vs Saint Kentigern
52 – 19, Win
This was a huge week for our team as we needed to get the boys back up again after the disappointing and close loss to Auckland Grammar last weekend. The challenge of having St. Kent’s come across to King’s in just Round 4 of our competition as well as the match being broadcast live on SKY Sport, gave us great motivation, but we needed to prepare well for this huge challenge against one of New Zealand’s most successful rugby schools in recent times.
Once again, we were spoiled with an amazingly sunny day with very little wind and a superb pitch prepared by Groundsman Jamie Jensen and his team from Bark. There was a big and vocal crowd in attendance on both sides of the field and expectations were high in both camps. We needed to start well and this we did with openside flanker Tahu Watson scoring the first try after the St. Kent’s hooker overthrew the ball at a lineout 5m from their goal line, which he caught and dived across for his first try of the season. Aidan Morgan had his kicking boots on and converted the try to give us a 7 – 0 lead. St. Kent’s as we expected, came straight back, and after some tight forward play, scored a well-taken try that was also converted to lock the scores up at 7 all. That would be the only points scored by St. Kent’s in the first half as we were then awarded two penalties not far from the St. Kent’s posts and Captain Leandro Vakatini did not hesitate to point at the posts. Aidan converted both penalties to push us out to 13 – 7. In what would turn out to be one of the best first halves we had played this season, King’s played some sublime rugby and scored three more tries to hooker Waiora Morris, left wing Luron Iosefa and first five-eighth Aidan Morgan. Aidan was able to convert two of those and when the halftime whistle blew, we were 32 – 7 up and had already secured the bonus point for scoring four tries.
Rugby critics often state that if a team scores just before halftime and then straight away after the halftime break, that they generally go on to win the match… Well that is exactly what did happen. It didn’t take long for our boys to get back on the scoreboard. The ball was passed between forwards and backs and fullback Chicago Doyle scored a beautiful try in the left-hand corner. Not long after, we were awarded a penalty 40m out from their posts, once again, Aidan Morgan converted the penalty and we had hit 40 points. St. Kent’s then managed to pull back one try after some good work saw them score in the left-hand corner to make the score 40 – 12. It did not, however, take long before we were back in try-scoring mode again, with both wings – firstly Iosefa, then Va’afusuaga scoring the team’s sixth and seventh tries. Morgan was able to convert Eric’s try and we had hit 50 points. It has been a long time since we put 50 points on St. Kent’s but such was the way we had played thus far, it was probably a fair indication of the difference in the way the two teams played this match. Several further opportunities to score were created, but we were unable to complete these chances. To their credit, St. Kent’s never stopped trying and were rewarded with the final points right on fulltime when their centre scored a converted try. The final score read King’s 52 - St. Kent’s 19. There were some stand-out performances from our King’s College lads, but probably none more-so than first five-eighth Aidan Morgan, who scored 22 points and was deservedly awarded the player of the day award by the SKY Sports team. At the after-match function ex St. Kent’s Collegian – Mr Don Craig himself, was on-hand to present the Don Craig Trophy to Captain Leandro Vakatini, that is played for, between our two schools.
This was a great performance against a very strong and respected opposition and the coaches will be very pleased with the way the boys played. This was a very physical and rugged encounter, and it is very timely that there are no matches next weekend because of Queen’s Birthday Weekend, which will allow our boys with injuries and niggles to rest and recover before we travel across to MAGS in two weeks’ time for what will be another tough match.
vs Saint Peter's
29 – 17, Win
On Saturday the Second XV played their first competition match at King’s College with an outstanding win against last year’s co-champions St Peter’s College 29 - 17.
Mogammad Smith scored in the first couple of minutes combining well with Sean Roberton, Ethan Stuart and Troy Faiva. With bruising defence from Senio Pulega, Lawrence Sullivan-Pahl, Jason Honour and Leo Rusher it forced SPC to make many mistakes and errors within their own half.
King’s capitalised with good set piece, building great phase play and continuity and were able to take lead out to 8 – 0 with a penalty right on half time.
Sam Brewer opened up the scoring account in the second half with a well worked try from a lineout drive then a pick and go. Jason Honour coverted the try to take the lead in favour of Kings 14 – 0 SPC hit back with a converted try.
The lads again had strong defence and superior line speed hassling the bigger forward pack of SPC, a common feature of this year’s team. Great footwork led to by wing Zealin Prime , first five Ethan Stuart and centre Sean Roberton led to two great tries to Jason Honour and Sam Brewer . Some of the best I have seen at this level.
Tom Ludbrook, Sebastian Macdonald, Tevita Likiliki, Sione Ahokovi and Ethan Cave all made great impact on the game.
King’s sealed the game with good defence and effective communication despite a couple of late tries by SPC.
Great start to our campaign, well-deserved win.
Tries J Honour, S Brewer x 2, M Smith
Penalty J Honour
Con J Honour, S Pulega
vs Kelston Boys' High School
24 – 14, Loss
On Saturday 25 May the U15 boys went to play Kelston and were put to the test. It was a good game by both teams but unfortunately, we did not come out victorious.
During the first half of the game, we managed to put Kelston under pressure early with a scrum in their 22 but did not manage to score which led Kelston to get back on their feet and get the ball back. The game was very physical and there were many ups and downs such as a great charge down try from Guy Hunt which managed to put us in the lead with 10 minutes left in the first half. We had a great defence in the first half which lead to a many failed attacks but we were unfortunate to concede a penalty which lead to Kelston getting a try to end the half.
We started the second half strong with great defence and many ones on one tackle from the boys. We managed to get a try in the corner after a great set piece move that found Bailey Liu tackled just short of the line but quickly recycled ball was moved to the other touchline for captain Jarius Iosefa to go over for a seven pointer.
The weekends game was intense and we were put to the test. Many thanks to the supporters who came out to watch and for Kelston who hosted and put up a great game.
Haytham Aumua (Year 10, School House)
vs Saint Kentigern
21 – 3, Win
King's 1R made history on Saturday when they were part of the first ever televised 1R match. If taking on St Kent’s at home on the Number 1 pitch wasn’t a challenge, having cameras pointed in your face made it more fun. Full of nerves the boys took the pitch ready to make up for the pre-season loss against the same side. With penalties galore in the first half we went out to 6 – 3 lead that stood for the majority of the 35 minutes. St Kent’s set up shop in our 22 for long periods of time, but through strong defence we held tight keeping them out. We had limited ball throughout the half, but when we finally had our chance we took it. Some hot potato footy got us into the St Kent’s 22. Smart thinking from Caide Davis taking a quick tap close to the line lead to Mika Tuia crashing over out wide for the first try of the match.
Heading into the second half with a solid 11 – 3 lead behind us, we were again put under pressure with St Kent’s parking up in our 22. However, this time we were put under more pressure with Stacey Numanga sent to the naughty chair for 10 minutes after a dangerous lifting tackle. Still our defence held as we kept the visitors at bay. Once we again got possession, Isaac Gilbert broke through the defence out wide to send us marching back down to St Kent’s 22, he looked certain to score before getting the speed wobbles. We made use of the possession and territory with Stu Macalister adding another 3 to his tally. A late try to Jibreel Aumua barging his way over out wide and with Stu Macalister adding the extras from the touchline we went out to a 21– 3 lead. St Kent’s never gave up trying and neither did we as we held them out to keep them to just the 3 points. Our defence was the winner on the day making countless tackles close to our line. The boys did a great job showcasing their ability and represented the school well getting a great victory on national TV.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Stu Macalister – Controlled the game to perfection with his excellent kicking game keeping us in the hunt early. His organisational skills and running game got us on the front, as did his goal kicking, only missing from out wide but making up for it later in the game.
Jibreel Aumua – In his first game for 1R this season was outstanding leading us around the paddock in the 6 jersey. His strong runs and brick wall-like defence was outstanding, showcasing his top-class ability.
vs Auckland Grammar School
0 – 32, Loss
5A welcomed Grammar to King's for the first big test of the season following 3 easy victories to start the year. Unfortunately things did not go as planned in this final hit out before the real season starts in June and a lot of work lies ahead if King's are to be competitive leading into the finals later this year.
King's started strongly and were doing very well through the first 15 minutes, but a series of errors gifted Grammar two soft tries to trail 12 – 0 at the break. We knew we needed to score first in the second half, but it was not to be and Grammar kept the scoreboard ticking over. A final score of 32 – 0 was very disappointing considering the development that had been going on.
Will Geldard at 8 was impressive in a losing cause.
vs Pukekohe High School
0 – 84, Win
On a beautiful sunny day King's turned up at a picturesque Pukekohe High School with their number one field looking amazing.
King's started off the game in the first 10 minutes defending against quite a big Puke team, however once our back line got the ball it was all over, a total of 13 tries scored with a superb solo try from our fullback Ed and a kick and chase by Saturday’s captain Tom Ogg the highlights of our tries not to mention a Yanz Chen solo who bashed and crashed through Puke’s forwards to go over for another great try.
This quite simply was a superb team performance from start to finish, it is important boys not to yahoo and cheer when you’re winning comfortably and the score is 65 - 0 always remain humble in victory and defeat. One disappointing aspect is talking back to the referee, we spoke about this on Saturday with only the Captain talking with him.
Well done boys for working hard during part of last week, if we want to continue winning our attitude and preparation must remain consistent, enjoy Big House music and we will see you Thursday.
Henry, Fergus and Jimmy
vs Saint Kentigern
26 – 28, Loss
Our return game vs St Kent’s was played at home on a bright and sunny morning. We had good numbers for the first time this season with several students returning from injury. It was a close fought, well-played game with both teams trading tries in the first half.
Unfortunately, our very good prop Tani Henwood was injured early in the game followed closely by wing Charles Hunn with an ankle injury. The losses of these two key players did not hamper King’s team spirit though.
King’s were the first to score a try by the ever-present and strong running Mataia Cotterill. His try was a credit to him and to some good gutsy work from the other forwards. Outstanding and straight-running centre Liam Denny scored twice more with both tries converted, one by James Ford and the other by William Crawford. The opposition didn’t slow down and came back with four unconverted tries during the half. Going into half time King’s was behind 19 – 20.
During the second half both teams were feeling the effects of the warm weather and the game slowed with the opposition scoring early, 25 – 19. However, digging deep, our very good lock Ethan Henderson led the way and stormed over for a brilliant converted try which put King’s ahead for the first time 26 – 25.
The King’s boys held on in the last few minutes, showing outstanding defence and courage. However, a last-minute penalty awarded to the opposition in front of our posts was to be a dis-heartening blow, final score 26 – 28 a loss to King’s. Player of the day and nomination for the King’s Team of the week is Liam Denny with two excellent tries. Of special mention is the referee. He was a young boy of 15 years old and it was his first game. He did so well and it’s just great to see these younger guys stepping into these difficult pressured roles. Thank you to our parents and families for your respectful and kind support from the sideline.
Barry, Hayes and Rev.
vs Westlake Boys' High School
21 – 15, Loss
In a game where two willing sides showed that this competition will provide some intense and exciting rugby, at the final whistle King’s 7A found themselves one converted try short of an equally determined and well drilled Westlake College 7A Green, (one of two Westlake teams in the competition).
Just as hard to take was the loss of their hooker, Thomas Stewart (Marsden) who unfortunately was taken from the field in the second half with a seriously broken collarbone. Up until his departure Thomas had provided some much-needed go forward and along with his resolute defence had made a major difference in the heated up-front battle that was taking place.
With King’s kicking off, they were quickly made aware that this game wasn’t going to be an easy Saturday’s work. Westlake spent most of the first five minutes camped in the King’s half, and a quick change of attack to the short side from just inside the 22-metre line saw Westlake score the first of their three converted tries to take an early 0 – 7 lead.
Both sides, when they had possession, were extremely willing to test the opposition right across the paddock and the King’s and Westlake forwards and backs were probably both extremely happy to hear the referee’s whistle indicate the halftime break.
The second half started in much the same manner as the first half until a defensive lapse on the left-hand side, again just five minutes in, saw Westlake in for their seconded converted try and their lead go out to 0 – 14.
Not willing to accept that was going to be the way the game was going to go, King’s continued to attack and backs and forwards combined to create space by moving the ball from one side to the other. But a very flat Westlake defensive line saw this ball movement create an intercept opportunity which finished with them adding their third converted try right under the posts to take the score to 0 – 21.
With less than 20 minutes to go, the true character of the King’s 7A side started to show and a rampant King’s forward pack started to take command of the situation. A little under three minutes after the Westlake intercept try, lock Sam Fitzgerald finished off a series of King’s forward attacks with a well-deserved try that unfortunately went unconverted but saw King’s on the board with their first 5 points to take the score to 5 – 21.
From the kick-off King’s again immediately went on to the attack and minutes later an outstanding charge down by a hardworking and tenacious Oliver Wright saw him able to regather the ball and run 40 metres to score King’s second unconverted try to reduce the deficit to 10 – 21.
By now King’s could see the game was still there for the taking and a third unconverted try by the always effervescent Will Smith saw King’s with just minutes to go within sniffing distance at 15 – 21.
Unfortunately, despite spending the remaining minutes camped on the Westlake 22, it wasn’t to be, and the final whistle saw two very competitive teams congratulate each other on a game that could have belonged to either.
Great games require commitment by everyone on the field and praise should go to the entire King’s 7A squad of 24 players who can all take a lot from their individual performances during this match.
See the King's College Team of the Week