Surprises and hard-fought games

2011-05-24 00:00

THERE were surprises among the top KZN schools, none more so than the surprising defeat of Glenwood by Northwood. Reported yesterday in The Witness as “Match of the Day” the defeat of Westville by Maritzburg College­ was another.

Northwood 9 Glenwood 8

Northwood, long considered to be one of the weaker teams among the bigger boys’ schools, managed to beat Glenwood by a point, the first time they have beaten Glenwood since 1988.

Glenwood’s physical approach was matched by Northwood and although the visitors had the better of possession, the Northwood defence stood tall and prevented Glenwood getting over their tryline in the first half. The Glenwood ball was often disrupted by Northwood, with the two loosies, James Hall and Adrian Verbiest, working particularly hard.

At half-time the sides were locked at 3-3, following penalties by Northwood’s Raymond Simon, who missed three others and Siyabonga Tom for Glenwood.

Glenwood pressurised the home side in the second half with waves of attacks that spread downfield, but Northwood managed to repress them. Often the Glenwood players gave away penalties at vital stages and Northwood kicked themselves out of danger. Wade Worthington kicked a penalty on the rare occasion of Northwood getting into the Glenwood half.

When wing Craig Geldenhuys did score in the corner to put Glenwood 8-6 in front, it was expected that the flood gates would open with the amount of possession that Glenwood were getting. Northwood refused to lie down, however, and when Worthington slotted his second penalty Northwood went into the lead again.

The drama was not over as Glenwood were awarded a penalty within the last minute, but some indiscipline after the whistle prompted the referee­ to reverse the decision and Northwood were only too happy to kick the ball to touch, for a remarkable 9-8 victory.

St Charles 13 St Albans 17

The visitors outsized and outweighed St Charles, but the latter showed much courage in going down by just four points. During the first half St Albans had most of the possession, but St Charles did not let them score more than the one try which was converted. Burton Weakley converted a penalty for the home side to trail 3-7 at the break.

During the second half it was St Charles that did most of the running, but it was when they had 14 players on the field after a harsh yellow card for a spear tackle, which was rather a hard tackle, that St Albans got over for their second try by their number eight, one of the stars of the game, Dean Reid. Their scrum half, L. Afrika­, another good player, scored their third.

After being down 6-17, it was the home side that put on the most pressure towards the end of the game and they were rewarded when flank Jaryd Streicher­ scored from a ruck following a lineout. Weakley again converted, taking them to within four points of St Albans. Time ran out, but it was a brave display by the Maritzburg Saints.

St Johns 8 Michaelhouse 26

The first half was very competitive with both sides making probing runs, but it was a try to each side that gave Michaelhouse a slender 7-5 lead at the break. Centre David Brill went over for the visitors, which was converted by Thys Albertse to the unconverted try by St Johns.

In the second half, Michaelhouse cut down on some of the mistakes that had been made in the first half and they dominated play. In some entertaining rugby a further three tries were scored, two by wing Simon Margesson­ and one by scrumhalf Albertse­, two of which he converted. This gave Michaelhouse a comfortable 26-8 victory.

St Stithians 20 Kearsney 29

From the kick off Kearsney exerted great pressure and was awarded a penalty which was kicked to the corner for a lineout drive. The ball was adjudged to be held up and a five- metre­ scrum followed. After a miss-timed pass, the Saints fullback scooped the ball and ran the length of the field to score a converted try against the run of play. Ten minutes later, Kearsney executed a rehearsed move from a centre scrum and Matt Reece-Edwards scored, with James Lambert converting to draw level at 7-7.

Kearsney enjoyed territorial advantage but failed to add points to the tally. Saints broke into Kearsney’s half and they were awarded a penalty which was converted to take the half- time lead of 10-7.

Kearsney started the second half in similar fashion to the first, finding themselves in an attacking position when they were awarded a penalty, opting for the lineout from which flank Jean-Luc du Preez scored. The home side then slotted a long range penalty to secure a 13-12 lead.

Kearsney then dominated and Robert­ du Preez ran 30 metres to score before Sandile Kubeka scored, after Isolethu Ngidi had made the initial running. Saints second try again came from a Kearsney mistake at a lineout. Kearsney then scored their fifth try in the closing minutes of the game when captain Cullen Collopy succeeded with a well-executed try.

Five tries to two was convincing and with only two converted by James Lambert and at least two tries left on the table, it was a most convincing victory.

King Edward VII School 47 Hilton 0

King Edward VII School, as they have done in a number of games, scored two tries very quickly. The game then settled down and the home side dominated at the lineouts, but other phases of play were even with Hilton doing better in the scrums. At the break Kes led 26-0.

For the first 20 minutes of the second half Hilton did most of the running with both in possession and territorial advantage, but the home-side defence was well executed and Hilton could not get through.

Kes scored another three tries in the second half, all converted, to win the game 47-0.

Treverton 16 Greytown 10

Greytown went to the Founder’s Day at Treverton with the reputation of a fast-moving backline. The heavier Treverton forwards dominated possession in the first half and with two penalties by Kendall Nowlan and a conversion of Phila Maya’s try, they led 13-0 at half time.

Greytown were quick to react to a mistake by Treverton and scored their first try. Nowlan then converted his third penalty, for the home side to lead 16-5. The Greytown scrumhalf then sniped through the defence to score under the poles, but they missed the simple conversion. Treverton were probably quite relieved that the final whistle blew, giving them a hard- fought win.

OTHER SCORES (home side first):

Maritzburg College 25 Westville 13; DHS 46 Port Natal 7; Hillcrest 34 Carter 10; Howick 15 Alexandra 13; Kloof 29 Kingsway 7; Crawford LL 40 Crawford NC 5.

The final trial for KZN U18 and U16 teams from the players named yesterday will take place at Woodburn today at 1 pm.

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