Rugby: Hilton claw their way to victory against michaelhouse before huge crowd

2011-05-10 00:00

THE traditional rivalry between Hilton and Michaelhouse drew a crowd of between 7 000 and 8 000 spectators crowded around the Gilfillan ground.

The game will be remembered for the excitement generated as Hilton clawed their way into the lead, after Michaelhouse had led for all but the last eight minutes of the match.

If there had been a favourite before the game it was probably Hilton as the results and achievements that they have set are marginally better than those of their visitors.

It was, however, Michaelhouse who used most of the possession in the first half to better effect, particularly the three-quarters, who ran with pace. Hilton looked almost lethargic in comparison, but to their credit the Hilton defence prevented any tries being scored.

The forward exchanges were even, but at the base of the scrum and rucks it was livewire scrumhalf Thys Albertse and flyhalf Austin Lockington who kept Michaelhouse going forward and Hilton having to do most of the defending.

At half-time Michaelhouse led 9-3 with two long-range penalties by Albertse­ and a more angled one by Michael Mvelase to one by Jason Shield for Hilton just before the break.

Hilton attacked early in the second half, but they could not score and it was Michaelhouse who put together a few sharp passes after a lineout which ended when eighth man Joshua­ Moon went over in the corner­.

Albertse continued to be a thorn in the Hilton defence with some darting runs, as the visitors continued with the pressure in the third quarter. A Shield penalty doubled­ Hilton’s score going into the final quarter of the match.

Hilton then upped their game and from a scrum in their 22-metre area scrum-half Matthew Delport broke inside to wing Faria Musasike who gained a lot of ground before passing to fullback Calvin Smith. He showed a clean pair of heels to score under the posts. Shield converted and the gap had narrowed to 13-14. He then missed a penalty which would have given Hilton the lead.

With eight minutes remaining, Hilton carried the ball 15 metres in a maul following a line-out. The ball was passed to left wing Musasike on the blind side and he made the distance to score the winning try in the corner.

The last period had spectators on the edge of their seats but neither­ side could add to the score.

Hilton were not only jubilant but also relieved that they had won 18-14, the first win in this derby game since 2006, and Michaelhouse were bitterly disappointed in losing after doing most of the attacking in the game.

 

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