First XV 5 - 44 Kelston Boy's High School
The First XV suffered a 5-44 defeat at the hands of Kelston Boy's High School in their 1A clash on Saturday. Playing in the warm and breezy conditions at Kelston, the team was guilty of making a slow start again as the home side scored a converted try during the opening few minutes. Conceding that try sparked King's into action but ill-discipline and missed tackles proved costly as Kelston steadily chipped away at the scoreboard through penalty goals and two more tries. Given they are back-to-back defending champions in the 1A, a trip to Kelston was never going to be an easy task for the young King's team. By halftime, the visiting team was down 0-25.
After leaking another try to start the second spell, King's enjoyed their best period of the match when they got on the board courtesy of a five-pointer to prop Flynn Hamilton-Muller (Year 12, Averill). During the next 10 minutes, King's finally got their hands on the ball for an extended length of time and set up camp in the Kelston half but were unable to turn that pressure into further points. It wasn't for lack of effort as players like halfback Marco Miln (Year 11, Selwyn), centre Brodey Warren (Year 13, Peart), and prop Alfie Taufa (Year 13, Parnell) all showed plenty of heart, but the First XV was ultimately outgunned by an impressive Kelston team.
King's First XV vice-captain Oliver Hatch (Year 13, Major) said their slow start left them on the back foot."They started off really well. They came out firing and we played a lot better in the second half, but we just had too many mistakes in that first half and weren't able to come back from it," Hatch said. The challenging nature of the Auckland 1A competition means there are no easy fixtures and the First XV will travl to Mount Albert Grammar School on Saturday for their next match.
"We've really got to front up now," Hatch said. Mount Albert Grammar School have won their opening two matchs of the season and are in fourth place on the ladder, while King's are in ninth. Hatch said the team had the belief and ability to get their season on track and pinpointed a few key areas for improvement. "I think just our confidence in our start as well as our set-piece. We've just got to be confident we can dominate lineouts and scrums. We've all got individual roles that we can work on for next week against MAGS."
2A 17 - 12 Wesley College
King's secured another win in their pre-season game with a spirited performance against a very large and physical Wesley College outfit. King's were slow out of the blocks with a handling error on our own try line which resulted in Wesley capitalising and scoring a gifted try. King's spent the next 10 minutes in their own half, giving Wesley another try and conversion. The team were determined to score next to stay in the hunt. They finally found their way into the game and managed to hold on to the ball for multiple plays and some slick hands from the backs gave right winger Juleo Tauu (Year 12, St. John’s) a try in the corner. King's were stringing some good phases together. However, Wesley defence stood firm and were leading 12-5 going into the half-time break.
King's started the second half well by securing possession and maintaining a strong pace. A barnstorming run from Hemana Connew (Year 11, St. John’s) helped to get King's on the front foot while a good support play by Captain Bailey Harris (Year 12, St. John’s) gave way for a try and conversion scored by Keanu Ezekiela (Year 12, Parnell). This levelled the score to 12-all. Kace Hipkins-Taimai (Year 11, Parnell), Levi Saipele (Year 12, Marsden) and Joseph Fatuvalu (Year 11, Averill) kept this momentum up by steering the team and maintain the connection between the forwards and backs. The tight 5 were very sound, setting the platform and ensuring the backs were able to get clean ball. This lead to some fine touches from Keneti Fanuatanu (Year 11, St. John’s) whom caused havoc for the defence. Wesley rallied as they could sense the momentum shift going to the way of King's. They threw everything at King's and were able to breach the solid defensive wall. King's were awarded a penalty 70m out in the final stages of the game. Saipele’s saw an opportunity for another try, using a quick tap to get some phases together and move the ball along to Spencer Capper (Year 11, Parnell) and Ryan Young (Year 11, Parnell). This gave way to a 30m run by Sean Angilau (Year 11, Averill), setting up Capper to score the winning try. Relief for the players came at the sound of the final whistle alongside a well-deserved and gutsy win. Well done to the 2A team, they should be very proud of their performance.
1R 41 - 0 Westlake Boy's High School
The team was excited to be given the opportunity to play on the #1 field last Saturday. With the weather being absolutely perfect for running rugby, the team set about playing accurate rugby against a Westlake Boys High School team that we did not know much about beforehand.
A couple of early tries gave the boys a strong head start, followed by some very good phase play and patience when handling the ball. The forwards rolled up their sleeves and went to work and were rewarded with 5 of the 6 first half tries scored. No 8 – Nick Dingley (Year 13, Selwyn) and hooker - Fin Olde (Year 13, School) both scored a brace of tries each, while captain Alex Grant (Year 13, Peart) and centre – Charlie Hunn (Year 13, St. John’s) were rewarded with a well-taken try each. Louie Ballan (Year 13, Parnell) was able to convert two of the six tries and we turned around 34 – 0 ahead.
At halftime, the team was advised to focus on their defence but also make a solid effort to ensure Westlake did not score any points in the second half. This goal we were able to fulfil, however, we lost our way and some poor discipline allowed WBHS to stay in the game. We were only able to score one further try to 2nd 5/8 – Charlie Hunn, which was converted by Ballan and the game ended with a pleasing 41 – 0 score line to kick-off our season.
A good start but still lots of work to do with some big games coming up.
5A 5 - 10 St. Peters College
In a very close encounter at King’s, that at times was rather scrappy against a headstrong St Peter’s side. The breakdown was highly contested and both teams while very enthusiastic to play were showing signs of the early season jitters. By halftime, the score was tied as Te Rae Watene (Year 12, Greenbank) ended off the first half with a splendid 60 metre try. Despite this, the score ended in a narrow 5-10 loss with King’s College hot on attack in the final minutes but couldn’t quite cross the line for the win. A good but tough game to build towards what will be a highly competitive season.
6A 22 - 7 Macleans College
This week the 6A faced Macleans for the second consecutive week and came away with a good win. This was despite losing both first choice 1st 5/8th Finn Jones and James Shaw to injury, having a coach in the UK and having 4 new players to the squad.
The game started well and Kings were able to show more attacking flare than in previous weeks. Kasey Lewis (Year 10, Greenbank) excelled in the number 10 jersey, starting off the game with a nice run. Lewis was able to feed the ball to Charlie Robertson (Year 10, School) who showed a good turn of speed to run in from the 22 metre line.
Kings put themselves under pressure by failing to regather the kick off. Macleans built up some pressure and were rewarded with a good team try under the posts. Kings, however, were not to be upstaged and after a series of excellent drives Tate Chong (Year 10, Greenbank) drove over to give the hosts a 12-7 halftime lead.
The second half was more disjointed by the introduction of substitutes and injuries. The Kings side was able to put some good phases together and tries to Finn Driscoll (Year 10, Parnell) and Josh Want (Year 10, Major) gave the home side a comfortable 22-7 lead.
The game was beginning to open up and Macleans took advantage to score a second try. The game finished with consistent Macleans attack being repelled by staunch Kings defence. This was an excellent game however the first competition game against St Peters next Saturday will be the true test of this team.
Player of the Day : Arch Kennedy
U15A 50 - 0 Liston College
King’s U15A were excited to be playing on our number 1 field for our first official home game of the season. The weather was perfect for running rugby, the sun was shining, no breeze and great under foot conditions. We were hoping to put on a good performance and the team did not disappoint.
From the kick off King’s looked impressive. With only five minutes into the game the backs spread the ball wide for left wing Matt Cunningham (Year 10, Greenbank) to score in the corner and for Calvin Harris-Tavita (Year 10, Parnell) to convert from the sideline. The next 10 minutes King’s dominated but poor hands would stop us adding to the score. However, a nice set piece play by the team would aid right wing Karson Hawkins (Year 10, Parnell) would score in his corner for Harris-Tavita to again convert from out wide. Not long after, Cunningham would score again after another well executed backline play. The next 5 minutes were all King’s with highly impressive tries from Harris-Tavita as well as Hawkins scoring his second try of the game. Calvin was able to convert both tries and King’s went into halftime with a commanding 33 nil lead.
The second half could not start any better with Harris-Tavita scoring after only two minutes. The next 15 minutes was quite an arm wrestle, King’s unforced errors and second half high penalty count meant the score remained the same until Liston were unable to find touch and Noah Moss (Year 9, Parnell) was able to regather and pass to Harris-Tavita who bamboozled the opposition to score a great individual try. The game was now losing its shape but right on full time, hardworking back Parekaahu Keepa (Year 10, Parnell) parescored after a great change of angle run by Felix Spary (Year 10, Selwyn) who unselfishly passed the ball to Parekaahu over the try line so King’s could score under the posts for Calvin to convert for a final score of 50 nil.
Upfront Loghan Pulotu-McCarthy (Year 11, Parnell) had an outstanding game and was well supported by Tyler-Rex Samasoni-Tukuitonga (Year 10, Averill), Bassy Tupou (Year 10, Marsden), Max Gilbert (Year 10, Selwyn), Jamie Ludbrook (Year 10, Major) and Gus Iversen (Year 10, Major) to name a few. In the backs fast and accurate delivery from Ruka Smythe (Year 10, Parnell) allowed Parekaahu Keepa, Felix Spary, Karson Hawkins, Matt Cunningham and especially Calvin Harris-Tavita to impress on attack while D’Angelo Tupou (Year 11, Parnell) directed the team well from first five. The whole team played well, our set piece was strong and our dominance was reflected in the scorecard.
With slight improvements on our one percenters, ball handling and decision making our team will hopefully put in a more complete performance next weekend. The team will take away these key learnings which we need to improve during the week before facing a very strong St Peter’s at home.
Tries – Matt Cunningham 2, Karson Hawkins 2, Calvin Harris-Tavita 3, Parekaahu Keepa
Conversions – Calvin Harris-Tavita 5
U14 A 20 - 21 Dilworth College
With the sun out and fine weather, the scene was set for a great day for running rugby between two evenly matched teams. King's College U14A started well, scoring the first try of the match with left winger Ben Wilson (Year 9, Peart)crashing through on the left wing. Dilworth replied quickly with a converted try, taking advantage of some missed taxkles and a give-away penalty. With gas to spare, fullback Ollie Anderson (Year 9, Greenbank) finished phase play and slick backline distribution to score (unconverted) on the left side of the field. Dilworth often used their field advantage to launch their attack based around their three key runners - lock and no. 8 combining off the back of the scrum, and inside centre working the inside channel. This strategy helped them to score a converted try at the 20 minute. With both sides putting pressure on each other, the to-and-fro game pattern continued throughout the first half. The King's forwards and backs worked hard in response, and combined well to send full back Ollie Anderson over again for a second unconverted try just before the halftime break. The halftime score was a one point lead to King's, 15-14.
The second half was a high pressure cooker with possession shared pretty evenly through majority of the second half. The Dilworth tactic was to put pressure on our possession at ruck time with counter rucking, causing us to turn over some of our hard earnt possession. A few unforced errors at critical times lead to lost possession which Dilworth took advantage of by scoring another converted try with 12 minutes remaining taking the lead 21-15. An unconverted try by midfielder Robbie Dunn (Year 9, Marsden) was scored in quick response as the boys rose to the challenge and applied more pressure bringing the score to 1 point shy of Dilworth's 20 which they desperately defended. As King's maintained good field position in the last five or so minutes of the match, continuing to apply pressure in Dilworth's half, their efforts were rewarded with a penalty in the last minute of the game. With a quick tap, the ball was quickly distributed to the backs for one final nail-biting attempt at the line. Dilworth's defence held fast in those dying moments rewarding them with a narrow win, 21-20.
Congratulations to U14A Open's Players of the Day: Ollie Anderson and Finn Thompson.
A valian effort boys! Hold your heads high, this one got away so let's learn from our mistakes and go get the next one. Virtus Pollet.
U15 R 38 - 7 Pukekohe High School
The U15R had a great start to the season playing against Pukekohe High School and coming away with a 38-7 win.The opposition had some intimidating players but it wasn't an issue once the referee blew the whistle and the team just got stuck in. The team scored 6 tries, converting 4 whilst Pukekohe scored one converted try.
It was a solid team effort with the forwards carrying the ball strong up the middle with great momentum and then the backs quick hands were able to score out wide. Some of the players were able to strip the ball from the opposition and use the possession to their advantage. A huge thank you to our parents for getting the boys out there and also helping with transport. A final thanks to our Coaches Jason and Tevyn, and to our parent who helped with being the lineman for the match.