Major schools putting in practice games before rugby season begins

2013-03-12 00:00

THE 2013 school rugby season officially begins next Saturday, but all the major schools have played some matches, with early season series and practice games.

The Wartburg Festival was held last Saturday, giving second- and third-tier schools a chance to have some matches ahead of the season. For the first time there was a match involving two top-tier schools to finish off the festival and both Westville and Maritzburg College used it as a final preparation. Hilton played a one-sided practice game against Voortrekker.

Westville 24 Maritzburg College 19

Westville deserved to win, with some fast running and good handling by the backline. No penalty conversions were attempted as both sides used the opportunity to try to score tries. Seven tries were scored, four by Westville and three by College.

Westville led 12-7 at the break after College had opened the scoring when Seko Buthelezi barged over, the try converted by Jordan Koekemoer. It was not long before Westville drove from a lineout and Jordan Martin came up with the ball. An excellent conversion by Juan Anderson had the sides locked at seven apiece. Westville then scored an excellent try just before the break after some slick passing in the backline ended with wing Kyle Lubbe scoring in the corner.

College showed that when their three-quarters ran with the ball they also had the ability to score, wing BJ Ngwenya rounding off a good move when he dotted down in the corner.

Westville’s forwards surprised College as they began winning more ball and scored their next try as they forced their way over, with eighth man Zane Weir scoring. Anderson converted. Westville went further ahead when flank Wiehan Prinsloo was quick to react to a loose ball from a College handling error, to score their final try. College scrumhalf Lucas Booysen sniped through a gap to score the final try, which he converted.

Northwood 0 Kearsney 30

In the face of a cold headwind and intermittent rain, conditions for rugby at Northwood were difficult. Tristan Tedder opened Kearsney’s account with a penalty, having the wind behind him. Northwood, in their seventh start of the season, were very physical and their set pieces held Kearsney, but once the ball came out, the backline made mistakes that Kearsney exploited.

Tedder converted a second penalty for Kearsney to lead 6-0. Northwood kicked into the wind and from this Kearsney countered, the ball moving through a number of hands for scrumhalf Matthew Reece-Edwards to dive over close to the upright. Tedder converted and Kearsney led 13-0 at half time.

The visitors played better into the wind, with Tedder adding another penalty. A number of chances went awry before a well-worked try ended with wing Thuthu Ndlovu scoring, Tedder adding the extras. The final try came close to the final whistle when Kearsney strung a number of phases together and prop Mthunzi Molloi crashed over with Tedder adding the extra points.

George Campbell 10 St Charles 7

This is the first time these two sides have met and with the close result, it should be an annual fixture. Campbell had the better of the first quarter as they had played a number of games, whereas St Charles were having their first outing.

The Maritzburg lads put their bodies on the line to prevent the home side scoring. When prop Thabiso Mweli did score, the conversion was timed out by the referee as they struggled to keep the ball from falling off the tee.

St Charles were better in the second quarter as they used some long kicks to keep them in the opposition half. A mistake in clearing the ball by Campbell found Paul Jackson and he evaded a couple of tackles to speed down the touchline to score. Matt Dukes landed a difficult conversion for St Charles to lead 7-5.

Campbell responded almost immediately as flank Nathan Keaton rounded off a good move to score and put the home side into a 10-7 half-time lead. In the second half, both sides came close, but no more points were scored.

Other results: DHS 67 KZN Development 8; Hilton 89 Voortrekker 0; Wartburg 8 Crawford La Lucia 15; Linpark 9 Werda 3; Howick 13 Durban Academy 0; Kingsway 12 Alex 5; Westville 2nds 20 Weston 0; Scottburgh 8 Ixopo 5; Kokstad 27 Pongola 18; New Forest 17 Estcourt 0, Thomas More 14 King Edward 7.

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