Spectators thrilled by Balgowan try fest

2008-04-27 00:00

A beautiful autumnal afternoon and some vintage tries by both Michaelhouse and Kearsney richly entertained more than 3 000 spectators at Balgowan at the weekend.

During the first half, the lead changed several times and it was only in the last quarter that Michaelhouse stormed ahead to secure a 58-37 win.

Thirteen tries and surely a record 97 points in 70 minutes were scored and referee Andrew Nicholson must also take some credit in allowing excellent advantage.

Yes, there were some glitches in both defences, but Kearsney were ultimately beaten by the pace of the Michaelhouse backline.

At half-time, Michaelhouse led 27-23 and were perhaps fortunate at this stage, as Kearsney had more of the possession and territory.

The Kearsney forwards had the better of the rucks and at the tackle situations, as well as shading the lineouts, but when the home side won good ball and spread it, they invariably scored. Towards the end of the match, with the Kearsney forwards tiring, Michaelhouse gained ascendancy in the scrums and their pack finished the stronger.

The first eight minutes saw Kearsney dominating and going 6-0 up, due to two penalties by flyhalf Warren Seals. When Michaelhouse won possession, they moved the ball and flyhalf Reef Nakin scored for Patrick Lambie to convert (7-6).

From kick-off, Michaelhouse again swung the ball until prop Gary Mann used his bulk to go over for Lambie to convert (14-6). Seals goaled another penalty and Kearsney then scored their first try, with right wing Sanile Mpanza running down the touch line, kicking ahead, gathering and scoring. Seals put the visitors 16-14 ahead with the conversion, but Lambie put Michaelhouse back in front with a penalty and the lead was stretched to 22-16 when hooker Martin Blore showed good pace, passing to Ruan Combrink, who dived over in the corner.

Kearsney went back into the lead with just two minutes remaining before the break, when replacement U16 fullback Andrew Holland evaded three tackles to score under the cross bar, but Lambie then scored a fine individual try for his side to lead 27-23 at half-time.

Two Michaelhouse tries came in the first five minutes of the second half, the first to Mann and then Lambie for the 39-23 lead. Kearsney flank Matthew Sprague went over unchallenged from a lineout, converted by Seals (39-30).

Lambie, after combining with Combrink again, went over for his third try (44-30), but Kearsney flank Jay Faure scored a converted try (44-37).

Two minutes later, Nakin made the break for Lambie to score his fourth try in the corner and Combrinck converted from the corner to take the home side past the 50 points.

Combrinck sealed the win and added the angled conversion for the final 58 points to Michaelhouse.

Lambie scored a personal tally of 29 points and Combrinck 14 points, for the home side, in the exhilarating exhibition of running rugby, while Seals notched up 17 points for Kearsney.

Other weekend results:

Hilton 23 St Charles 3; Westville 14 Parktown 8; Grey College 72 Maritzburg College 7; George Campbell 38 St Henrys 8

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