Enjoyable outing for fans as College cruise to a win

2010-05-17 00:00

IDEAL rugby weather, good refereeing again by Jaco van Wyk, two sides who wanted to play the game — all made it an enjoyable spectacle for the warmly clad spectators huddled around Gilfillan ground.

Maritzburg College continued with their improvement, with a clinical 26-3 win against home side Hilton.

Hilton supporters would have been disappointed that the home side had not scored a try, but they came close on a few occasions. A dropped ball, a forward pass — both with the try line beckoning — together with sound College defence prevented this happening.

The scrums were an even contest until Hilton lost their tighthead, Michael Tack, with a shoulder injury. Thereafter, College dominated, and with the loose forward trio of Dean Mullis, Penwel Shezi and Jason Klaasen they provided the three-quarters with plenty of ball.

Hilton captain and eighth man Guy Alexander got through a lot of work and was the pick of the home side loose forwards.

The lineouts were keenly contested, with Nic Platt winning most of Hilton’s lineouts and Lungelo Chonco doing likewise for College. It was the revamped College backline that possibly surprised Hilton the most, however, and they were able to make telling breaks with angled runs.

Hilton’s SA Under-19 player, Emile Schwarz — back after an ankle injury arguably a week too early, as he was not entirely match fit — was keenly marked by the College players, so he seldom made an impact with the ball in hand.

College were able to absorb pressure better than their opponents. They won more of the ball, brought off more first-time tackling and made fewer mistakes, and thus deserved the three tries they scored.

At half-time College led 15-3 with two tries. The first was scored by fullback Calvin Olley, who followed a neat grubber kick by flyhalf Marco Pennesi to dive over in the corner. The second was after a maul from a lineout, with eighth man Mullis coming up with the ball. This was converted by Pennesi to go with his successful 45-metre penalty midway through the half. With five minutes remaining before the break, Jason Matthews put Hilton on the scoreboard with a penalty.

Hilton pegged College in their own half for the first 10 minutes of the second period, but the defence stood firm. After 12 minutes, Pennesi succeeded with his second penalty and then College dominated a lot of the play. Both kickers had chances, before Pennesi converted a third penalty for the visitors to lead 21-3.

The home side were able to stop College from crossing their tryline again, until four minutes from the final whistle when scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer, who had continually put pressure on Hilton around the scrums and rucks, finally went over from a ruck close to the Hilton tryline. The conversion was missed, but left College comfortable victors.

OTHER SCORES TO HAND: Glenwood 27 Michaelhouse 8; Westville 20 DHS 0; Kearsney 16 George Campbell 14; St Charles 35 St Albans 22; Thomas More 23 Kloof 13; Weston 22 Wartburg 0; Clifton 11 Kearsney II 3; Greytown 19 Carter 7; Amanzimtoti 26 Grosvenor 6; Port Shepstone 19 New Forest 16; Scottburgh 22 DNC 6.

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