Players, supporters disappointed as College get rugby lesson from Jo’burg’s King Edward

2009-05-10 00:00

Maritzburg College players and supporters had a disappointing Saturday with King Edward VII School of Johannesburg giving them a rugby lesson, winning 52-14. While the backline of KES were in sublime form with their pace and hard running, the College forwards held their own.

When College kept the ball tight amongst the forwards they made ground, but when the ball went wide, they did not have the pace to match that of KES and were often tackled before they had got over the advantage line. However, it was when they made a mistake that KES loose forwards were quicker to the break down and turn-overs often resulted. It appeared KES had done their homework and knew the College backs could not match them out wide.

KES attacked at pace and there was always someone in support when a player was tackled. In contrast, if College had a player who broke through, he was usually on his own and when stopped, lost the ball.

In the tackles and rucks, KES showed more fervour and seldom lost the ball, particularly in the first half. The game started in the worst way for College with two tries scored against them in the first nine minutes, both resulting from balls dropped in the tackle.

It was disappointing that College appeared to have no cover defence, so when the line was broken, it was a straight run for the tryline and the side with pace will always win. A 60- metre run by wing Mzwake Nkosi resulted in the first try well converted by flyhalf Lucien Ruiters. A few minutes later Nkosi again made the initial run and he cut inside, passing out to centre Jaryd Meyer who went over. With the conversion successful, College were 0-14 down and the writing was on the wall.

KES scored two more tries, a charge down after a slow clearance, resulting in centre Lonwabo Ntleki dotting down and wing J de Bruin going over, to take their score to 26, before College kept it in the forwards and lock Nic Pletts drove over. Carl Meyer converted and there was something for the College supporters to cheer. KES struck back almost immediately when eighth man V Jobo, in a neat switch with the flank, went over unopposed and with Ruiters converting, KES led 33-7 at the break.

College kept KES in their own 22 metre area for the first 10 minutes after the resumption of play and diminutive scrumhalf Andrew Hay managed to wriggle his way over from a ruck close to the goal line. This was converted and at 14-33 there seemed some hope for College.

This was not to be as KES realised that they had the pace to outstrip College. They moved the ball rapidly with backs and forwards in many movements. Prop J Saunders ran 30 metres, after another mistake but with no cover, to score near the upright. Fullback A Leuner joined the line and scored their eighth try before the silky skills of centre Meyer resulted in his second try, with a neat inside-outside movement, and with the conversion successful, a final score of 52-14.

While College will obviously feel disappointed, it was a game with plenty of running rugby allowed to flow by international referee Craig Joubert. This side is one of the best ever in the history of rugby at KES.

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