A message from the Head of Rugby
I hope you all enjoyed a July break and are looking forward to the culmination of the season. This coming week sees all our students return and a full calendar of fixtures for the players and coaches to get stuck back in to.
The First XV continued their good form over the past weekend (report below) and the Auckland 1A title race looks to heat up with top 4 places still to be finalised going into the last weekend of the regular season.
Fingers crossed the weather stays positive for us this week and the coaches can blow away some holiday cobwebs on the training field in preparation for this week’s fixtures.
Head of Rugby
106 - 5
On Saturday, the King’s College First XV played Liston College at home in their 10th and penultimate championship match. Although Liston has not had much success this season, this match was always going to be a challenge given that our boys had been on holiday for three weeks. Last weekend, traditional rivals, Palmerston North Boys High School travelled up to Auckland to play us, and although the match was won 25 – 17, there were many mistakes made and we had looked like we had been on holiday for two weeks.
The team assembled on Thursday afternoon this week, last week’s match against PNBHS was reviewed and then we trained Thursday and again on Friday afternoon. The two major goals for this weekend’s match were to win with a bonus point (by scoring four or more tries) and to not incur any major injuries. Both goals were met with the boys playing some scintillating and exciting rugby; scoring 16 tries, 13 of them converted, to pass the century, with a well-deserved victory 106 – 5. The boys started well with Zarn Sullivan using the strong wind advantage to pin Liston inside their own 22m, and young left wing Luron Iosefa scored the first try under the posts in the second minute. After twenty-two minutes, we had scored 5 more tries to Lukas Halls, Isaiah Mapusua, Judda Turahui and Josh Gellert (2) – all but one of them converted by fullback Aidan Morgan, to lead 40 – 0. Just before halftime, right wing Meihana Grindlay finished off a nice team effort, and Aidan once again converted to go into the break leading 47 – 0.
In the second half, the team picked up where they left off in the first half and played some lovely free-flowing, yet structured rugby. After 10 minutes, the coaches brought all the reserves off the bench and these boys maintained the momentum that the original starting 15 had instigated. Tries were scored by Year 10 students, Chicago Doyle (hat-trick) and Che Clark, as well as Mapusua again, Grindlay again, Tevyn Anitelea, Turahui again and Thorn Parkes. Aidan Morgan kicking beautifully, converted 7 of these 9 second half tries for a personal tally of 26 points. To their credit, Liston College never stopped trying and were rewarded with one second half try and are to be commended for never giving-in or using any foul-play, something that often occurs by teams once a score blows out.
So we now sit 3rd on the table behind leaders St. Kentigern College and only 1 point behind Sacred Heart College and are just 1 point ahead of St. Peters College. This weekend we travel to Dilworth College for our last round-robin match, while Sacred Heart travel to ‘ The Cage’ to play St. Peters. It is imperative that we win with a bonus point against Dilworth School and hope that neither of the other two teams win with a bonus point, as this would therefore mean that we finish 2nd and secure a home semi-final. If Sacred Heart beat St Peters with a bonus point, then we will finish 3rd and play Sacred Heart at Sacred Heart in the semi-final the following Saturday. We cannot control the outcome of the other match, but we can control our own performance against Dilworth this Saturday – so the boys will work hard this week and hopefully with further support from our students, families and supporters, we can pick up the 5 points from our match and then start preparing our semi-final the following Saturday.