FIRST XV VS MAGS
WIN 56 – 5
The First XV secured a spot in the 1A semi-finals as they delivered their best performance of the season with a 56 – 5 victory over Mount Albert Grammar School on Saturday.
The win saw King’s leapfrog MAGS into third place on the points table with one robin-robin match left to play.
Saturday’s game was held in bright and breezy conditions at MAGS but the wind didn’t bother King’s who rarely missed a beat.
Prop Daniel Wyber got King’s on the board with an early try and his close-range effort kickstarted a steady procession of points that didn’t let up until the final whistle.
Still missing a handful of players due to injury, the team ‘clicked’ with many having top notch games, while co-captains Che Clark and Chicago Doyle delivered standout performances.
Doyle, left wing Maikel Tuala, and midfielder Ali Leiataua also scored first-half tries as King’s took a 27 – 0 lead to the break on the back of some efficient set-piece play and physical defensive work.
Any hope the home side had of a comeback didn’t last long in the second spell as Doyle added a penalty to push the score to 30 – 0 and when Tuala completed his double in the 47th minute the result was well and truly sealed.
Jonty Willis grabbed a double of his own in quick succession after joining the fray from the bench, while Clark was rewarded for his efforts with the final try of the game with time up on the clock as King’s broke the 50-point barrier.
This was the was a great confidence booster and hopefully sees the team peaking at the right time of the season.
Following a tough loss in the previous round to Kelston Boys’ High School, King’s showed impressive character to bounce back in such dominant fashion.
Congratulations go to Jack Elliott (Year 12, Peart) for his capping game and Levi Gwynne-Tuitahi (Year 11, Parnell) for making his debut.
The First XV will complete their regular season campaign by hosting Tangaroa College on Saturday 21 August at King’s.
Their semi-final opponents won’t be confirmed until the final round has concluded.
Thanks to our Premier Partner Jaguar Land Rover New Zealand in conjunction with Archibald and Shorter, and Bayleys Real Estate for their continued support of the First XV. Thanks also to Kukri New Zealand and SRG Radiology.
2A VS DE LA SALLE COLLEGE
LOSS 0 – 18
The players were looking to get out on the field and put in a good performance this week against the top 4 side of De Le Salle College.
The lads rocked up on time in the morning and got a decent warmup. It was good to see some familiar faces come back from First XV duties so that was a big confidence boost for the squad.
The game started with a hiss and roar; a lot a ball movement from De La Salle putting our defence under pressure. Errors and bad decisions from our side kept us in our own half for the early stages. Some strong defence from Sam Afu putting in big tackles prevented a try, and Daniel James-Nanai put in a solid performance with the ball in hand to get our side out of trouble a few times in the game.
When we did get the ball back, we just couldn’t look after it in our ruck and it caused untidy ball putting our kickers under pressure. De La Salle strung together some good phases close in our half and forced us to defend multiple rucks and maul. With our goal line just not strong enough to hold them out, they went in and scored 2 quick tries in the first half leading at half time 10 – 0.
In the second half we saw some good things go our way. We were playing the territory game really well and started to dominate in our set pieces putting us in the right part of the field, however we just couldn’t convert into points in key moments. De La Salle got the ball back and camped down in our 22m zone. With our defence missing tackles and giving away penalties, De La Salle was in a position to kick a penalty goal, 13-0 with 15min to go.
We secured a good scrum in the De La Salle 22m zone, Seb Su’a made a good barn storming run and saw us camped 5m from the try line. Again the lack of urgency and accuracy in securing our ball cost us critical opportunities to score points and get back into the game.
The last couple of weeks have been tough and I know the effort is there, but we need to be more clinical. To end the game De La Salle scored minutes before full time winning 18 – 0.
1R VS AUCKLAND GRAMMAR SCHOOL
LOSS 22 – 36
King’s played rivals Grammar at home for the second time this season in glorious sunshine on the Number 1 field.
The early exchanges were even until an infringement from the King’s back row allowed the visitors to kick a penalty and take an early lead. King’s responded immediately through flyhalf Bannan who struck a long range penalty to level the scores, however a combination of poor decision-making and ill-discipline started to creep into the King’s game which resulted in Fullback Elworthy-Jones being sent to the bin for 10 minutes.
As the half wore on Grammar scored three well worked tries to take a deserved lead. King’s eventually struck back just before half time following some strong ball carrying from powerful centre Latu who dotted down from close range. HT KC 8 – AGS 22.
Following some stern words at half time King’s upped their game and kept their discipline to swing momentum back in home sides favour. The backs and forwards consistently combined well which provided King’s with some excellent tempo, go forward and continuity. With the Grammar defence under pressure King’s scored a deft try through the forwards which was followed up by Latu’s second try after being camped on the opposition 5m line. This brought the scores level with eight minutes left on the clock.
King’s then failed to deal with a deep kick-off and a chargedown allowed Grammar to regain the lead once again. King’s turned the ball over following some excellent work by Tingey at the breakdown which gave the home side an attacking scrum deep in the Grammar half. Frustratingly King’s were penalised at the scrum which allowed Grammar to clear their lines which eventuated in another score in the last play of the game.
King’s showed great character in the second half but must learn from their mistakes and ill-discipline in their bid to secure a semi-final spot in the coming weeks. MVP – Will Tingey.
5A VS AUCKLAND GRAMMAR SCHOOL
WIN 14 – 5
In an important must-win game that was to determine home-ground semi-final advantage, the King’s 5A team slowly ground out a relatively comfortable 14 – 5 victory over AGS. In near-perfect conditions, and on the hallowed number 1 field for the first time, the two teams fought out a scoreless first half with lots of endeavour but too many handling mistakes to yield tries.
The second half saw some added penetration in midfield from our forwards and Corban Drake was the first try scorer after running off a pass and throwing a little dummy to confuse the defence before crashing over. The next try was quite possibly the best of the season. From a free kick King’s went quickly, and Nick Tapper fed a sweeping James Ford who ran into space. Ford carried for 40 metres with wonderful evasive skills before offloading in the tackle near the line to captain Suede Cowley who was supporting on his inside… the jog between the poles was a formality. Both conversions were successfully kicked by Nick Tapper.
A consolation late Grammar try detracted a little from a good game and the confirmation of home ground advantage in the semi-final in three weeks’ time.
5B VS RUTHERFORD COLLEGE
LOSS 14 – 29
This was definitely a game of two halves. First half we were pretty much ‘missing in action’ and were outplayed in all facets of the game and went into the break 24 – 0 down.
However, after a few strategic changes and some new personnel we came out firing in the second half and threatened an amazing comeback. But for a late try by the opposition and some really close calls the outcome could have been really different. Player of the day was Zeal Jones.
U15 OPEN VS ST PETER’S
WIN 32 – 0
King’s U15A arrived to Aorere with two goals; win and keep the opposition scoreless. The game had been moved to a smaller sized rugby field but the conditions were ideal for attacking rugby, blue sky and a light breeze.
King’s had worked hard during the week and our effort shone through right from the kick off with dominance right across the field and our forwards at times providing an ideal platform to attack from. The first half we played into the wind but most of the game was spent in the opposition’s half. An early try to Harrison Martin and then a well-constructed lineout drive from the 22m allowed Qortezz Tuala to score a well-earned try.
King’s left quite a few points on the field and were struggling to convert their dominance into points due to continuous infringements and our own errors until Nicholas Withers scored in the corner to finish the first half 15 – 0 to King’s.
With a good half-time lead we made quite a few positional changes. Aorere started the second half well and through a missed tackle out wide they pressured our try line but King’s strong defensive effort kept them scoreless. Year 9 debutant Saia Manu showed his potential with a strong run down the sideline resulting in Aaron Wetere scoring in the corner. Aaron then scored a great individual try to move the score to 25 – 0, again we were unable to kick our conversion from out wide.
Our errors would haunt us in the second half as we continuously let the pressure off Aorere with our poor ball handling and decision making while on attack in our green zone. This is an area we need to get right before our last two games of the season against De La Salle and Saint Kentigern’s. Close to full time Hawaiki Morrison was finally able to convert our territorial dominance into points with a great try and young Saia was able to kick our first conversion of the game to bring the final score 32 – 0 to King’s.
Alex Hawkins had another strong game in our forward pack and was well supported by Hawaiki, Pharoah Nansen and Flynn Hamilton-Muller. In the backs Aaron, Harrison, Saia, Levi Saipele and TJ Anae-Paila put in a solid effort.
Overall our team took a big step forward by achieving both our goals and with two good trainings this week we will be throwing everything we have at De La Salle at home.
Tries – Harrison Martin, Qortezz Tuala, Nicholas Withers, Aaron Wetere 2 and Hawaiki Morrison
Conversion – Saia Manu 1
U14 OPEN VS AORERE COLLEGE
WIN BY DEFAULT
6A VS SAINT KENTIGERN COLLEGE
LOSS 7 – 13
What a difference a week makes! After last week’s heartbreaker to this week’s close contest!
The team had trained well all week focusing on our skills – catch and pass; team moves and structures and having a bit of fun along the way. The prep before the game was also focused and intense! Goals were set – to up our game on defence, to spread the ball wide, to improve on our catch and pass, to score tries and to win.
Without a doubt SKC was turning up thinking that we were going to be easy beats after our previous game. However, they certainly got a shock and realised within the first few minutes that they had to work hard for every metre and point.
The team played as a unit doing everything with more passion, intensity and clarity – the tackles, the contest in the contact area, running with the ball, support play and winning turnovers. The forwards and backs combined well creating opportunities as they defended and then attacked when they had possession. Spencer, Will, Ethan and Oliver made some good runs usually breaking the first line of defence. Unfortunately, we were not able to convert these into points. It was all locked up at half time. 0 – 0 the score.
The second half was much the same as the first half – close, intense and physical. Penalties did not go our way and SKC were able to convert two penalties right in front to go up 6 – 0. Our scrum dominated all day pushing the SKC forwards off their ball several times. However, we were never rewarded with any penalties to show our dominance. The game was played at a good pace and intensity with neither team wanting to falter. After one of SKC’s rare times in our half they scored and converted. Following this the boys did not drop, in fact they lifted their intensity and played with even more focus, passion and pride. This eventually led to them scoring a well-deserved try which was converted. KC looked to score another try but time ran out and SKC was happy to kick the ball out making the final score 13 – 7 to SKC.
Congratulations to everyone, especially the forwards who dominated up front in the scrums; to Evile who led the team well and thank you to Charlie Burns, Olly Chapman and Joseph Fatuvalu who helped us out this week. Thank you also to the parents for their support and encouragement.
We achieved most of our goals except for the win. Next week we are going for all of it!
U15R VS SACRED HEART COLLEGE
LOSS 0 – 57
The Under 15 Restricted team suffered a heavy defeat 0 – 57 at home, against a very well-drilled and skilful Sacred Heart A team on the weekend.
Our team was playing for the opportunity of hosting a home semi-final and despite two very intense training sessions during the week, as well as having all the best intentions for the match, Sacred Heart started well and never took the foot off the accelerator throughout the entire match.
The boys tried hard, but we fell off a lot of tackles and SHC capitalised every time we did so. We now have two games left against St Peter’s College (away) next Saturday and them MAGS at home the following weekend, and we now need to win both matches to have any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.