27 Jul 2023

Thursday 27 July 2023

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

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King's First XV played Liston College on the weekend

King's First XV 24 - 25 Liston College


The First XV suffered a gut-wrenching 24-25 loss to Liston College on Saturday after a late penalty goal gave Liston the victory.

The back-and-forward contest saw the lead change hands multiple times as both teams were determined to play at a high tempo in overcast conditions at Liston.

King’s were the first team to get on the board as fullback Luca Fuller (Year 13, Selwyn) kicked a penalty goal in the fourth minute and he doubled that advantage with another three points shortly after.

Playing with a gentle breeze at their backs, King’s enjoyed a mountain of territory and possession inside the opening 18 minutes as Liston barely got out of their own half.

Fuller and second five Dillon Vaoga (Year 13, Averill) both looked dangerous with ball in hand in the early running.

Liston scored their first points when they kicked a penalty from a handy position in the 23rd minute and then followed up with a converted try moments later as they took the lead for the first time in the game.

King’s prop Sione Manuopangai (Year 11, Peart) ensured the visitors took a 13-10 advantage to halftime as he barged over next to the posts and Fuller added the extras.

The second spell had barely got underway before Liston went back in front with another five-pointer.

With the lineout working smoothly and lock Jacob Carter (Year 11, School) a popular target, vice-captain Oliver Hatch (Year 13, Major) scored a try following a lineout drive as King’s reclaimed the lead and Fuller extended it further with another penalty in the 47th minute.

Leading 21-15 heading into the final 20 minutes, Johan Schaumkell (Year 11, School) made a great steal at the breakdown and Fuller nearly went over for another try but was stopped only a couple of metres short.

A converted try to Liston set up a tense final 10 minutes and when Fuller kicked another penalty, King’s led 24-22 and victory looked possible, but Liston had the final say with a penalty goal of their own with only a few minutes remaining. The result gave King’s a bonus point, and they are in ninth place on the 1A ladder.

“Disappointing loss today, really close game but congratulations to Liston,” King’s captain Levi Gwynne (Year 13, Parnell) said after the match.

The First XV’s next outing is an away trip to St Paul’s College on Saturday 29 July with kick-off set for 2.30pm.

“Just come back next week and show some resilience, bounce back from this close loss,” Gwynne said.

“Season’s not over, go again next week.”


King's U14A 12 - 12 Westlake Boys' High School U14A


With three players on loan from U15A to make up the numbers, the U14A boys kicked off last Saturday’s match against Westlake Boys High School with two reserves on the bench and hearts filled with optimism.

A well-drilled side, Westlake struck first off a kick pass to the right wing following sustained attack. Their unconverted try in the tenth minute of the first half were the only points scored in the half.

The forwards worked increasingly hard over the first half, with high work rates, strong ball carries, and offloads contributed by second five George Chu Lin (Year 9, Averill), number 8 Reid Thompson (Year 9, Parnell) (returned from injury), and U15A prop Tyler-Rex Samasoni-Tukuitonga (Year 10, Averill) throughout the whole game.

Despite having a good share of possession in the first half, King’s struggled to get decent territory on attack, thus finding themselves defending under pressure on turnover ball.

Westlake were again first to get points on the board in the second half, scoring a converted try 12 minutes after kick-off. However, as the half progressed, U14A King’s finally found their mojo in the last quarter of the game.

After a string of back-and-forth play due to turnover errors made by both sides, U15A replacement half back Leewes Natana-Hemara (Year 9, St. John's) punted deep into Westlake’s 22 with a kick and chase, applying pressure on their fullback. He repeated the process again a couple of phases later to set up attack play from a ruck just outside the 22, which was set up by some industrious defence by winger Ollie Anderson (Year 9, Greenbank), who subsequently finished broken play with a sprint to score an unconverted try in the left corner.

After withstanding a period of sustained attack by Westlake, Leewes led by example with another searing 50-metre run from a lineout, straight down the middle of the field to set up a ruck 10 metres out from their tryline. A Westlake error led to a King’s attacking scrum, from which Leewes ran the perfect line from the base of the scrum to set up U15 replacement winger Noah Moss (Year 9, Parnell) who finished with a try in the left corner. First five Cale Ngatai (Year 9, Parnell) converted the try to bring the final score to a draw, 12-12.

A great effort for a game that came close to being forfeited due to low player availability. Our thanks to the U15A team for helping us out with eligible players. A commendation to Zentyler Hatcher (Year 9, Peart) who, despite being injured, has been conscientious in attending training and supporting his fellow team-mates at the games, doing great work from the sideline.

Tries: Ollie Anderson (1), Noah Moss (1)

Conversion: Cale Ngatai (1/2)