1A 7 – 38 St Peter’s
The First XV suffered their first defeat of this year’s 1A campaign on Saturday, going down 38-7 to St Peter’s College at The Cage.
The match was a physical test for King’s who met a determined and well-drilled St Peter’s team that were keen to put on a big performance in front of their home crowd.
Playing on the artificial turf in sun-drenched conditions meant the game was played at pace and with large athletes littered across the park, St Peter’s represented a challenging foe.
The home side made a quick start to proceedings and shot out to a 10-0 lead within the first eight minutes and continued to add to their advantage throughout the opening spell.
Handling errors proved costly for the First XV, which only put them under more pressure as they were forced to chase the game from the early stages.
Down 24-0 at halftime, King’s asserted themselves much better in the second stanza and showed they could be a threat when they held on to the ball and built phases. Their defence was also markedly improved as they did their best to defend their line.
First XV captain Francis Manuleleua said despite the disappointing result, he was pleased with how the team continued to fight for the whole match.
“Congrats to St Peter’s. They really brought it to us, brought the physicality,” Manuleleua said.
“But I’m proud for my boys who stayed in the fight, pretty big second half only allowing two tries.”
Centre Jarius Iosefa was one of the best performed for King’s and was a constant threat in the midfield, while also making some big tackles. Iosefa scored an impressive solo try late in the game to ensure King’s weren’t kept scoreless.
The 38-7 loss left King’s in 7th place on the 1A ladder after three rounds, four points adrift of the top four.
Mount Albert Grammar School and St Peter’s College are leading the competition in first and second place respectively, and they are the only remaining unbeaten teams.
With Queen’s Birthday on the horizon, the First XV don’t have a fixture next weekend and their next outing will be away from home against Saint Kentigern College on Saturday 11 June.
Manuleleua said the team would look to make the most of the extra preparation time ahead of what promises to be an exciting match.
“We are just going to work on building that team bond. Fix our set pieces, just get on to the next [game].”
2A 17 – 12 MAGS
King’s made it two wins from two with a spirited performance against a physical MAGS outfit. King’s spent the majority of the opening quarter of the game defending inside their own half as MAGS pressed for the opening score of the game and despite the home side dominating possession and territory the King’s defence held firm.
King’s eventually found their way into the game securing some possession and continuity and after stringing several well worked phases together, lock Tom William was able to dot down from close range. King’s started the second half well with centre Liam Denny leaving several defenders in his wake to extend the lead to 10-0.
MAGs then rallied to score their first points of the game to narrow the deficit to 3 points as mistakes and inconstancies from both teams lead to two further tries a piece being scored which set up a tense final five minutes. MAGS pushed hard for the winning score in the closing stages however some heroic defence meant openside Bailey Harris was able to turn the ball over deep inside the King’s half, winning a penalty with time up on the clock.
Relief for players and supporters as the ball was kicked out by MVP Levi Saipele, who had an excellent all-round game but really stepped up when it counted. There were several notable performances however, what was most pleasing was that every player played a significant part in a well-deserved and gusty win and should be proud of their efforts.
Tries: Williams, Denny, Newman
1R Gold 20 – 10 Westlake
The 1R team ventured over the Harbour Bridge to play North Harbour ‘s Westlake BHS on Saturday and while procuring another win, the way we went about it can only be described as ‘ugly’ and laboured… The conditions were perfect to play our expansive and open style of rugby, but we made the task a lot harder than it should have been against an opposition that showed guts and determination, but less skills and organisation than us.
Having five of our starting XV absent, including captain Will Tingey, for various reasons, did not help our cause, but we are living in strange times and we need to be prepared for different circumstances each week and this should not be an excuse for the mixed performance that was produced. Centre Bailey Liu and openside flanker Charlie McKay scored first half tries and 1st 5/8 Misha Craig added one conversion, while the opposition scored one try, for us to go into halftime 12 – 5 ahead.
The second half was very similar to the first with unforced errors and ill-discipline allowing WBHS to keep within striking reach. Misha Craig added a penalty to push our lead out to 10 points, but when they scored another try, we found ourselves only ahead 15 – 10. With time almost up on the clock, hooker Fin Olde charged down a WBHS clearing kick, and dove on the ball to push the final score out to 20 – 10.
U15A 55 – 5 Massey High School
King’s U15A would find ourselves travelling West to play against Massey High School (MHS), the weather was perfect for running rugby with the sun shining, great underfoot conditions and no breeze. King’s knew heading into a bye weekend it would be important to continue our good start to the season with an away win.
Straight from the kick off impressive front rower Keneti Fanuatanu would score a good try for Zion Savaka to convert to give us an early 7 nil lead. Keneti would be unfortunate not to score a second try later in the first half. After a few phases King’s would score a second try to outstanding back TJ Anae-Paila for Zion to again convert.
MHS showed they can play good rugby with their strong number 12 proving difficult to tackle and after a few phases would see themselves on the scoreboard with a well-deserved try. King’s would re-group and player of the day Ethan Ola would score another try to King’s for Zion Savaka to again convert. Not long after livewire hooker Evile Tuumatavai would find himself out wide close to the line with ball in hand to score a good team try and further extend King’s lead. Right on half time Joseph Fatuvalu would also put his name on the score sheet for King’s to go into the half time break with a commanding 31 5 lead.
Early into the second half TJ Anae-Paila would score another try with Zion Savaka again converting. The next 10 minutes King’s would concede a few penalties however Massey were unable to convert into points. With 15 minutes to go Zion Savaka would round off a good individual game with a try in the corner. Not long after King’s would find ourselves attacking MHS try line again with D’Angelo Tupou scoring close to the posts for Calvin Harris-Tavita to convert.
With time all most up on the clock TJ Anae-Paila would score his third try of the game for the final score 55 5. Up front Keneti Fanuatanu, Ethan Ola and Evile Tuumatavai would have solid games, with good support from Sam Gapes, Hemana Connew and Christian Collins. In the backs TJ Anae-Paila would again impress with great support from Zion Savaka, Sean Angilau and Saia Manu to name a few.
Most pleasing is the continued improvement week on week. With no game over Queens Birthday weekend the challenge for the team will be to lift themselves after a week off again playing away against a strong Kelston team.
Tries: Keneti Fanuatanu, TJ Anae-Paila 3, Ethan Ola, Joseph Fatuvalu, Zion Savaka, D’Angelo Tupou, Evile Tuumatavai,
Conversion: Zion Savaka 4, Calvin Harris-Tavita 1
U15B 0 – 32 Southern Cross Campus
The U15B away game against Southern Cross Campus produced another score doesn’t tell our full story.
Showing excellent improvements in terms of organisation, structure and sticking to the game plan, the U15B boys had a decent territory advantage throughout the match that they struggled convert to points – small things letting us down. This being the case, finishing will be a key work-on for Tuesday’s practice.
Halfback Kosal Lee collaborated well with first-five Kace Hipkins-Taimai to direct play, executing an accurate kicking game gaining front-foot ball throughout both halves, while centres Bronson Kingi and Karson Hawkins combined well making line breaks and putting the ball in-behind for wingers Charles Zhang and Charlie Field.
The team as a whole has made tremendous progress in defence, letting only two tries through in the second half. Four of Southern Cross Campus tries were opportunities created off our mistakes in their half. Loosie Gus Iverson has slowly upped his work-rate over the last two weeks – this week paid dividends for him on both attack and defence.
A one hundred percent improvement from all players in both performance and attitude with a few standouts like lock Cohen Harding and debutant hooker Tyler-Rex Samasoni-Tukuitonga (T-Rex) combing to win us solid lineout ball and put pressure on opposition throw-ins forcing errors. Man of the match Jamie Ludbrook playing at fullback was solid under the high ball. He demonstrated grit and determination on defence and showed great vision on attack creating multiple opportunities for the outside backs. Buoyed by these encouraging signs, the U15B boys will bring high energy with new and improved attitude to training this Tuesday in search of that elusive win.
5A 0 – 43 Saint Kentigern College
A tough day at the office for the boys today. The result does not reflect the endeavour by the team where we were able to string together some good phase play but once again mistakes cost us dearly. St Kent’s were able to keep the pressure on throughout the game which we were not able to withstand.
Player of the day Blake Hayes
6A 0 – 0 Auckland Grammar
An unusually high penalty count between two fierce rivals meant that after the final whistle between the unbeaten King’s 6A side and Auckland Grammar School – neither sides could be separated resulting in a uncanny 0-0 draw in Round 2 of the Auckland Secondary Schools 6A rugby competition.
The intensity and focus from the King’s side was bolstered by the return of Daniel Chitty (Year 10, School) who was medically cleared only days before after being forced to self-isolate during the week. However, it was the King’s forward pack who looked to build on their new-found zest with the return of no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners hooker, Tate Chong (Year 9, Greenbank) who made an immediate impact from the bench.
The Auckland Grammar outfit, coached by former Parnell House tutor, Chris Oates who is now plying his trade at Grammar, appeared to be a well-drilled team with danger men all across the park. It can be said that the Grammar backs were a sight to behold when in full flight. However, numerous tries went begging after the Grammar back three found it difficult to convert some excellent set pieces in to points.
A man-of-the-match display from hard-running starting lock, Will Bowley (Year 10, School) means that he is the recipient of the $10 voucher proudly sponsored by the King’s College Tuck Shop. A great reward indeed for continuously getting King’s the much needed go-forward ball and across the advantage line despite some brave Grammar defense in the dying stanzas of the match.
Many players and spectators alike were left scratching their heads after fulltime at the strange nil-all result. Both teams definitely leaving points out on the park. The King’s outfit failing to capitalise on a string of Grammar indiscretions right in front of the posts. King’s captain, Jamie Ogilvie (Year 9, Averill) says, “It’s an indication that we’ve got a bit more to work on when it comes to making executive decisions at crucial stages in the match.” Head coach, Old Collegian and Teacher of Te Reo Māori, Raniera Harrison (Parnell, 2004-07), agrees saying, “It gives the boys something to work on in the new week. It is a great skill to keep calm in pressure situations and make the correct decision despite everything that is happening. We will work on this.”
The 6A side will look to focus in this week on ensuring that their baseline levels of fitness are not hampered with Queens Birthday weekend and Mid-Term Exeat sidelining all Grade teams at the College. The next opponent is Mt. Albert Grammar School 6A on Saturday 11 June, scheduled for a 9.15am kick off at MAGS.
U15R 59 – 14 Auckland Grammar
On another beautiful autumnal morning in the City of Sails, playing on the No 1 pitch, inspired the team to their best performance of the season. All the more sweet as it led to victory over the old foes. Kings scored 9 tries in their best performance of the season.
A try from the first play proved a false dawn as a well-coached Grammar side displayed excellent counter rucking and eventually evened up the game mid-way through the first half. Kings regrouped and having survived a few nervous moments, quick tries to Nico Eady, Josh Want and Matt Cunningham, allowed the home side to go into the break with a comfortable lead. Half-Time : Kings 33 AGS 7
The second half was very keenly contested and the teams exchanged tries in the first 6 minutes. The real story was the aggressive and committed tackling by Kings with a try saving tackle by Max Norwell the stand out play. Further tries followed to Kase Lewis (2) and one to Barney Foote. This was a real team performance and will give the boys some confidence leading into the game against MAGS on June 11.
Thank you to Craig Cunningham for answering the call to referee and to all the parents, grandparents, and other family members who supported the team.
Player of the Day : Max Norwell. A try saving tackle worthy of a spot on ‘smashed’em bro’.