Muddy fields play havoc with schools rugby fixtures

2013-05-14 00:00

THE weather again had a major influence on school rugby on Saturday.

Many schools cancelled games because of waterlogged fields after heavy overnight and morning rain.

Some curtailed fixtures allowing only the “A” teams and top open sides to play, while at other schools the games did go on. Unfortunately, the much-anticipated tie between Westville and Kearsney was cancelled.

Glenwood 21 Hilton 9

With pools of water lying on areas of Dixon’s at Glenwood, it was better suited for duck-diving than rugby. The home side tried to swing the ball at every opportunity, but this was not the style to be used in the muddy conditions.

Hilton kicked for territory and kept pressure on Glenwood, who made many handling mistakes.

Much credit must go to the Hilton captain Cameron Wright, who used his powerful kicking from the base of scrums and rucks to keep his side going forward. Hilton locks Christian Wiessing and Jayson Gouws dominated the lineouts, but as with Glenwood, it was handling that cost them two possible tries in the first half.

Wright kicked two penalties to put the visitors 6-0 ahead.

Glenwood continued to play enterprising rugby, also getting close to the goal line on a few occasions.

A passage of good play towards the end of the half led to a penalty, converted by fullback Corné Vermaak, to take them into the break 3-6 behind.

In the second half, Glenwood began to play more for territory and Hilton lost some of their composure. The field conditions had also deteriorated with much of the game played in the midfield. The home side came closer to scoring with two penalties by Vermaak putting them 9-6 in front.

Hilton’s mauling, which has been a feature of their game, saw a penalty awarded for illegal pulling down by Glenwood from which Wright brought the scores level. Glenwood had not given up on moving the ball and with seven minutes remaining Vermaak scored from his own 22 metre area after Glenwood had set up some good phase ball. This was not converted, but the home side had scored a try to put them 14-9 in front.

Hilton again put pressure on Glenwood and another successful maul was legally stopped just short of the Glenwood tryline. From there Glenwood moved the ball and right wing Morné Joubert made tracks down the touchline, passing inside to Vermaak who dived over in the corner and this time he sent the ball through the uprights for the Glenwood 21-9 win.

Vermaak scored all 21 points for Glenwood, missing just the one conversion kick, also from the corner.

Maritzburg College 23

Michaelhouse 9

Rain had stopped earlier in the day, but the centre of Goldstones was muddy. There was also some light drizzle during the match and this did lead to numerous errors by both teams.

In addition, the game was spoilt by numerous penalties awarded by the referee, which did not allow the game to flow. Defence by both teams was good and it was difficult to get over the tryline.

College started off strongly, camping in the Michaelhouse half. The first points came 10 minutes into the game when fullback Kelvin Elder added the extra man in the backline to take the gap and dot down with Marcel Coetzee adding the extra points.

The College forwards were dominating the scrums and rucks, with their opposition heavily penalised.

Midway through the half, Coetzee put College further ahead with a penalty. Michael Bouwer replied for Michaelhouse to put them on the board with three points.

A missed penalty from straight in front could have re-established a 10-point margin for the home side, but they had to wait until five minutes from half-time when a good movement saw flank Hayden Tharratt dive over in the corner. The conversion was not successful and College went into half-time deservedly 15-3 in front.

Conditions worsened and the whistle saw little continuous play after the break. A penalty by Coetzee to two by Bouwer left the score 18-9 by the 50th minute. Michaelhouse were getting stronger as College gave away more penalties. With just over 10 minutes to go a quickly-taken tap penalty saw Bernard le Roux scramble over for a five-pointer. Michaelhouse did their best to score in the last few minutes, but College defence held them up and gave them a 23-9 win.

St Charles 16 St Albans 37

This was always going to be a difficult game for the home side. The field was muddy and the heavy St Alban’s forwards made it even more difficult. St Charles were outplayed in all aspects in the first half.

Some harsh words by coach Adrian Simmons at half-time changed their attitude and they came out a changed team, so much so that they outscored St Albans in the second half.

Down 6-34 at the break it appeared as if the Pretoria visitors would win the game by well over 50 points.

In the first half St Albans ran in five tries, some well worked, but others due to weak tackling by St Charles.

Three were scored by forwards who were difficult to stop, but the two by backline players should have been defended. Two penalties were slotted by Morné Hamman for the home side.

In the second half, St Charles had far more of the possession and territory, putting more pressure on their opponents who had landed an early penalty to lead 37-6.

St Charles were able to score two tries, the first from a tap penalty that was spread quickly to wing Gareth Bell who went over in the corner.

The second came from a good counter-attack from deep in their own half when centre Blake Mingay made good ground to dive over in the corner.

Other results: George Campbell 18 Voortrekker 3;

Kingsway 0 Thomas More 43; Werda 12 Gelofte 26

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