replacements help win the day for injury-hit maritzburg college

2011-05-23 00:00

COLLEGE on Saturday fought hard for a tight victory over Westville, after losing two successive games against KES and then Kearsney.

The five replacements in the College side, due to injuries, all made valuable contributions in the game.

The first half of the match was keenly contested but devoid of much excitement. In the tight phases the two sides were evenly matched with neither gaining an advantage. Westville loose forwards, with Jackson Buthelezi particularly prominent, were quicker to the loose ball. The backlines probed but the defences prevented them making many inroads.

Matthew Phillips succeeded with a penalty about midway through the first half to give College a 3-0 lead. Westville missed two attempts at the poles, but with five minutes remaining before the break, they opted to kick for a line­out from a penalty rather than going for the three points.

From the following maul, eighth man Edward O’Neil, drove over from the fringe to score and take Westville into a 5-3 lead at half time. This and the instruction from the coaches at half time galvanised College and in the third minute of the half they swept upfield with some good handling by backs and forwards to fullback Jesse Kriel, who broke through a number of tackles to score for an easy conversion by Phillips. This put College into a 10-5 lead.

This sparked the game and there was some more enterprising play by both sides. Calvin Olley — switched to flyhalf from fullback where he had played in the earlier games — started to take control and for the first time this season, Olley kicked for position rather than trying to run out of trouble.

If there was a weakness in the College defence it was round the fringes of the rucks, which scrumhalf Dylan Marcus exploited and he — together with Buthelezi — made much ground at times.

However the College cover defence managed to prevent them reaching the tryline.

A Phillips penalty put College into a 13-5 lead, which was then narrowed to 13-8 by Keagan Boulle in his fourth attempt at the poles. In the 25th minute it was Buthelezi that scored for Westville after the defence had not closed him down. The conversion was missed and the sides were level at 13 all with 10 minutes remaining. At that stage the score was a fair reflection of the game.

College then started taking control and with three minutes remaining, the continued pressure exerted by College told and wing Lwazi Sithole went over in the corner. Phillips converted from the touchline and College led 20-13. In the final minute with Westville’s heads dropping, the Kriel twins combined well with centre Daniel scoring. This easier conversion went wide but College had deservedly won 25-13.

It was a far better College display than last week, which will build their confidence ahead of some tough fixtures to come.

Other available scores:

St Albans 17 St Charles 13; Kearsney 29 St Stithians 20; Northwood 9 Glenwood 8; KES 47 Hilton 0; DHS 46 Port Natal 7; Kloof 29 Kingsway 7.

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