A fitting end to College’s 150th festival

2013-04-08 00:00

THE curtain came down on the Maritzburg College 150th Winter Sports Festival when the final games in the Husqvarna Skonk Nicholson Rugby Festival were played on Saturday.

The two Maritzburg College sides, the U16 on Goldstones and the U14 on Snows, brought a fitting end to the festival.

The U16 team were one of three sides to win all three of their games, the others being Kearsney and Westville. In the U14 section, Westville and Menlo Park won both, but the College team, after a disappointing display on Friday, showed the true College spirit in drawing their match with a heavier unit from Jeppe.

The Midlands Development XV played the final game against Maritzburg College U16 and surprised the red, black and white by taking the lead 7-5 after College had scored the first try from a maul following a lineout. College gradually got on top, scoring three more tries, all converted, to lead 26-7 at the break.

Abundant ball was supplied by the dominant forwards, which College used to good effect, running it from all parts of the field.

This tired the Development players in the midday heat and another seven tries, three converted, were scored, for a 67-7 win. Backline player Matthew Kriel (younger brother of Jesse and Daniel in College first XV last year) and forward Lyell Getkate were particularly prominent in the attacking moves.

But possibly the story of Saturday’s action was how the gutsy Maritzburg College U14 team — thumped 64-0 by Menlo on Friday — did exceptionally well to draw 14-14 with Jeppe, who had been shaded 22-20 by the strong Westville side the day before, despite scoring four tries to three.

The exciting first half ended 0-0, despite the non-stop action, where both teams had their chances to score. If the College tackling had not been as good as it was, Jeppe would surely have got through the defence.

The decision to run a kickable penalty by Jeppe cost them, as the ball was dislodged at the tackle, a kick upfield and College pacy winger Matthew Squires following up, gathered the ball before running 50 metres to score under the posts. With the successful conversion College led 7-0.

Jeppe came back immediately, putting College under pressure with some brave College defence holding them. A maul resulted in the Jeppe hooker bursting over for a converted try and locking the scores at 7-7.

Then it was Jeppe’s turn to defend with everything they had until College exploited the extra player after a yellow card had been dealt and the red, black and white eighthman, Dylan Jones, scored out wide. Ryan Spring converted to put College 14-7 up.

Urged on by the coaches, Jeppe put everything into attack as the clock wound down and not surprisingly it was their big centre, who had been a constant handful throughout the match, who forced his way over.

The angled pressure conversion was successful, leaving the final score 14-14.

SATURDAY RESULTS

U14: Hudson Park 0 Menlo Park 43; Marais Viljoen 61 Voortrekker 7; Trinityhouse 15 Westville 36; Maritzburg College 14 Jeppe 14.

U16: Hudson Park 12 Westville 31; Trinityhouse 0 Hilton 41; Kearsney 14 Marais Viljoen 12; Maritzburg College 67 KZN Development XV 7.

FRIDAY RESULTS (reports in Weekend Witness)

U14: Trinityhouse 31 Voortrekker 0; Hudson Park 41 Marais Viljoen 5; Menlo Park 64 Maritzburg College 0; Westville 22 Jeppe 20.

U16: Kearsney 31 Trinityhouse 7; Marais Viljoen 24 Hilton 19; Westville 51 KZN Development XV 0; Maritzburg College 21 Hudson Park 5.

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