A Message from the Head of Rugby
Welcome back to the culmination of the 2018 season after a well-deserved July break. We had nine teams in action on Saturday and came away with eight wins, so the rest and recovery obviously did the boys well.
We have a number of teams across the College in playoff contention moving into the final stages of the season, which is great news. We will be working hard to give the players the very best chance to perform well in these remaining games and push to secure top 4 spots and potentially final appearances on the 1 Sept.
Congratulations to the First XV who secured a home semi-final against Sacred Heart College in the 1A competition, with St Kentigern College vs St Peters College completing the top 4 line-up. As a result, we hope to generate a big crowd at King’s this coming Saturday, to cheer on the team in their quest to reach the final the following week at Eden Park.
Sacred Heart are known for their traveling support, so we have to match their numbers and their voice to create the big game atmosphere that this match deserves.
Kick-off is 2.30pm and we look forward to seeing you on the side lines.
Head of Rugby
31 – 3
One of the goals we set ourselves at the beginning of the year was to make the semi-final playoffs, and this goal was achieved yesterday with our hard-fought away win over Anglican rivals Dilworth School by the score of 31 – 3 (halftime 26 – 0).
Given the result of the other major match (with importance to us) between St. Peters and Sacred Heart (won 26 – 23 by SHC), we also secured our first home semi-final since 2006. Next Saturday, we play host to Sacred Heart College (that we drew 17-all with, in our round-robin match), who will come to King’s and St Peter's will travel to St Kentigern’s in the other semi-final.
Yesterday, the coaches set the boys several goals for our match against Dilworth, the most important being to secure a bonus point victory to entertain the possibility of a home semi-final. There was a decent wind at our backs and it would be fair to say that the boys started the match very well as we had scored the four tries to gain a bonus point before half time. The tries were scored by Meihana Grindlay, Millenium Sanerivi, Weropuna Witika and Thorn Parkes. Fullback Aidan Morgan continued his recent good goal-kicking form to convert three of the four tries and we went into the break 26 – 0 up.
Perhaps the fact that we had already secured the bonus point affected our second half performance, because we did not manage to re-gain the momentum and flow that we had played with in the first half. We also struggled with poor discipline at times, giving away silly penalties and eventuated with a yellow card given to one of our players after some lazy and poorly-executed defence. Dilworth eventually kicked one penalty and Zarn Sullivan scored our final points of the match with a well-taken try. With the victory secured, the coaches were once again able to bring on the entire reserves bench to allow everyone in the squad the opportunity to push for spots in our semi-final squad for our match next weekend. A huge positive was also that we did not pick up any major injuries in the match and should have a near-full roster to choose from next Saturday.
Our stats at the end of the round-robin matches are as follows:
Points For: 522
Points Against: 97
These stats mean we deservedly finished second overall behind St Kentigern’s with 45 points – our highest for several years. We scored the highest number of points in the Auckland 1A competition and had the least number scored against us, giving us a home semi-final. However, these stats mean absolutely nothing when it comes to the semi-finals next weekend as play-off rugby is all about a one-off knockout match. We will need to prepare well this week and manage the team well throughout the week to get the very best out of the boys next weekend as there are no second chances. It is win or lose. The team has done extremely well to earn the home advantage, and this is a huge bonus for us. We are therefore very much looking forward to playing at home next Saturday and hopeful that we will get all the support that we can from our students, staff, families, supporters and Old Collegians.
39 – 0
Tries: Kahuki Vaughan, Noah Perelini, Ethan Stuart, Ryan Gordon, Christian Pese, Laith Hammond, Sam Vakatini
Conversions: Ethan Stuart x 2
King's Second XV had a great win on Saturday against Dilworth School. King’s ran in seven tries with two conversions with the home team remaining scoreless.
The ball was distributed wide and phases were able to build upon with good front ball. Kahuki Vaughan, Noah Perelini, Ryan Gordon and Laith Hammond got on the score sheet from the forwards with Ethan Stuart, Christian Pese and Sam Vakatini complementing from the backs. The team had a field day with great defence and positive attitude. This created many scoring opportunities. The whole team was player of the day. Well done.
The goal is to win the remaining two games to put us in contention for the finals.
12 – 7
Conversion: Caide Davis
The Colts Rugby Team had a solid win considering they had not played for a number of weeks. Lynfield College applied a lot of pressure in the opening exchanges, dominating possession and territory. Strong defence nullified their attack and as the half progressed, the Colts started to get some ball to run with. The forward pack had their best performance with some counter rucks and strong carries. Tim Leach scored the first try after the forwards got a roll on. This was good reward for his tireless work. Sam Brewer again showed his Brodie Retallick qualities by busting through the defensive line from 35m out to crash over for a memorable try.
All credit to Lynfield who kept fighting to score out wide with six minutes left on the clock. We hung on for a 12-7 victory knowing that we missed many opportunities.
51 – 0
After a month with no games, it was a nervous wait for our coaching team to see if our boys would be able to continue the good form from the last term of games. We had worked hard on Tuesday and Thursday on conditioning games and also our structure in attack and defence for the remainder of the season.
Once we kicked off we could see that our boys were back into game mode. Our game structure is to play at a fast tempo pace. This would mean boys would have to work hard to set early and we go as soon as the ball is available. Our boys played this well in the first 20 minutes of the game with our big boys getting around the corner quickly and beating their opposites to get gain line and quick ball for our backs to exploit the space created. However, we did go away from our structure in the last 10 minutes which halted our opportunities to score. Scorers were Maikel, Trey and Tevita (2), with one conversion from Budda to put us 22-0 at halftime.
We regrouped, and the message was to get back to our structure and keep the tempo going at a fast pace. Our boys reacted with Senio going over for a try not long from kick off. The forwards were dynamic all day with strong ball carries and off loads. This was proven when Tevita came around the corner and received a ball from our half back and then threw a short pass to Sione in space to score! The trend continued with further tries to Jarius, Budda (2) and two conversions to take the final score to 51-0.
It was another well fought battle from our boys with everyone putting in a great effort. Special mention must go to Tevita Likiliki as he was a standout today. In attack he was a strong ball carrying threat and he also led our defence line to shut down their big forwards!
We will take confidence and build on it for our clash against Mount Albert Grammar next week!
32 – 22
Playing on the main pitch at King’s in glorious sunshine, the 4th grade team really stepped up after some disappointing performances earlier in the season and ran out comfortable 32-22 winners against old rivals Auckland Grammar.
King’s scored early through some hard forward running which was finished off well by the backs to create an early 14-0 lead. Grammar rallied but the home defence stood firm with solid tackles going in from Ben Howard and Jac Kennedy. The play of the match came from inside the King’s half when Josh Anga collected the ball in midfield and ran outside the whole Grammar defence and sped away from the cover to score a great individual try.
King’s seemed to tire later in the game and Grammar responded with a few scores that brought the game close for a period before again the wide handling and evasive running paid dividends for the home team. Anga again got on the score sheet alongside Luke Fenton and the game was sealed despite another Grammar fight back.
Player of the day was Josh Anga.
The team are looking forward to playing St Peter’s next weekend.
Pukekohe High School
22 – 3
King's 5A welcomed Pukekohe to King's College on Saturday for the first match of Term 3. There was always a concern that the team would be a little rusty after four weeks off, but the fears were unfounded as King's registered three quick, slick tries inside the first 20 minutes with Ben Snell, Charlie Wrapson and Will Geldard scoring. A fourth bonus-point try to Taigo Chapman came at the start of the second half and the game was effectively over with 25 minutes to go. Unfortunately, the match degenerated into a slew of penalties and breaks in play which ruined momentum and the match ended 22-3 to King's College. King's looks forward to the last match of the round-robin next week against St Peters.
Sacred Heart College
13 – 7
The match this weekend was a well-deserved win from the boys, reversing the first round result. Our forward pack lead from the front with relentless defence in a scoreless first half. This created us an opportunity to apply pressure in the second half.
We scored first in the second half but were not able to add the extra two points. Sacred Heart replied with a converted try which gave them the lead 7-5. Our boys dug deep, applied pressure and came away with a penalty slotted in cool fashion by Ronan. With an 8-7 margin, from the restart our forwards were able to carry the ball into the oppositions red zone. We applied pressure on their line and Monty crossed over for a try. This then stretched our lead to 13-7 as the final whistle blew. The team experienced a high-pressure game and despite late withdrawals from injury and sickness they still came out on top. A very pleasing and satisfying result indeed!
53 – 5
After a well-deserved holiday away from school and having not played any rugby for a while, the boys took some time to adjust to the physicality of the game. The Glendowie College team took advantage of this early in the game by putting King’s under a lot of pressure. However, King’s defence held, and the boys turned the tide with a good converted team try for Luca Seerden. Glendowie were quick to respond with a try, 7-5 King’s. By now it was 15 minutes into the game and King’s finally found the form and teamwork that the boys have been exemplifying and displaying over the past couple of months. Great team tries were then scored by Cody Heron(2), Luca Seerden (3), Chris Ferguson (a very good half-back’s try), and two very good final tries by our two wings, Josh Hargrave and Campbell Griffin. Cody Heron was on target with four conversions. The forwards did really well against a good solid Glendowie pack and played a key role in setting the platform for our backs to put the points on the board. Well done boys and thanks to parents for the support and the oranges! Final score 53 – 5.
0 – 26
The impact of a four-week layoff was never more apparent than it was on Saturday when King’s 7A came up against the winners of the initial Round Robin Stage of the competition - Mahurangi College.
Mahurangi had held the advantage of a game the previous weekend and, despite losing this to Westlake Green, appeared from the kick-off to be slightly more match ready than the King’s side. After a torrid first 15-minutes that seesawed both ways, the Mahurangi side finally opened the scoring with a strong forward move that saw them score an unconverted try to take a 0-5 lead.
While the King’s forward pack and backline continued to play their aggressive wide game, the Mahurangi side’s defensive lines held and a second converted Mahurangi try close to halftime saw them take a 12-point lead into the break.
Good first half performances from halfback Jack Elliott, prop Felix Moran and lock William Olde, who both continued to take the play straight down the centre whenever they acquired the ball, andsecond five, Nick Tapper and centre Luke Swanepoel who both had strong games both on attack and defence.
Aware that they needed to score early to get themselves back into the game, the King’s side threw everything into the first 10-minutes of the second half and spent the best part of this camped near the Mahurangi 22-line.
Unfortunately, at a breakdown in open play, the well won turnover ball was quickly recycled by Mahurangi and the resulting backline move saw a gap happily taken for a runaway try scored under the posts and, with the resulting conversion, the King’s hill started to look more like a mountain at 0-19.
The inside half and first five pairing of William Crawford and Jack McKay worked well together, and McKay kept a constant supply of great ball going wide in the direction of centre Myka Newman and wings Kolby Davis and Kaia Patua, all three of whom had outstanding games and were only just denied on a number of occasions by a stout cover defence.
Eight minutes before full time another converted runaway try that started inside the Mahurangi 22 saw the score line blow out to 0-26 and while this margin did not do justice to King’s uncompromising effort, Mahurangi ran out deserved winners on the day.
Great efforts again from William Olde, Taniora Henwood and Henry Kaye in the forwards and centre Myka Newman and fullback Zeal Jones who continues to improve with every opportunity he is given.
King’s 7A go over to the North Shore again on Tuesday for a must win catch up game against Rosmini if they are to keep the Championship hopes alive. One thing that for certain is that they will be better for Saturday’s game and will hopefully be able to put the extremely long layoff behind them.