01 Jul 2020

Wednesday 01 July 2020

After a long-awaited start to the 2020 season, College Rugby finally kicked off in the weekend with three teams playing their first competition games.

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1st XV VS ST PETER'S, KC 22- SPC 0

The King’s College 1st XV travelled across to ‘The Cage’ in Newmarket on Saturday to play St Peter’s College on a fine but windy day. This match was the first Championship match for the team in 2020, after having played two pre-season matches against Aorere College and Saint Kentigern College. It had rained all day Friday and again on Saturday morning, but the sun came out before kick-off and the synthetic field had drained well, enabling King’s to play the fast moving, high paced style of rugby that we have become known for over the last couple of seasons. The coaching staff had prepared the team well and we were confident that we could get our season off to a good start by securing a must-win match against a quality and really tough opposition.

The evening before our match we hosted several of our sponsors that could make it, for dinner in the Staff Dining Hall and then the 22 to play against St Peter’s were presented their Maroon playing jerseys by the Headmaster. The Headmaster did not give a long, stirring speech, but he did talk about the legacy of the jersey and the traditions, support and expectations from our loyal King’s College community and supporters. This was a great way to get our players motivated and prepared for the match and also place perspective on the importance of a first-up win.

So, onto the match – we knew we would have to start well to ‘weather’ the start that St Peter’s would throw at us in the first 20 minutes. This we did, and in the first half, we created multiple opportunities to score points, but let ourselves down with impatience and inaccuracy at times when we were inside their 22m. To our credit, we were making all the plays and St Peter’s were only staying in the game through our own mistakes and inability to conclude opportunities created. Our defence, however, was rock-solid and our boys made tackle after tackle to repel everything they threw at us. Towards the end of the first half, we created another scoring opportunity, the opposition were penalised inside their own 22 and fullback Max Webb kicked a penalty to open the scoring. We knew that we needed to score more points before halftime to justify the possession and field position domination of the first half. Right on halftime, the ball went through multiple phases and when lock Matthew Monaghan received an inside pass, he evaded several defenders and ran the final 22 metres to score beside the posts. Max Webb converted and we turned around 10 – 0 ahead.

Clear heads, patience and more stout defence was called for by the coaches at halftime and we commenced the second half the way we had ended the first – creating all the plays but still just lacking the finish and control demanded by the coaches. Again, our defence was still rock-solid and St. Peters made very few entries into our half. As the clock wound down, we would score two more deserved and very well-executed tries to right wing Eric Va’afusuaga and fullback Max Webb. Webb would also convert his own try to take the score out to an unassailable 22 – 0. We were absolutely delighted with the hard-fought victory and the score line, particularly to keep St Peter’s scoreless on their home turf.

Although Term 2 ends next Friday, we have another away match against neighbours – De La Salle College next Saturday. We would really appreciate more of the same support from our supporters, please so that we can go into the school holidays hopefully with two wins under our belt and our goals for the season still on track.

2nd XV VS MAGS, KC 10- MAGS 14

The rain poured down as the team travelled to Mount Albert Grammar School. However, as they were playing on the #1 pitch it had no effect and the surface was in great shape.

Both teams started the game with endeavour but there were too many errors as the ball become slippery with the passing showers.

After 20 minutes of ebb and flow King’s mounted a concerted attack on the MAGS line. The ball was shifted from one sideline to the other and Senio Pulega did a pick and go into the left corner to score a try.

MAGS managed to then apply pressure to King’s and worked their way to a lineout 7 metres out from the King’s line. King’s won the lineout against the throw but tipped it back where a couple of bad passes under pressure saw the ball dropped and MAGS scored and converted.

With 5 minutes left in the half King’s attacked down the right with Jack Carrick putting a great kick through that he chased and put pressure on the MAGS defence. From an ensuing scrum, play went through 6 phases and Seb Macdonald was able to weave his way through the defence to score in the right-hand corner.

HT KC 10-7 MAGS

The second half was once again a tight tussle with enterprising play from both sides backed up with solid defence. Hamish Dalziell made a fantastic break and 70-metre run, but he was tackled into touch just short of the line. MAGS then managed to put some phases together and scored next to the King’s posts to allow a converted try.

King’s tried to put some phases together to get the winning try but play either broke down or they were stopped by good defence.

A good first hit-out in the competition but the team knows that taking opportunities that they create is vital, as well as ensuring the basics are done well.

1R MAROON VS ST KENT'S, ST KENT'S 9 – 6 KC

Scorers: N.Robinson x2 (Pen)

King’s 1R Maroon made the short trip over to Pakuranga on a very grey and wet morning.

Despite the difficult conditions King’s implemented a strong kicking game from the offset pegging St Kent’s back in their own half. Following some good territory and phases Nathan Robinson kicked a penalty as St Kent’s consistently infringed at the breakdown.

Intermittent showers and the wet surface made handling difficult for both teams and despite a good amount of pressure and possession King’s were unable to convert this into points, apart from a further penalty from Nathan Robinson before half time. 

St Kent’s employed the kicking strategy implemented by King’s in the first half which resulted in some unforced errors and ill-discipline as King’s handed the opposition point scoring opportunities.

With the game tied at 6-6 after 60 minutes further ill-discipline allowed St Kent’s to kick a third penalty after a perceived tip-tackle by a King’s player, which also meant King’s played the final 10 minutes with 14 men.

This remained the final score and King’s were left to rue several missed scoring opportunities.

A frustrating loss as King’s were the better team for large parts of the game however it highlights the need for discipline to be kept for a full 70 minutes.

There were lots of positives in difficult conditions to take into the coming weeks as the team looks to bounce back. Ben Howard and Jack Gileece stood out in particular both with the ball in and hand and in defence alongside Tiki Tahana-Worrall.

1R GOLD VS SACRED HEART COLLEGE – KC 35 - SHC 10 

On Saturday the 1R Gold side led by Harry Grieve played at King’s against a much larger sized Sacred team. Upon arrival the boys weren’t as switched on as we’d like to be but got up for the game nonetheless. 

The team started off well holding Sacred 20-0 in the first half. Great work by Monty Hare and Ben McCutcheon linking up well as a 10 and 12 combo providing great offence and defence.

From the get-go we had Sacred on the back foot this was because of our good defence and rushing up well. Extensive pod running wore Sacred down especially through ‘Marshy’ (Harry Marsh) making some great runs.

The team started to build some good momentum and make the advantage line consistently. A couple tries were scored from well-placed kicks being chased leading to turnovers in the opposition 22. 

In the second half we let Sacred back into the game this was due to a mixture of a lack of fitness and a loss of momentum as players had to move positions. But the team showed us some resilience and managed to close it out in the end.

Ultimately this was a great result for our first game. The team has a lot of work to do but Saturday showed that we were in a good position to build on the rest of the season. 

MVP - Monty Hare 

By Ollie Laity 

UNDER 15 OPEN VS WESLEY COLLEGE, KC 10 – WC 15

King’s U15s Open rugby team completed their final pre-season match going down 15-10 to Wesley College.

King’s took the early lead with a try from half-back Callum Murray. King’s were able to build multiple phases and retain possession. The try was then converted by 1st five Lachie Palmer. 

King's withstood a fierce challenge from a huge Wesley pack resulting in Wesley replying with a try. The first half was scrappy as both teams struggled with their handling and the rough conditions. Wesley would go onto score two more tries and Kings would get 3 points through the consistent boot of Lachie. 

King’s showed a lot of heart and dominated in areas of the game. This is pleasing moving into the U15s 2020 campaign. 

The King’s loose forward trio Captain and No. 7 Brodey Warren, No.6  Aston Palmer, No.8 Daniel Wyber and Lock Jack Sloane displayed a huge work ethic never taking a backward step they will play a pivotal role this season. However,  Callum Murray - halfback and Lachie Palmer - 1st five showed glimpses of leading the pack around with good decision making. 

The season starts after the holidays so we still have time to develop our game and processes. 

5A- Bye, after a draw muddle
5B- Default due to sickness
6A VS WAIUKU COLLEGE, KC 19 – WC 10

It was a long way out to Waiuku College in wet conditions for our second game of the season. We arrived at 9.30am to find our opposition warmed up and ready for kick off an hour earlier than expected. After some initial skirmishes we agreed on a 10am kick off so it was a quick warm up and into it.

The game was played on a well maintained and groomed pitch allowing for good open rugby despite the wet weather. There was strong and vocal hometown support.

The initial exchanges indicated it was going to be a tough match with the opposition showing themselves to be aggressive and keen to engage in physical footy – sometimes with the ball and sometimes off the ball!! Despite this, our boys played with courage and stuck to the structures we have been trying to put in place and this led to the boys scoring 3 well-taken tries in the first half to lead 19-0 at the break. 

With the wind at our backs for the second half, we were hoping to seal victory with an early try, but it was not to be. We struggled to get possession and weren’t able to use the wind to our advantage. Waiuku got their big ball runners hitting it up and making headway into our territory. They scored two forwards based tries and were back in the game at 19-10. This allowed them to get their tails up and with a large squad were able to bring on fresh legs which we were unable to do with a squad of only 17 on the day.

With a lack of subs, the boys had to dig deep – they tackled extremely well, played with intensity and pride, and with 100% commitment which is our key message for the team for this year. The game finished at 19-10, a well-deserved victory. 

Despite winning the “War at Waiuku”, we sustained three casualties – Zeal Jones with a suspected broken collar-bone (since downgraded to a chipped shoulder bone), Tani  Henwood with 6 stitches in his head and Jack McKay with 6 stitches above his eye. Recover well boys, we need you back. Just a note to say that the Waiuku coach has been in touch twice to check how the boys are and sends his best wishes for a speedy recovery. 

The team effort was the highlight of the day. A couple of special mentions – Peer Mitchell was at short notice asked to step up and play in the forwards and he put in a very strong performance.  The Captain for the day, Charlie Webb, was exceptional with many strong runs, aggressive tackling and two tries.

Our solid start to the season bodes well for a good year if we can build on that from here. No slacking off in the holidays boys – some fitness work and press ups every day please!!

UNDER 15 RESTRICTED VS SACRED HEART COLLEGE, SHC 0 – 69 KC

King’s U15R travelled to Sacred Heart for their final pre-season match. King’s were dominant from the start with great structure and speed in attack. What was really impressive was how King’s maintained possession for long periods despite the wet and slippery conditions.  As King’s grew in confidence the tries kept coming with the game finishing at 69-0.

Overall this was a really impressive performance from the boys and it would be great to keep this momentum as we begin the regular season at the start of Term 3.

Man of the match this week was Morgan Tapper. He did an excellent job at organising the attack using our basic structures as well as showing some individual flair with the likes of grubber kicks.