was well grassed and prepared by our hosts.
We started slowly, and this may have been the after-effects of our huge challenge the week before. We eventually scored a couple of well-constructed tries to stand-in number eight Judda Turahui and first five-eighth Zarn Sullivan, but One Tree Hill never gave in and nearly scored one themselves. As time ticked away, the team ground into their work and started to play some attractive rugby. We scored a further five tries to Turahui (again), left winger Luron Iosefa, fullback Aidan Morgan, second five-eight and captain for the day Lukas Halls, as well as blindside flanker Tevyn Anitelea. Morgan was able to convert five of the seven first half tries, and we held a comfortable 45 – 0 halftime lead.
At the break, the coaches started to make substitutions and by the end of the match, the entire bench had been emptied with all 22 members getting game time. The momentum that had been gathered in the first half continued after the break with a further eight tries being scored by right wing Temple Kalepo, halfback Dayton Iobu, Anitelea (again), Turahui (to complete his hat-trick), prop Leandro Vakatini, flanker Noah Perelini, Iosefa again and finally Sullivan right on full time. Morgan converted another five of those second half tries for a personal tally of 25 points. At the final whistle, the boys had racked up an impressive 95 – 0 score line to please the coaches as well as the spectators.
This week we host Kelston Boys’ High School who sit just below us on the points table in fifth position, with a very serious possibility of making the top four if they topple us. So, the coaches and players have started preparation for our final match this term as we look to close out the term in second or third place and cement our place as a semi-finalist in this very tough and challenging 1A competition.
Kelston Boys’ High School
Tries: Max Web (2), Ethan Stuart, Trent Foaafo.
Penalty: Ethan Stuart
23 - 17
King’s College Second XV played their best rugby of the season, racing out to a 10-0 lead with tries respectively to Max Webb and Ethan Stuart. The platform was laid after great forward phase play by Kahuki Vaughn, Ryan Gordon, Ethan Cave and Harry Lee.
Laith Hammond dominated the line outs with Fraser Hardy throwing great darts assisted by good lifters with pin point timing.
Kelston Boys’ High hit back with two converted tries near the end of the first half, taking a 10-14 lead. Immediately after the kick off into the second half, King’s conceded another penalty to Kelston 10-17. King’s then emptied the bench as in previous weeks unleashing super subs, Loui Whata, Mitch Urwin, Christian Pese, Tahu Watson, Jack Lock and Jason Honor. This change proved to be just the right immediate impact we needed. Two second half glorious tries to Trent Foaafo and Max Urwin from great set piece sealed the win 23-17. Great defence from Sean Robertson, Christian Pese and Ethan Stuart.
Finally the plan works!
Coaches Andre, Awanui, Matt and Kam
Mount Roskill Grammar School
34 – 22
Tries: Sam Brewer, Andrew Breackon, Alex Goodwin, Tinirau Rairi
Conversions: Caide Davis (4)
The game against Mount Roskill Grammar was a tough encounter. Our ‘Man of the match’ Sam Brewer, bulldozed his way to the try line to give us a brief lead before Mount Roskill charged down a clearing kick to score to make the half time score 10-10. Mount Roskill Grammar went charging and for the first time we found ourselves twelve points down shortly after half-time.
The boys were not playing to structure and strong words came from Head Coach Mr Hunkin. It was not looking pretty, and the boys showed for a second week, grit and determination. We replied to Mount Roskill’s lead with tries from Andrew Breckon, Alex Goodwin and a match winner from Tinirau Rairi. This was an epic win given the team is depleted with injuries and sickness.
20 – 5
Tries: Xavi Taele, Mike Tuala (2), Hamish Daizal
Under 15’s started off well against Liston with a disallowed try to Budda Doyle inside the first 5 minutes. This game saw King’s build multiple phases but with poor ball control, saw lots of turnovers at key moments which allowed Liston College to stay in the game with excellent counter attacking raids.
King’s scramble defence was tested, but an excellent defensive attitude allowed the boys to keep Liston from scoring. Once again after some good lead up work from the forward pack, first-five Xavi Taele exploited a weakness in the defence and scored out wide. After multiple penalties, Liston started to tire, and Michael Tuala was able to beat defenders on the outside and score in the corner on half time to take the score out to 10-0.
The second half started off the same as the first, with Budda Doyle being disallowed another try and handling errors leading to long counter attacking raids. Half way through the second half, King’s put some excellent phases together, and Micheal Tuala crossed the line for his second try.
After some excellent defensive work on the try line, King’s could not exit, and Liston scored a well-executed try through their forward pack.
On full time some patient attack from the King’s forward pack saw work horse lock Hamish Daizal barge his way over the line to finish the game.
Auckland Grammar School
14 – 7
In what was a massively improved performance, we were able to surprise the opposition with tenacious defence and accurate rugby. We established superb phase play on attack and were able to stifle many counter-attacks with smothering defence. This encouraged the boys and their confidence grew which flowed through to foster accuracy in normally weak aspects of our game. Hopefully this performance gives us momentum into the next couple of games. Try scorers were Caide Davis and Fergus McLeay.
Mount Albert Grammar School
24 – 5
5A travelled out to Mount Albert Grammar School for their third round competition clash with a severely depleted squad though injury and illness.
The boys put in a great performance in the end to subdue a big and lively Mount Albert Grammar team and manage to find a way to score four tries in the process.
Taigo Chapman scored at the end of the first half to allow us to lead 5-0 at the break, but Mount Albert Grammar crashed over early in the second half to take a 7-5 lead which they held until 10 minutes from the end.
King's eventually gained the upper hand as Mount Albert Grammar ran out of energy, to score handy tries to Fergus McLeay, Sam Nordmeyer and Finn Hoskins-Hill. Charlie Wrapson (captain for the day) knocked over two conversions to lead King's to a decent 24-5 victory in the end.
Hopefully 5A won't have to survive with a makeshift lineup next week and the full array of skills will be on display, but full credit to the boys for stepping up under immense pressure.
Auckland Grammar School
10 - 26
Playing on the number one field at Auckland Grammar School was new for most of our squad and our traditional rival proved to be a very efficient and well-drilled team. The first half saw Auckland Grammar score two nice tries, with lapses in defence being exposed by the opposition running good, hard and straight lines, resulting in 14 unanswered points scored against us.
The second half saw us rally nicely with both teams scoring two tries, a reflection of the equal share in territory throughout. The final score of 26-10 to Auckland Grammar was a fair indication, highlighting our need for greater accuracy in attack and an increase in intensity and commitment on defence.
Overall whilst the team was disappointed in a loss, we took some benefit and learning from the game. Two games in the next 10 days lies ahead before the end of term break.
53 - 7
On a clear still winter morning, with the sparkling Waitemata and the Coromandel hills as a beautiful scenic backdrop, the King’s 6B’s soundly defeated a Maclean’s team. Before the game, the students were asked what they needed to improve on after last week’s defeat. Collectively the boys agreed that the focus should be on better handling and more grunt in the forwards. They put this game plan into action and by half time the score was 24 - 0 to King’s with tries to Joshua Hargrave and hat-trick of tries to Luca Seerden.
A slow start to the second half saw Macleans in for a quick converted try, 24 – 7. King’s proceeded to run away with the game after this with a final score of 53 – 7. Second half tries to Cody Heron (2), Harry Grieve, Yanz Chen and Luca Seerden (2). Thanks to all parental support, especially for supplying the mandarins at half-time!
29 – 29
Tries: Nic Tapper, Harry Kaveriri, Harry Sinclair, Freddie Forsythe Myka Newman,
Conversions: Harry Sinclair (2)
In fantastic weather conditions for rugby, an almost full King’s 7A squad fronted up for their last home game in the first Round Robin stage of the competition. Playing Orewa College (who came to King’s just two points behind them on the competition ladder and well aware of the importance of the match if they were to hold their top four position), just 12 minutes in, King’s registered their first points following some great forward work with a try to second five Nick Tapper. Harry Sinclair converted, and King’s took and early seven-point lead.
However, any early complacency was quickly shattered when Orewa, eight minutes later, scored a well worked forward try to see the score line shorten to 7-5.
Having been given a sharp wakeup call, King’s responded with wonderful backline tries to Harry Kaveriri (23rd minute), Harry Sinclair (28th minute) and an outstanding converted forward try right on half time to Freddie Forsythe who, given this was the third time this season, seems to have calibrated his try scoring homing device to ensure any points he scores are scored right under or beside the posts.
Despite a stern warning at half time that Orewa would come back at them strongly in the first 10 minutes of the second half, King’s soon saw their line crossed by another good Orewa forward charge and the score shortened to 24 – 10. King’s then again increased the pressure in a game that see-sawed both ways and after 18-minutes of the second half were rewarded with a runaway try to Myka Newman that went unconverted and at 29-10 re-imposed King’s 19-point advantage.
Whether complacency or fatigue was an issue is open to debate but with just 10 minutes to go a “never say die” Orewa side score twice to shorten the King’s lead to 29 – 22. Then, in the final minute of play, the unthinkable occurred and as the ball floated out the King’s backline, an intercept by Orewa’s centre saw a runaway try scored under the posts and the conversion finalise the game as a 29-29 draw.
Player of the day, William Olde played his heart out and well deserved the accolades given to him by both the Orewa and King’s sides.
Given this is the same issue 7A faced in their match against Westlake Red two weeks ago when a 17 – 5 lead with 10 minutes to go saw them lose 19-17, should they still be lucky enough to make the top four, it is to be hoped the need to commit themselves 100% for the full 60 minutes is a lesson now well and truly learnt!