MHS finish with a flourish at Hilton

2009-06-22 00:00

A FITTING end to the rugby season, particularly if you are a Michaelhouse supporter, saw the visitors winning 40-20 on Gilfillan at Hilton. A large crowd of over 5 000 were enthralle­d by some exciting play. As in the first match of this term, Hilton had more of the possession, particularly in the second half, but just couldn’t get across the line when it counted.

Referee Chris Healey probably had an influence on the result, as Hilton were heavily penalised in the tackle, but Michaelhouse often infringed on the off side line at the rucks and usually got away with it. Healey did allow play to flow with good advantage, which led to a good running game.

The match was anybody’s game until the 27th minute in the second half, with no points having been scored since the 19-13 lead by Michaelhouse at the break. In the space of seven minutes, Michaelhouse scored three tries. This added to the three tries by the visitors in the first half. Hilton scored two tries in the first half and one in the second.

The match started and finished with a flourish, with four tries in the first quarter and then four tries in the last 10 minutes. It was flyhalf Reef Nakin who kept Michaelhouse moving forward with intelligent angled kicks. The flair of some of the Michaelhouse play, particularly Nakin, together with their more expansive play, carried the day, against the more predictable pattern by Hilton.

Two minutes into the game, Nakin scored a try after Michaelhouse won the ball. A few minutes later, Hilton won a Michaelhouse lineout, swung the ball and Craig Berrange took a gap to dive over under the poles. Josh Negri converted and Hilton was 7-5 ahead.

Michaelhouse went back into the lead after Nakin kicked into the Hilton 22-metre area and when it was not taken cleanly, flank Oli Green was on hand to retrieve and ran through unchallenged to score. Hilton Mudariki added the extra points and shortly after Negri converted a Hilton penalty, for Michaelhouse to lead 12-10.

From a clean lineout ball won by Michaelhouse, Nakin again made a break to dot down next to the upright. Mudariki converted and the lead extended to 19-10. Negri converted his second penalty, to close the gap to 13-19.

After 25 minutes, came an amazing three-try blitz in the space of just six minutes. Wing Dean Strachan ran 60 metres down the touchline to score, another angled kick by Nakin saw Patrick Howard dot down and then Nakin again kicked towards the touchline for wing Erik Wiehe-Lagesse to round the defence to score.

Mudariki converted all three tries for the visitors to more than double their score to 40 points. A Hilton try in the 35th minute was scored by Michael Nolden and with Negri converting, resulting in a 20-40 loss.

Kearsney 23 Maritzburg College 22, Glenwood 29 Westville 14; St Charles 16 Voortrekker 10; Hillcrest 16 Kloof 8; Werda 33 New Forest 0

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