19 Jun 2023

Monday 19 June 2023

Read on for a wrap-up of last weekend's games.

23 06 16 Kc1stxv Tangaroa

King's playing against Tangaroa College in 2022

1st XV 37 vs 5 Tangaroa College

The First XV delivered their best performance of the 2023 1A competition as they defeated Tangaroa College 37-5 at King’s College on Saturday.

Three tries in each half, including a double for skipper Levi Gwynne (Year 13, Parnell), meant the team also secured a valuable four-try bonus point. Some pre-match rain left the field soggy and there was gentle drizzle falling as the game got underway, which made ball retention challenging for both sides during the first 20 minutes.

After taking the lead via an early penalty from fullback Luca Fuller (Year13, Selwyn), King’s took a while for their attack to click but when second five Dillon Vaoga (Year 13, Averil) crashed over for a five-pointer in the 22nd minute the points started to flow regularly.

Front-rowers Flynn Hamilton-Muller (Year 12, Averill) and Oliver Hatch (Year 13, Major) both scored tries before the halftime whistle went as King’s took a 20-0 lead to the break. The defence was much improved as King’s made their tackles and were patient when they didn’t have the ball as they frustrated a spirited Tangaroa team.

King’s were able to build pressure through retaining possession for long periods and that pressure eventually turned into more points as the second half wore on. Aside from Gwynne’s two tries, wing James Ford (Year 13, Parnell) scored an outstanding solo try with some fancy footwork leaving several would-be tacklers grasping for air as he found his way to the line.

Vaoga’s direct running gave King’s plenty of impetus in the midfield and laid a solid platform to attack from, while flanker Ethan Ola (Year 11, Averill) had plenty of bright moments. King’s also established dominance at the set-piece with a particularly strong scrum helping build the foundations for the victory.

“I’d like to start by thanking Tangaroa for coming out and playing us here,” Gwynne said after the match. “Real tough and gritty battle. It’s a great rivalry and a good battle versing another school from around our community.”

The match was also memorable for replacement front-rowers Qortezz Tuala (Year 13, Averill) and Sione Manuopangai (Year 11, Peart) as it marked their capping game, while forward Charlie Burn (Year 11, School) made his First XV debut when he joined the contest via the bench.

The win left King’s in ninth place on the 1A ladder and their next game will be a home contest against the undefeated Saint Kentigern College that is scheduled to start at 2.30pm on Saturday 24 June.  “Tough game next week, obviously they’re at the top of the table so [we will] look to bounce back and just clean up those little errors,” Gwynne said.


2A 19 vs 26 James Cook High School

The game started very positively with some aggressive defence and good pressure applied to JC that saw King’s dominate field possession and take an early lead of 8-0 from a penalty and a try. James Cook showed their ball carrying strength and crashed over to make it 8-7.

Zion Heiloa Savaka (Year 11, Peart) kept the KC team advancing on the score board with 2 penalties to go to 14-7 just before half time. From an attacking lineout on the 5m line the lineout was lost and JC went the full length to score and end the half at 14-12. King’s scored early in second half to extend their lead to 19-12 however JC were growing in confidence as the match went on.

Some crucial turnovers and inaccuracy at the breakdown saw JC get a lot possession late in the second half and they pounced with an intercept out wide to score under the posts 19-19. JC scored again with 5 minutes remaining and converted from the side-line to take a 26-19 lead. King’s tried hard to equalise in the closing minutes but again errors with the ball in hand saw JC hold out for the win. The game was played in good spirits and a closing prayer with both colleges huddled up at the end showed the brotherhood between of the two South Auckland Schools.

Player of the Day: Robbie Noble (Year 12, Greenbank)


1R 3 vs 0 Mount Albert Grammar School

There was a lot riding on the game with only one further match remaining before the up-coming school holidays as well as the fact that we had only just beaten them four weeks ago and we wanted to prove that we could back up the last match’s result.

It was a pleasure to play on the well-manicured MAGS number one field, although as soon as the match started, it started to rain and continued to do so throughout the match. This was one of those ‘old-school’, dour matches with lots of willingness to move the ball but was lacking accuracy and execution from both sides. We expected MAGS to come out all fire and brimstone in the first 20 minutes, and they did not disappoint. But, our defence held strong and they were unable to create many scoring opportunities. As the game unfolded, we dominated both possession and field position more and more, however, we were only able to score a lone penalty to Louie Ballan in the first half and this minimum score line would remain the same right through to the final whistle.

Full credit must be paid to our defence as we repelled again and again, everything that MAGS through at us. We created opportunities throughout the match; particularly in the second half, but just lacked patience, composure and execution on multiple occasions.

Our focus now turns towards our final game of the term next weekend versus St. Peters College here at home. We have picked up a few injuries and there is still lots of work to be done, however, we would like to go into the school holidays with a consolidating win and to complete a very positive term on a high.


U15A 15 vs 5 Wesley College

King’s U15A travelled out south to play against Wesley College on their number one field, the weather conditions would make this game a close battle.  From the kick off both teams were hoping to gain physical dominance and the first quarter was a real tight battle. With a high penalty count against King’s we were allowing Wesley to get out of their red zone too easily.  On the 20-minute mark King’s did a nice lineout play which got us well over the advantage line and a fast cleanout allowed Ruka Smythe (Year 10, Parnell) to do a big clearance pass from the sideline to Felix Spary (Year 10, Selwyn) who did a nice skip pass to Calvin Harris-Tavita (Year 10, Parnell) who then passed to Leewes Natana-Hemara (Year 9, St John’s) to run 15 metres untouched to score a great team try for the only points of the first half, King’s leading at halftime 5 nil.

The second half would be another tight battle but King’s were playing the better rugby however two forward pass calls by the ref and a dropped ball stopped us from scoring further points.  After 7 minutes Gus Iversen (Year 10, Major) would steal a nice ball from a ruck where Ruka Smythe was able to quickly pass to Calvin Harris-Tavita who kicked a great 50:22.  From the lineout King’s did a nice drive forcing Wesley to commit numbers to the maul.  Another nice clearance allowed D’Angelo Tupou (Year 11, Parnell) to run a decoy backline move which put Calvin Harris-Tavita into space who then passed to Matt Cunningham (Year 10, Greenbank) to score and extend King’s lead. 

With 10 minutes to play Wesley could not find touch from a clearance kick right on their try line and Calvin Harris-Tavita was able to run the blindside and unselfishly pass to Noah Moss (Year 9, Parnell) who scored out wide for King’s final points of the game.  Wesley would score close to full time after being awarded a scrum from being held up over our try line.  From the scrum and after a few phases and another penalty Wesley would dot down for a fulltime score of 5 - 15 King’s.

Upfront Loghan Pulotu-McCarthy (Year 11, Parnell), Rodney Winiata (Year 10, Parnell) and Levick Nu'uausala (Year 10, Marsden) would all have an impressive game and were well supported by Bassy Tupou (Year 10, Mardsen), Max Gilbert (Year 10, Selwyn) and Jamie Ludbrook (Year 10, Major).  In the backs D’Angelo Tupou, Felix Spary and Karson Hawkins (Year 10, Parnell) all worked hard while Leewes Natana-Hemara, Matt Cunningham and Noah Moss all scored great team tries and Calvin Harris-Tavita often looked dangerous ball in hand.  The team should be very proud of their defensive effort, especially protecting our try line.

The team will take away a lot of learnings from this close game and we look forward to the big challenge of playing away against Kelston next weekend. 

Tries:  Leewes Natana-Hemara, Matt Cunningham and Noah Moss


5A 24 vs 7 Mount Albert Grammar School

A good hit out for the whole squad this Saturday with a 24-7 win over MAGS 5A. The team struggled with errors and a spirited opposition in the first half to lead 10-7, including a barnstorming try by Harry Taylor (Year 12, Major).

The second half saw territorial dominance but only two of many try scoring opportunities were converted.


6A 59 vs 0 Auckland Grammar ‘B’

Saturday can best be described as the day that country music, in the form of John Grenell and ‘The Count’ from Sesame Street collided. This was the best performance of the season from the team and one that can be used as a springboard for the final two games of the term.  

  • Venue 1: Grammar Field 2 - changed Friday.  Venue 2: Domain Field 10 - Saturday Morning - flooded.  Venue 3 : Shore Road Field 2 - thank you to Mr Sinclair for arranging.
  • So three venues. Tick Box.
  • Third week in a row we have played a Grammar side. Tick Box.

The game started well for King’s with a couple of quick tries. The attack was working well, and a further two tries followed, with Charlie Rutherford’s (Year 9, Greenbank) long range try the stand out in an excellent first half display. Song: ‘Three Steps to Heaven’ by Eddie Cochran. Substitute 30 minutes of heaven.

Half-Time: King’s 31 - 0 Grammar 6th Grade ‘B’ 

Cue the multiple substitutions and the game lost a little of its shape. Grammar came back into the game, but the defence was excellent and Carter Stewart (Year 10, School) continued his excellent form at tackle, line out and break down.

Runner up moment to the day was Harry Edgar’s (Year 10, Greenbank) expression when he realised that no one was between him and the line, except 33 meters of grass. Our head coach Martin Linstrom described it as a mixture of fear and joy all wrapped into one.

This, however, was Tate Chong’s (Year 10, Greenbank) day. His tries were vintage front row. In each try he ran hard and straight and broke tackles. Obviously the passage of time will increase the distance he ran. All three were from inside the opposition 22 but ‘artistic licence’ will allow him to increase the distance.

Tries: Tate Chong x 3, Harry Edgar , Charlie Robertson (Year 10, School), Josh Want (Year 10, Major), Jack Reid (Year 10, School), Finn Jones (Year 10, Parnell), Sam Coulter (Year 10, Averill)

Conversions: Kasey Lewis x 6 (Year 10, Greenbank): Finn Jones x 1

Player of the Day: Tate Chong


U14A 0 vs 67 Kelston 

Saturday’s match presented another challenging day on the paddock for the U14A boys as the came up against a Kelston U15A side who played methodically to a game plan that maximised their size and speed out wide. 

After the usual slow start where Kelston ran in a couple of tries, the boys gathered resilience and grit to pull together as a team and managed to construct positive play using as much hard-fought-for possession they could get throughout the match to threaten the Kelston line, but ultimately made costly errors on attack which were quickly capitalised on by the opposition.

Despite the score, King’s never gave up, demonstrating moments of promise on both attack and defence. A slow burn but with improvements made each week, a win must surely be just around the corner! Virtus pollet.