KZN sides fare well at festival

2014-04-08 00:00

GREY PE’S rugby festival from March 28 to April 2 attracted 24 schools from around the country, including five from KwaZulu-Natal — DHS, Kearsney College, Glenwood, Westville Boys’ High School and Michaelhouse.

On reflection, the KZN sides acquitted themselves well against some strong opposition, Westville and Glenwood winning all their games.

Westville Boys’ High School

After a bumpy start to their season before the school holidays, Westville used the tournament to iron out some difficulties, working better as a team in notching three wins.

WBHS 20 Marlow 10

Taking on Marlow Landbou from Craddock in the Eastern Cape first up, Westville started well against a rugged, physical team.

Tries from forwards Nathan Meilhon and Jordan Els ensured a comfortable 14-0 lead although Marlow came back well to reduce the deficit to four points midway through the second half with a try from Nelius van Heerden. Gerhard Potgieter added a conversion and penalty.

Westville captain Kyan Braithwaite, however, kept his side in front with two penalties to close out the game.

WBHS 27 Queens College 7

A bright start by Westville saw centre Donovan Pieters and flyhalf Braithwaite cross the whitewash. Queens came back with a try of their own from Duncan Mureguzi, converted by Leroy Kuyler before the break but in the second period, further Westville tries from Adrian Heystek and Meilhon sealed a comfortable win.

WBHS 22 HTS Louis Botha 8

Having beaten Kingswood and SACS at the festival, Louis Botha were high in confidence going into this game.

However, sticking to their successful formula of taking the game to the opposition early on, Westville again reaped the benefits with tries from Brandon Warner, Braithwaite and Meilhon.

Looking good in open play, Louis Botha were on the board when Shiwin Cupido dotted down but their only other points came from a Cupido penalty.

In the second half, Westville scored their fourth try courtesy of Juan Anderson, and Braithwaite added one conversion.

Glenwood High School

The “Green Machine” played two matches at the festival, winning both to be recognised as one of the strongest outfits on the field. They remain unbeaten this season but still have a long, tough season ahead.

Glenwood 23 Bishops 11

With a 16-hour bus trip and no opportunity to train before the game, the odds were stacked against the Durban side. Playing with control and discipline, Glenwood soon had points on the board, Morné Joubert slotting three penalties. A try from prop Kenny van Niekerk stretched the lead as the Durban boys changed ends 16-6 ahead, Bishops’ points coming from penalties by Kennan Jacobs.

Tightening their grip in the second half, Glenwood scored their second try, rounding off a driving maul for Percy Mngadi to add five points. Joubert added the two points and with a comfortable lead, Glenwood rang the changes as “bus lag” took hold, allowing Bishops a late try through Matt Jordan.

Glenwood 20 Jeppe 14

In a tough, physical clash, both sides kept the game tight, Jeppe scoring first when Sibu Nkosi made the most of a line break. Ampie Hartley converted and the score started Glenwood’s engine as they responded with a try from a driving maul when flank James Venter cross the line. Joubert converted and it was all square at 7-7.

Fullback Joubert added a penalty and tries from himself and flyhalf Curtis Jonas rounded off Glenwood’s scoring. Hartley added a penalty for Jeppe.

Durban High School

It was a tough festival for the Durban lads, who lost all three of their fixtures, though they did appear to get stronger from game to game.

DHS 8 Pretoria Boys’ High 39

This was always going to be a difficult start to the festival for DHS, who were up against it from the first whistle until the last. A courageous display meant that they could leave the field with heads held high.

MJ du Plessis scored DHS’s only try of the game, while Le Roux van Zyl kicked a solitary penalty.

DHS 17 King Edward 20

DHS came back stronger on day two of the festival, and came within a whisker of causing an upset over a traditionally strong KES outfit.

The Natalians managed to cross the whitewash twice through Nkululeko Ndlovu and Sisanda Ndebele, while Van Zyl slotted both conversions as well as a penalty.

DHS 14 SACS 24

This was a match that DHS would have eyed as a potential win, but it wasn’t to be as they slumped to their third successive loss of the festival. They scored two tries once again, through Bheki Mkhwanazi and Dean Roberts, while Van Zyl was once again good for both conversions.

Michaelhouse

The festival started well for the Midlands lads with a convincing victory over the Eastern Cape’s Queens College. But two narrow losses followed, although enough was seen to suggest that Michaelhouse will have a competitive side this year.

Michaelhouse 18 Queens 3

It was a clash in which Michaelhouse appeared confident from start to finish. Two tries were scored through Jason Schwegmann, one of which was converted by Bader Pretorius, while Pretorious stretched the lead with two penalties.

Michaelhouse 10 Graeme College 12

A closely contested affair, a single try from Thomas Walker was not enough to seal victory for Michaelhouse over their Grahamstown opposition. Pretorius did land the conversion as well as a penalty, but Graeme’s two tries would prove the difference.

Michaelhouse 7 Grey PE 10

The odds were stacked against Michaelhouse for this, the final match of the festival against the hosts. It was a match that could have gone either way, and in the end it finished two tries to one in favour of the hosts. Michaelhouse’s only score of the game came through Bradley Roberts, with Pretorius landing the conversion, while both of Grey’s tries went unconverted.

Kearsney College

Kearsney only played two matches at the festival, missing out on the third and final day, and left Port Elizabeth with a win and a loss. They also played against the hosts, but did not come close to causing an upset.

Kearsney 7 Grey PE 23

Tristian Tedder scored all of the points for Kearsney in the main game on the opening day of the festival, but it was never going to be enough against a Grey PE side that scored no less than three tries on their way to a comfortable win.

Kearsney 21 Pretoria Boys’ High 17

It was a fantastic recovery from the Kearsney lads on day two against equally tough opposition in the form of the physical PBHS. They were again outscored, this time three tries to two, but through the boot of Tedder they were able to finish the match on top. James Hall and Stefan Harris scored tries for Kearsney, one of which was converted by Tedder. Hall also landed a penalty to add to his points tally, while Tedder added two penalties of his own.

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