College Sporting Exchange with Mt Albert Grammar School

May 20, 2013 at 2:33 PM

A brain child of Principals, Mr Dale Burden and Mr Steve Cole was to have a sporting exchange between Saint Kentigern College and Mt Albert Grammar School for both girls and boys. Both colleges became co-educational around about the same time 10 years ago. Both headmasters recognise the fact that girls’ sport has been very neglected within the Auckland College sport system and both have been very vocal in trying to lift the profile. Last Saturday here at Saint Kentigern College we hosted the 1st XI Girls’ Football teams, the Premier Netball teams as well as the 1st XI Boys’Football  team and the 1st XV rugby team.

At 6am the skies opened up and the almost monsoon rains arrived. Fortunately it only lasted an hour and the rest of the day remained dry.

The Girls’ Football enjoyed playing on a fantastic full size field, in daylight and in front of a pretty good crowd. It was great for the boys to able to watch before their own afternoon game. The Mt Albert Girls’ Football team is very strong and they are the defending national champions. Saint Kentigern girls held their own until 15 minutes into the second half when the quality of the Mt Albert girls was just too much. The final score was 7-0. The girls enjoyed the experience and will be the better for it. They were then able to shower put on their formals and watch the Premier Netball girls play in the sports centre.

Once again Mt Albert boasts as the current National Netball Champions so it was always going to be a tough challenge for our relatively young side. The score was not a true reflection of how good the netball was. Both sides played a fast aggressive game and thoroughly entertained a large vocal crowd. The final score was 40-16 in favour of Mt Albert.

We then hosted an after match function in the Sports Centre Lounge which is in line with boys’ sport but unfortunately rarely happens with girls’ sport due to the location of most of their events.

While the after match for girls was happening, the 1st XI Boys Football match got under way. Two very skilful and very well coached sides played an open game of football in wonderful conditions. Saint Kentigern enjoyed better procession and better field position for the majority of the first half. They had a number of good opportunities to score but on one of Mt Albert’s rare excursions into our half, they were awarded a bewildering penalty. They were successful and led 1-0 at the break. The second half produced much of the same. Thankfully though, on one of the numerous attacks, Thomas Konusi finished a superb build up with some outstanding individual play going outside one player and inside another then and flicking the ball off the outside of his right foot to beat the goalie. Despite lifting the tempo of the game and having numerous more chances, the game finished in a 1- all draw.

It was the turn of the 1st XV at 2.30 and two very impressive sides did not disappoint. Mt Albert are a particularly big side and rely on a forward based game. Geoff Moon, their new head coach targeted our forward pack knowing that fatigue would still be a factor towards the end of the game. Both sides are exceptionally well coached and defensive patterns on display were outstanding. Both sides had chances but at half time the score was 6-3 in favour of Mt Albert, a 6 point swing as we turned down a shot right in front, turned the ball over and conceded a penalty on half time which they converted.

The second half was a mirror of the first with Saint Kentigern probably having more opportunity to actually score a try but mistakes meant that trading penalties had the score locked at 9 all. One last break out had the crowd on their feet as Suliasi Vunivalu intercepted 70 metres out. I’m not sure if it was the weight of the crowd or his already injured thigh but he was brought to the ground just metres from the line and the opportunity was missed. The final score a 9 all draw.

In the final after match of the day, a trophy was handed over to Mt Albert on an aggregate win to them based on the day’s exchange. This initiative was a credit to the two Headmasters and all the students who represented the two leading co-educational colleges.

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