1st XV VS PNBHS
The First XV continued their good run of form with a 36-16 win over Palmerston North Boys’ High School in their traditional fixture at King’s on Saturday.
The team was given a break for a majority of the school holidays after their 88-0 win over Liston College a fortnight ago, which gave the players a chance to rest.
Once the morning fog lifted, Saturday’s game was played in perfect conditions and the first half was a particularly high-scoring affair.
The visitors got on the board first with an early try before Ali Leiataua scored to help King’s level the ledger at 7-7.
Leiataua went over again in the 15th minute as King’s took a lead they would never surrender.
Both teams exchanged points throughout the first spell and Palmerston North Boys’ High School proved hard to break down as they made a number of strong tackles.
Palmerston North were combative at the breakdown and retained possession well as they were patient with ball in hand, while their first-five Curtis Heaphy was accurate with the boot as he added three penalties.
Following a converted try to King’s midfielder Francis Manuleleua and a penalty to co-captain Chicago Doyle, King’s took a 24-16 lead to halftime.
While the points flowed in the first half, it was slow going in the second stanza as King’s were forced into making a lot of tackles but their defence notably improved as the match wore on.
Doyle scored a try of his own near the hour-mark and Manuleleua completed his brace in the final play of the game to blow the scoreline out.
“It was a good win, especially after having a little break. It was good that the boys were back and were able to front out there,” Doyle said.
“At halftime we just had to make sure the boys came back to our focus, make our one-on-one tackles and cut down their space.”
King’s also welcomed back lock Matthew Monaghan who returned after missing the win over Liston due to a shoulder ailment.
The team will now turn their attention to the 1A competition where they will host St Peter’s College on Saturday, 31 July in their next fixture and Doyle said the victory over Palmerston North was the ideal preparation.
“We just want to make sure our accuracy is right and that we start off right, start off 100 per cent and not throw any 50-50 [passes] and just adapt to the way the other team plays.”
Their next outing in the 1A competition is scheduled for Saturday, 31 July when they will host St Peter’s.
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.