King’s 57-7 Aorere College
Back at the top (again)!
For the third time this season, the King’s College First XV sits at the top of the 1A competition with two rounds to play. We had previously been at the top, before losing to Auckland Grammar School and dropping down to 2nd, then returned to the top again, only to drop down again after losing our match against Sacred Heart. With Grammar losing to St. Peter's on Saturday, we returned to the top of the table for the third time and now it is up to us to maintain this position to ensure a home semi-final in three weeks’ time.
On Saturday, the First XV travelled to neighbours – Aorere College for a very important match. Despite being towards the bottom of the table, no team had been able to score more than 29 points against Aorere so far this season, so we knew we would have to play well to score four tries and take away five valuable championship points. We had a disadvantage in that we were still in our third week of school holidays and Aorere had commenced Term 3 last week. The coaches called two training sessions this week – on Thursday and Friday afternoons, and despite still being on school holiday, all the boys attended these two invaluable training sessions.
With three rounds to go AGS were on top of the table with 33 points and we were second with 32 points with Sacred Heart and St. Kent’s only one point further back; thus the importance of the five-point win to maintain our top two position. Our preparation went well and once again, we had lovely conditions to play in. It was overcast, but the sun did shine through at different moments in the match, there was a steady breeze blowing across the field and was relatively firm underfoot. We could sense that Aorere were motivated and well-prepared as they did a fierce haka to challenge our boys before kickoff.
Regular captain Leandro Vakatini was absent with a shoulder injury, so first five-eight Aidan Morgan captained the side in his absence. We really needed to start well and the boys did not disappoint, scoring five unanswered tries in the first half, with Captain Morgan converting three of the tries for a halftime score of 31 – 0. Blindside Flanker Che Clark (Year 11) scored a hat-trick with openside flanker Tahu Watson and left wing Luron Iosefa both touching down after some well-structured and fast-paced rugby was produced by the team. Once again, our defence was strong and we showed pride and determination to repel wave after wave of their big ball-runners.
In the second half we maintained our disciplined and structured approach and were able to score another four tries to prop Levi Uluakiahoia, Watson (again), Aidan Morgan and reserve flanker Leo Rusher. Morgan was able to convert another three of the four tries and when the final whistle blew, the score line read 57 – 7. We were very pleased with the way the boys had played as we were worried about how the boys would turn up in the final week of the holidays. We needn’t have worried as all replied present! The coaches were able to once again clear the bench and give all seven reserves some valuable game time. With Vakatini being unavailable Second XV prop Sione Ahokovi was given his first run for the First XV.
A bonus point win against Dilworth School at home next weekend will guarantee us a place in the semi-finals, however, if we want to secure a home semi-final, we will need two bonus point wins in our last two games (vs Kelston BHS away, the following week)… One game at a time though – we will now turn our focus towards receiving Dilworth next Saturday and ensuring we keep building and improving the style of rugby that has taken us to the top of the table (again) and know will keep us at the top over the coming weeks.
We are hopeful to have a big crowd come out to support us this weekend in what may or may not be our final home match of the season…