College defeated at reunion in Balgowan

2010-05-03 00:00

GAVIN Ross, coach of Michaelhouse and a Maritzburg College old boy, said last week that he would have to pull a rabbit out of the hat when Michaelhouse play against Maritzburg College.

This Michaelhouse certainly did, as they surprisingly but deservedly beat College 19-13 in a great game of rugby at the Michaelhouse Old Boys’ Reunion.

This is also the third year in succession that Michaelhouse have beaten College, the first time in over 70 years. It was a fairly common occurrence from 1900 to 1936 that Michaelhouse had three or four successive wins, but it has not happened since 1936.

Two of the three tries scored by the winners came from the talented three-quarters using their pace, and the last from a Michaelhouse maul after a lineout.

College scored two tries, with only the one from a forward.

The College forwards were stronger, but the Michaelhouse pack raised their game and fought fire with fire, particularly in the second half.

There was plenty of movement in the game, making it pleasing to watch, helped by some good refereeing by Kamal Rugbar.

Even the Michaelhouse old boys would agree that the match could easily have been won by College, if it had not been for their handling errors, which often occurred within striking distance of the try line.

This could have been due to over-eagerness, or simply the result of pressure exerted by Michaelhouse.

At half time, College led 8-5 after an early penalty and try to College to a late try to Michaelhouse. Keelin Bastew converted the penalty and the try went to fullback Calvin Olley, who beat the defence with a good run.

Just before the drinks break, a conventional line movement found fullback Michael Watson on the outside, and his pace beat the College defence, to score an unconverted try in the corner.

In the second half, Michaelhouse won good ball at a lineout and the ball went quickly to centre Patrick Howard, who used his pace to beat a number of tackles in a 45 m run to dot down under the poles. Hilton Mudariki took the easy two-pointer and a 12-8 lead.

The home side increased their lead seven minutes later, when a lineout close to the College try line was won cleanly and the maul advanced, to enable scrumhalf Mudariki to get the touchdown. He converted to make it 19-8.

From the kickoff, College forced a lineout that they drove and when it collapsed they kept possession through three phases, with lock Lungelo Chonco finally bullocking his way to the line. The conversion went wide but the gap had narrowed to 13-19. An agonising 20 minutes remained, with no change to the score.

Other results: Hilton 22 DHS 22; Glenwood 21 Kearsney 17; Westville 58 George Campbell 9; Pionier 31 St Charles 6; Weston 39 Voortrekker 0; Howick 12 Thomas More 12; Carter 19 Wartburg 10.

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