01 Jul 2024

Monday 01 July 2024

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

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First XV 39 vs 9 Botany Downs Secondary College

The First XV bounced back to winning form with a 39-9 victory over Botany Downs Secondary College on Saturday.

The match marked the first meeting between the schools at First XV level and the sun-drenched Botany Downs field proved conducive to a high-scoring contest.

King’s had to dig deep in the forwards with Ethan Ola (Year 12, Averill), Jamie Ludbrook (Year 11, St John’s) and Connor Empson (Year 13, St John’s) all unavailable through injury, but that gave starting opportunities to lock Christian Collins (Year 12, Major) and loose forwards Hawaiki Morrison (Year 12, Major) and Taniela Ngata (Year 13, Parnell).

Slow starts have plagued the First XV this season but they hit the ground running against Botany Downs and wing Kahu Cotterill (Year 13, School) scored inside the first five minutes.

The home side added a penalty goal, but when they lost a player to the sin bin, King’s took advantage as Collins and Johan Schaumkell (Year 12, School) scored tries.

Prop Sione Manuopangai (Year 12, Peart) then grabbed a five-pointer following some great lead-up work from Harrison Martin (Year 13, Selwyn) and Saia Manu (Year 12, Averill) to ensure King’s took a 22-3 lead to halftime.

With the four-try bonus point secured, coach Ian Robinson gave the bench a run for the second spell.

Botany were determined to go up in threes as they added two more penalty goals after halftime but tries to Morrison, Schaumkell, and Manuopangai made the result safe.

For King’s, Martin, Manu, and Cotterill were dangerous in the backs, while wing Robbie Noble (Year 13, Greenbank) got through plenty of work down the left flank.

Having lost their past two games, Robinson said he was pleased to see the side come out on top and get their campaign back on track.

“It took a bit of time to get into our game and we knew today we just needed to get the job done,” he said after the full-time whistle.

“A five-point win is really, really positive for us on the table and obviously [helps us] build towards the back of the season.”

The result left King’s fifth place on the 1A ladder with 22 competition points. Kelston Boys’ High School are in third with 23 points, edging fourth-placed St Peter’s College on differential. The unbeaten Saint Kentigern College lead the competition, with Auckland Grammar School second.

The First XV’s next outing will be a home fixture against St Paul’s College on Saturday 6 July, with kick-off set for 2.30pm.

“We know next week is going to be a massive week for the context of our season with St Paul’s at home,” Robinson said.

“Hopefully we get a big crowd out there, but yeah, it’s exciting; building nicely.”

Tries: Johan Schaumkell (2), Sione Manuopangai (2), Kahu Cotterill, Christian Collins, Hawaiki Morrison
Conversions: Marco Miln (Year 12, Selwyn), Zion Heiloa-Savaka (Year 12, Peart)


Second XV 29 vs 14 Dilworth School (Wednesday 27 June)

Last Thursday, King’s Second XV ground out a hard-earned win against Dilworth 2A on Field 2 at home. Whilst Dilworth 2A were competitive throughout the match, crossing our try line twice with well-constructed tries, they never quite managed to break the lead nor threaten our hold on the game. First five eighth Felix Spary (Year 11, Selwyn) did an outstanding job in managing the game with excellent control, directing play with accuracy in both passing and kicking, and organising defence. 

Despite being the lighter and physically smaller pack, King's forwards played with enough ferocity and tenacity to maintain the upper hand in both attack and defence. Scrums and lineouts were executed well, particularly given that several players were playing out of position. The backline worked smoothly, like a well-oiled machine. Fullback Joseph Fatuvalu (Year 12, Averill) featured in many of the attacking moves, whilst second five eighth Kace Taimai-Hipkins (Year 12, Parnell) proved his weight in gold as the essential cog in the machine.

The first quarter of the match was spent absorbing Dilworth’s determined attacks. As King’s gained more possession and persevered with multiple phased attacks deep in their 22 later in the same half, the territorial advantage began to tip in our favour. From a well-executed lineout, the ball was quickly passed through the backline to winger Sean Angilau (Year 12, Averill), who deftly stepped inside the defence on a short pass from centre Spencer Capper (Year 12, Parnell) to sprint for the first try of the match, converted by Spary.

Brimming with confidence, the boys set about their work again from restart by applying pressure at the same intensity. Exceptional edge-to-edge play, where backs expertly combined with forwards from quick ruck ball, ended with wide-ranging blindside flanker Keanu Ezekiela (Year 13, Parnell) diving to score in the far left corner. This was immediately followed by a handsome conversion by Spary, bringing the halftime score to 14-nil.

From sustained attack in the first five minutes of the second half, second five eighths Taimai-Hipkins destroyed the approaching line defence with two killer sidesteps to score a try, ceremoniously opening the half with an unconverted try. With a sense of urgency, Dilworth replied with a converted try of their own not long after. Winger Koby Schaumkel (Year 11, Selwyn) crossed the line sometime later with another unconverted try, off the back of a sustained period of attack by King’s. Dilworth again sprung back into action, replying with another converted try of their own. The match was finished in style by front rower Prop Lachie Snelling (Year 12, School) with a well-deserved unconverted try, adding the final touches to more exceptional backline play. A highly entertaining game and a confident win.


1R Maroon 20 vs 17 St Peter's College

Sometimes, having a week off with the Bye can work against you, especially when you have built positive momentum. Last week, we had the Bye round and although it gave us a chance to rest a few of our injured players, I thought that we would struggle this weekend against St Peter’s College at War Memorial Park in Mt Roskill, given that we did not train well throughout the week and had obviously lost that momentum.

This proved the case yesterday; we made many errors and could not hold on to the ball for multiple phases. At halftime, we only had a single try to right winger Harry Taylor (Year 13, Major) to show for all our efforts and turned around up 5 -0. The second half saw both teams more willing to throw the ball around and we could score two more tries to halfback Dom Lunjevich (Year 13, Averill) and left winger Lucas Barron (Year 12, Selwyn). Jackson Brown (Year 13, Peart) converted one of these tries to take our score to 17 points. Unfortunately, our defence was not as strong as the first half and St Peter’s drew even with two converted tries and a penalty to make it 17-all with only minutes remaining in the match. In the final minute of the game, we made a play deep inside their 22m. One of their players was deemed offside at a ruck, so we were awarded a penalty that Brown duly slotted to end the game 20-17 victors.

If there is such a thing as ‘winning ugly’, we certainly did that yesterday, although I was proud of the boys for closing the match. We have one last game this term, away to St Kentigern College, after school on Wednesday.


1R Gold 31 vs 43 Sancta Maria College

The game was adjusted to 14 players, and 5 minutes later, the referee asked one of the King's players to leave the field because Sancta Maria declared they only had 13, which created some confusion amongst the King's team. Sancta Maria took advantage of the confusion and scored two quick tries to shoot out to a 0-14 lead after 8 minutes.  

King's settled in and scored the next try with some good work between Yuri and Malcolm Barrow (Year 11, School) out wide, which was unconverted by Dan Chitty (Year 12, School) 5-14. Sancta Maria replied immediately with another converted try scored through the middle after some poor King's defence. 

Halftime 5-21 Sancta Maria. 

Two minutes into the second half, Sancta Maria were out wide, then 5 minutes later, they scored again in the same spot, both tries unconverted, Sancta Maria 5-31. It wasn't looking good for King's until the 45th minute when Yuri put a well-placed chip into the corner for Connor Harris (Year 12, Peart) to dive onto and score an unconverted try, Sancta Maria 31-10. 

Then, in the 50th minute, Barrow scored an outstanding solo try, with Chitty converting, taking the score to 17-31. Suddenly, King's had some belief and started running the ball more, with Yuri going over under the posts in the 57th minute and Chitty converting 31-24. Here comes King's. 

Sancta Maria kicked off to Chitty. He passed to Yuri, who ran through a gap up the middle and fed the ball to Barrow, who scored out wide; Chitty converted and the score was an unlikely 31-all with 10 minutes left. 

Unfortunately, all the excellent work King's did was undone straight after that, resulting in a yellow card. Sancta Maria took advantage of the extra man, scoring two tries in the dying minutes.  

Final score Sancta Maria 43-31. 


5A 18 vs 22 Auckland Grammar

Another outing versus the old foe Auckland Grammar, and as with past games, this was another close one coming down the wire where either team could have taken the game. With a couple of players having to pull out overnight due to illness, there was a last-minute rejig of the team. However, everyone stepped up for the game. 

Playing on the artificial pitch at Auckland Grammar (AGS), AGS came at King’s from the start and spent the first 12 minutes heavily on attack. After 7 minutes, AGS managed to crack King’s defence to go in for their first converted try to take the lead 7-0.

Straight from the kickoff, AGS were back on attack and whilst King’s defence around the rucks was strong, AGS managed to spread the ball to the centres and went in for their second try after 11 minutes, bringing the score to 12-0.

From this point on, King’s woke up and then showed that they would not allow AGS an easy win.  King’s put multiple phases together and at one point there were 13 phases of clean ball, enabling the backs to try and crack the AGS defence.  At the 23 minute mark, after 10 minutes of constant pressure, the AGS defence finally cracked and after the forwards set a great platform after multiple pick-and-goes, the ball was passed to Will Hargrave (Year 11, Major) to dive into the left-hand corner to bring the score to 12-5 to AGS. The score remained that way until halftime, however King’s started to look dominant.

The second half started in the same fashion as the end of the first, with King’s in the ascendance. At the 5 minute mark, King’s were awarded a penalty and Matt Cunningham (Year 11, Greenbank) stepped up to confidently convert the points. 12-8 to AGS.

Four minutes later, Cunningham, off the back of the dominant scrum, chipped over the top of the AGS backline for Kasey Lewis (Year 11, Greenbank) to collect it and run in to score close to the posts. Even with a missed conversion, King’s took the lead for the first time in the game 13-12.

In the usual manner of this tightly competitive 5A grade, no team ever lies down and AGS then mounted their own comeback and at the 14 minute mark they scored a converted try to bring the score to 19-13 AGS.

King’s once again came back with an outstanding team try at the 21 minute mark built from a penalty, a great touch finder 5 metres out from the line, a lineout and then multiple phases of play, which enabled Hugo Olde (Year 11, School) to break a couple of tackles then offload out the back of his hand to Finn Jones (Year 11, Parnell) and then to Hargrave to dive into the corner for his second try. 19-18 to AGS.

With 10 minutes to go, the game could have gone either way, and with an outstanding break up the centre from Sam Coulter (Year 11, School) a comeback looked on the cards, however the offload in the tackle went to ground. AGS came back and with 3 minutes to go, AGS were awarded a penalty and they converted it to move further ahead 22-18.

Never one to lie down, from the kickoff, King’s were back on the attack and, in the final play of the game, won a lineout 5 minutes out from AGS line. Unfortunately, AGS got up and got a hand to the ball in the lineout and the ball was kicked dead, bringing the end to another highly competitive game. Final score 22-18 to AGS.

Players of the day were Nico Eddy (Year 12, Marsden) for his great positioning at fullback and attacking play all day and Max Caughey (Year 11, St John's) for his constant barnstorming runs and his leadership shown in the forwards. Well done boys.

Tries: Will Hargrave (2), Kasey Lewis

Penalty: Matt Cunningham


6A 14 vs 18 Auckland Grammar

6A suffered a heartbreaking 14-18 defeat against Auckland Grammar School on their astro grass field number 3. Grammar started the game strongly with multiple phases of attack, but the King's defence held firm with incredible tackling and counter-rucking. Eventually, all the pressure mounted and Grammar crossed the line for the game's first try late in the first quarter (unconverted).

The play went back and forth from end to end, with both sides showing great attacking intent. Grammar eventually broke the defensive line and scored a well-taken long-range try to go up 10-nil. The King’s forward pack had stepped up their game with the captain Harry Rutherford (Year 11, School) leading the charge, and busting his way over the line 10 minutes before half-time. The try was well converted from a tricky position by Caleb Stephens (Year 10, Greenbank). Just on the stroke of half-time, Grammar got a penalty in front of the King’s posts and took the three points to go into half-time with a 13-7 lead.

In the second half, King’s took control of the game with great physicality from the forwards and good movement from the back line. Harry Rutherford again broke the defensive line, following many phases of play, knocking defenders out of the way to score his second try. The try was well converted by Liam Parker (Year 10, Parnell). King’s were in the lead for the first time in the match, 14-13. With some tough ref decisions and penalties mounting against King’s, saw King’s with a disallowed try and a yellow card, the game's balance swung again. Grammar forced a few mistakes from King’s coming into the game's final ten minutes. With less than five minutes remaining, Grammar attacked out wide through their backs and, despite some desperate defence, managed to find gaps and touch down for a well-taken try, putting them in front 18-14. The play started again, but King’s ran out of time to snatch a victory; this was a super tough defeat!

King’s 6A showed they could definitely match it with the top-of-the-table Grammar team and as both coaches Jason and Dave said after the game, it’s tough to take a loss like this with just a few little moments ultimately deciding the outcome of this game, win these moments and keep the composure and the team will go from good to great!

The team will roll up their sleeves and train hard this week for Thursday's final game pre-holiday against St Kentigern.

Players of the Day:
Forwards: Harry Rutherford
Backs: Caleb Francis (Year 10, School)






U14 Open LBD vs Mount Albert Grammar