King’s 80 – 0 Dilworth
On Saturday Dilworth School, who were near the bottom of the competition ladder came to King’s, seeking to improve their position on the table and our management team, although confident, was weary of what they might bring to the match. The difference, however, between the top of the table and the bottom became evident as we had racked up 54 unanswered points by halftime and when the fulltime whistle blew, the scoreboard read 80 points to nil for King’s.
On a cold, wet and blustery day, the aim for our First XV was to score four tries and win, therefore picking up the maximum five points to maintain our 2nd place on the table with one match to play next weekend away at Kelston Boys’ High School and a possibility of cementing a home semi-final. Mission accomplished – the team managed to score 12 tries without reply from Dilworth!
Capitalising on a strong wind at our backs, we pinned Dilworth down in their own half of the field and in the first two minutes, openside flanker Tahu Watson had scored the first of his two first-half tries and Aidan Morgan converted for a 7 – 0 lead. The team scored another six first-half tries to halfback Dayton Iobu (2), No 8 Judda Turahui, hooker Waiora Morris, first five-eighth Aidan Morgan and second five-eighth Sean Roberton. Morgan, continuing his wonderful season-kicking form, converted all but one of the eight tries for a halftime lead of 54 – 0. Playing into the wind in the second half, the coaches asked the boys to hold onto the ball as any ball turned over would be kicked downfield by Dilworth. This is exactly what did happen but we were still able to score a further four tries. The coaches were able to clear the bench once again and allow all seven reserves some valuable game time. Three of the second-half tries were scored by reserves in Mitch Irwin and Amorangi Kuka (2). Left wing Luron Iosefa also added to his season tally of tries, while Morgan kicked one further conversion before being subbed off and Budda Doyle kicked the final two conversions to complete the 80 – 0 scoring. New reserve hooker Jason Honour took the field for his first match for our First XV. The defence shown by the team and pride in our goal-line was once again outstanding.
Three players, who have all played in every match so far this season, were deservedly awarded their Caps for each playing their 14th match for the First XV, at the conclusion of the match. These three are - lock JP Scarlett, openside flanker Tahu Watson and wing/fullback Max Webb. Congratulations to all three players, who have all played superbly this season and all been an integral part of the team. While we were celebrating another strong performance, on the other side of town, some exciting news had come through…
Going into this game, we were still in control of our own destiny, but what we didn’t expect, was for St Kent’s to go across to Auckland Grammar School and upset them at their home ground in Newmarket and also for St Peter’s to beat Sacred Heart College in Glendowie. With these two results, we moved into first place, three points clear of St Kent’s who moved into second with Sacred Heart staying in third place and Grammar dropping from first to fourth. This means that we are now guaranteed a home semi-final spot, regardless of our result next week against Kelston Boys’ High School. So, if we win next weekend, we finish the round-robin top of the table, and our opposition in the semi-final is most likely to be Auckland Grammar School, but if we finish second, then we would likely host Sacred Heart. Both teams will be tremendously hard, but a possible re-match against our oldest traditional rival is mouth-watering…
Next weekend we travel across to Kelston Boys’ High School and it will be important for the team to maintain this positive momentum we have established since returning from the school holidays, although, with a home semi now confirmed and in-sight, perhaps the coaches will make some changes to the starting line-up for this final round-robin match before the knock-out matches commence.
King’s 15 – 33 Auckland Grammar School
The Kings College Second XV played Auckland Grammar at College Rifles on Friday night for one of our traditional fixtures.
It was really a game of two halves.
Grammar forwards came out with true intent and accuracy in phase play and got on top of us early in the first half.
They scored two quick tries off the back of a couple of early mistakes from poor line speed.
Sione Ahokovi, Senio Pulega and Tom Ludbrook gave stinging defence and grit against a Grammar’s mobile pack.
Ali, Troy and Francis also tackled well in the first half. Just before half time Jason Honor reduced the score line to 26-3 with a 40m penalty.
Changes at halftime gave the team a major boost and brought great impact.
Grammar capitalised on a penalty try from a line out move in the first minute.
But from three it was all King’s College showing their class. A sweeping 80m move from the kickoff went end to end, just stopping short of their try line. This involved Ali, Francis, Seb McDonald, Loui Whata and Lawrence U.
Grammar set their scrum and passed the ball out wide with improved line speed Francis scored an intercept try under the posts, unconverted.
King’s started to move the ball out wide and create holes in the Grammar defence. Another KC move from our own 22 on the blind side lead to Francis setting up another try from Mogammad Smith on the corner, converted by Francis.
End score 33-15. Our lads can take pride in winning the second half and rue the mistakes in the first half.
We again celebrate the promotion of the following players from Second XV to First XV in recent weeks that have contributed to recent wins such as Ethan Cave, Sione Ahokovi, Jason Honour, Amorangi Kuka and Ethan Stuart, also Ali and Francis training with the squad.
It highlights that the Second XV is the logical pathway to higher honours.
King’s 34 – 7 Westlake Boys’ High School
Windy and raining conditions in different parts of Auckland, out in Forrest Hill North Shore Auckland conditions couldn’t have been better, clear skies and light winds.
The team was coming back from the school holiday break and wanted a good performance vs Westlake. First play was under way with some good footwork from Jonty Willis making a clean break and coming up with the first try of the day, converted by Harry Sinclair. 7 - 0. Rucks weren’t the greatest with body height and physicality missing in the first quarter of the game which meant slow ruck ball at the back of the ruck for halfback Jack Elliot and Fly Half Harry Sinclair.
Second try well worked by the forwards from a rolling maul, Zairon Savaka -Heiloa going over for the second try unconverted, 12-0. Some good footwork by our midfielders Trey and Jarius combining to scoring before the half, Jarius Iosefa with his first try, conversion successful 19-0 halftime.
The forwards adjusted to some halftime feedback with organising their defensive line and ruck clearance int eh start of the second half seeing Jarius Iosefa score his 2nd try, 24-0. King’s were under the pump on their own goal line for five minutes with a strong Westlake try to get them on the score board. King’s were rattled by this and some little words amongst the players fired up the King’s players. 24-7.
It didn’t take long for kings to reply to the Westlake try with Francis Manuleleua dotting down after a few tackle busts to fall over the try line, 29-7, conversion unsuccessful. Five minutes left on the clock King’s were on our own goal line trying to break the Westlake defence line, with a little magic from Trey Alatini making a line break and running 50m to give a flick reverse pass to Jarius Iosefa in support dotting down under the posts. 34-7 with another missed conversion ending the game with a great performance from everyone.
Looking forward to another big challenge vs Aorere College.
King’s 27 – 8 Howick College
5A reported back to rugby duty after a month of inactivity and the rustiness showed in a disappointing first half against Howick College. King's only had one try to James Tattersfield to show for all the possession and territory and hard words were needed by captain Nathan Robinson and other senior leaders at half time.
King's came out firing in the second stanza and scored almost immediately through wing James Charteris to stretch the lead to 15-8. The second half was an excellent display of forward dominance and smooth backline skills which allowed Taigo Chapman and Will Geldard to cross for further tries and end the match with a comprehensive 27-8 victory.
The weather and tough physical battle was a good workout for the looming top of the table fixture against Grammar next week and we look forward to travelling to Grammar on Saturday.
King’s 73 – 7 Auckland Grammar School
King’s turned up for their last home game of the season against Grammar. A number of players were absent due to injuries and personal commitments.
In sometimes hurricane wind and rain conditions King’s started off firing on all cylinders with some fantastic tires from Ed Elworthy-Jones, Jack Carrick and Oscar Salmond. The pleasing factor was the effort and teamwork of all players on Saturday and this was reflected on the scoreboard.
Second half saw more tries from Ogg, Kendall, Carrick and Elworthy-Jones. Another good win taking us nine from nine.
Saturday sees us travel away to Glendowie which will be a tough test as they sit second in the table. A tough week at training is waiting where the focus will be on tackling and ruckplay.
King’s 53 – 21 Selwyn College
With our students returning from a well-deserved break, plus boys returning from the Year 10 camp, the team and coaches were ready, fit and well for the second part of the season.
The game was played in blustery and wet conditions but the boys adapted well and were able to play good running rugby. The forward pack provided a great foundation up front by continually moving forward whilst providing solid defence when it was needed. With this great forward pack platform the backs were free to run a more expansive game with ball in hand, making space out wide to put points on the scoreboard.
Centre Nicholas Goodwin was first to score, 5 nil to King’s. First five James Ford added a second try which he converted, 12 nil to King’s. Selwyn came back with a quick try and conversion from a kick-through, 12-7 to King’s. Myka Newman scored a try after some good straight running on the wing, 17-7 to King’s. James Ford scored again under the posts with the conversion added by Luca Fuller.
King’s boys now enjoying their oranges at half time with a solid 24-7 lead. Selwyn scored two converted tries in the second half, however King’s were not finished. The boys continued as they did in the first half with further good team tries going to Kaia Patua scoring twice, Nicholas Goodwin scoring twice more, making it a hattrick for him and William Crawford scoring a try after an excellent darting run from the base of a ruck on the 22. James Ford added two conversions in the second half. Final score, a win to King’s, 53-21.
King’s 14 – 22 Rosmini College
Opposition: Rosmini College 7A
Result: Lost 14 - 22
Halftime score: 7 – 12
In weather conditions that tested both sides, King’s 7A played directly into a very strong wind for their first 30-minute half back from their holiday break. Playing to their game plan of maintaining possession and playing tight, close rugby, they spent the first 18 minutes of the half camped in the opposition’s red zone. Despite numerous close attempts, they were unfortunately unable to turn this pressure into points, but the pressure of defending was taking an obvious toll on the Rosmini defence as King’s continued to hammer away at their line.
But, as in any game, you have to make sure you take your chances and Rosmini from a clearing kick picked up on a fortuitous bounce of the ball and their extremely quick fullback was unable to be caught and scored their first 5 points beside the left hand corner flag.
Buoyed by their fortune, and possibly while King’s frustration at the turn of events created a slight drop in focus, Rosmini hammered home the moment with a second try in almost the exact same manner to take their lead out to 12- 0.
Stung by finding they had no reward for their outstanding first 20 minutes, the entire team went back into full on attack mode and just on halftime were duly rewarded with a superbly worked forward effort when Fin Olde crossed the line. Jack McKay’s kick from 10 metres in from the sideline into a blustery wind sailed right down the middle and bounced off the crossbar to reduce the deficit to 7 – 12.
With the winds behind their back for the second half, hopes were high for the win but while the King’s attack again saw them regularly camped in the Rosmini half, too much turnover ball let the opposition off the hook and saw them add a third try and a conversion halfway into the second half to take their lead to 7 – 17.
Playing a very polished and committed 15-man game, King’s weren’t about to give in and after a series of movements that saw them securely move the ball from sideline to sideline, a nicely worked short side move saw Nick Dingley score just in from the sideline. Again, the superb boot of Jack McKay ensured the additional two points were added and the game shortened to 14 – 17.
However, it was becoming apparent the four weeks off for the King’s side was taking its toll and Rosmini, who had played a game a week earlier, were finishing stronger. Rosmini’s fourth try, that went unconverted, required King’s to score twice in the final five minutes if they were to win and this unfortunately proved to be a bridge too far.
A great 18 – man effort by a team that hasn’t played for four weeks. With that commitment, they will be a lot more formidable when they cross the bridge on Wednesday for their catch-up match against Westlake Green.