FIRST XV VS ST PETER’S
The First XV suffered their second defeat in the 1A competition as they went down 19-8 to St Peter’s College at King’s on Saturday.
The match loomed as a pivotal one for both sides as they jostled for position near the top of the table and the opportunity was there for King’s to establish themselves in second place.
Ultimately, the defeat saw them slide to fourth on the ladder but they remain in a good position to qualify for the semi-finals.
Saturday’s game was a physical contest and St Peter’s earned their victory on the back of a tireless defensive effort.
Their big forwards laid a solid platform for them throughout the match and they were particularly competitive at scrum time, while their lineout drives proved tough to stop.
King’s played with the breeze at their backs in the opening spell but were unable to take advantage of the conditions.
After an even opening 15 minutes, the visitors were first to get on the scoreboard as they registered an unconverted try.
With handling errors proving costly, King’s were not able to find any points as the game moved towards the half-hour mark and St Peter’s extended their advantage with a converted try shortly before halftime.
Going into the break 12-0 down proved too much of a mountain to climb for the home side, despite a spirited beginning to the second stanza.
Co-captain Chicago Doyle cut into the lead with a penalty goal and when right wing Brodey Warren crossed for a try in the 47th minute, King’s were back in the contest.
Doyle was inspirational for King’s with some courageous one-on-one tackling and he saved what looked like a couple of certain tries for St Peter’s with his copybook defence.
A late try for St Peter’s sealed the win and denied King’s what would have been a valuable bonus point.
“We just didn’t start too well. We flicked the switch a little bit in the second half but the start kind of just caught up on us,” Doyle said after the game.
“Props to St Peter’s. They were well drilled and they turned up today.”
Despite the defeat, Doyle said he was pleased the side did their best to remain in the contest.
“I’m still proud of the boys. They did really well to last right until the last whistle.”
In their next outing, the First XV will play away from home against the unbeaten Kelston Boys’ High School on Saturday, 7 August.
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 MAGS
It’s always a tough game after three weeks of school holidays with limited rugby for some of our players, but we managed to get in one training the day before game day.
This was the challenge for our players to front up and put in a good performance, but with lack of preparation it was evident in our start to the game against a hungry and motivated MAGS side playing at their home grounds.
Field conditions weren’t the greatest and I think MAGS controlled the game to the conditions really well. MAGS played well when they had the ball, all the possession went their way in the first 20 min of the first half. Our side didn’t adapt to the powerful running game of MAGS and the side to side skills displayed with the ball.
Two tries down in the early parts of the half, when we did have the ball we had to work hard for field possession, a grubber kick on the ground into the MAGS in goal try line, saw Harry Sinclair pounce on the ball to score King’s first and only try. MAGS lead 15-7 at half time.
The lads tried their hardest to get into MAGS’ part of the field, but with little or no ball King’s was getting frustrated with how easy it was for MAGS to gain metres and score easy tries.
King’s showed some great resilience defending their try line denying more points from MAGS at two moments in the game towards the latter part of the second half. A classy MAGS outfit scored three tries in the second half with two of them converted, finishing off our game with a 32-7 win to MAGS.
It was tough watching our players trying their hardest out on the field and putting on a performance they did would have hurt them mentally. A lot of hard lessons to take in from that performance. Back to training for the players next week as we prepare to face a strong St Peter’s side who are unbeaten.
1 TRY Harry Sinclair 1 Conversion
U15 OPEN VS MAGS
U15A travelled to MAGS and played under perfect rugby surroundings: a blue sky, no breeze and great underfoot conditions. With King’s still being on school holidays we had a disrupted couple of trainings and a few key players only returning to Auckland the day before.
King’s started well and for the first quarter we looked the better team and if it was not for a narrowly missed penalty attempt by Harrison Martin we would have taken the first points of the game.
The second quarter the momentum went MAGS’ way and they were able to convert their opportunities into points. MAGS’ dominance at the scrum continuously put us under pressure and MAGS capitalised on some of our errors in our red zone, something we will need to address before our next game.
As the game went on MAGS was able to use their big ball runners to effect and they exposed our one-on-one defence later in the game. King’s has a huge challenge at home this weekend against St Peter’s who are coming into the game following a 104 nil win over Aorere but with the opportunity to have all available players at trainings this week, King’s looks forward to this challenge ahead.
As a team we need to work hard on regaining our confidence, punch on attack, steel on defence and speeding up the game. The first quarter our structure at times was able to stress the defence of MAGS by forcing it to cover a wide area of the field and tie in their bigger forwards to the middle opening up space out wide but handling mistakes meant we were never able to put MAGS under long periods of pressure.
Timote Funaki made his first start at centre and played very well, his combination with TJ Anae-Paila showed great promise. Zion Savaka and Levi Saipele had strong defensive games and Kahu Cotterill who toiled hard all game playing multiple positions scored a well-earned try late in the second half.
In the forwards Qortezz Tuala, Sione Manuopangai, Hawaiki Morrison and Flynn Hamilton-Muller showed their strength ball in hand but at times poor ball security and errors again proved costly. The team will need to dig deep and put in a complete performance to compete with the highly regarded St Peter’s next weekend.
U14 OPEN VS MAGS
U14A returned from the term break with a performance best described by the cliché – a game of two halves. With little possession and no territorial advantage, King’s spent the first half of the game defending relentless and well-constructed MAGS attacks conceding five tries, of which only one was converted. Half time score: 0-27 to MAGS.
The second half ground to a quick halt with a MAGS player down, injured in the wake of one of fullback Siosaia Manu’s signature runs, busting out from inside our 22. The half-time mandarins provided by Taanilasike Afeaki-Mafileo’s parents must have boosted the team’s defensive mindset as they reorganised and defended like demons.
Despite being the smaller forward pack, King’s scrums were dominant throughout, with at least one tight-head win in each half. Flanker/No8 Johan Schaumkell was everywhere hunting for the ball in every breakdown, as well as featuring as a lineout jumping at 4. Johan also came close to scoring a try off the back of a scrum in MAGS 22.
With more possession in the second half, King’s was able to launch decent attacks off set-piece play. MAGS defended well, pressuring mistakes and turnover ball that they used to quickly convert into attack. King’s backs’ scramble-defence led by Siosaia Manu and first five Charlie Burn held MAGS out until the last five minutes of the game when they scored an opportunistic try out wide from loose play. Determined to put points on the board, King’s backs combined to gain some quick ground with our forwards grinding out the dying minutes of the game resulting in a pick-and-go try by prop Brooklyn Cary just before the final whistle.
U14A are a team that never give up and keep playing hard to the very end. Five tries to nil in the first half, a try a piece in the second. Final score KING’S 5, MAGS 32 – for the boys, score aside – a game of two halves.
TRIES – Brooklyn Cary (1), CONVERSIONS: Siosaia Manu (0/1)
A big shoutout of thanks and gratitude to Physiotherapist Sarah Fanuatanu (mother of Keneti Fanuatanu), who helped out a lot with injuries, and also with MAGS injured player.
6A VS MAGS
What a tough day it was today for the boys. A day that we hope will help them to be better players and better people.
I want to acknowledge the effort of the boys who fronted up to meet our obligation and commitment to the rugby competition that we are participating in. Without their commitment we would not have been able to field a team and fulfil our obligation as a team and as a school. This is part of life’s lessons as well as helping us to build character. Our challenge is to see how we can continue to keep our head up and keep going. Without a doubt it hurts. If we can learn and grow from these challenges then it was worth it.
As for the game, it was tough playing with only 14 players (the second time this year). We had moments and periods in the game where we showed what we as a team are capable of. We retained possession for long periods but we were not consistent enough to build pressure. Our set pieces – lineouts and scrums – worked when we were all focused and had intent. We managed to scramble our defence at times. However, the boys need to be more consistent and confident with their tackles and defence; they need to be confident with the game plan and structure. In the end MAGS had too many players to call on; they were well organised and did their core roles well as units. Congratulations to them!
The final score (86 – 0) can either be a motivation or a barrier. That is the question all the boys will need to answer. Their response will be evident when they turn up to training on Tuesday and the kind of attitude that they have as we finish off the season.
Kia kaha 6A! Virtus Pollet – Tū Tangata Pūmau!
5A will play their rescheduled Saturday game this Tuesday at Auckland Domain against St Peter’s, 4pm Kick off. Please pass by and support the team if you are in the area as this game will determine if they hold second on the ladder.