FIRST XV VS KELSTON
LOSS 22 – 17
The First XV suffered a heartbreaking 22 – 17 defeat to Kelston Boys’ High School on Saturday.
Playing in blustery conditions at Kelston, King’s were down on troops with five regular starters unavailable due to injury.
But adversity can also promote opportunity and the match gave other players the chance to step up.
They included first-five Trey Alatini, prop Daniel Wyber, who delivered an impressive shift, openside flanker Seb Macdonald, No 8 Scott Sheffield-Gray and lock Te Kiwa Whatuira.
King’s began the game with the breeze at their backs and they were first to put points on the board when co-captain Chicago Doyle nailed an early penalty goal.
In what was an absorbing first half, Doyle booted four penalties, while Kelston scored two tries, one of which was converted, and the sides went to the break locked up at 12 – 12.
Kelston didn’t wait long to take advantage of the breeze as they opened the second half with a try and despite having a solid share of possession, they were unable to add to their 17 – 12 lead as the game wore on.
Playing into the wind, King’s battled to establish field position but with less than seven minutes remaining, left wing Maikel Tuala made a break down the right-hand side of the field from inside his own half before linking with Doyle who levelled the scores at 17-all.
Doyle was unable to covert from a tricky angle and into the breeze, which set up a frenetic final five minutes.
With time all but up on the clock, King’s were awarded a penalty, leaving Doyle with a long-range attempt at goal into the wind.
The fullback’s kick hit an upright post and Kelston regathered the ball and across numerous phases rumbled down the field to score a match-winning try.
While the result was a tough one to take for King’s it was pleasing to see the team rally under pressure.
King’s managed to nab a bonus point in the defeat, leaving them in fourth place on the 1A ladder, while Kelston, who are unbeaten, remained at the top of the table.
Congratulations go to Te Kiwa Whatuira (Year 13, St John’s) and Zairon Savaka (Year 12, Peart) who attained their First XV cap. Also to Aston Palmer (Year 12, School) for playing his debut match.
The First XV’s push for the playoffs will continue when they travel to Mt Albert Grammar School for their next game on Saturday 14 August, before completing the round-robin against Tangaroa College at King’s the following weekend.
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 ST PETER’S
LOSS KC 6 – 50 SPC
The old cliche “tough day at the office” summed up the result. But I couldn’t be more proud of how our players played it out right till the very end.
It was evident with the 17 players we had and a forward pack depleted with no reserves, we were going to see many out of position, however, we weren’t going to let these excuses decide the outcome of the game.
Everyone played a crucial part in this game. When we kicked off and managed to start really well, we stayed in the contest for about 20 minutes in the first half leading 6 – 0 with the trusty left boot of Harry Sinclair.
The impressive side of St Peter’s clawed their way back in to the game with a well-constructed cross kick try to their loose forward scoring in the corner, conversion successful. I thought St Peter’s played to the conditions really well in the second part of the first half, they constructed two more tries before the end of the half and shifted the ball around the field swiftly.
Our defence line was always under threat and St Peter’s was making easy metres up the middle, something we could have done better and reacted better to but our players were getting caught out wide with easy tries to St Peter’s.
As mentioned earlier we had to rely of players out of position to void the gap from injuries and players moving into other teams for other reasons. In the second half there was a 10–15-minute period during which I thought we played our best rugby, building 7+ phases more than once to put pressure on the St Peter’s 22m zone. This period of play got better and better with ball in hand, retaining possession from an up-tempo attacking phase from King’s. We can take a lot of positives from this passage of play rebuilding for next week’s clash and the remaining of the season rounds coming up.
King’s couldn’t convert all that pressure into points and gave away the ball to the opposition through errors. In the end, St Peter’s were too good and piled on four more tries to end the game.
We look forward to another big clash from our neighbours across the railway tracks, De La Salle College. If we can take away the positives from Saturday’s game and use that as a foundation and always striving to get better, that’s all we ask of the players.
2 penalty kicks, Harry Sinclair.
UNDER 15 OPEN VS ST PETER’S
LOSS KC 5 – 36 SPC
The King’s U15 Open team played at home against St Peter’s, with a lot of rain overnight we were happy to arrive to the grounds with the sun shining, a good breeze but normal winter rugby conditions.
The first half was a great arm wrestle, both teams having their moments and there was some staunch defence from both teams. St Peter’s scored two tries from our errors but King’s never gave up.
We started to put some good phases together and we were rewarded with a good team try to Nicholas Withers. Strong defence in our 22 and on our try line at the end of the first half resulted in our team winning a penalty and clearing for touch to go into the second half 10 – 5 to St Peter’s. The first half was our team’s best performance year to date and so showed we can compete with the top three teams in the competition when we stay focused and play to our potential.
Unfortunately, this was a game of two halves. From the kickoff King’s let the ball bounce and St Peter’s regathered and after a couple of phases scored a good try. The second half our high error rate put us under consistent pressure. More missed kicks for touch from penalties, a fumble on our 5m line from a scrum and a couple of key missed tackles allowed St Peter’s to run away with the game 36 – 5.
The first half had both side-lines on edge and was a good game of rugby. King’s competed well in the contact and our scrum was very dominant. Our defence line was strong and the team was working hard as a unit and the half time score was a true reflection of how close the game was.
High work rate from Henry O’Leary, strong ball carrying from Flynn Hamilton-Muller and a well-executed lineout move resulting in Sione Manuopangai making a good break down the sideline were highlights from our forward pack. Daniel Pulotu-McCarthy also put in a solid game and Bailey Harris and Hawaiki Morrison had their moments ball in hand. In the backs our mid field combinations of TJ Anae-Paila, Timote Funaki and Keanu Ezekiela were able to contain the highly regarded opposition and strong tackling from Kahu Cotterill, Harrison Martin, Zion Savaka and Levi Saipele stopped St Peter’s attack often especially in the first half.
Our team needs to regather and work hard this week so we can put in a complete performance with a must-win game against Aorere. Unfortunately, we lose a few boys from Saturday to camp for the next couple of weeks but this gives new players a great opportunity to cement themselves a starting position for our last few games. Our focus for this week is simple: cut out our errors, back our systems, have fun, enjoy the opportunity and represent the school and our whanau to the best of our ability.
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini
My strength is not as an individual, but as a collective
UNDER 14 OPEN VS ST PETERS
LOSS KC 5 – 31 SPC
Tries – Keneti Fanuatanu (1)
Conversions: Siosaia Manu (0/1)
King’s U14A suffered another defeat in Round 8 of the U14 Open competition as they went down 31 – 5 to St Peter’s at King’s Field 2 on Saturday.
King’s were on the hunt for a win with this match, and the opportunity was certainly there for the team to do so in the first half with plenty of possession and territory despite an early St Peter’s unconverted try in the first five minutes.
King’s U14A had a good start overall in the first half of the match – a break in the season trend where they have tended to start poorly. King’s backs attacked hard building on a solid foundation set by the forwards, but small errors at critical moments prevented these attacks from being converted into tries or points. St Peter’s excelled at capitalising on these mistakes, quickly converting defence into attack.
A valiant try-saving tackle or two by standout flanker Johan Schaumkell – whose presence was felt everywhere throughout the whole game – definitely helped to keep St Peter’s at bay. A knock-on near the St Peter’s try line after a brilliant kick and chase by Captain Siosaia Manu saw St Peter’s exit from their half into our red zone, scoring out wide just on the half-time whistle after two successive penalties.
King’s played into the breeze in the opening spell but were unable to take advantage of the conditions in the second half. St Peter’s extended their advantage further with a converted try shortly after halftime. In the 48th minute, King’s stitched together several phases of play off the back of an attacking lineout in St Peter’s 22. A quick tap off a subsequent St Peter’s penalty resulted in Flanker Keneti Fanuatanu driving over the line to score King’s only points for the game. With handling errors proving costly and St Peter’s beginning to build in confidence, King’s struggled to contain St Peter’s spirited attack in the second half. They scored two successive tries in the 61st minute of the game which were the final points scored in the match. Final score: St Peters 31, King’s College 5.
Much thanks to Akeaki-Mafile’o family for the half-time mandarins.
Tries – Keneti Fanuatanu (1)
Conversions: Siosaia Manu (0/1)
1R VS SACRED HEART
LOSS KC 10 – 16 SHC
After a long break the 1R squad took on a strong Sacred Heart side away in blustery conditions. The home side used the unfavourable elements well in the opening exchanges and despite King’s defending well for sustained periods SHC were able to open their account through slotting a penalty from close range in the opening quarter. King’s eventually found some continuity as the half progressed, however multiple unforced errors meant the home side were continually let off the hook. HT SHC 3 – 0 KC.
King’s started the second half the better of the two sides whilst playing into a strong wind. As the pitch deteriorated King’s adapted their tactics and used the forwards to good effect, particularly Hamish Dalziell and Hugh Malaghan, who carried well all afternoon. Following some sustained pressure in the opposition half centre Josh Schaaf brushed off several defenders to score a well-worked try with Tom Paranthoiene adding the extras to bring King’s within a score.
As King’s pressed for a second try, SHC dotted down a fortuitous try to extend their lead following a poor clearance with 15 minutes to play. The game finished with King’s camped on the SHC try line during the closing stages, with the forwards making inroads down the 10 channel, however the visitors failed to capitalise as the ball was knocked on with the try line begging in what was the final play of the game.
Overall a disappointing result but an encouraging second half performance bodes well for the final three games of the round-robin stages. MVP – Josh Schaaf
5A VS SACRED HEART
LOSS KC 3 – 19 SHC
The top-of-the-table clash between King’s College and Sacred Heart 5A was hotly contested but ultimately won by a well-drilled and very physical Sacred team 3 – 19.
King’s were first to score, playing with a strong wind, with Nick Tapper kicking a penalty goal after a strong start and territorial advantage.
This was mirrored 3 minutes later by Sacred. The only other points of the half were a forwards try after multiple phases close to the line. Half time 3 – 10.
Three penalties were the sum total of the second half to leave the final score as a 3 – 19 loss, but the quality of rugby was not reflected in the scoreline. Both teams were immensely physical with the defence of both teams being outstanding.
Key games are coming over the next two weeks with a home semi-final the aim but wins needed over AGS and St Peter’s.
5B VS ST PETERS
LOSS KC 0 – 30 SPC
The three weeks break and the absence of some key players had a definite impact on the performance on the day. We lost the battle at the breakdown and therefore had very little possession and found ourselves defending for most of the game. The defence was really solid at times but in the end the pressure told and St Peter’s was able to score at regular intervals. We ended the game with some really massive defence on our try line and hopefully will be able to carry this through to our next game. Player of the day front rower James Wilson.
6A VS SELWYN COLLEGE
LOSS KC 0 – 7 SELWYN
Today’s game was a real heartbreak – it was very tight and hung in the balance right to the end. The team prepared well during the week. Revising and practising our team patterns and structures. The team warm-up was also good as it focused the team for the game. The day was cold and the wind blew steadily throughout the game.
King’s began the game with confidence. From the kickoff King’s attacked with ball in hand. They ran hard at Selwyn building phases and retaining possession for long periods. The forwards at times combined well with the backs gaining territory and creating half chances. However, when it looked like the team was about to make a break, possession was lost either in the tackle or ball was turned over or the team was penalised. King’s was not able to take advantage of the pressure they were building.
The forwards played strongly, contesting well in the contact area retaining or winning possession. They were very good with their lineouts and scrums (however this advantage was lost as Selwyn lost their front rower and had no replacement).
Matt Hargraves ran strongly making strong surges into Selwyn College territory. He was well supported by the rest of the forwards. The backs made some good runs and breaks but their skill level and ball security let them down at crucial times throughout the game.
The second half was very similar to the first – lots of pressure was applied but no points were scored. The team tried hard but they continued to make mistakes at crucial moments. Both teams played with a lot of energy – ran hard, tackled strongly and made every effort to win the game. The teams moved up and down the field – attacking and defending – neither getting any real ascendancy.
In the end Selwyn took their final opportunity in the last moments of the game scoring a try through sheer determination. King’s was not able to match this in those final moments and paid the price. It was a real heartbreak.
Final Score: Selwyn 7 – 0 King’s.
UNDER 15 RESTRICTED VS SACRED HEART 'B'
WIN KC 38 – SHC 5
The U15R team travelled across to Sacred Heart College with the expectation of a victory against the SHC ‘B’ team. The boys had to adapt to a very windy day and muddy conditions underfoot. This did not stop our boys from playing our trademark ‘running’ style of play and three tries were quickly scored to 1st 5/8 Ryan Young, No 8 Ben Macdonald and flanker Joel Gardner. Young converted all three tries for an early 21 – 0 lead. Before half time a fourth try was scored by 2nd 5/8 - Kace Hipkins-Taimai and we turned around with a healthy 26 – 0 lead.
In the second half, we played into the strong wind and we found ourselves camped inside our own half of the field for the majority of the half. The opposition did well to score a try but towards the end of the match our superior fitness shone through and we were able to score two further tries – both to Ryan Young, who added one conversion to finish the game with a personal tally of 23 points in our 38 – 5 final score-line.
This win keeps us in the top four and we look forward to hosting the Sacred Heart ‘A’ team next Saturday in our quest to obtain a semi-finals spot.