A message from the Head of Rugby
Great to have all teams back in action on Saturday on what was a glorious day for rugby.
Looking ahead over the next couple of months there have been some changes in fixture times, due to our holiday period at the College falling on a scheduled game day (28 July). These games (apart from the First XV) will now be played after school on the week beginning 2 July.
These date changes are:
- Colts vs Kelston (away): date TBC
- Under15 vs Saint Kentigern (away): Tuesday 3 July, 4pm
- Second XV vs Saint Kentigern (away): Wednesday 4 July, 4pm
- 4th Grade vs Sacred Heart (away): Wednesday 4 July, 4pm
- 5th Grade vs Saint Kentigern (away): Wednesday 4 July, 4pm
- 6A vs Saint Kentigern (home): Wednesday 4 July, 4pm
- 7th Grade vs Rosehill College (away): Thursday 5 July, 4pm
A member of our rugby community mentioned to me this week, ‘We need to get all our teams winning’. We have to remember that winning is a consequence of doing so many other things right within our learning environment, not the main focus of why we play. Some of you may be surprised to learn that when children are polled as to why they play sports, winning isn’t even in the top five reasons. Winning is an adult value, placed into a child’s world. Number one reason children play sport is to have fun! Some good reading on this subject can be found here.
This week sees the annual Cooper – Greenbank Cup contested against Auckland Grammar in a fixture that not only holds historical significance but also crucial league points and position for this year’s squad. We are looking forward to a great occasion and hope to see as many family, friends, Old Collegians and supporters there on the day. There too is a full card of matches in the morning to whet the appetite, so I look forward to seeing you on the side lines on Saturday.
Head of Rugby
88 – 0
It was nice to be able to play at home again and in front of our supporters, after four away games in the first five rounds. The weather was superbly set for running rugby with very little wind blowing, a firm track and warm, sunny conditions. We picked up a few niggly injuries in our last outing against Saint Peter’s College, so the coaches were able to rest some of those players to recover, which allowed other players the opportunity to get some valuable and much-wanted game time. Aorere College are normally a big, physical team and are capable of upsetting teams that take them too lightly. This was spoken about all week and the players prepared well with the new players excited about the opportunity to push for places in next week’s traditional fixture against old rivals Auckland Grammar School. The coaches had set a goal for the team to score four tries to secure the bonus point, as bonus point wins will be the crucial in our chance of making the semi-finals or not. They needn’t have worried about that equation as our boys set about their work in a disciplined and enthusiastic manner, scoring nine tries in the first half alone, with centre Meihana Grindlay, who had taken over the kicking duties, with regular goalkicker Aidan Morgan rested this week, converting six of those tries for a halftime lead of 57-0. There were three tries to left wing Luron Iosefa, two to right wing Temple Kalepo (who had an absolutely superb game) and also to stand-in Captain and halfback Thorn Parkes, lock Isaiah Mapusua and Meihana Grindlay himself. Aorere lacked discipline and found themselves down to 14 men on two occasions as both Locks spent 10 minutes in the sin-bin for foul play. The coaches were very happy with the way we had maintained our discipline and structure in the first half and really played the game at a frenetic pace and a skill level that the opposition were unable to keep up with.
The score line allowed the coaches to make four changes at the break, with the new players stepping straight into the roles of those they had replaced, and the team continued to move the ball around to set up another five tries to Kalepo again, first five-eight Zarn Sullivan, openside flanker Noah Perelini, Grindlay again and finally to reserve halfback Dayton Iobu. Meihana Grindlay converted another three of those tries for a personal tally of 28 points for the match. The three other reserves all relished the opportunity of valuable game time, but perhaps the biggest satisfactions of the team’s performance were the fourteen superb tries that were scored and the robust defence that kept the opposition scoreless.
Another huge relief was getting through the match with only one injury to reserve hooker Kaahuki Vaughan. So now the preparation starts for the huge encounter next Saturday as we host our biggest traditional rivals Auckland Grammar School, in a televised game that will have huge implications for the season going forward, as both teams sit fourth equal on the table with 21 points each. As is always the case when our two schools meet, we are expecting another huge crowd here at King’s College next Saturday as there is always so much interest and support from Old Collegians and supporters from both schools, all looking to see their team solidify a top-four placing and a foot-in-the-door for a semi-final spot, with the added incentive of bragging rights thrown in for good measure.
Thanks again, to those who were there to support us last Saturday and we are looking forward to having you all on the side line of our #1 field this Saturday as we look to regain the Cooper-Greenbank Trophy back from Auckland Grammar School.
Saint Peter’s College
20 – 27
King College second XV played Saint Peter’s College at Auckland Domain. Saint Peter’s came fresh out of the blocks scoring in the first couple of minutes, putting our boys on their back foot, 0-5. Ethan Stuart put King’s back in the game with a penalty 30 metres out to make the score 3-5.
Saint Peter’s then scored off weight of possession and went into the half 3-15. Outstanding defence in the first half from Christian Pese, Trent Foaafo, Komani Paasi and Harry Lee. Saint Peter’s again held most of the possession in the second half racing out 3-24. Then, like in the last couple of weeks, the boys decided to wake up. End to end breaks by Luke Tuhaka, Ethan Stuart, Komani Paasi, Amorangi Kuka, Roanis Lamond and Tahu Watson led to three quick tries pegging back the score to 20-24.
Saint Peter’s had a dubious penalty awarded when we were on attack soon after, which made the final 20-27. Great impact from all the bench. If we are to be a serious threat in this competition the boys need to attend training and turn up to the games with the right mind set.
Coaches: Andre, Awanui, Matt and Kams
De la Salle College
29 – 5
Tries: George Bennett (2) Tinirau Rairi (2) Caide Davis (1)
Conversions: Caide Davis (2)
A one-man short De La Salle still showed plenty of fight against a more organised King’s team. After dominating the early play, tries came from George Bennett and Tinirau Rairi.
Callum McKay was tireless in the loose and Caide Davis distributed quality ball to his backs. He was a menace for the opposition and he was rewarded for a try.
De La Salle managed to muscle up and were able to cross over for their only try. George Bennett had the last say with a well-taken try courtesy of good work by the forwards and working the ball to space.
We still have plenty of improvement as we look to a big game vs Avondale College next week.
Kelston Boys High School
26 – 24
Try Scorers: Mikey Tuala, Senio Puleanga, Tevita Likiliki, Penalty Try
Goals: Xavi Taele (2 goals)
Outstanding game from the 15 Opens. Playing with three subs, and a rejigged backline that saw flanker Lawrence Sullivan start at 12, the 15’s were able to secure the ball early and string more than 10 phases, to score the opening try through elusive full back Mikey Tuala.
The rest of the half the team defended wave after wave of attack and which Kelston could only manage one try.
Before the break we scored a well worked try to Senio Puleanga which was converted by Xavi Taele.
The second half saw King’s use their superior fitness to run the big Kelston pack around and work horse prop Tevita Likiki was able to power his way through the defence to score. This was quickly followed by a penalty try after a break down field saw the final pass slapped to the ground.
The final minutes were frantic, with Kelston repeatedly attacking the try line. Some excellent defence kept Kelston out and were able to hold on for a two point win.
Sancta Maria College
12 - 26
It was a great morning for rugby after a week off, however, this was a rather frustrating game for us as we could not quite reproduce the game plan from our previous game. King’s dominated the first 20 minutes with good play by our forwards and quick running by the backline but were unable to finish off which, in the end, was costly. A great try and conversion by Manasa Kubuabola got us on the score sheet but we allowed Sancta Maria to get some momentum and they went into half time 12 – 7 up.
The second half found us up against a more consistent team and unfortunately, we ran out of steam and made some bad choices in the second half despite a breakaway try by Pum Supachaisakron and although there was some good phase play we were well beaten by a more consistent team.
Lots to work on this week before we take on Sacred Heart College next week.
Sacred Heart College
14 – 38
5A hosted Sacred Heart College in the first round of the Auckland competition and started fantastically to lead 7-5 at half time with a near flawless display. Taigo Chapman scored the try from a penalty move close to the Sacred Heart line and Nathan Robinson added the extras.
King's hopes of a win were consolidated with a 90 metre solo run early in the second half from Ferg McLeay and the score went out to 14-5. Unfortunately, the inconceivable happened and Sacred Heart ran the King's defence ragged for the last 20 minutes of the game to score five unanswered tries from broken play and take an easy 38-14 win in the end.
A very disappointing result considering the strong position that King's were in and some harsh lessons on staying focused and remaining aware for the full duration of the game.
Mount Albert Grammar
27 – 5
The 6A team had a great win at home versus Mount Albert Grammar School, where parental support for both sides was strong in numbers. Immediately after kick off it was evident that both teams were fairly evenly matched and as the first half progressed, territory was shared equally and the score line was nil-all after 35 minutes. One sensed that King’s had the potential to break the game open. Mistakes in handling and choices of options had let them down but this was not the case in the second half. Five tries with one conversion were scored from all parts of the field in a very dominating period of attractive rugby. The bench played a part in installing some extra vitality and spark, and the squad left the field with a very satisfying 27-5 victory. Special performances worthy of mention were made by James Charteris, Sio Vaolupe, Aubrey Hunt. A bye this coming weekend will give the team more time to develop their promising potential.
43 - 5
On a stunning morning the 6B’s gathered to play a home game against Pakuranga College. The two things the coaches asked students to concentrate on in the game were ‘tackling and teamwork.’ With great leadership from newly appointed Captain Harry Grieves and Vice-Captain Harry Perrit, the team implemented these two strategies and achieved a positive outcome. The game began with two good team tries and excellent passing by Harry Lethbridge-Ralph putting Moziah Latu over twice. Both tries were converted by Harry Grieves, 14-0. A good driving run by Yanz Chen ended with a try, 19-0. Again, with great teamwork Luca Seerden and Harry Perrit both scored tries. As half time approached, King’s relaxed a bit and allowed Pakuranga to end the half with a try, 31 – 5.
For the second half we brought on nine new players so that all students could quite rightly have a game of rugby. Campbell Griffin was outstanding on the wing with two swift runs, resulting in a try for himself and then putting Alex Wright over for a try. The final score was 43 – 5: a win to King’s and a win for good ‘teamwork and tackling’.
Coaches: Jimmy + Rev.
Westlake Boys High School 7A Red
17 – 19
Tries: Jack Elliott, Freddie Forsythe, and Jack Willis
Conversions: Harry Sinclair (1)
In perfect weather conditions on a good field at Westlake Boys’, King’s 7A unfortunately found a 17 – 5 lead half way through the second half was not enough to stop Westlake Boys High School Red clinching the win in the final five minutes of a highly competitive game 19 – 17.
Again, starting slower than might be desirable, King’s soon found themselves five points down after a weak defensive effort on the right-hand side allowed WHBS Red in for an easy first try.
Jolted in to action, the King’s forward pack started to take control and after several promising pick and goes, Jack Elliott, who had volunteered to play in the forwards to make up for three missing team mates, was duly rewarded with a try that unfortunately went unconverted when the referee overruled both linesmen who had raised their flags.
The second half started out with far more promise and it wasn’t long before Freddie Forsythe was rewarded for his tireless efforts with a try that also went unconverted.
Not long after, a fluid backline move saw winger Jack Willis make a strong determined run down the right-hand side and score. Harry Sinclair stepped up to crown the successful move with a conversion just five metres in from the side line.
With 15 minutes to play and 17-5 lead to King’s what happened next will no doubt be a good rugby lesson for both sides as Westlake, rather than dropping their heads, upped their game against a tiring King’s side and scored not one but two hard earned tries both successfully converted to take the lead 19 – 17 with 6 minutes left on the clock.
While King’s threw everything into the last five minutes, simple mistakes and too many penalties saw promising move after promising move flittered away and a very jubilant Westlake side took much pleasure from seeing the final penalty go into touch and the referee blow full time.
An enjoyable competition to watch for both sets of spectators - though one side will have no doubt enjoyed hearing the final whistle slightly more than the other.