1st XV VS Saint Kentigern College
The First XV marked co-captain Che Clark’s 50th appearance for the team with a 31-28 win over Saint Kentigern College at King’s on Saturday.
Clark, who is in his fourth season with the side, was an influential figure in Saturday’s victory, particularly at lineout time where he helped lay a great platform for King’s while putting pressure on the visitors.
King’s made a strong start to the contest when centre Ali Leiataua crashed over from close-range inside the first 10 minutes.
The majority of the first half was a closely run thing as Saint Kentigern posed a number of threats with their combination of big forwards and fleet-footed backs.
King’s took a 12-7 lead to the break after Leiataua added his second try about 10 minutes before halftime.
The first five minutes of the second stanza was a crucial period for King’s as they shot out to a 26-7 advantage on the back of tries to co-captain Chicago Doyle and left wing Maikel Tuala.
Doyle added both conversions, which ensured the scoreboard kept ticking over.
It looked to be smooth sailing for King’s with a 19-point lead but Saint Kentigern awoke and found their stride.
During a 20-minute stretch they piled on three tries and roared back into the contest as King’s were unable to get their hands on the ball.
The home side were forced to make a number of tackles in quick succession and the pressure told as Saint Kentigern eventually took a 28-26 lead as the game moved past the hour-mark.
Down by three and in need of something special, No 8 Jarius Iosefa produced a barnstorming run from inside his own half as King’s tore down the field.
Iosefa’s break created space down the left flank and that allowed Tuala to complete his brace as King’s went back in front 31-28.
From there it was a matter of making their tackles and winding the clock down, which the home side did admirably.
“It was a big win but it didn’t come easy,” Clark said.
“We came out here and we expected it to be a tough game up front and really physical, which Saint Kents were.”
The win was the fifth from six matches in the 1A competition for King’s and they are only four points back from the undefeated Kelston Boys’ High School on the ladder.
The First XV’s next fixture will see them travel to Liston College on Saturday, 10 July.
2nd XV VS Aorere College
Three degrees was the temperature at the Aorere College grounds, it was definitely the coldest morning of the year. Coming off a solid win last week, the team was looking to back it up with a good performance against a struggling Aorere side looking for their first win.
Aorere came out of the blocks firing, bringing the physicality through the middle of the field with their strong ball carriers making some good metres. King’s were defending their own line, with some poor tackling close to the line. A try to Aorere close to the posts was converted. Aorere took the lead and got their confidence up. We started to put some phases together and number 8 Sebastian Su’a charged through the middle to make a line break with the fullback left to beat. He put on some footwork and brushed past to score the team's first try of the match, converted by Harry Sinclair. Aorere kicked off to King’s, but an error from one of the backs put Aorere close to the King’s try line. King’s made errors and gave away offside and ruck infringement penalties. With some staunch try line defence from King’s, they earned a penalty to get them out of their 22m zone. Some slick passing and movement to the outside of the defence with 5m out, front row forward Levi Gwynne-Tuitahi charged over the try-line to make it 14-7 converted by Harry Sinclair just before halftime.
The coaches' messages at half time were to maintain simple play to the conditions and move them around and apply pressure.
Two quick tries from King’s to Luca Fuller and Sebastian Su’a early in the second half made the score 24-7. Some stern words from the coaches saw a completely different team than the one that started the game. It just goes to show, if they keep things basic and do the basics really well the game plan will work. Mid fielder Dillon Vaoga then scored a 60m individual try, breaking through the middle and taking his opportuntities to bring King’s to a 31-7 lead, the try converted by Tom Ogg. King’s finished the second half strong, having fun all the while. With 8 minutes left in the second half, King’s strung together three unconverted tries. The first was to Reuben Fautua who played some outstanding footy on the left wing. Freddie Forsythe scored the second with a run away on the right hand side of the field and Harry Sinclair scored 10m out with a strong carry over the try line to finish the game with a 46-7 win.
The lads will enjoy the upcoming school holidays and hope to get some trainings in before we face Mt Albert Grammar on 31 July.
A big thank you to the Hatch and Setoga family and parents for the warm-up tees handed out after the game - the players really appreciate the love and support off the field.
8 Tries [ Sebastian Su’a - 2 Tries, Levi Gwynne-Tuitahi, Luca Fuller, Dillon Vaoga, Reuben Fautua, Freddie Forsythe, Harry Sinclair]
Conversions [Harry Sinclair 2 from 7, Tom Ogg 1 from 1]
U15 Open VS Kelston Boys High School
The King’s U15A played at home for only the second time in six weeks and arrived with the field covered in frost, a blue sky and no breeze - perfect rugby conditions. With 13 unavailable players, we went into the match against top of the table Kelston who were coming off a 104 nil win the previous week with only 17 players. We named forwards Taniela Ngata and Sam Wright at centre and wing respectively. Unfortunately we lost Keanu Ezekiela at the start of the game to injury meaning we had to play another forward in the midfield to partner Taniela. Thank you to Sam, Pharaoh Nansen and Henry O’Leary for covering our midfield, and also Blake Hayes who had to spend a short time on the wing. Unfortunately, this was always going to be a challenge with our player situation and Kelston went into the second half with a comfortable 29-nil lead.
Two second half penalties by Zion Savaka meant we were able to put some points on the board and the team were very unfortunate not to score what would have been a well-earned try near full time. King’s forwards at times held a slight advantage at set piece especially the scrum which was very pleasing but Kelston thoroughly deserved their comprehensive 53-6 win.
TJ Anae-Paila had an outstanding game, he ran a lot of metres floating between numerous positions and he gave us the much-needed punch on attack with his limited opportunities. TJ was again well supported by our other Year 9 players Zion and Sione Manuopangai. Bailey Harris also had another strong game and never took a backwards step against the much bigger Kelston team and was supported well by Alex Hawkins and Flynn Hamilton-Muller.
We look forward to most of our squad being available for our next game against MAGS on 31 July.
1R VS Westlake Boys High School
The 1R squad got back to winning ways on home soil this Saturday by beating a resilient Westlake side. King’s have had a slow start to games in previous weeks, so it was therefore extremely pleasing to witness the players create some dynamic go forward in attack and defend with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment. Some good continuity between the backs and forwards laid the platform for the opening score of the game, which was soon followed by a well worked backs move giving King’s a well-deserved 14-0 lead after 15 minutes. Westlake responded by creating a period of sustained pressure as they pressed for their first points of the afternoon. With the King’s defence stretched, left wing Bailey Liu managed to snaffle a deft intercept and sprint the length of the pitch to score a opportunistic try. Fly half Tom Paranthoiene slotted a penalty just before the break to give King’s a 24-0 half time lead.
King’s dominated the second half but unfortunately failed to convert pressure into points as several unforced errors continually let Westlake off the hook. King’s did manage to score a try from class range following a bullocking run from centre Josh Schaaff who carried well all afternoon, alongside two further penalties. Overall a much improved performance from the whole squad and a deserved victory.
MVP – Tom Parathoiene – Orchestrated the team well in attack in defence all afternoon alongside 100% success rate off the kicking tee.
5A VS Auckland Grammar School
After last week’s heart-breaking last minute loss it was very rewarding to not only start well against old rivals Grammar, but ultimately win. On the same field that the traditional game was played last week at First XV level, the Kings 5A team ground out a 14-5 victory.
Early pressure applied by Grammar was repelled and after 8 minutes, from our own line, a turn-over and break out resulted in team inter-passing and releasing new-recruit James Ford to dive in at the corner for an excellent team try. Nick Tapper converted from the sideline to give a 7-0 lead.
Grammar were abrasive and continued to attack us. Injuries and changes were required with Will Smith leaving the field with a suspected broken collar-bone and Harry Firman, a shoulder injury. This aside, the defence was solid. In the 28th minute when Ben Tapper put up a towering kick only for their fullback to miss it - Charlie Hunn, chasing hard, found himself with the ball and duly ran between the poles untouched to establish a 14-0 lead at halftime.
A huge defensive effort in the second half ultimately held Grammar out, though a consolation try was scored by their impressive forward pack. No individuals need highlighting in the King's team, it was a team effort in every sense and the holiday could not come quick enough with a few injuries to squad members.
5C VS Green Bay High School
Although this was a dominant display both in territory and possession, the score line was not really a reflection of the game. Our defence was not really accurate which allowed Green Bay to score on the rare occasions they had the ball and the score was only 29 – 17 with 10 minutes to go. However the constant pressure told in the end and we ran away with it in the final stretch. Player of the day was Joe Duncan with three tries.
Tries: Joe Duncan (x3), Zeal Jones (x2), Will Francis, Achindra Molamure, Lennox Manukia
Conversions: Toby Irvine (x2), James Wilson.
6A VS St Peter's College
The game played at the Domain on field 10 on a crisp winter’s morning was challenging - new players in the team and a new backline – but it did not stop the boys from playing and representing the school with heart and character. The first half was a little scrappy as players adjusted to each other in new positions, especially the backline. SPC looked to use their backs early spreading the ball wide. But some good defence by Spencer Capper and Will Lauchlan stopped them scoring. However, the pressure was too much and SPC scored. The boys competed well up front in the forwards stopping the SPC forward drives and competing to gain possession. We lost Evile Tuumatavai due to an injury part way through the first half. This further disrupted the team's effort to work cohesively, especially our forwards. The team was led by Matt Hargrave who showed a lot of grit and determination until he went off late in the game.
The second half was much the same. The boys tackled and looked to compete in the breakdown. They held off SPC from scoring for long periods of time. However as they have come to realise, missed tackles can and will lead to the opposing team scoring. This was the case in the second half. Matt Hargrave was replaced by Cohen Harding as captain. Cohen along with forwards Lachie Snelling, Vernon Harrison and Jaydan Arahanga played solidly throughout especially during the set pieces – scrums and lineouts.
Considering the team situation the boys did very well to hold off SPC from posting a much higher score. What they lacked in experience they made up with their effort and attitude. The final score was 43–0 to SPC.
With that I would like to acknowledge all those who turn up to train and play. Thank you especially to Mr Daryl Williams for loaning us three of his players – Theo Yeoman, Charlie Wadham and Tommy Meehan - to help us against SPC. Without them I am sure the score would have been much higher.
Kia kaha 6A!
U15 R VS Botany Downs Secondary College
The U15R team played Botany Downs College at home on Saturday in glorious conditions, almost perfect for open, running rugby.
The match was literally the classic “game of two halves”. Our boys played really well in the first half and dominated both possession and position and although the Botany defence took patience and organisation to finally crack, we managed to score two well-constructed tries to centre Johnny Wilson and Captain Yonas Mitchell, both of which were converted by 1st 5/8 Ryan Young. This gave us a well-deserved 14 – 0 halftime lead, but I spoke to the boys at the break about needing to score first in the second half or they would be right back in the game. We fell off a few tackles and Botany took their opportunities to score two converted tries to tie the game up at 14-all. They seemed to have all the momentum in the second half and we needed to defend well to keep them out. We managed to get back control of the game and the forwards did some good lead-up work to allow replacement flanker – Tommy Farag to score under the posts. Young again converted and then we set about defending our 7 point lead as the clock ran down. With only minutes remaining in the match, Botany managed to score a try out wide, but their kicker missed the conversion and we managed to hold-on for a 21 - 19 win.
This Tuesday after school, we have a match at home against St. Kent’s and we will be looking to string together three wins in a row and end the term on a really positive note.
U14A VS Kelston Boys High School
A much anticipated game, King’s Under 14A boys stepped up to the challenge on Saturday’s match against top of the table Kelston on their number 1 home ground at Kelston.
Another sluggish first half start saw the opposition put two quick unconverted tries on the board in the first 10 or so minutes of the game. With injuries and absent players, King’s were down to 17 players, and many players were forced to play in unfamiliar positions - particularly in the forwards. Regardless, King’s still managed to build consistency in set piece play, maintaining possession and grafting phases together. Debutant first five Charlie Burn (usually our standout break-away flanker) was in full control at first-five eighths dictating back play, combining well with halfback Joseph Fatuvalu.
Off the back of consecutive moves involving all the backs, fullback Siosaia Manu finally broke Kelston’s defensive line to score a well-deserved try, which he subsequently converted. The reminder of the first half yo-yoed between the two sides with both teams vying equally for dominance and points, but neither gaining any. The halftime score remained at 7-10 to Kelston.
A really sloppy second half start for King’s saw Kelston’s U14A reserves – big ball carriers – break our line twice in succession, resulting in two soft tries, one of which was converted. The boys stepped up their defence, and the crowd were treated to some spectacular chase-downs by fullback Siosaia Manu and flanker Johan Schaumkell (now playing at 12) who led by example, tackling like demons and switching defence into attack on turnover ball, or tapping-off on the many penalties dished out by the referee.
In the 52nd minute of the match, after sustained pressure from King’s, back play saw Centre Logan Marsh finish with a try on the wing, in the left corner. The conversion kick by Siosaia Manu from the sideline flew true to its mark bringing the score to 14 – 22.
The U14 open team played hard in the final 10 minutes of the match (a habit fast becoming a team trademark) in search of points to win the game with some great runs – including a grubber and chase – by winger Sean Angilau down the right sideline. Kelston held on to its lead to finish with a win. King’s U14 open - so close again, but no cigar in Round 4.
Tries – Siosaia Manu (1), Logan Marsh (1)
Conversions: Siosaia Manu (2/2)