First XV 76 – 0 Liston College
The First XV made the perfect start to their 1A campaign with a 76-0 win over Liston College on Saturday.
Playing in overcast conditions with home field advantage, the team were relentless as they ran in 12 tries to secure a bonus point, while captain Francis Manuleleua added eight conversions, including a handful from challenging angles.
The first half was a slow burn as the team found their stride and ironed out their mistakes, which was to be expected given it was the first match of the competition and having not played for two weeks.
With a 26-0 lead at halftime their systems clicked in the second spell as they ran rampant with tries coming thick and fast, including four in the final 10 minutes.
Right wing Jonty Willis completed his hat-trick in the final moments of the game, while first five Harry Kaveriri (AVE) grabbed a double.
Centre Jarius Iosefa, who scored the opening try of the second stanza, made his presence felt with a few bullocking runs, which laid an outstanding platform for the team to attack from.
With a number of changes to the forward pack from last season, this year presents an opportunity for new players to make their mark and the opening game was a great statement of intent.
Tighthead prop Sam Afu was heavily involved and scored two tries, while No 8 Levi Gwynne-Tuitahi (PAR) had some nice moments and scored a try of his own in the first spell.
While the 76 looked impressive on the scoreboard the most pleasing number from the match for the coaching staff may have been the zero, given the team kept Liston scoreless.
The following players made their debut in the 1A competition and acquitted themselves well-:
Oliver Hatch, Sam Afu, Callan Ogilvie, Harry Kaveriri, Luca Fuller, Qortezz Tuala, Flynn Hamilton-Muller, Hawaiki Morrison, Dillon Vaoga, and Joshua Schaaf.
This year’s 1A competition might be only one week old but the wide margin of victory has put King’s at the top of the points table, and they were the only team during the opening round to keep their opponents scoreless.
The First XV will travel to De La Salle College for their next game on Saturday 21 May, which begins a blockbuster stretch of six matches where they will then meet St Peter’s College, Saint Kentigern College, Auckland Grammar School, Mount Albert Grammar School, and Kelston Boys’ High School in consecutive rounds.
U15A 21 – 5 Saint Kentigern College
King’s U15A found themselves playing Saint Kentigern College (SKC) in the first round having only played them in a preseason game the week before. Having beaten both Auckland Grammar and SKC preseason, we knew it was important we start the official season with a win also. The weather was ideal for attacking rugby: dry field, slightly overcast and no breeze.
With the game scheduled to start both teams realised we had no referee and unfortunately Mr Palmer drew the short straw and would have to officiate the match. After a delayed kick off King’s started very slow and after only two minutes SKC would score a good try to one of their hard working loose forwards.
After our team regrouped, King’s started to gain some momentum. Ill discipline from our opposition allowed King’s to start playing some good rugby in SKC’s half and after a continued period of sustained pressure impressive forward Hemana Connew scored a well deserved try. Zion Heiloa Savaka converted from out wide to move the score to 7 to 5.
The first half was a real arm wrestle with the mid-field combination of Saia Manu and TJ Anae-Paila working tirelessly on both attack and defence, and were well supported by Hemana, Johan Schaumkell, Tevita Veikoso and Sione Manupangai upfront. Lock Sam Gapes was starting to gain dominance in the lineout. With Zion having to leave the field injured King’s would have a young pairing of Ruka Smythe and Calvin Harris-Tavita playing 9 and 10. Half time score 7 – 5 to King’s.
SKC started the second half well and were pressuring our try line when Hemana intercepted a pass to run 80 metres to score his second try, Calvin converted close to the posts to extend King’s lead to 14 – 5.
Errors from both sides started to creep into the game but it was King’s character on defence which was a real highlight of the second half. Both teams left everything out on the field with Charlie Burn adding some steel to our defence along with Keneti Fanuatanu, Evile Tuumatavai, Sean Angilau, Joseph Fatuvalu and Ryan Young.
After a good break away out wide and pressure on SKC’s try line King’s were able to score one more try to TJ Anae-Paila which was also converted by Calvin Harris-Tavita for a 21 – 5 final score.
Overall our team took a big step forward and hopefully can continue developing and improving each week as the season continues. Special thank you to Mr Palmer for refereeing the tightly contested match.
Tries – Hemana Connew 2, TJ Anae-Paila
Conversion – Zion Savaka, Calvin Harris-Tavita 2
Pre-season Exchange vs Macleans
Under 15B 7 – 46 Macleans College
5A 22 – 10 Macleans College
6A 58 – 12 Macleans College