College destroy Hilton on home turf

2011-05-02 00:00

THE plane trees at Hilton have just started to change colour and the crowd of about 3 000 around Gillfillan field on Saturday afternoon felt the autumn chill in the air. For the Hilton supporters there was still hope of a surprise win until the last quarter of the game.

When the final whistle sounded, Maritzburg College had scored three tries in the last 15 minutes to win comprehensively 37-12, after a half-time lead of 11-6.

Although the home side were still in with a chance until the last quarter of the game, College had dominated most aspects of play. Only in the line-outs did Hilton win slightly more than their share.

The hosts did have moments on attack when they put College under great pressure, but the defences held, and so Hilton had to be content with just four penalties, all converted by flyhalf Jason Shield.

If a number of final passes had gone to hand or not been forward, the score line could have been even bigger. The movement that broke the Hilton spirit was a moment of brilliance by scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer when he broke from behind a scrum on halfway line, ran through the Hilton defence, brushed off attempted tackles and dotted down under the posts. As he was placing the ball it fell from his hand and Hilton were awarded a five metre scrum. College forwards won the tight head and flyhalf Ethan Marais dived over under the posts. This converted try put College 18-9 in front.

Thereafter College dominated and the try of the match was scored by Ungerer after fullback Calvin Olley had initiated a counter-attack from a Hilton kick. He cut through the first few Hilton defenders and passed to centre Matthew Phillips, who jinxed his way through more Hilton players before the final pass to Ungerer, and this time he dotted down under the posts. Phillips converted and College led 25-12.

Phillips had scored all 11 points in the first half for College, with a try in the fourth minute and two penalties. Shield narrowed the gap with two penalties for Hilton. Early in the second half Shield added his third penalty for Hilton. This fired the Hilton side up and their tackling improved, preventing College from adding to their score, until the break by Ungerer.

In the last five minutes Ungerer scored his second try after the ball had passed through a number of hands, and then Marais got his brace after a 45-metre run down the touch line, evading the cover defence.

Phillips converted Ungerer’s try for a personal tally of 17 points in the College 37-12 win which included scoring five tries to none.


Other scores: Kearsney 15 Westville 12; Michaelhouse 27 St Charles 8; Glenwood 34 EG Jansen 22 (these will be reported on in tomorrow’s Witness.)

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