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King’s led 17-16 at the break and dominated territory in the second half to — in the end — run out comfortable winners in the match, played on a sticky Littlebourne.
It was the first win by King’s at Littlebourne since 1999 and ended a long run of victories in the competition for the home team and defending champion. King’s last beat Otago Boys’ High School in 2007.
It was more than solid in the scrum and gave the Otago Boys’ backs little room to move.
The visiting side pulled further ahead in the second half with a couple of penalties. But the decisive play came with about 15 minutes remaining.
King’s won a lineout 20m from the home team’s tryline and started to maul the ball up.
It could not be stopped and flanker Keanu Vanis, son of former All Black Kupu Vanisi, was part of the maul which went over to score the try.
Otago Boys’ was stuck under its posts for too long in the dying minutes as King’s won the battle for territory.
It was a total team effort from King’s but prop and skipper Rohan Wingham worked hard as did lock Koal Kirkman. Taine Hand did some tidy work at halfback and Ryan Watterson slotted the kicks.
Otago Boys’ tried hard but it had little opportunity to get in the right part of the field and put anything together on attack.
No 8 Semisi Taieloa Tupou and blindside flanker Oliver Haig were the best for the home side.
The two sides will meet again at King’s in the second round, which will be the traditional interschool match, in the third term.
In other results, Dunstan High School won 22-21 at home against John McGlashan College, while Southland Boys’ High School won 57-3 over Mount Aspiring College in Invercargill.
In the championship section, Otago Boys’ High School seconds beat St Kevin’s College 28-12, while Wakatipu beat Combined co-ed schools 38-3 in Mosgiel.
Waitaki Boys’ High School and South Otago drew 17-17.