27 May 2024

Monday 27 May 2024

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

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First XV 22 v 27 Saint Kentigern College

The First XV suffered their first defeat of the 1A season on Saturday as they went down 22-27 to Saint Kentigern College.

Playing in breezy conditions at Saint Kent’s, King’s were left to rue a slow start as they found themselves behind 3-12 on the scoreboard inside the first 15 minutes.

With the wind favouring them slightly in the opening half, King’s eventually warmed into the contest and their growing self-belief was evident throughout the match.

The team weren’t intimidated by the giant Saint Kent’s forward pack and threw themselves into the physical clashes with plenty of enthusiasm.

Props Flynn Hamilton-Muller (Year 13, Averill) and Sione Manuopangai (Year 12, Peart) led from the front with a number of strong carries, while flanker Johan Schaumkell (Year 12, School) continued his good start to the season and was rewarded with a try in the first half that Harrison Martin (Year 13, Selwyn) converted.

Fullback Calvin Harris-Tavita (Year 11, Parnell) also grabbed a five-pointer in the first stanza as King’s went into the break trailing 15-20.

Saint Kent’s started the second half in dream fashion as they scored a converted try almost immediately after the restart to extend their lead to 15-27.

King’s again got within striking distance in the 40th minute as hooker Charlie Burn (Year 12, School) scored while Marco Miln (Year 12, Selwyn) added the extras from a tricky angle.

Both sides had their moments throughout the rest of the second spell, but neither team could find more points.

King’s had a chance to level the score in the dying stages, but they were unable to turn good field position into a late try.

First XV coach Ian Robinson said the team would take plenty of confidence from the match despite the loss.

“It was a cracker of a game. It’s hard to process on the spot, but I’m really proud of the boys’ attitude and effort. I think they worked hard to come back from a slower start,” he said.

“We know, Saint Kent’s, look, they’re a premier programme. They’re a phenomenal team and they’ve got great coaches. We know we’ve got to beat them if we want to achieve our goals and we hopefully get to see them again this year at some stage.”

The close loss saw King’s grab a bonus point and they are in fifth place on the 1A ladder after three rounds. The match marked Robbie Noble's (Year 13, Greenbank) cap game.

The team will have a brief break over King’s Birthday weekend before returning to the paddock against Kelston Boys’ High School in a home fixture on Saturday 8 June with kick-off scheduled for 2.30pm.

Tries: Johan Schaumkell, Calvin Harris-Tavita, Charlie Burn
Conversions: Harrison Martin, Marco Miln
Penalties: Harrison Martin


Second XV 14 v 19 Kelston Boys' High School

King’s College Second XV match against Kelston Boys High School 2A was tightly contested right to the bitter end. Lapses of concentration in critical moments most likely featured as the main reason the win slipped from our grasp in those dying minutes of the game as the boys desperately laid on phases of attack in search of that elusive try.

Halfback Ruka Smyth (Year 11, Parnell) combined early with number 8 Keanu Ezekiela (Year 13, Parnell) off the back of the scrum until Keanu moved to centre to cover for injured Felix Spary (Year 11, Selwyn). After 20 minutes of play, Kelston BHS opened the scoring with an unconverted try set up by a series of hit-ups by their forward pack.

Off the back of improved throwing from hooker Lachlan Snelling (Year 12, School), Lock Sam Gapes (Year 12, Selwyn) had a standout game securing clean lineout ball – including some off Kelston’s throw-ins too – for the backs to set a solid platform to attack from. Sam also featured in open play with solid ball carries. The front-row club played to their usual high standard with a rock-solid scrum at worst but more typically dominant throughout the match. They featured big hits on defence and strong carries on the attack, particularly by Hooker Tom Boucher (Year 12, Greenbank) and prop Keneti Fanuatanu (Year 12, St John’s).

Spencer Capper’s (Year 12, Parnell) work ethic and huge work rate paid dividends with two tries. The first Capper try was scored after the boys showed grit and resilience to stave off a sustained period of attack, including defending hard on the try line, eventually forcing a Kelston BHS error and turning the tide into attack. A clean lineout ball distributed through the backline to Capper set him up to beat two defenders to cross the line just before halftime. The try was converted by first five eighth Zion Savaka (Year 12, Peart) Kelston BHS opened the second half with an early converted try from open play to take the lead. Savaka was in fine form throughout this match – whether it be leading by example in defence, distributing early well-executed passes to his midfielders, accurate kicking for territorial advantage on the attack or exiting from our 22 on defence.

20 minutes into the second half, after multiple phases of play on attack, Capper’s second try again came off the end of a clean lineout ball well-distributed across the field. He broke the first tackle and eluded the last defender to score our second try, which Savaka converted. Kelston BHS replied soon after working their way down to our 22 midfield hoping to set up for another series of forward hit-ups attacking our line. Open play errors on our part allowed them to monopolise for a converted try before that.

Despite many desperate attempts, we could not gain more points and full-time eventually caught up with us, resulting in a final score of 19–14 to Kelston BHS. It was a very tight and highly contested game that entertained the many supporters. Malo lava boys!

Tries: Spencer Capper (2)
Conversions: Zion Savaka (2/2)


1R Maroon 8 v 9 Sacred Heart College

The 1R Maroon team travelled to Sacred Heart yesterday for our first competition match of the season. We knew this would be a tough match against the defending Auckland 1R champions, particularly as we had only 19 fit players available to play, and this was to be the case.

Playing with a strong wind at our backs in the first half, both teams played out a brutal struggle that ebbed and flowed. Scoring opportunities were created, but we lacked accuracy and the first half ended 3–all with both teams’ kickers trading successful penalty shots at goal.

The second half was pretty similar to the first, but Sacred used the wind advantage to keep us pinned in our own half. In one breakout, we held onto the ball for multiple phases, ending with blindside flanker – Matt Hargrave (Year 13, Major) scoring a well-taken try.

Ill-discipline down our end of the field cost us a few penalties and their kicker converted two opportunities to push the score out to 9–8, which remained the same as the final whistle blew. Despite a disappointingly narrow loss, we were very proud of how our boys tackled and defended our try-line with pride and passion.


1R Gold 14 v 21 Auckland Grammar

On another beautiful day for running rugby, the 1R Gold side started the match defending well in the opening exchanges as Grammar attacked fiercely. King’s got an opportunity to move the ball wide after creating an overlap from some strong forward running, which saw Malcolm Barrow (Year 11, School) cross the try line in the 8th minute, converted by captain Daniel Chitty (Year 12, School). This would only spark a resurgence from the visitors, who would score the next three tries in a flurry of good attacking play for 15 minutes that saw the King’s defence left wanting and down 7-21 at halftime.

Going into the second half with the wind, the game plan was clear and the team dominated territory and the majority of possession well. Oliver Whyte (Year 12, St John’s) was rewarded for his hard work and strong running when he crashed over for a good try and Chitty converted. With only a try separating the two teams, this sparked some urgency in King’s play going into the last 10 minutes of the game. Unfortunately, after attacking relentlessly, King’s couldn’t cross the line to equal the score line. Despite going down, the team is showing strong signs of improvement and has one more pre-season game before the competition commences. 


5A 12 v 15 Auckland Grammar

With heavy rain overnight and in the morning, it looked like a wet game was on the cards; however, as the morning progressed, the conditions improved and the game kicked off with a slight wind in the favour of King’s being the only concern.

This year's 5A grade will be an arm wrestle each week, with all teams in the grade having very close finishes and this game did not disappoint. Unfortunately, this week, King’s went down to Grammar by 15-12. 

Right from the start, the defence from both sides was intense, with both teams trying to create dominance during ruck time. With a couple of turnovers both ways, Grammar took the advantage and scored an early try. With an unsuccessful conversion, the score was 5-0 after 5 minutes. King’s stuck back 2 minutes later with a practised forward and back move to open the space on the left, which led to a penalty 5 metres out from the line. A quick tap by Matt Cunningham (Year 11, Greenbank) saw him barge over 15 metres from the touchline for King’s first score of the day.  This was converted by Kasey Lewis (Year 11, Greenbank) to put King’s in front 7-5.

The lead changed again three minutes later, with Grammar successfully taking a penalty to bring the score to 8-7.  The remainder of the first half was truly a back-and-forward affair, with both teams making errors at the breakdowns, resulting in several penalties against each side. The half-time score was a nail-biting 8-7 to Grammar.

As with the first half, the second half continued to be a tight tussle, with both sides putting huge pressure on at lineout and scrum time and no team had overall dominance. At ruck time, Jamie Ogilvie (Year 11, Averill) was immense once again, securing at least seven jackals over the ball. 

15 minutes into the second half saw the game open up and with a great solo run from halfway from Sam Coulter (Year 11, School) who offloaded in the tackle to the wing and then back inside to Sam, who then once again offloaded to the supporting Will Downing (Year 11, School) to go in for the try. The conversion was unsuccessful, so the score was 12-8 to King’s.

With less than 10 minutes to go in the game, after a scrum penalty out in front of the posts, Grammar took a quick tap penalty and, after several phases, crashed over the line, seeing the lead change again. The try was converted, bringing the score to 15-12 to Grammar.  

Even though King’s were hard on attack in the last 6 minutes, they could not get the last points and the game finished 15-12 to Grammar. 

Two tight finishes in the last two weeks show how close this grade will be this year. 

Tries: Matt Cunningham, Will Downing.
Conversion: Kasey Lewis


6A 5 v 20 Auckland Grammar

It was an intense week's buildup to a highly anticipated game against our biggest rivals. King’s knew this would be a very physical game against a strong Grammar team.

The opening quarter was a physical battle as both forward packs got stuck into each other with huge hits and fierce counter rucking.

Grammar took the first points on the board with a penalty in the 16th minute from out in front by the Grammar first five. The King’s forwards played some outstanding footy by pushing the team into Grammar’s 22 on numerous occasions, but they couldn’t quite convert the territory gained into points.

Grammar scored the game's first try in the 23rd minute with a good break and long distance try by their winger. The conversion was missed, taking the score to 8-nil.

King’s fought back strongly just before half-time, making good ground up the middle of the field and scored a well-deserved try by Henry Main (Year 10, School).

The Half-time score was 8-5 to Grammar.

The second half got underway with the same level of physicality and intensity as both teams battled for ground. Grammar’s strong scrum led to a turnover. They then spun the ball out wide, scoring a great try and extending their lead over King’s.

Right on the stroke of full-time, Grammar scored a final converted try to solidify their win over King’s.

The team can be extremely proud of how they all played, individually and as a team today. The scoreline certainly did not reflect the intense battle out on the field. King’s get another chance in four weeks’ time.

Forward of the day: Henry Main
Back of the day: Hugh Smithies (Year 10, Parnell)

Written by Ollie Perry (Year 10, Marsden)


U15R 57 v 17 Auckland Grammar B

The opening competition game of the season for King's College U15R, led by Hudson Hooker (Year 9, Parnell), against Grammar U15B, set the stage for an electrifying clash of rugby prowess. From the first whistle to the last, the match was a spectacle of skill, strategy, and sheer determination.

In a blink-and-you'll-miss-it start, Sammie Richardson (Year 9, St John’s) scored for King's College U15R, scoring a scintillating try in the third minute, swiftly converted by Zack Anderson (Year 9, Greenbank). However, Grammar responded with equal fervour, levelling the score four minutes later.

King's rallied undeterred, with Taylor Kijowski (Year 9, School) securing their second try in the 15th minute. Grammar once again managed to equalise, setting the stage for a fiercely contested first half.

As halftime approached, King's unleashed a barrage of attacks, with Noah Plowman (Year 9, Selwyn) and Karter Harris (Year 9, Peart) scoring successive tries, both expertly converted, to give their team a commanding lead of 26-12.

The second half saw King's maintain their momentum, buoyed by strategic substitutions and the leadership of Remy O'Neill (Year 9, Averill), who took over captaincy duties. Isaac Ross (Year 9, Major) and Lennox Williams (Year 9, St John’s) extended King's lead with impressive tries, accompanied by a stellar conversion from James Cunningham (Year 9, Greenbank). As King's asserted their dominance, standout performances emerged, including breath-taking runs and tackles from Harris, a crucial interception by Williams, and a sensational run by Ed Small (Year 10, Averill).

With victory in sight, King's continued to press forward, with Cunningham adding to the score line and O'Neill delivering two consecutive tries. Despite a late consolation try from Grammar, the match concluded with King's emerging triumphant with a resounding 57-17 victory.

While the entire team showcased remarkable talent and determination, Karter Harris was awarded the Man of the Match for his exceptional performance, including a try and numerous awe-inspiring runs, solidifying his status as a linchpin of the team. The match served as a testament to both teams' skill, spirit, and camaraderie, setting the stage for an exciting season of competition rugby ahead.


U14 Open 7 v 12 De La Salle

Under 14 Open continued their improvement in form when playing a strong De La Salle team who had beaten us by 30 points when we played them pre-season.

De La Salle scored in the tenth minute to go up 5-0, but King’s hit back with a great passing movement that ran the whole field and Kavelle Wiki-Rawiri (Year 9, St John’s) scored and Manaariki Kea-Cameron (Year 9, Selwyn) kicked the conversion. King’s then enjoyed a lion’s share of possession and territory but failed to capitalise due to failing to make passes and players getting isolated. Decision-making was also hasty and misplaced.

De La Salle hung in, scored with two minutes to go, snuck 12-7 ahead, and held on to the final whistle. Strong games from James Yeoman (Year 9, St John’s) in the forwards and Caden Fuatimau (Year 9, Averill) in the backs. A few injuries were incurred and we will be grateful for a chance to regroup over King’s Birthday weekend.