Fitting finale to schoolboy rugby season

2008-08-10 00:00

The final match of the KZN schools’ rugby season saw hosts Glenwood take on Grey College, the top rugby school in the country, in Durban, and it was a humdinger.

Glenwood deservedly led 14-3 at the break, but Grey recoverd to win by 22-14, and three tries to two. in front of a crowd of over 7 000.

Head coach Sean Erasmus said before the match that “we have been doing a lot of hard work with the forwards”, and this showed as the Glenwood forwards dominated the first half.

In the second half, Grey moved the ball away from close contact and the pace in their backline brought three tries.

Two missed penalty conversions and a hasty decision at another penalty could have stretched the Glenwood lead before half-time.

With the fresh legs, and a change of tactics which saw Grey spread the ball away from Glenwood’s superior tight forwards, two tries came within the first 10 minutes of the second half, both by wing AJ Coertzen. It was their SA Schools flyhalf Franna du Toit who made both tries with quick and long passes from set pieces. Du Toit converted the second try.

Grey’s third try was from a lineout and again the ball was spun quickly, and this time it was passed back inside to their second SA Schools player, centre Francois Venter, who scored under the poles.

Glenwood had much the better of the first half and scored two tries. The first came 18 minutes into the game when dynamic flank Ruan Burr-Dixon, who was quick to react to a ball that spat out from a scrum, used his strength to drive over. The second came just before half-time when Francois Kleynhans, the No. 8, drove from a lineout. Both tries were well converted by flyhalf Storm Pearton. Du Toit was able to convert a penalty for the visitors between the two home tries.

Glenwood were unable to add to their first-half score, but they did finish strongly and came close to scoring on the final whistle.

It was a fine advertisement for top schoolboy rugby, and played in an excellent spirit.

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