30 Apr 2024

Tuesday 30 April 2024

Read on for a wrap-up of last weekend's game vs Napier Boys' HS.

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King's 35 - 24 Napier Boys' High School 

The First XV finished their pre-season campaign with a 35-24 victory over Napier Boys’ High School on home soil on Saturday.

Following their annual trip to the South Island, this fixture marked the team’s final competitive game before the 1A competition begins in May.

Playing under blue sky amid perfect conditions, King’s quickly found themselves behind on the scoreboard as they conceded two tries inside the opening 10 minutes.

Having barely touched the ball in the early running, the home side were duly rewarded when they retained some possession as TJ Anae-Paila (Year 12, School) scored a great solo try to get them on the board.

When the centre received the ball, it looked like there was nothing on but he broke multiple tackles and showed a good turn of pace to dash away to score. First five Harrison Martin (Year 13, Selwyn) added the extras from a handy position.

This try sparked a good spell for King’s, who made life tough for themselves in the first half with poor ball handling.

A further period of possession led to a try to wing Kahu Cotterill (Year 13, School) and Martin knocked the conversion over from the sideline to level the score at 14-all.

Inspired by some good work from forwards Connor Empson (Year 13, St John’s), Jacob Carter (Year 12, School), and Ethan Ola (Year 12, Averill), King’s hit their stride and eventually took the lead for the first time when halfback Marco Miln (Year 12, Selwyn) dotted down in the corner.

Martin nearly added another conversion, this time from the opposite sideline, but his attempt struck the post. Napier quickly answered back with an unconverted try of their own as the halftime whistle went, leaving the contest locked at 19-19.

Half-time: 19-19 

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King’s began the second half well when Martin added a long-range penalty, although a backline shuffle was required when fullback Ryan Young (Year 12, Parnell) hurt his shoulder and had to leave the field. This sent Martin to fullback, Miln to first five, and D’Angelo Tupou (Year 12, Parnell) emerged from the bench to play halfback.

Despite this setback, the team didn’t miss a beat as they added two more tries, one via an impressive lineout drive that resulted in hooker Charlie Burn (Year 12, School) grabbing five points and another through Parekaahu Keepa (Year 11, Parnell), who looked sharp in his time in the midfield after coming on as a substitute. Prop Flynn Hamilton-Muller (Year 13, Averill) also had a strong game.

Although Napier scored a late try, King’s defended well as the clock wound down to close out a confidence-boosting win.

Full-time: King's 35 - 24 Napier Boys' High School

The First XV will now complete their final preparations begin their 1A campaign on Saturday 11 May in a home fixture against Liston College, with kick-off set for 2.30pm.

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