Grey High school rugby festival: Kwazulu-Natal schools have mixed fortunes

2012-03-27 00:00

THERE was an exodus of six of the top KZN rugby-playing schools to the Eastern Cape at the end of last week. This was to participate in the Powerade Grey High Festival in Port Elizabeth. The first day last Saturday saw a mixed set of results from the locals.

Eleven matches were scheduled on the first day, but not all of the 22 schools involved play all three matches. The second day, yesterday, saw nine games and the last day tomorrow sees just five games. Kearsney and Westville will not play on the last day because they are playing in the Kearsney Festival starting on April 5.

On the first day a torrential downpour with strong winds caused one game to be cancelled completely and the other called off at half-time. Both these were on the B field where the drainage is not good. The main field continued through, as the drainage is better.

It was the match between Maritzburg College and Marlow Landbou where the ground had become a lake. College in the first half were playing into the gale-force wind and they struggled to get out of their half as Marlow kept them pinned. Early in the half, College’s Jesse Kriel succeeded with a penalty, but Marlow replied with a penalty and towards the end of the half scored a try which they converted. When the referee called the match off at the break Marlow led 10-3.

On Philip field, their main field, Kearsney was the first of the KZN teams to play. They faced Nico Malan from Humansdorp. Kearsney was down 0-8 with not many minutes on the clock and they only got their game going in the last 15 minutes of the half. A quickly taken tap penalty saw Sandile Kubeke scoring a try which Tristan Tedder converted. Kearsney went into the second half 7-8 behind. A penalty by Tedder and two tries in the first 10 minutes, one by lock Ayron Schramm and then by Tedder under the poles, both of which he converted, put Kearsney into a commanding 24-8 lead.

A high kick then bounced into the hands of a Nico Malan player following up, and they reduced the deficit to 15-24. A small but lightning-quick wing then scored two tries, both from kicks ahead where he outpaced the Kearsney defence. Two converted penalties later and Kearsney lost the match 24-34 and were left wondering what they had done wrong.

Michaelhouse and St Andrews College from Grahamstown have both been in the top 10 of schoolboy rugby in the past five years. Conditions were not easy as they faced one another with a stiff breeze getting up and heavy rain starting to fall. At half-time, with the KZN lads playing into the wind, both sides had scored a converted try. Stefan Hartman got over for Michaelhouse with a successful conversion by Michael Mvelase.

St Andrews went ahead with a penalty and then Michaelhouse scored their second try through Luke Strachan. The third try was scored by Josh Moon and this time Mvelase added the extra points for Michaelhouse to lead 19-10. St Andrews were not finished and they scored but time ran out and Michaelhouse recorded the first win for a KZN side, 19-17.

Westville had a difficult opening game against arguably the top team at the festival, Paul Roos from Stellenbosch. Westville were on the back foot from the beginning as they leaked two soft tries. At half-time they were down 3-17 after Louis Snyman had converted a penalty.

Rain in the second half did not help Westville although captain and number eight, Thabo Ngcobo, did score from tight play, converted by Snyman to give his side 10 points. Four further tries by Paul Roos who have a big and strong pack saw them win handsomely 38-10.

Hilton, playing the main curtain raiser against Bishops from Cape Town, had an early 6-0 lead after Cameron Wright converted two of the six penalties they were awarded in the heavy rain. The rain helped Hilton’s cause as Bishops are well known for their running rugby, something they were unable to do.

In the second half, it was two penalties and an unconverted try to Bishops which gave them 11 points. From broken play Kelvin Smith scored and Wright was again successful to give the KZN side a narrow 13-11 win.

On the B field, DHS struggled against Queens going down 3-23.

 

OTHER RESULTS: Graeme 20 Itembelihle 13; Die Brandwag 13 Louis Botha 12, Selborne 12 Framesby 10; Grey HS 36 SACS 12

 

Stellenberg from Cape Town has been on a short tour to KZN. They played Port Natal and Voortrekker, winning both games as their forwards dominated. Against Port Natal they won 15-10. At Voortrekker on Thursday afternoon the local side came back well from being 0-8 down at half- time to lose 6-11. Juan Lyke converted two penalties for the home side. If Vories had won more clean ball they could well have won the game.

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