College show Hilton they can bite

2008-06-08 00:00

Maritzburg College showed on Saturday that they should not be underestimated when they defeated hosts Hilton College 33-23.

The contest was well managed by top referee Craig Joubert who later said the match was played “with an intensity equal to any Super 14 game”.

College scored five tries against the two from Hilton and, at the final whistle, were deserved winners though there were times when the game could have gone either way. The “new” laws used on Saturday favoured College as there were few free kicks and more scrums, giving Hilton fewer opportunities to use their pace out wide.

Hilton flyhalf Garth Gerber kept Hilton in the game with his lengthy touch kicks. He also scored all 23 points for Hilton with two tries, two conversions and three penalties.

Hilton put early pressure on College, and a kick, where the bounce of the ball eluded the College defence, fell into the arms of Gerber who dived over for the opening points. His successful conversion took Hilton ahead 7-0. Brett Young narrowed the gap with a penalty and then Gerber scored his second try when he slipped through a gap to score and again converted, to put the home side 14-3 in front.

College hooker James Muller, who had a storming game, scored from quick ruck ball close to the line. Gerber almost immediately then converted his second penalty for the hosts to lead 17-8.

College wing Mivuyo Mjajabana, who was on hand to receive a pass from a ruck following a lineout, dived over in the corner and this was converted by Young. On the stroke of the halftime break, Nichloas Pletts charged down a Hilton relieving kick picked up and offloaded to supporting prop Grant Scott, who went over leaving College 20-17 in front.

In the third quarter Gerber successfully goaled two penalties to put Hilton back into a slender 23-20 lead, but a good drive and interpassing by the College forwards finally saw Darren Anderson on the wing score to take College 25-23 ahead again. Mjajabana scored the final try, his second, in the 25th minute, when he ran 30 metres down the touchline for a 30-23 lead. Young added a final penalty for the deserved 33-23 win by College.

Other available results: Michaelhouse 24 Glenwood 24; DHS 27 Kearsney 13; St Charles 45 Northwood 3; KES 38 Westville 24; Carter 19 Howick 12; Wartburg 15 Alexandra 0; Thomas More 45 Kingsway 17; Treverton 38 St Henrys 19; Pinetown 19 Hillcrest 15; Creston 13 Scottburgh 5.

* Reports of other games will appear in Mike Hill’s weekly rugby round-up on the schools’ page in tomorrow’s Witness.

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