Glenwood edge College in classic encounter on Goldstones

2011-06-13 00:00

THE FNB Classic Clash on Goldstones at Maritzburg College, where they played Glenwood, was indeed a classic clash.

A crowd of over 7000, swelled by hundreds of College Old Boys on their Reunion weekend, enjoyed the match, but most spectators were disappointed by the one-point win by Glenwood. In the final analysis, where there had been excitement, moments of individual brilliance, well-worked moves, ferocious tackling, sportsmanship and nail-biting tension with the final kick of the game, rugby was the ultimate winner.

Controlled by one of South Africa’s up-and-coming referees, Stuart Berry, the game was allowed to flow, which added to the enjoyment. It was essentially a game of two halves, in which College appeared to have the game sewn up during the first half and Glenwood came back strongly in the second, and then the try deep into injury time that brought College within a point of the Glenwood score.

With the end result resting on the conversion kick, which flew wide, Glenwood had won 31-30 to the delight of their supporters.

Four tries were scored by either side, with the boot from Siyabonga Tom being the difference as he scored 11 points to 10 by Matthew Phillips. If all the conversion kicks taken by the two players had been successful the game would have been drawn 40-all, indicating how close the two teams were. The respect the opposition players showed for one another was clear to see in the way they thanked each other after the final whistle.

At half-time College led 25-14 after three tries to one had been scored. In the second half it was Glenwood who scored three tries to one by College, scored in the dying moments. The underfoot conditions were not ideal after rain midweek and players often slipped. Mistakes were made, often due to pressure exerted following some huge tackles.

College scored early with a great individual effort by centre Daniel Kriel, running almost 60 metres and evading attempted tackles to score close to the uprights. Phillips converted and then two Tom penalties narrowed the gap to 7-6. Phillips dotted down following a long pass from Stefan Ungerer from a quick tap penalty. Phillips converted and the two kickers than traded penalties for College to lead 17-9. This increased to 20-9 before Glenwood scored their first try from right wing Craig Geldenhuys. The conversion was wide, but the gap had narrowed to 14-20 with injury time to play.

Ungerer kicked a high up-and-under on to the Glenwood fullback, who fumbled, and College fullback Jesse Kriel was quick to gather and pass inside to wing Lwazi Stithole, who scored. This conversion was also missed but College deservedly led 25-14 at the break.

Glenwood kept College pinned in their own half for much of the first 20 minutes of the second half, with the Glenwood loose forwards dominant at the breakdown phases. As Glenwood won more ball so they became more confident. The try of the match was when the ball passed through backs and forwards from touchline to touchline and with College having to commit to many tackles. The overlap eventually developed for centre Dylan Coulson to score. Tom added the two points and the gap had narrowed to 21-25.

Coulson scored his second try in the 24th minute after some precise, quick passing, and although the conversion was wide, Glenwood led 26-25 for the first time. A handling mistake by College when they were on attack saw Coulson gather and use his pace to outsprint the defenders to score his hat-trick after a 65 metre run. The lead had extended to 31-25.

With fulltime approaching College were desperate and their forwards kept Glenwood under pressure in the red zone. After five minutes of injury time replacement wing, Masi Mtshali received the ball from a ruck and scored eight metres from touch. The pressure kick was missed and Glenwood had won by a point.

 

OTHER AVAILABLE SCORES: DHS 29 Hilton 10; Kearsney 38 Michaelhouse 17; Clifton 27 Pinetown 7; George Campbell 60 Hillcrest 17; Thomas More 10 Treverton 9;

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