1st XV 8 vs 44 St Kentigern College
The First XV went down 8-44 against Saint Kentigern College at King’s on Saturday.
Meeting the undefeated competition leaders was always going to be a daunting task for the young King’s First XV and the team showed plenty of heart, particularly in the first half.
The visitors took an early lead with a try inside the first seven minutes and conceding that five-pointer sparked King’s into life.
Despite being undersized against a monster Saint Kentigern College forward pack, King’s answered back a few minutes later to level the score at 5-5 through a try to Vice-captain Oliver Hatch (Year 13, Major) following a lineout drive.
The lineout was an area of strength for King’s with flanker Ethan Ola (Year 11, Averill) a popular target, while the scrum was also solid in a match that was first five Daniel James-Nanai’s (Year 13, School) capping game.
Saint Kents reclaimed the lead at the midway point of the first stanza with another try as their powerful forwards and skilful backs made the most of their opportunities.
King’s continued to attack and nearly scored again as centre Brodey Warren (Year 13, Peart) went close but another Saint Kents try meant they took a 5-15 lead to the break.
The second half started brightly for King’s as fullback Luca Fuller (Year 13, Selwyn) added a penalty to cut the deficit to only seven points but that was as close as the score line got.
The final 25 minutes were dominated by Saint Kents as they showed why they’re the team to beat in the 1A competition this year as they ran in five unanswered tries to secure a bonus-point victory. The defeat left King’s in ninth place on the 1A ladder.
After the match, First XV captain Levi Gwynne (Year 13, Parnell) said Saint Kents were an impressive team and congratulated them on the win, while he praised the continued effort of his players.
“Proud of the boys, particularly in that first half [for] giving it a good crack.”
The challenging nature of the 1A competition means there’s no let up and the First XV will host St Peter’s College in their next outing with the match set to kick-off at 2.30pm on Saturday 1 July.
Having shown what the side is capable of after the promising first spell against Saint Kents, Gwynne said the next challenge was to put it all together against St Peter’s who are sitting in fourth on the points table.
“It’s just coming back next week and focusing on playing that full 70 minutes.”
2nd XV 8 vs 19 Kelston BHS
Kings were playing Kelston away.
The first 20 minutes saw Kelston a bigger pack dominate in the contact and the confrontational area. However, Kings defence held up and manage to hold them out. King's defensive line was breached through a Kelston drive from a line out. King's managed to get the ball back and a few fine touches from the back three Kahu, Ryan and Tayla put King's in a very good scoring opportunity. King's went close but were denied. Zion kicked a penalty in the first half for King's. Halftime Kelston 7-3
Second half, Kelston came out firing and managed to score another try this put the score out to Kelston 12-3. King's had to regroup and showed some promise. They started to string some phases together with Captain Bailey scoring an individual try with a chip and chase. The conversion was unsuccessful. Kelston 12-8. Kace who had to step in at half back played well. There were strong runs from Hemana, Charlie and Tom.
We look forward to a quick turn around and playing St Kents this Wednesday at home. Kelston scored another converted try towards the end and won 19-8. King's showed a lot of determination and promise, but weren't able to convert into points.
1R 18 vs 15 St Peters
The 1R team started the game with a strong will to attack with the ball in hand, often the better decision was the move the ball and try and stretch the defence a bit more but some poorly executed passing early on resulted in a lack of continuity. An early penalty to King’s seemed saw a quick reply from St Peters who crashed over with some strong forward play. In particular their No 8 was making go forward off the scrum and with the ball in hand.
King’s final managed to put some phases together and were rewarded just before halftime.
The players spoke well in the break and set out with the mindset to have more intensity and urgency at the breakdown where SPC were pitting us under a lot of pressure.
The second half was a real arm wrestle with the lead changing hands several times. St Peters taking the lead again early in the second half. King’s capitalised not long after with some sustained pressure leading to a penalty. St Peters then scored with not long left on the clock after a series of poor kicks saw them counter attack and crash over out wide to take a 15-13 lead. A determined late flow of play with King’s camped on the SPC try line finally saw the team move it wide and go over to score the winning try just on fulltime.
A well-played get out jail card but also a display of determination to never give in and work hard for the 18-13 win.
U15A 15 vs 17 Kelston
King’s U15A travelled out west to play against Kelston on their number 1 field, with all the recent rain we were fortunate to play on a field with great underfoot conditions. Kelston started fast out of the gate and exposed our numbers on our left edge from the kick off and only after 3 minutes would score to take a quick 7 nil lead. King’s re-grouped, the players already knew what to expect from Kelston so it was up to them to front up on the field. King’s unfortunately would find ourselves on the wrong side of a high penalty count which made it hard for the team to get any momentum however the players stayed composed the entire game which was pleasing. On the 10 minute mark and after a few phases Ruka Smythe (Year 10, Parnell) passed to Calvin Harris-Tavita (Year 10, Parnell) on the short side who then passed to Matt Cunningham (Year 10, Greenbank) to score King’s first points of the game. King’s were now playing the better rugby and after 20 minutes took the lead with a penalty to Calvin Harris-Tavita from in front of the posts.
In our red zone King’s would win a nice tighthead however Kelston was allowed to reset the scrum and were then awarded consecutive penalties. King’s captain was unable to clarify some of the rulings as Kelston were allowed to continuously tap and go and then close to halftime Kelston would score a try from another penalty to regain the lead 12- 8.
In the second half King’s forwards would start to gain dominance however further penalties would allow Kelston to kick out of their danger zone. After 10 minutes King’s would stretch Kelston’s defence and from a penalty of our own, Ruka Smythe was able to tap and go from the sideline and throw a long pass to D’Angelo Tupou (Year 11, Parnell) who then passed to impressive Levick Nu'uausala (Year 10, Marsden) who would score under the posts for King’s to regain the lead. Unfortunately, close to full time and following two yellow cards and further penalties on our line Kelston were able to score right on the fulltime to take the win 17-15,
Upfront Loghan Pulotu-McCarthy (Year 11, Parnell) and Levick Nu'uausala would make some telling runs and were well supported by Koby Schaumkel (Year 10, Selwyn), Christopher Hatch (Year 10, Major), Gus Iverson (Year 10, Major) and Bassy Tupou (Year 10, Mardsen) to name a few. In the backs D’Angelo Tupou, Felix Spary (Year 10, Selwyn), Ruka Smythe and Parekaahu Keepa (Year 10, Parnell) would all have a high work rate. The team should be very proud of their defensive effort and composure given the situation and should go into the break knowing they can compete with the best teams in Auckland.
The team will now have the next few weeks off and will come back after the holidays knowing wins against top ranked teams St Kentigern and Sacred Heart will be needed to secure ourselves a semi-final position in such and evenly contested U15A competition.
Tries: Matt Cunningham and Levick Nu'uausala Penalty: Calvin Harris-Tavita Conversion: Calvin Harris-Tavita
5A 6 vs 15 Howick College
A tough encounter between two evenly matched sides ended in a 15-6 victory to Howick. Daniel Chitty kicked well all game, including two penalties.
6A 18 vs MAGS 10
Winning Ugly on the No 1.
The headline says it all. When you score in the first minute and need a 61st minute try (in a 60 minute game) to seal victory, the report almost writes itself. The team was up for this game and we had virtually a full squad of 25 to chose from. The sun was shining and after scoring a trademark Josh Want (Year 10, Major) try in the first minute, the omens looked good. MAGS responded quickly with an unconverted try. The free flowing rugby was on. But, despite the territory stats being as lopsided as the Tower of Pizza, poor decision making, dropped passes and strong MAGS defence meant Kings were unable to add another try. In fact for MAGS, with the exception of their try, an incursion into the Kings half was about as common as good news for the Prime Minister.
Half-Time : Kings 5 MAGS 5
The second half started much like the first and with a shimmy, a burst, a fend and a lunge Josh Want scored his second try. With 22 minutes to go surely the flood gates were about to open. No. The same pattern as the first half and with 8 minutes to go, MAGS duly scored the try to level the game. Were we about to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? With 3 minutes left on the clock Kings got a penalty to the right of the posts and Finn Jones (Year 10, Parnell) calmly knocked the ball between the posts for a 3 point lead. Still not settled and every time MAGS got the ball there were butterflies in the stomach as one clean break and we were cooked. With time up on the clock, the ball was spun wide to the hard working Arch Kennedy (Year 11, St John’s) and he beat one man and ran round another to score an excellent try in the right hand corner.
PHEW! AND DOUBLE PHEW!
This was an important win for the team and all eyes now turn to Botany Downs next Saturday where an ugly win will go a long way to securing a top 4 place as we head into the break.
Tries: Josh Want, Arch Kennedy
Penalty: Finn Jones Player of the Day : Arch Kennedy
U14A 7 vs 34 St Peters College
The U14A boys got off to a slow start on a boggy Field 3 at King’s College last Saturday conceding a try to SPC after 11 minutes of solid defence in our 22. We gave another away five minutes later off an intercepted loose pass from our own lineout throw-in 10 meters out from our try line. From that kick-off, King’s retained possession and set play in motion with multiple phases where No. 8 Josiah Fifita (Year 9, Averill) made two strong carries downfield off quick-tap penalties in succession. King’s forward pack set up quick ruck ball from this allowing 2nd five-eight George Chu-Lin (Year 9, Averill) to beat three defenders to touch down off a slick pass from 1st five-eight Cale Ngatai (Year 9, Parnell), who successfully converted the try. SPC hit back with a try immediately capitalising on a couple of unforced errors. With some territorial advantage late in the first half, King’s strung together some constructive attack including an unsuccessful lineout drive which was held up over the line. SPC then took play down deep into our half and scored a try after sustained pressure to close off the first half, 24 – 7.
The second half was somewhat of a mixed bag. With some possession and territory King’s put sustained pressure on SPC early but were unable to get the points as their winger picked up a loose ball and sprinted 75 metres for a clear try – only to be mowed down by fullback Ollie Anderson (Year 9, Greenbank) who chased him down stopping him 3 metres short! A period of great defence got King’s out their half and onto attack again. Despite sustained attack King’s were unable to convert their advantage into points. A massive defensive effort by the team as a whole valiantly defending their line, keeping SPC to 2 tries scored in the second half, 34 – 7.
Stand out performances from Captain Cale Ngatai, loosies Finn Thompson (Year 9, Marsden), Josiah Fifita and Henry Main (Year 9, School). Special mentions go to flanker Jacob Heron (Year 9, Averill) (JC Boom Boom) for the massive hits and consistent tackling, Lock Josh Murray (Year 9, Selwyn) for demonstrating confidence and courage in general play, and Hooker Jude Brem (Year 9, School) for massive improvements in his new specialist position. We are growing in leaps and bounds boys! See you at training on Monday. Virtus Pollet.
Try: George Chu-Ling, Conversion: Cale Ngatai
7A 58 – 0 Auckland Grammar 7B
Kings overpowered Grammar with a performance which combined strong running, great handling and committed defence. It is hard to single out any individuals where everybody performed well but Harry Rutherford (Year 10, School), Rocco van Velzen (Year 9, Marsden) and Jack Long (Year 10, Selwyn) stood out in the forwards with strong carries and in the backs Jonty Batchelor (Year 9, Greenbank), Hugh Smithies (Year 9, Parnell) and Caleb Francis (Year 9, School) showed good organisation and handling throughout to feed the ball to their pacy wingers.
The first try came after Jonty Batchelor and Hugh Smithies performed the perfect 10/12 cut move and Smithies powered over the line. The try was converted by Toby Wigglesworth (Year 9, Major) who kicked well off the tee all day with his left footed technique reminiscent of Dan Carter in his prime. The next try came from a lineout on halfway and a piece of individual brilliance from Jonty Batchelor. Seeing a gap behind the Grammar defence he kicked ahead, outpaced the defence and regathered the ball low down at full pace before diving over the line. The conversion narrowly missed to leave the score at 12-0. Kings were soon back on the attack with excellent interplay between backs and forwards taking them close to the Grammar line where Jarel Samsoni (Year 9, Averill) picked up the ball at the back of the ruck and burrowed over the line with 3 grammar players on his back. The try was again converted by Toby Wigglesworth. Kings came close again soon after with an excellent long pass from Jonty Batchelor being ruled forward as the “try” was scored out wide. However, from the resulting scrum swarming Kings’ defence pushed Grammar back towards their own try line before Harry Rutherford turned the ball over in a ruck and drove over for the score. The conversion from out wide just fell short to leave the half time score 24-0 to Kings.
The message from the coaches at half time was for the Kings forwards to be more direct in the second half and they certainly took that instruction on board. Some strong running from the forwards secured quick ball for the backs who expertly moved the ball out to the left wing where Marlin Pickard (Year 9 St John’s), dived over to make the score 29-0. Kings were now on a roll and Grammar couldn’t cope with the skill and pace that was on display from the Kings boys. The next try was scored by Hugh Smithies stepping off his left foot to beat the Grammar defence after excellent handling down the right from Harry Rutherford and Ed Duncan (Year 9, Greenbank)). More good handling from the backs led to Toby Richardson (Year 9, Marsden) scoring in the right corner. The next try was probably the best of the game. Starting in the Kings 22, the ball was moved right and left with both backs and forwards showing excellent handling skills and great ball retention before Harry Rutherford romped home from 30 metres out to score under the posts. The try was converted and the score was now 46-0 but Kings were in no mood to ease up. Two more tries followed, the first to Dan Cummings (Year 9, School) after a long Grammar pass was intercepted by Charlie Rutherford (Year 9, Greenbank) who quickly moved the ball on and the final try was scored by Caleb Francis (Year 9, School). The conversion by Jonty Batchelor made the score 58-0 as the full time whistle went.
Kings 7A have gone unbeaten throughout the term and have improved with every game which is a real credit to the coaches who have put in so much time to help the boys. What is particularly pleasing to see is the great team spirit on display every week with the whole squad clearly enjoying playing for each other.
Tries: Hugh Smithies x 2, Harry Rutherford x 2, Jonty Batchelor, Jarel Samasoni, Marlin Pickard, Toby Richardson, Daniel Cummings, Caleb Francis
Conversions: Toby Wigglesworth x 2, Jonty Batchelor x 2 Player of the Day: Archie McInness (Year 9, St John’s).