Forwards lead Hilton to victory

2013-04-30 00:00

SATURDAY was a beautiful autumn day, although quite warm for rugby, but it did bring supporters out to watch many of the games, not only at first-team level.

Hilton 42 Michaelhouse 12

The margin of victory is the largest between these two rivals in over a decade, witnessed by a large crowd of over 8 000 and it was certainly not expected by most. The win by Hilton must be credited initially to their forwards, who stood up magnificently to the more acclaimed Michaelhouse pack and fed their backline with good ball going forwards.

The Hilton mauling probably caught their visitors unprepared and it was a ploy used very effectively, particularly in the first half. Michaelhouse were unfortunate that many of the 50-50 calls in the first half went against them, which did not help their cause, but this must not take away the effect of the pressure exerted by the home side.

Scrumhalf and Hilton captain Cameron Wright with his long, accurate passes, gave the backline plenty of attacking options, as they were often beyond the reach of the Hilton loose forwards. When kicking from the back, the Balgowan lads often missed touch and found a Hilton player who then set up a counter-attack.

At the drinks’ break, Hilton were leading 17-0 due to a penalty by Wright and tries scored by centre Tristan Blewitt after a good run down the touchline by wing Jaeger Richmond, and Wright from a scrum close to the line. Both tries were converted by Wright.

Michaelhouse were unable to get back into the game as Hilton used their possession to better effect. Another four tries were scored by the hosts in the second half with two tries by Michaelhouse.

The visitors had an early chance which went awry after a mistake on the line. Hilton lock Christian Wiessing was the first to score with a barging run, brushing attempted tackles aside. Wright converte­d and added a second penalty to lead 27-7. Just minutes after Wiessing’s try, Michaelhouse lock Chris Schoeman intercepted and ran close to 50 metres to dot down under the posts. Nick Glassock added the extra points.

Hilton ran their opponents defence ragged as they spread the ball at every opportunity. Replacement wing Arael Garcáo used considerable pace to round the defence to score for a 32-7 lead.

Two minutes later, eighth man Nqobi Maseko dotted down in the corner, both with the conversions going wide. With eight minutes remaining, the Michaelhouse forwards rumbled forward and their captain and flank Cian Grendon scored, but a simple conversion kick was missed. Hilton again applied pressure and flank Brad Dickerson was in support to go over to make the final score 42-12.

It was a proud day for Cordwalles supporters who recognised nine ex-Cordwalles boys playing in the first-team match.

Northwood 13 Maritzburg College 26

College certainly did not have it all their own way and they were somewhat fortunate to be 12-6 up at half-time. The home side had the better of the first half, but could not get over the tryline.

Two successful penalties by Sassa Makhanya put the home side into a 6-0 lead, which they held for most of the half. A lineout drive by College ended successfully when number eight Darren Goodsen dived over to bring College one point behind.

With College putting pressure on Northwood in the closing minutes, Jacques Conradie was the first to the ball after a charge down and with Marcel Coetzee converting, College went 12-6 in front.

College, playing into the wind in the second half, had the better of possession and territory. A brace of tries by fullback Kelvin Elder, both converted, put College safely ahead. Northwood wing Philo Sobahle, after a kick ahead, got in for the only Northwood try converted successfully for their 13 points.

Treverton 13 Weston 64

This derby game was televised as an FNB Classic Clash, but home side Treverton could not manage to bring down the fleet-footed Weston backs and struggled in the forwards against a strong Weston pack, where the two props both weigh more than 100 kilograms.

This was the seventh year of playing for the Dowker Cup, presented by the Dowker family in memory of their father John who captained Weston in 1945. His son, Russell, then played for Treverton in 1977. Treverton has won the cup for the past two years and Weston the first four years after its inception in 2006.

The first quarter of the game was evenly contested and two penalties, one by Luke Richardson for Treverton and the other by Keagan Francis-Pope for Weston, left the score at 3-3. Both sides made many mistakes, but as the Weston forwards began dominating and they won more ball for their backs, so they became more confident and put together more phases with some straight running by the three-quarters.

At the break, Weston led 36-6 after scoring five tries by flanks Dylan Rencken and Scott Wichman, wing William Blair, flyhalf Tristan Carter and in injury time captain and number eight Michael Hutton. Francis-Pope converted four of the tries.

In the second half, another four tries were scored by Weston with the home side scoring a consolation try in the last minute when captain and prop Lebo Mdakane bustled his way over, converted by Richardson. The Weston tries were scored by wing James Duncan-Anderson, a second and third try to Hutton, and replacement scrumhalf Tsabelo Tsatsipi. All four tries were converted by Francis-Pope for a massive 64-13 win and taking back the Dowker Cup.

DHS 3 Westville 43

DHS have been hit hard by having played just three games before this fixture, due to the withdrawal from the College Festival, and not playing on the first Saturday of the term. This has affected their match fitness.

There was some good resistance from the home side in the first half, but then they ran out of steam and Westville took the 19-3 lead at half-time to a final score of 43-3, running in seven tries, four in the second half. The DHS penalty was converted by Kurt Webster.

Westville moved the ball at most opportunities and all but one try was scored by the backline players. Centre Brad Ellse scored a brace while others went to wings Kyle Lubbe and Donovan Pieters, scumhalf Kyan Braithwaite and fullback Louis Snyman. Lock Jordan Martin scored the only forward try. Snyman was successful with four conversions.

Other available results: St Charles 0 Kearsney 55, Crawford LL 5 Kingsway 0, Gelofte 12 Thomas More 5.

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