08 Aug 2022

Monday 08 August 2022

Read on for a wrap-up of the weekend's games.

220806 Wrapup
First XV 43 - 13 Tangaroa College

The First XV kept their playoff hopes alive by defeating Tangaraoa College 43-13 in their 1A clash on Saturday.

Playing in sunny conditions at Tangaroa, the First XV were too slick and polished for their opponents.

But King’s didn’t have it all their own way and it was Tangaroa who took an early lead as the home side registered a penalty goal to go ahead 3-0.

Conceding those points kickstarted the First XV into action and it was the forwards who led the way as front-rowers Sam Afu and Oliver Hatch scored tries in quick succession to help put the visitors into the lead.

First XV captain Francis Manuleleua then scored a five-pointer following some exceptional work from halfback Jack Elliott and wing Jonty Willis as the gap started to widen.

A 19-6 advantage at halftime proved a great platform to work from and the First XV started the second spell in strong order with tries to Levi Gwynne-Tuitahi, Hatch, and Luca Fuller, who delivered another good display at fullback, as the team secured an all-important bonus point.

Willis, who has been a constant threat on the right wing with his strong running game this season, then grabbed a try of his own.

Tangaroa managed a late try but it didn’t impact the result as the First XV made it three wins on the bounce in the 1A competition.

The result moved them to fifth place on the competition ladder as they jumped ahead of Saint Kentigern College who lost 22-20 to Sacred Heart College on Saturday.

There is one round left in the round-robin of the 1A competition and the First XV will travel to Sacred Heart this Saturday with their destiny in their own hands if they want to make the semi-finals.

Sacred Heart are in third place on the table with 35 points, while De La Salle College, who meet Auckland Grammar School this weekend, are in fourth on 34 points. King’s are on 32 competition points.

If the First XV defeat Sacred Heart College and deny them a losing bonus point, King’s will make the semi-finals. There’s a range of other outcomes in play but those calculations are slightly more complex.

Congratulations to Sam Afu (SLW) and Flynn Hamilton-Muller (AVE) for receiving their 1st Xv Caps.

2A 13 – 25 St. Peter's College

King’s started the game well despite some early errors which meant the opening quarter of the game was spent defending inside their own half. Despite St Peter’s having good field position and possession, King’s defended with discipline and intent which resulted in several turnovers and allowed the hosts to eventually break into the St Peter’s half. Now having secured some possession the opposition were put under pressure which led to Harrison Martin kicking two penalties to give the King’s a 6-3 lead. Tenacious flanker Bailey Harris charged down a clearance kick from the St Peter’s fly-half which he was able to gather and then beat the scramble defence to give King’s a healthy 10 point lead at half time. An extremely encouraging first half.

St Peter’s changed their tactics in the second half opting to keep hold of the ball alongside utilising their strong bench to good effect. Despite creating several opportunities some poor decision making and skill errors allowed St Peter’s to repeatedly use their big ball carriers which eventually told on the King’s defence as 22 unanswered points were conceded in the second half.

MVP – Josh Schaff (provided solid support and demonstrated a high work rate for the full 70 minutes)

1R 28 - 24 St. Peter's College

The equation going into this match against St. Peter’s College was a very simple one – win, and we would ensure ourselves a semi-final spot. Lose, and we would most likely need other results to go our way to ensure a place in the playoffs. This match was due to be played at The Domain but with some protests and demonstrations taking place there, the game was transferred to King’s, so the boys enjoyed the opportunity to play on our #1 field. The last time we played St. Peters College, the final score was very close and this was to be the same again this time around. St. Peters got out of the blocks first and scored a well-taken converted try to lead 7 – 0. From one breakout into their 22m zone, a penalty was awarded out in front of their posts and 1st 5/8 – Lachie Palmer converted the penalty, followed by a well-constructed try not long after, that was also converted by Palmer for a 10 – 7 lead. Right on halftime, we gave away a penalty in front of our posts and St. Peters converted to tie up the score 10-all at halftime.

The second half started the same way as the first with St. Peters pouncing on our mistakes and inaccuracies to score another converted try, followed up by another penalty for our ill-discipline, to lead 20 – 10 with less than 10 minutes remaining. They then tried to close-out the game, while we started throwing caution to the wind and risking our arm to get back into the game. Following several phases, a run to the line was completed by Captain – William Tingey to close the gap to 5 points, but the conversion by Palmer was unsuccessful. With only 2 minutes remaining, some good kicking ensured field position and when a clearing kick was charged down inside their 22m, hooker – Fin Olde dived on the ball to score the try and tie the game up at 20-all. Misha Craig took over the kicking duties and from wide out, his conversion bounced in off the upright to give us a 2 point lead. We were able to wind down the clock to secure a vital win and ensure a top-four playoff spot in three weeks’ time. To be truthful, we probably did not deserve to win this game, but as I said to the boys after the game, we stayed in the game and gave ourselves an opportunity to win the match by never giving up. We have one final Championship match next weekend against Westlake Boy's High School, followed by the BYE and by securing a win over there, we will ensure we have a home semi-final.

U15A 58 - 5 Wesley

King’s U15A were excited to be playing at home for only our fourth and last time this season against Wesley College.  Just before our team warm up we would lose our captain Saia Manu which meant Evan Nathan-Patuawa would move to the mid-field allowing Taylor Bai to make his debut for our team after a long injury absence and a return to contact via our U15B team.  With the top of the table being so close the team knew for and against could be important so we were hoping to put on a good performance and the team did not disappoint.

From the kick off King’s looked impressive.  With less than a minute into the game hard working forward Johan Schaumkell would score a great try for King’s to take an early 5 nil lead.  The next 15 minutes would have another impressive forward Hemana Connew score three tries, one being a great individual run beating multiple players on his way to the try line.  All three conversions were missed but King’s now had a 20 nil lead.

With 20 mins gone the backs were to be rewarded a very good try to ever elusive TJ Anae-Paila and this time a conversion to Zion Savaka.  Wesley would score soon after to move the game to 27 5.  With only minutes left in the first half Evan Nathan-Patuawa would score his first try of the game for King’s to take an impressive 32 5 lead into half time.  First half we saw some very good ball distribution from Ruka Smythe which helped to keep our team on the front foot.  Zion Savaka and Calvin Harris-Tavita’s exit combination was also a highlight of the first half along with three tries from Hemana Connew.

Our second half started a little slower but after 10 minutes TJ Anae-Paila would score his second try for Calvin Harris-Tavita to convert.  Evan Nathan-Patuawa would score a great individual try with a chip, chase, regather and then wrong footing the defence to score under the posts giving Zion Savaka an easy conversion.  With 15 mins to play Zion Savaka would score himself, this time winning the ball at the ruck and scoring unopposed.  With only minutes to play D’Angelo Tupou would get his name on the scorecard and Zion kicking another conversion for the game to finish 58 5.

Upfront Johan Schaumkell worked tirelessly and was well supported by Hemana Connew, Sione Manupangai to name a few.  In the backs Evan Nathan-Patuawa and TJ Anae-Paila would impress on attack and Zion Savaka directed play well. The players were working well as a team and our dominance was reflected in the scorecard.

All players are doing their role well and with slight improvements on our one percenters our team will hopefully put in a complete performance next weekend.  The team will take away these key learnings which we need to improve during the week before essentially playing an unofficial semi-final against a strong Sacred Heart team.

Tries – TJ Anae-Paila 2, Johan Schaumkell, Evan Nathan-Patuawa 2, Hemana Connew 3, Zion Savaka and D’Angelo Tupou

Conversions – Zion Savaka 3, Calvin Harris-Tavita 1

U15B 7 – 54 Otahuhu College U15A 

This Saturday’s match was against Otahuhu U15 who are sitting at the top of the table – playing them for a second time in the season. We were fortunate to have U15A players Spencer Capper (midfield) and Ryan Young (fullback) as player availability was low. Our thanks to Gappy Max Woodhouse for generously offering to referee this match thus allowing the opportunity for both teams to play.

This week’s  performance was not reflected in the final score particularly as we lost two players full back Ryan Young and lock Charlie Field to injury halfway through the second half with no substitutes on the bench. More importantly the whole team demonstrated outstanding tenacity and rugby-smarts showing how much they have grown both as players but also as a team.

Off to an unusually great start, the U15B boys kept Otahuhu pinned in their own 22 for the first 20 or so minutes in the first half. With sustained pressure and multiple phase play from the forwards which allowed the backs to execute great plays attacking their line. An initial attempt at the line by left winger Johnny Wilson was not awarded but was followed not long after by a great try by open flanker Bassy Tupou from a pick-and-go off the base of a ruck. The try was converted by first-five eighth Kace Hipkins-Taimai.

It was at this point that Otahuhu then subbed-in their big boys en masse which in turn changed the nature of the game as they were able to run in two quick two consecutive tries. The boys worked hard to sustain the same work rate and strategy keeping the score at 17-7 until the last five minutes of the first half, but Otahuhu sustained high intensity to squeeze in another try.

The size disadvantage proved to be a big challenge despite a game plan designed to move Otahuhu oversized forwards around the field, and tire them out by playing in the outside channels. However as fatigue crept in, inevitably too so did our error rate. Sticking to the game plan became difficult to sustain. The loss of two players mid-way through the second half of the match meant that the flood gates were opened, allowing an overconfident, ill-disciplined opposition to reach the final blow-out score in the last quarter of the game.

TRIES: Bassy Tupou

CONVERSIONS: Kace Tamati-Hipkins (1/1)

5A 3 - 18 Sacred Heart College

The long holidays and a distracted mid-week training session did the team no favours as they sought to build on their promising Term 2 momentum. Unfortunately they came up against a well drilled Sacred Heart team at home on a misty morning.

The first half was an arm wrestle with the usual stout Kings defence holding out to go to the break at just a penalty down and not much separating the sides. The second half started well with Captain Morgan Tapper taking a good penalty to even up the scores but the rest of the half the scoring went the way of SHC. 3 unconverted tries put the score beyond reach, despite some rugged defence and desperate attack. Morgan Tapper was again inspirational pulling off 4 big tackles in one passage of play, and fullback Zeal Jones very nearly pulled off a spectacular 80 metre solo effort but was denied on the line.

There was no questioning the boys spirit and commitment, but Sacred Heart were the better team on the day and took their opportunities well.

Player of the day goes to Te Rae Watene for a full 60 minutes of effort, anchoring the scrum and making some impressive tackles.

6A 12 - 9 Mt. Albert Grammar School

After a 4 week break the Kings 6A side were back in action on Saturday against Mount Albert Grammar school.  In our previous match up we narrowly won with a last minute try, so going into this game we knew we had to lift the energy to another level in order to win.

MAGS came out firing in the opening minutes of the game looking to play expansively which lead to us having to defend hard in our red zone.  A few holes in our defence allowed MAGS to score 2 easy tries leaving us on the back foot.  The boys showed glimpses of promise throughout the first half with the forwards dominating in set piece and the midfield combo causing problems for MAGS.  In spite of this we ended the first half with a score of 0-12.  

Going into the second half the boys were determined to lift the tempo and fix our defensive errors.  Felix Spary, Denver Olde and Olly Whyte all stood up and made some crucial tackles allowing us to rebuild some momentum.  Unfortunately as a team we couldn’t stick to our defensive structure which again allowed MAGS to score some brilliant individual tries.  With time running out on the clock we knew we needed to band together and play to our strengths.  With Some good decision making from Captain Daniel Chitty and outstanding passing skills from Parekahu we were able to bounce back and score a well-constructed try in the corner.  

We received the ball off kick-off and looked to quickly score in a last bid to get back in the game.  After a physical battle near the line we were finally able to score a try.  Although the boys were keen to go again, it was too little too late.  MAGS were able to take the game 32-12.  Saturday was a big wake up call for the boys and there are definitely some work ons going into next week’s game against Glendowie.  Player of the match went to Denver Olde for his high work rate and leadership around the field.  

U15R 14 - 14 Pukekohe High School

What is the square root of x? Not sure: that sums up some of the decision that were given both ways on a beautiful Saturday morning in the onion capital of New Zealand. The team started well and our pods and ruck defence were working well. It was great to have contested scrums which can only benefit the players going forward. In the early parts of the half Kings showed great ticker on defence and the game remained scoreless until the 24th minute when Matt Cunningham barged over for a try. 

As has been a feature during the season, the opposition roared back and they scored a converted try and the scores were locked up at 7-7 at half time. Half-Time : Kings 7 Pukekohe HS 7

The second half was a much more fearsome spectacle with both side keen to get a win. There were big hits, from Hugo Gibson and big tackles from Ayden Miller and Kase Lewis. The game was very evenly poised when Pukekohe were awarded a penalty try with 13 minutes to go. 

Kings mounted sustained pressure in the 22 and with the last play of the game, Matt Cunningham went over under the horns and converted for a tied game. There are 2 games of the regular season and a win in both may be enough to get semi-final football.

Tries: 2 (Matt Cunningham): Conv: 2 (Matt Cunningham)

Player of the Day : Angus Wilson.