16 Apr 2015

Thursday 16 April 2015

The King's College Premier Water Polo team travelled to Wellington to compete at the National Championships during the April Holidays and placed among the top ten schools.

We started the tournament with a 10–7 win over Wellington Combined High Schools. This game was a nice easy start to the tournament and was won by a more comfortable margin than the score would suggest. Jordan Lane top scored with 4 goals and the match highlight was a superb outside shot by Tevyn Anitelea.

Our second match of the day was against the tournament’s second seed and eventual winner, Auckland Grammar. Some poor defensive decisions saw us concede two penalties and a kick out to find ourselves 3 – 0 down after the first two minutes of play.  The team did well to come back and trail by 5 – 4 at half time.  However the Grammar team had both strength and depth.  We struggled on attack in the final quarter and the end result was an 11 – 4 loss. Highlights of this game were a fifteen metre goal from sharp-shooter Jordan Lane and a pool-length counter-attack goal for Connor Tomoana.

Next we needed to beat the Aquinas College of Tauranga for a spot in the top eight. This game ended up being a very low scoring affair in which we defended well and created plenty of opportunities on attack, but failed to put enough away.  As a result, we left the pool regretting our missed opportunities on the wrong side of a 5–3 score. The big positive to come out of this game was the coming of age of Year 9 player Amosa Gould who scored twice from centre forward while under great pressure. It is interesting to note that Aquinas made the final alongside Auckland Grammar meaning that our pool was the toughest at the Championships this year.

The third day was a demanding one as we came up against players from Westlake Boys’ High School, who were bronze medallists at the North Island Championships two weeks previously and had controversially dropped out of the championship round for the first time in over ten years. Westlake played a strong attacking game and led by 6–4 going into the final quarter. However it was the King's team who proved to have the stronger desire and we dominated play in the final period to end up with 7 – 6 win; our first ever in the premier grade against a Westlake team. This was a game which saw the whole team step up when called upon to do so and goals went to Jackson Astley, Jordan Lane, Connor Tomoana, Keith Spencer Edgar and the winner was put away by Jake Parker-Allen.

The victory over Westlake put us into the Plate final for our fourth match against Mount Albert Grammar School for the year.  Mount Albert started out strong and early in the third quarter we were 6 – 1 down, looking like we would end the tournament with a whimper.  However the tide turned and we managed to pull back to 7 – 8 down with 30 seconds to go.  In the final moments Connor Tomoana topped off a Man-of-the-Match performance by scoring his third goal of the game, and putting us into a penalty shoot out to win the match. Goalkeeper Ben Goodwin played his part beautifully blocking two out of five penalties.  Regrettably, our attackers couldn't finish the job and we ended the match 11 – 10 down.  This left us in tenth position for the tournament and looking forward to another season next summer.

Ben Simperingham 
Teacher in Charge of Water Polo
LR Ben Goodwin 1