Great display of rugby

2012-06-05 00:00

Match of the day: MARITZBURG COLLEGE 10 KEARSNEY 30

KEARSNEY deserve full marks for an excellent display of rugby in defeating Maritzburg College 30-10 on Saturday. The game was played in front of a crowd of over 7 000 spectators, comprising a large number of College old boys on their reunion weekend. The day may have been spoilt for the College supporters but it was a joyous occasion for the visitors.

On the previous Saturday, College arguably produced their best display of the season, so what went wrong in this game?

Well, Kearsney played very well and they had the advantage of resting last Saturday while on their half-term break. Many of them were watching the game at Westville and they did their homework and were able to counter College’s strong points.

The pressure of the old boys’ day and being live on television was too much for College, as Kearsney overwhelmed the much-praised College defence. The second half was better, but Kearsney were well enough ahead and playing the better rugby not to fear losing the lead.

College were very poor in the lineouts, were beaten to the loose ball by the Kearsney loosies, with Jean-Luc du Preez playing an enormous role, were tentative in attack, and made more mistakes than their visitors, particularly in the tackles.

The two outstanding players for College against Westville last week, captain and eighth man Reagen Smith and fullback Jesse Kriel, were bottled up very swiftly by the Kearsney defence and they made little impression on attack.

Kearsney played a superb 15-man game, using the abundant ball won to good effect. Centre Sandile Kubeka was full of running and made some telling breaks. The Du Preez twins, Daniel and Jean-Luc, with their hard driving, the slippery Tristan Tedder at flyhalf and hard-running fullback Josh Devine, gave plenty of trouble to the frail College defence.

Despite being 27-3 down at the break, College never gave up and they held Kearsney to just one further penalty in the second half. With the final try scored by flank Cameron Christie in the final minute, they outscored Kearsney in that half.

Jean-Luc du Preez generated a turn-over in the sixth minute, and after passing through a number of hands, he was on hand with the final pass to fullback Devine who scored in the corner. Tedder hit the upright with the conversion and Kearsney were in a 7-0 early lead. Kriel countered from a Kearsney kick, but lost the ball in a tackle and Kubeka ran over 40 metres to score under the posts. With Tedder adding two easy points, the visitors were looking in control at 14-0 ahead with 15 minutes on the clock.

Coetzee and Tedder traded penalties, before Tedder was gifted another three points with a penalty in front of the posts. With five minutes remaining in the half, Daniel du Preez won ball from a College throw. The ball went out to Kubeka who made ground, passing to right wing Dean Seals just before he was tackled. Seals then had a clear run to the line and with Tedder’s conversion, were 27-3 to the good.

College’s defence improved in the second half and despite Kearsney having a number of chances, they were stopped. College’s best rugby came in the last five minutes of the match as they put a lot of pressure on Kearsney in their 22-metre area and eventually scored a seven pointer. Christie drove from a tap penalty close to the line to score. This followed a maul from a line-out which was ruled by referee Jaco van Wyk, who had a good game, to be held up.

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