20 May 2024

Monday 20 May 2024

See below for a wrap up of the weekend's games. 

First XV 31 v 28 De La Salle College

On Saturday 18 May, King’s College First XV faced off against De La Salle College away in a thrilling encounter that ended in a narrow victory for the visitors - the first time since 2018. The match began at a frenetic pace with both teams trading possession and testing each other's defenses. Both teams created many chances

A strong defensive first quarter held De La Salle out after many attacking ventures into our 22m. It was King’s who struck first at the 20-minute mark when TJ Anae-Paila (Year 12, School) powered over the try line in the left corner, and Harrison Martin (Year 13, Selwyn) converted to put King’s up 7-0. De La Salle responded almost immediately, scoring a try and converting to level the score at 7-7.

King’s reclaimed the lead shortly after, as Saia Manu (Year 12, Averill) finished off a well-executed play by diving over the line, with Martin adding the extras to make it 14-7. However, De La Salle again equalised just on halftime, setting the stage for a tightly contested second half with the score locked at 14-all.

Half time: 14 - 14

The second half saw King’s College taking an early lead, with a quick tap penalty and long pass from Marco Miln (Year 12, Selwyn) allowed Robbie Noble (Year 13, Greenbank) to step inside his marker and score in the left hand corner. Miln’s superb conversion extended the lead to 21-14. But De La Salle, showing resilience, scored another try to tie the game once more at 21-21.

As the clock ticked down, Anae-Paila struck again for King’s, scoring his second try of the match at the 60-minute mark. Miln’s reliable boot made it 28-21.

With 5 minutes left to play De La Salle scored a converted try after many phases on attack that King’s defended valiantly but could not hold out in the end to make the score 28-28.

With just two minutes left, De La Salle conceded a crucial penalty right in front of the posts. Miln confidently slotted the three points, giving King’s a 31-28 lead. De La Salle attacked in those final few minutes but a knock-on by them allowed King’s to control a scrum feed to kick the ball out to win the game.

The final whistle blew, sealing a hard-fought victory for King’s College Auckland in an exhilarating match.

A fantastic game of rugby to watch with both teams playing enterprising attacking rugby. There was also a 100% success rate for all goal kickers which was impressive as quite a few of the King’s tries were scored out near the touchline. Thanks to the supporters who watched the game and to De La Salle who were great hosts.

Full time: 31 - 28

The First XV’s next outing is an away fixture against Saint Kentigern at 2.30pm on Saturday 25 May.


Second XV 12 v 22 Auckland Grammar

The King’s College Second XV made a strong start from kick-off, applying multiple phases of sustained attack inside Grammar’s 22 with strong carries by front rowers Rodney Winiata (Year 11, Parnell), Tom Boucher (Year 12, Greenbank) and open flanker Christian Collins (Year 12, Major).

Despite many players out of position and a depleted bench, the forward’s scrummaging was strong, and the lineouts were well-executed – providing plenty of clean ball from set play for the backs who were guided expertly by first five Zion Savaka (Year 12, Peart) and his accurate distribution skills along with his educated boot, helping to maintain possession and territorial advantage in this first period of play. Mistakes however prevented us from converting these advantages into points. When Grammar finally gained some territorial advantage 22 minutes into the first half, they scored an unconverted try off the back of a 5-metre ruck.

Following a scathing run downfield by No. 8 Keanu Ezekiela (Year 13, Parnell), King’s stayed in the strike zone for another ten minutes with a well-controlled open play. However, Grammar took advantage of defenders briefly out of position and launched a counterattack from their own 22 to score another unconverted try.

A dropped ball on their line from open play not long after restart kept Grammar pinned in their 22. After a sustained attack, lock Sam Gapes (Year 12, Selwyn) handed the ball to Lachlan Snelling (Year 12, School) from another clean lineout take, and the forward drive landed him the try in the left corner, which was duly converted by half-back Freddie Gilbert (Year 13, Selwyn) resulting in a close halftime score of 10–7.

Grammar came out of the blocks firing, applying early pressure and scoring an early converted try in the second half. This try was followed by a period of to-and-fro rugby where both teams came close to scoring tries but were let down by small errors including a great full-field run by fullback Juleo Tauu (Year 13, St John’s) Grammar were able to score a try out wide in our right corner from a midfield attacking scrum.

King’s made good ground downfield, and off the back of great line defence, midfielder Spencer Capper (Year 12, Parnell) intercepted a Grammar inside pass to break downfield, scoring the final try of the match. Capper’s try was unconverted and the referee brought the game to a close.

Tries: Lachlan Snelling, Spencer Capper

Conversions/penalties: Freddie Gilbert


1R Maroon 14 v 23 Auckland Grammar

The KC 1R Maroon team played its final non-comp match at home on the KC No 1 field on Saturday against AGS. We knew this would be a challenge against Grammar and this proved to be the case. Grammar applied early pressure to keep us in our half and scored a try from a lineout drive after several penalties were given away for ill-discipline. More ill-discipline in front of our posts gave Grammar two easy penalty shots that their kicker converted to go out to an 11-point lead. Better play saw us hold onto the ball and push Grammar to the fault, being rewarded with three penalties that halfback Morgan Tapper (Year 13, St John’s) converted to go into the halftime break 9–11 down.

Unfortunately, first five eight – Jackson Brown (Year 13, Peart) and midfielder – Sacha Foenander (Year 13, School) clashed heads in a tackle and both boys left the field with a concussion that will rule them out of play for the next few weeks.

The second half started well for us, creating opportunities to score, but we could not finish off these chances. Grammar took their chances and after two missed tackles by our boys, Grammar moved out to a 23–9 lead.

We scored a late try to left wing Bruno Cettina (Year 13, Selwyn) to drag the score back to 14–23 when the final whistle blew.

Losing halfback Tapper with a dislocated shoulder and two concussions will test our backline depth as we commence our championship round away to Sacred Heart next weekend.


1R Gold 13 v 10 Green Bay High School

The 1R Gold side travelled west to Titirangi on a fabulous Saturday morning to play Green Bay High School. From the whistle, it was evident that the home team were up for the encounter, showing aggressive defence and running with intent. King’s managed to weather the storm and get the first points with the fly-half, and skipper Daniel Chitty (Year 12, School) opened the scoring with a penalty goal.

King’s showed good continuity at times on attack, holding on to the ball well and pressuring the opposition line, but couldn’t quite cross their line after several attempts.

Green Bay sensed they were still in the game and was rewarded after dominating possession and territory in the last 10 minutes of the first half to finally cross for a try on half time to make it 3-5.

With changes made at half time and fresh legs on the field, King’s started the second half well and were rewarded with a try to hard running loose forward Jack Geldard (Year 13, Major), who had just got on the field. Chitty converted and King’s took the lead again 10-5. While King’s dominated a lot of the possession in the second half, they did not manage to accumulate any points and Green Bay broke out of their half and finished off a strong flurry to crash over near the posts, equaling the scoreboard 10-all, with not much time left on the clock.

King’s showed their desperation in attack and were rewarded a penalty, the reliable boot of Daniel Chitty again adding the 3 points and putting King’s back in front and taking the win 13-10. Hardworking loose forward Denver Olde (Year 12, School) was outstanding and tireless all game. Kieran Bargery (Year 13, Greenbank), playing his first game at half-back, did well in a new position, showing he has potential and Malcolm Barrow (Year 11, School), playing fullback, carried hard and showed glimpses of his pace running from the back.

Tries: Jack Geldard

Conversion/penalties: Daniel Chitty (3)


5A 7 v 5 St Kentigern College 

On another gorgeous autumn morning, the 5A team slogged out an extremely tight-fought 7-5 win against a very strong St Kentigern team. The first half saw a true arm wrestle, with King’s starting well and, in the first 15 minutes, were dominant in the St Kent’s half. However, they were unable to add any points. St Kent’s then pushed back, starting to dominate the King’s scrum and field position. This meant that for a large portion of the second half, King’s defence was heavily tested; however, with staunch defence from the whole team, they stayed in the game. On one of the few times in the second quarter when King’s entered back into the St Kent’s half, we were rewarded with a penalty, but unfortunately the shot at goal was unsuccessful and we entered the halftime break tied at a very tense 0-0. 

With three player changes at halftime, the team came out with renewed defensive vigour, challenging the St Kent’s backline every time they got the ball. Ten minutes into the second half, the deadlock was broken with a St Kent’s try through their forwards. This sparked the King’s boys into a great piece of attacking rugby, and 5 minutes later, after several phases, Sam Coulter (Year 11, School) scored in the left-hand corner. With the scores tied, the conversion was critical and Barney Foote (Year 11, Averill) confidently sent the ball sailing through the posts from the touchline to bring the score to 7-5.

With about 15 minutes to go, the game went back and forth, with the defence from both teams across the field being immense. Two monster tackles in the last 5 minutes out on the wing from Will Hargrave (Year 11, Major) highlighted the desire from the boys to win.  With time up, a 5-metre lineout win by King’s and a scramble to kick it dead saw the team hold on and win the tight battle 7-5. While the game was not as free-flowing as last week's win, and there are some areas to work on, sometimes you just have to win ugly.  The most important aspect was that the team showed belief in their defence and teammates to get the win. This attribute will be key as we go through the season.  Well done boys!

Tries: Sam Coulter

Conversion: Barney Foote


6A 34 v 21 St Kentigern College

It was another stunning day for a high-paced physical match. King's were looking for another winning performance after a strong victory in the pre-season warmup game against St Kents last week. It was a much improved St Kent's side, though, that took to the field this Saturday morning. King’s got off to a flying start with three tries in quick succession. Charlie Rutherford (Year 10, School) spun the ball out wide, opening up a gap for Toby Richardson (Year 11, St Johns) to dot down. A second try came shortly after and the forwards drove the ball upfield hard, opening up space for the backs to score a clean try by Caleb Francis (Year 10, School) in the corner.

Liam Parker (Year 10, Parnell) converted, taking King’s to a 12-nil lead after eight minutes. With more great work by the forwards turning over the ball at the breakdown, Harry Lyus (Year 10, Major) drove over the line. St Kents suddenly lifted their level and performance with some strong carries, finally breaking the King’s defence in the final minute of the first half with a converted try.

The second half got underway with King’s scoring an early try by Harry Rutherford (Year 11, School) to extend their lead to 22-7. This spurred St Kents to lift their game with intensity to the next level as they fought back to score a couple of great tries, both converted. With a single-point difference on the scoreboard, the game was on a knife's edge. In the 47th minute, Caleb Stephens (Year 10 Greenbank) drove his way, with great power and forward pack in support, to score a crucial try converted by Toby Willis (Year 10, Selwyn), well struck from out wide.

King’s held out some strong drives by the opposition with some solid and sturdy defence across the field. To wrap up a challenging but important game King’s fought their way up towards halfway. The match was sealed with a fantastic try by Hugh Smithies (Year 10, Parnell), running through defenders from halfway and tackled short of the line, but with a penalty in King’s favour, Smithies took a quick tap and barged his way over the line!

The coaches’ players of the match were forward - Ollie Bayley (Year 9, Selwyn), and back - Charlie Rutherford.

Written by Ollie Perry (Year 10, Marsden).


U15 Open 19 v 38 St Peter’s College

St Peter’s showed that they were going to carry hard and direct from the start and it took a couple of minutes for King’s to find their feet, away from home. The U15 Open XV were under pressure from the beginning but repelled a number of St Peter’s assaults on their try line, with good defensive work, when it really mattered.

The home team got the scoreboard moving in the 19th minute with a powerful surge, resulting in a converted try. This stirred King’s into action, forcing their way into the St Peter’s half and striking back with a score of their own through Captain Noah Moss (Year 10, Parnell) on the 25-minute mark. Injuries to Aisea Ngata (Year 10, Parnell) and Ollie Sinclair (Year 10, Greenbank) meant that replacements had to be made earlier in the game than expected. Finlay Crawford (Year 10, Peart) and Henry Main (Year 10, School) were injected into the action before halftime. St Peter’s capitalised on some loose tackling by King’s to score just before the break, taking the half-time score-line to 14–7.

Three further replacements were made at halftime, and play resumed with some significant rearrangement of the backline. St Peter’s struck soon after the restart with another determined foray into King’s territory, collecting another converted score.  It was then time for King’s to show some determination and spark with fast, accurate hands, resulting in a try to Ben Wilson (Year 10, Peart). Unfortunately, King’s seemed to lose focus for ten minutes and allowed a determined home team to cross the whitewash on two more occasions, on the back of hard running lines and simple ball movement. On the upside, numerous other St Peter’s attacks were repelled and King’s created a handful of chances for themselves, but frustratingly, failed to convert this pressure into points.

At 31–12 down, things were looking ominous, but a regathering of both thought and determination saw King’s come back strong in both defence and attack, applying consistent pressure and forcing St Peter’s to make a number of errors. This resulted in another score for King’s through Wilson on the left wing with seven minutes to go. The game's final points came by another converted St Peter’s try, cementing the home team's victory. The score line flattered the opposition in some respects, but the history books will show a 38-19 loss to St Peter’s College in the end.

Next week brings another tough fixture but also another chance for the KC to reset and go again against Westlake Boys High School away at 9.15am on Field 2.


U15R 17 v 29 Sacred Heart College

Our U15R team went down to a strong Sacred Heart team 17-29 despite a tremendous second-half effort, which saw our team score two strong tries and dominate possession. The slow start to the game in the first half ultimately cost us, with Sacred Heart scoring three well-orchestrated tries in quick succession.    

A stop-start match with an unusually high penalty count against the visiting team was not enough to help peg back the head start Sacred Heart developed. However, there were some shining moments in the match and many positives that our U15R team can take from the pre-season match. A brilliant individual try in the first half to Centre Karter Harris (Year 9, Peart), who showed impressive pace and evasiveness to run 50m and score under the posts, helped reduce the first-half deficit and also lifted the spirits of our team mid-way through the half. The team came out firing in the second half and tries to Halfback Hudson Hooker (Year 9, Parnell) and Winger Edward Cormack (Year 9, Averill) lifted the team’s spirits. We could all hear the urgency and hunger in their voices.  There was the belief that we could mount a comeback. 

The second five, Ashton Stewart (Year 9, Greenbank), had a tremendous game throughout the match. His tackling was immense, and he showed great strength by ripping the ball out of the opposition's hands multiple times. This is the second pre-season game in which our U15R team found form late in the game. The aim for our team next week will be to start the game with intensity and maintain it for the entire game.  


U14 Open 36 vs 27 Sacred Heart College

A solid first competition hit out for the Under 14 Open side, resulting in a good away win after some great teamwork following a challenging week of preparation with Big House Music and sickness affecting the team. Manaariki Kea-Cameron (Year 9, Selwyn) was the best of the backs, with great kick returns from the fullback, showing his speed and elusiveness. Jack Morris (Year 9, Parnell) was the pick of the forwards and showed out well in all aspects of the game. Many positives were taken from the game, especially the team's attacking qualities, scoring some good tries. The defence will be the focus this week as the team prepares for a re-match with De La Salle after playing them in a pre-season fixture two weeks ago.

Tries: Ros-Alan Uepi (Year 9, Major), Caden Fautaimi (Year 9, Averill), Millar Ormsby (Year 9, Greenbank), Jack Morris, Tolo Pulupuna (Year 9, Marsden) and Jonny Ford (Year 9, Selwyn).

Conversions: Mana’ariki Kea-Cameron (2), Donnell Collins (Year 9, Averill).