Historic victory for Hilton over Maritzburg College

2013-06-04 00:00

ON a day of summer temperatures and a blustery Berg wind blowing, it was not easy for school rugby players, particularly for the games that took place in the early afternoon.

Despite the conditions, there were some exciting encounters and superb tries scored.

Hilton 38

Maritzburg College 22

This was Hilton’s day, winning against their oldest rugby opponents for the first time in 40 years on their home ground, Gilfillan. It was a good game with plenty of running, bone-crunching tackles, intelligent tactical kicking and good sportmanship.

Did last week’s magnificent game take too much out of College? No, but with five players drafted into the side on Saturday morning due to illness to regulars, it was not going to be easy. This is not to take anything away from Hilton’s victory as they were the better team on the day and deserved their win.

Much credit must go to Hilton captain, Cameron Wright, who identified the difficulty of catching a high ball in the swirling wind and looking into the sun in the second half and Gary Owens certainly kept Hilton going forward, as the College back three struggled to gather these perfectly placed high bombs. The tight exchanges were evenly contested, but both sides struggled with their lineout throws in the wind.

An early Hilton attack caught College by surprise, with two tries being scored by Hilton in the first five minutes. The first from a maul, where 12 Hilton players forced it close to the tryline and from which Wright darted over from the back. The second came from a ruck close to the touchline following the kickoff and Hilton eighth man, Nqobi Maseko, sprinted down the blind side breaking two tackles to score in the corner and put the home side 10-0 up.

Another four tries were scored in the half. College flyhalf Jason Alexander got over and he converted to narrow the gap. Hard-working Hilton lock Jason Gouws then ran 25 metres, brushing off defenders, to score the third Hilton try under the poles and the conversion by Wright kept Hilton a score ahead. College came back when replacement No 8 Gavin Geach scored against the upright, again converted by Alexander. On the stroke of half time, Wright got over for his second from behind a ruck, after a quick assessment of the College defence. This time the conversion sailed through from close to the touchline. This left the half time score 24-14.

It was Maseko again that ran 60 metres after fielding the kick off and he was tackled just short, but from the tackle Hilton were awarded a penalty which Wright converted.

But College bounced back when scrumhalf Lukas Booysen, standing at the front of the lineout in the Hilton 22 metre area, passed back to hooker Masikane Mazwe who dived over. Alexander added the two points and then a penalty shortly after, the gap was narrowed to 22-27.

Wright kicked two further penalties, one a long-range angled kick and then a clever diagonal kick through the College defence by flyhalf Justin Sacks was dived on by centre Alistair Rayner, for the convincing 38-22 win by the home side.

St Charles 29

Northwood 24

The match was expected to be close and on their Old Boys’ day, the St Charles boys pulled out all the stops to secure a victory. It was an entertaining game with eight tries scored — four by each side. Some dogged defence by the home side prevented Northwood scoring in the last five minutes when they camped in the St Charles red zone.

The refereeing left both sides frustrated at times, but the midday heat and wind made it difficult for the players, leading to unnecessary mistakes. Both teams also missed a number of penalty attempts.

At half time St Charles led 15-12 with two tries apiece and a penalty by Morné Hamman giving St Charles the edge. Fullback Thando Dlamini scored the first try followed by wing Paul Jacobs with the latter converted by Hamman. The two Northwood tries were scored by centres Philo Sobahle and David Weersma.

In the second half Northwood scored another two through flyhalf Sassa Makhanya and fullback James Wittstock with Makahanya converting one. Centre Blake Mingay and wing Gareth Bell scored for the home side with Hamman adding the two points.

Westville 21

Michaelhouse 17

Michaelhouse did well to hold a Westville unit on their home ground. Westville had been too eager to score points rather than being patient and waiting for the opportunity. They certainly got close, but mistakes prevented a number of tries being scored.

The scrambled defence of Michaelhouse worked well and despite Westville looking dangerous with ball in hand, only three tries were scored, all in the first half. Michaelhouse replied with two converted tries, but most of their attacking moves came from Westville mistakes.

The three first-half tries were scored by No 8 Zane Weir, prop Jonty Osborne and scrumhalf Kyan Braithwaite. In the second half it was two replacement wings, Brandon Landsberg and Barrie Forrester-Smith, who scored. Michael Bouwer kicked the penalty and the two conversions.

Glenwood 20

Monument 26

The heavy Monument pack eventually got the better of Glenwood, winning more possession.

Glenwood had the better of the first quarter where Corné Vermaak scored a try, converted and then added a penalty to take a 10-point lead. Monnas struck back with their dynamic eighth man Wiehan Jacobs scoring a try and centre Stefan le Roux going over, both converted by Gerdus van der Walt for the visitors to lead 14-10 at the break.

An early penalty by Vermaak narrowed the gap to one point, but Monument were making most of the play and fortunately for Glenwood handling mistakes prevented further score until Jacobs scored his second with eight minutes remaining. This was converted by van der Walt before centre Francisco du Toit scored a five-pointer.

Other results: Kearsney 74 DHS 6; Clifton 26 Pinetown 10; Kingsway 3 Port Shepstone 40; Kloof 10 St Henrys 26; Treverton 22 Wartburg 19; Port Natal 30 Voortrekker 9; Crawford LL 54 Scottburgh 5; Ladysmith 10 Weston.

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