KZN boys in top form

2014-08-05 00:00

THERE were no signs of travel weariness for Glenwood and Maritzburg College at the weekend as they notched up impressive wins against Affies and Pretoria Boys’ High School (PBHS).

Both sides travelled across the Vaal River and put one over their hosts in ­morale-boosting wins. For Glenwood, victory against Affies was sweet, while College were always ahead of a game PBHS side.

College 35 PBHS 18

Buoyed by their win against Affies the previous week, College started favourites against PBHS.

Both sides started at a frenetic pace, PBHS coming hard at the visitors. While College dominated early possession, PBHS climbed in at the breakdown, ensuring College didn’t have everything their own way.

However, College retained their composure to score first, hooker Mas Mazwi going over in the corner after good phase play. Centre Marcel Coetzee converted and College were 7-0 to the good.

Strangely, that was College’s lot for the first half as the remaining 30 minutes saw both sides try gain the ascendancy in a war of attrition.

College had to call on their defensive skills to keep the hosts from crossing the line, although two penalties saw the sides change ends with College ahead 7-6.

Clean possession and tightening up on attack was what College needed to execute in the second half and the lads hit the ground running. As in the first half, they were rewarded with an early try by flank Goi le Roux, Coetzee adding the extra points (14-6).

PBHS knew they had to respond before College scored again to put the match out of reach and they came hard at the KZN side. Poor defence and mistakes played into PBHS’s hands and two soft tries were conceded, College suddenly on the back foot.

With 15 minutes on the clock, College were 14-18 down and it was time to change gear and think clearly.

Kicking for the corner while keeping PBHS pinned in their own half, College were held up over the line three times. Something had to give and Coetzee eventually burst through to score next to the posts (21-18).

Attacking from the restart, College again sucked defenders into the rucks and Coetzee scored his second try as he beat the scrambled defence (28-18).

With PBHS tiring, College went for the kill, attacking down the left of the field. Quick ball from the ruck was taken up by the forwards and College went right. Le Roux was put into space to score and Coetzee converted for the 35-18 win.

“The score was perhaps not fair on PBHS who gave their all. It was encouraging to see College have the belief and patience to do the hard work to win,” said College coach Ryan Strudwick.

Glenwood 36 Affies 22

After their loss to Grey Bloem the previous week, Glenwood had a point to prove against Affies. They were playing away from home and they wanted to break the run of success the Gauteng side had enjoyed against them in recent years.

They returned home with mission accomplished, getting their first win against Affies since 2008.

From the start, Glenwood showed their attacking intent.

They were rewarded with two penalties, both slotted by flyhalf Curtis Jonas, to enjoy a 6-0 advantage. Enjoying the bulk of possession and territory, it was a matter of time before Glenwood crossed the whitewash, centre Sphamandla Ngcobo obliging. This came after good work from loose-head prop Kenny van Niekerk who linked with the backs, allowing Ngcobo to break loose.

Jonas missed the conversion but an 11-0 lead had set the tone for the “Green Machine”. Having tasted success, ­Ngcobo wanted more and he duly delivered with his second try after the forwards had set the platform.

Affies finally got on the board with a penalty (16-3) as half time beckoned.

Not satisfied with the work done and with time still on the clock, Glenwood hit back once more. SA Schools player and number eight Jaco Coetzee found himself in space, with support from Van Niekerk.

Keeping the momentum, Van Niekerk offloaded to open side flanker James Venter who went in for the Durban side’s third five-pointer. Jonas converted for a healthy 23-3 lead.

On the stroke of half time, Affies made use of a lineout close to Glenwood’s line, scoring a try from a rolling maul (23-8).

Although Glenwood looked a little tired in the second half, they extended their advantage when Venter scored his second try, crashing over from a line out maul (28-8).

Jonas added another penalty (31-8) and the Affies supporters were getting restless.

Spreading the ball wide, Affies then tested Glenwood’s defence, scoring two converted tries to suddenly be in contention at 31-22.

Digging deep, Glenwood kept Affies at bay and rubbed salt in the wound right on the final whistle. Opting to kick for touch from a penalty, Glenwood won the line out, mauling the ball over the line for Venter to claim the try and his hat-trick.

“We played well but allowed them to come back at us in the second half,” said Glenwood coach Rudi Dames. “This weekend we have College in Pietermaritzburg. It’s going to be a humdinger.”

This Saturday is massive for College as they welcome Glenwood to Goldstones. Having lost 27-14 at Glenwood in May, the home side will want to right their wrong.

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