vs Liston College
On Saturday, the First XV commenced the season proper, with an away win at Liston College 69-5 (halftime 28-0).
On a beautiful Autumn day, with good support from students, staff and families, and given a well-prepared and firm pitch, there were high expectations about the way we would commence the season following a very successful pre-season programme with wins against Scots College (Wellington), Otago BHS and Christchurch BHS. We were also treated to a wonderful season launch and jersey presentation function at Bayley’s Head Office in the Viaduct Basin on Thursday evening where we were generously hosted by John Bayley and his team and then the boys were presented their jerseys by none other than one of New Zealand’s most famous recent All Blacks – Dan Carter. This was very special and was a great way to finish preparations for our first match against Liston College.
At the conclusion of the match the coaches were very pleased with the way the team had played, the outcome and the result, that sees us currently sitting at the top of the table.
The bonus point for scoring four tries had already been secured by halftime with well-taken tries to Luron Iosefa (2), Meihana Grindlay and Dayton Iobu. Aidan Morgan converted all four tries and was instrumental in organising our plays and backline moves.
In the second half, the coaches were able to get all the reserves onto the field for some good game-time and a further seven tries were scored by Temple Kalepo (2), Max Webb, Mitch Irwin, Luron Iosefa (for a personal match tally of three), and Sean Roberton. Morgan added a further three conversions for a personal total of 14 points from the boot.
Perhaps the only disappointing part of the game was that we allowed Liston to score a try from a series of pick-and-go plays close to our line. This was, however, a convincing win and a positive start to the season.
Next week we play hosts to newly-promoted Tangaroa College and while we will not be taking any team lightly, the coaches will be very keen to use this game as final preparation for the huge challenge that awaits us the following week as we then travel to play traditional rivals Auckland Grammar School. The team are very much looking forward to our first home game next week and hopefully we will get good support and be able to continue this positive start to the season.
vs De La Salle
On Saturday the Second XV played a warm up match with an away win at De La Salle College 17-10 (halftime 5-5). It is very hard to win at De La Salle on any given day.
De La Salle with a much heavier forward pack and bigger backline were negated by strong defence and superior line speed led by Ethan Stuart, Tom Ludbrook, Senio Pulega, Lawrence Sullivan Pahl, Sebastian Macdonald and Lawrence Ualesi.
The home side scored early and went out to 0-5 lead just through sheer weight of possession. The teams were locked up at halftime 5-5 with a wonderful well-worked try awarded to Chicago Doyle on the back of good first phase and quick ball. Sam Brewer and Ethan Cave were relentless in gaining the advantage line.
Second half and again quick ball to the backs led to Chicago Doyle scoring another try converted by Jason Honor, 12-5.
De La Salle hit back 12-10 shortly after kick-off. King’s then defended their opposition out of the game but with good communication and cohesiveness. Stuart Macalister’s intercept try sealed the game on the end of some great runs from Mogammad Smith.
For a young team they performed well. This was a good win against a very well-drilled De La Salle side with limited preparation. Limit the mistakes and we will have a very good season.
vs De La Salle
The squad’s first outing of the season was a friendly match against neighbours De La Salle College, who after winning last year’s U14 Auckland competition would provide an excellent test for the group.
King’s took the lead early via a penalty from first five Harry Sinclair after some good early pressure in the opposition 22. De La Salle responded quickly with a well worked try on the wing after their big ball-carrying forwards gained ground in the middle. The home team scored two quickfire tries soon after exposing some poor defence organisation to take a comfortable lead.
Our young squad were competing with Captain Jarius Iosefa and vice-captain Trey Alatini leading from the front in the forwards and backline respectively with Scott Sheffield-Grant and Caleb Person working hard from the second row. In the backline, halfs Callum Murray and Jack Elliot produced good quick ball from the ruck.
De La Salle continued to use their size and strength to put the King’s side under pressure and scored some good tries on the width, but were made to work hard for them with no easy scores given up, the final score running out to be 53-3. A great test for our new group with a number of players representing the College for the first time. Even better news was a number of students playing their first game of rugby union ever after converting from rugby league. These new players, mostly playing in the front row, gained valuable experience which will stand them in good stead moving forward with the season.
A large squad will feature for our U15’s this season with learning, development, fun and enjoyment at the heart of everything we do. Thanks to the parents and families for coming along and supporting.
vs Saint Kentigern
1R played its first game of the season in a preseason hit-out against arch rivals St Kent’s on the number 1. Being a preseason match the game was divided into 3 quarters of 20 minutes. The first quarter started off with a hiss and a roar with our boys showing some real flare early to test the defence of St Kent’s. However, fitness slowly got the better of us and St Kent’s started winning the tight battle and, scoring a runway try, took the lead 7-0 to the break.
King’s came out firing again in the second quarter getting on the scoreboard through a try to Mika Tuia, barging his way over from close range. However, with momentum back on our side we struggled to capitalise, allowing St Kent’s back in the game with another 2 tries.
Heading into the third quarter with heavy breathing we started off strong but the lack of fitness got to us as we fell off the pace, allowing St Kent’s to pull away with another try. Plenty to take away from the game, with the fundamentals a key work on as well as fitness. A promising start to the season after only one proper week together.
Players of the week:
Mika Tuia was strong in first hit out of rugby in a while, starting off in the unusual role of 7 he looked strong getting in amongst the tight work. Moving to the backs he flourished with the extra room. Promising start for a basketball player in rugby.
Charlie Ludbrook was non-stop in the forward pack, leading from the front. His strong carries got us on the front foot as he constantly tested the St Kent’s defence. But it was his work off the ball that kept us in the game for long periods of times with countless tackles and ruck work a real stand out.
vs Saint Kentigern
5A opened up their season with a convincing pre-season friendly 43-5 win against St Kent’s.
Although it was a bit messy, as can be expected so early in the season, a confidence-boosting win is always a good way to get things underway.
The backline always looked dangerous and scored 5 of the 7 tries, most out wide which suggests that this is going to be the team's strength.
Nathan Robinson at 10 and Ferg McLeay at 15 proved a real handful throughout the match. Other dangerous ball carriers were the back row players with openside Harry Marsh a leading light in this area.
Plenty of areas to improve on before the season begins in earnest, but a very good win against a team that we lost to twice last year.
vs Auckland Grammar School
On an extremely foggy day with the fog not clearing until nearly 10.30am, King’s 5B team, a total of 35 boys, arrived an hour early only so that myself and Asst Coach Henry could familiarise ourselves with names and positions.
Our focus in the last week or so is basic tackling and ball clear out and this was how we prepared on our warm-up before the game.
Auckland Grammar were a very large, powerful-looking team and only had 18 players for the match, the game started off with Auckland Grammar dominating the early stages with outstanding defence especially from our tight five who held them out for all of the first half.
King’s gradually came into the game with our backs Oggie and Ed making some outstanding runs after getting some great ball from our Captain Oliver Leity and halfback Christopher Ferguson.
Kings scored a try 5 mins from the end of the first half and it was converted to take a 7-0 lead.
Half time came and went with key messages for the second half and the rotation of the squad for the second half. Grammar were on the attack from the outset and scored a well-constructed try after some poor tackling, saw their winger beat four tackles and score. 7-5. The visitors scored again with good territory pressure which in the home 22, making it 10-7.
King’s to their absolute credit and tenacity by Ferguson saw a well-constructed try, whereby Ferguson beat three tackles and powered home for an outstanding try. Try unconverted making it 12-10 Kings. With four mins to play which saw Grammar score in the final minute, after more missed tackles score and convert to make it 17-12.
The referee blew for full time.
A game which swung from end to end making it a great game to watch for the King’s supporters. Extremely proud of every player who played their part in a game that could have went either way.
Well done to all the boys of 5B.
Player of the day: Christopher Ferguson.
Jimmy and Henry
vs Saint Kentigern
Our first game of the season was a non-competition home game played in misty conditions.
The boys turned up in good time for their first hit out against a very strong and well-drilled St Kent’s team.
As it was a trial game, we played 4 quarters of 15 minutes duration. St Kent’s dominated the first 2 quarters and by half time we were down 10-0.
As the second half progressed so did the resilience and determination of the Kings’ boys. First over the line was Freddie Brewis helped by a storming run by Mataia Cotterill, 10-5.
We then crossed the St Kent’s line twice more but unfortunately both tries were disallowed due to our boys knocking the ball on. Sio Vaolupe and Charlie Hunn were unlucky not to get the team in front. The boys could’ve allowed these set-backs to cause their heads to go down, however, after some good phases and gritty team work Sio Vaolupe went over under the posts to score the equalising try. Luca Fuller then ably converted, a well-deserved win to King’s 12-10.
The coaches have lots to work on over the coming weeks and it was a good game to begin our journey with for the season. Thank you for your support!See the King's College Team of the Week