College come unstuck

2013-04-04 00:00

THE red, black and white came unstuck against long-standing Eastern Cape rivals Queens College on the third and final day of the FNB Maritzburg College 150th Rugby Festival on Goldstones yesterday.

After two defeats the Eastern Cape lads were desperate for victory, and victory they earned, running with the ball in classic Queens fashion against an uncharacteristically loose Maritzburg College line-up. The end result was a 34-23 triumph for Queens, this after they had led 19-3 at half-time.

After 10 minutes Queens’ fleet-footed backs found space out wide for pacy three-quarter Lilitha Jonas to score a fine try in the right-hand corner (5-0).

In response, College made several attacking sorties. Flank Hayden Tharrat, left wing BJ Ngwenya and tighthead Njamulo Gumede looked threatening, but the Queens lads struck a killer blow when lightning-quick fullback Siphu Zaula sliced clean through the middle. Centre Dale de Wet added the conversion (12-0).

Flyhalf Jordan Koekemoer got College on the board with a penalty goal before the pacy Zaula left the red, black and white for dead once again — this time down the right-hand touchline, dotting down under the posts for De Wet to convert for the 19-3 half-time score.

College are a proud school and concerted pressure after the change-over drew reward when number eight Darryn Goodsen was on the end of an excellent rolling maul. Koekemoer converted and at 19-10 College were finally in the game, borne out further when captain and lock Seko Buthelezi’s ball-carrying earned a penalty, which Koekemoer converted with aplomb (19-13).

De Wet kicked a pressure penalty and Queens went 22-13 up, but College, who beat Grey High School (Port Elizabeth) 18-10 and drew 24-24 with Noord-Kaap, came back strongly for flanker Tharrat to round off a well-worked try (22-18).

Ngwenya made a try-saving tackle on Zaula, but Queens scrumhalf Kewan Gibb corkscrewed over in the left-hand corner soon after for Queens to go up 27-18. And then it was Jerry Danquah’s moment to break away and score. De Wet’s conversion put Queens out of sight at 34-18.

College loose forward Tharrat scored on the final whistle for the final score to read 34-23, bringing the well-run 150th rugby festival to a close.

The rugby festival was one of three components of the Maritzburg College 150th Winter Sports Festival. The Nomads Hockey Festival ended at College’s Papes Astro on Monday.

The Winter Sports Festival is in honour of the school’s 150th anniversary, and the third and final leg is in the form of the annual Husqvarna Skonk Nicholson Rugby Festival for U16 and U14 teams, which takes place at Maritzburg College tomorrow and Saturday.

Earlier yesterday, Affies beat Dale College 53-0, Rondebosch downed Jeppe 24-5, Grey High School overran a gutsy Festival Invitation XV 69-0 and Monument accounted for Noord-Kaap 21-3.

Aside from Maritzburg College’s match against Queens, it was the Monument versus Noord-Kaap clash that caught the imagination.

Both sides immediately demonstrated how hungry they were for victory and the cut and thrust made for an exciting, if at times overly robust spectacle.

The collisions were massive, and referee Zane Watson had to work hard to control the emotions of two highly committed teams. It was Kimberley (Noord-Kaap) versus Krugersdorp (Monument) and no prisoners were being taken – thrilling stuff for spectators, but a nightmare for mothers.

The final score of 21-3 to Monument was emphatic, but did not do justice to the wonderful contribution Noord-Kaap made to this highly entertaining game.


Affies 53 Dale 0; Rondebosch 24 Jeppe 5; Grey High School 69 Festival Invitation XV 0; Monument 21 Noord-Kaap 3; Queens College 34 Maritzburg College 23.

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