College come to the party against a gallant Kearsney on Reunion Day

2008-06-22 00:00

MARITZBURG College continued with their upward progress this season, spurred on by a large crowd of over 7 000 spectators, made up of a large number of their Old Boys, on the annual Reunion weekend.

Visitors Kearsney gave of their best but it was not enough to prevent College scoring seven tries to their two, in a 45-17 convincing win.

It certainly was not a classic in this FNB Classic clash, with moments of brilliance spoilt by handling mistakes.

The College forwards outplayed the opposition, with eighth man Kelvin Adam very prominent in a number of drives upfield, captain Shaun Hansmeyer at the breakdowns and Shaun Higgs in the depths of the tight-loose.

As the match progressed, so the threequarters increased in confidence and Kearsney defence did well at times, preventing the score from mounting even further.

It was College flyhalf Keelan Bastew, on debut, that was probably man of the match‚ with his distribution, breaks, tackling and kicking keeping College in the ascendancy.

It was Bastew that opened the scoring with an early penalty. Kearsney flank Keith Melley then scored from a scrum, with College defenders out of position. Warren Seals converted to put the visitors into a 7-3 lead. Five minutes later College prop Sibusiso Zwane, who showed a deft side step, scored from a lineout, to gain a slender lead.

College then started dominating, and after a Brett Young penalty they scored two tries in the last 9 minutes of the half.

A good handling move was started by Bastew and then finished by Mivuyo Majujabana, when he dived over close to the poles. Young converted to put his side 18-7 in front.

On the stroke of the half-time whistle, Adam was driven over by his forwards from a lineout, leaving the home side 23-7 leaders at the break.

Seals opened the scoring in the second half with a penalty for the visitors and then a few minutes later Bastew scored from a break, after the ball emerged quickly at a ruck, to put College 28-10 in front.

Keasney showed that they could match College, when hooker Minnie Bhengu scored from a maul following a lineout. Seals converted from the touchline to narrow the gap to 17-28.

As they did in the first half, College finished by dominating the last 15 minutes and scoring three tries.

A good 50-metre kick by Bastew found touch close to the Kearsney line and a fumble in the front of the lineout, allowed Higgs to react quickly to dive over for an unconverted try.

Following a break from Adam and a 30-metre run, he passed outside to a supporting Zwane who went over for his second try.

After a few minutes of pressure in the Kearsney 22-metre area, centre Jared Chiocchetti burst over and this time Andrew Norton converted successfully, giving College a 45-17 win.

There were many Old Boys, who had been critical of College at the St John’s Festival in Johannesburg at the beginning of the season, that would have been pleased with their commitment and general improvement against Kearsney. This will also give College confidence ahead of three tough fixtures against Glenwood, Pretoria Boys‚ and Westville next term.

Other scores: Westville 21 DHS 13; Wartburg 21 Carter 10; Glenwood 35 Voortrekker 3; Kloof 9 Hillcrest 5; Gelofte 30 Thomas More 12; St Charles 26 St Benedicts 21

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