Mike Hill

2011-05-31 00:00

IT was a weekend without big surprises, but only three major games took place with the independent schools taking a break last weekend. The one minor surprise was the big loss by Maritzburg College against the top school in the country, Affies.

DURBAN HIGH SCHOOL 5 vs Glenwood 19

An FNB Classic Clash match that was played on Friday evening under lights at DHS saw only one try scored by either side. Both tries were scored in a competitive first half. Glenwood played with good intensity, but playing under lights restricted much flare among their three quarters.

Siyabonge Tom put Glenwood into an early lead with a penalty and then, with DHS on attack, an intercept by wing Dylan Coulson saw him running about 60 metres to score and with Tom’s successful conversion, Glenwood led 10-0.

The DHS front row stood up well against the KZN Craven Week front row and when the home side won ball, Brendan Cope used it intelligently to keep DHS on the front foot. Mbembe Payi was also a constant threat from the back. The two KZN players combined well for the DHS try. Cope picked up the ball on the half way, grubbered through a gap in the defence and with the ball sitting up kindly­, Payi, who had followed up, gathered and ran 20 metres to score.

With half-time looming, Tom increased the Glenwood lead to 13-5 with his third successful kick. The second half saw both sides having to defend manfully and it was only two penalties by Tom that completed the scoring to give Glenwood a hard-fought 19-5 win.

Affies 55 vs Maritzburg College 7

The upset was not that Affies had beaten College, but it was the margin of the win. Affies is ranked as the top side in the country, but if College had not made the mistakes they did, then four of the tries scored from counter- attacks would likely not have been scored. Playing against a side of the calibre of Affies needed all College players to be at their best.

College did not capitulate and they tried right until the final whistle, but the size and pace of their opposition meant that first-time tackles had to be made before the opposition players had picked up their momentum, after which they were much more difficult to stop. The big Affies front row was well held by the comparative diminutive College three, who came out of the game with a lot of credit.

At the break, Affies led 27-0 after three tries and two penalties. Where College struggled was gaining possession, but when they did they put pressure on the Affies defence. Flyhalf Calvin Olley scored the College try after a good move which went to the wing and then back inside for Olley to go over. Matthew Phillips converted, but Affies replied almost immediately. Another four tries in the second half, the last coming again from a College­ mistake when on attack in the last minute of the game

Affies are a side that is at the top of their game and it is unlikely that there is a schools side that will beat them this year. College will be playing them on Goldstones next term.

Alexandra 5 vs Carter 15

The Carter forwards dominated the scrums and problems with Alex lineouts saw Carter winning more ball. It was the Alex backs who were exciting and if their handling had been better the result could have been different. Neither side had a kicker they could depend on as some simple kicks were missed.

Carter opened the scoring in the 20th minute when they mauled from a lineout, and hooker Kwezi Khanyosi scored. Later in the half Carter players were kept out by strong Alex defence and when Alex broke free a mistake would see them under pressure again. Carter’s second try went to centre Manyoni Nhlakenipho against the run of play. He broke through some weak attempted tackles to score under the posts, but again the kick was missed. Carter then led 10-0 at the break.

In the second half, Alex was guilty of kicking possession away, perhaps caused by the frustration of some poor handling when they did run with the ball. Carter’s third try came from a scrum when scrumhalf Brandon Goldstone scored on the blind side.

Probably the first movement where there was not a handling mistake, saw the ball reach Alex’s Ndungu Mbona on the wing and he broke inside to score.

OTHER RESULTS

(home side first)

Westville 10 Kes 21 (reported as ‘Match of the Day’ on Monday); Northwood 31 Hillcrest 3; George Campbell 19 Port Natal 15; Kloof 5 Werda 17; St Henrys 26 Amanzimtoti 13; Kingsway 7 Crawford LL 24; Wartburg 8 Linpark 12; Greytown 7 Weston 12

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