Voortrekker lights up as night rugby kicks off

2013-02-19 00:00

HEAVY rain dampened proceedings at Voortrekker on Friday evening for the first round of the KFC School’s Night Rugby and the official switiching on of the lights around the main rugby ground.

Despite the rain, there was a comparatively good crowd watching the games from the shelter of umbrellas or huddled on the verandahs of the classroom block.

The first match was between Linpark and Greytown and this was stopped due to lightning early in the second half.

It continued once the storm had passed, but conditions were wet, which spoilt the handling. Greytown won the game with dominance shown by the three-quarters.

The rain and drizzle had stopped when the official party sat on the podium for the official switching on of the lights. The lights had been switched on for the completion of the earlier game and were switched off at the end of the game.

Jan Nel, principal of Voortrekker, outlined the importance of the school community in coming together to set up projects such as the floodlighting. He welcomed the Mayor of Msunduzi, Chris Ndlela, who switched on the lights officially after a short address.

This was followed by the game between Maritzburg College and Westville, a match that many of the crowd had come to see.

Although the heavens opened again, the rugby was not bad for the first match of the season for the two sides.

College dominated in the scrums and tight-loose, but the Westville backs looked as if they will again be a threat in future matches. Westville scored two tries to one by College.

In the final game, Voortrekker played against a second-string side from Westville, again while it was raining, and the first half was tight with both sides scoring a try.

In the second half, Westville’s superior skills came through and they scored two more tries.

Schools and any rugby below first division have to contend with new laws in setting of the scrum. These are in addition to other new laws which are being applied.

At U18 level, the heads of the front row have to meet ear to ear on the command “crouch”. In other words, they cannot be an arm’s length apart. On the command “bind”, the players in the scrum, particularly the front row, bind correctly, and on the command “scrum”, the scrumhalf must immediately put the ball into the tunnel.

In the three matches that were played, the scrums had to be reset more often than usual, perhaps because players and referees are not yet used to the new commands.

It appeared as if the side not putting in the ball had an advantage. It is early days yet and this will again be watched carefully.

On Friday, Linpark will play Westville II at 3.30 pm, followed by Voortrekker against Greytown, and at 7.30 pm College clash against Kearsney. The latter are expected to be one of the top sides this year.

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