Treat for fans at Kearsney

2014-04-19 00:00

RAIN and mist had organisers of the seventh Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival a little worried on Wednesday as those setting up facilities around the field resembled ghosts as they ensured all was in place for the first kick-off and whistle blast of the opening day on Thursday.

They need not have worried as a perfect autumn day dawned. Blue skies, with a touch of freshness in the air provided ideal conditions for the six matches throughout the day.

Despite being a working day, there was a good crowd at Stott Field and they were rewarded with a display of strong, attacking and running rugby.

Kearsney College 25

HTS Middelburg 31

With the field still wet and soft underfoot, the hosts opened the festival against Middelburg, returning after a four-year absence. The visitors provided formidable opposition as last year’s NuPower-Tuks champions and were first on the board when lock Driaan Bester crossed the whitewash, flyhalf Lohan Bennett adding the extras.

Kearsney hit back with wing James Tedder grabbing a five-pointer, but flyhalf Tristan Tedder missed the conversion, only to slot a penalty 12 minutes before the break for the home side to edge ahead 8-7. The advantage was short-lived as Middelburg hit back when wing (14) Brandon Par-Bailey went over in the corner, followed soon after by fellow winger Liaan Prinsloo breaching the Kearsney defence. Fullback Barend Smit added the conversion and Middelburg had come back strongly to control affairs at 19-8 at the break.

Two quick tries soon after the restart from Middleburg, courtesy of centre Jacques du Toit and flank Chrisjan Steynberg saw the lead stretch to 31-8 before Kearsney clawed their way back into the game. Another Tristan Tedder penalty was followed with a try from prop Tijde Visser and at 31-18 there was still a chance Kearsney could edge closer to their opponents.

That moment came with a touch of magic from Tristan Tedder, who added seven points with an intercept try to bring his team to within six points of Middelburg. In a frenetic final few minutes, Kearsney launched a strong attack on Middelburg’s defence and were unlucky not to score as the team from Gauteng hung on for the win.

Framesby 16 Monument 21

Framesby gave a solid account of themselves against a powerhouse Monument side, who scored first with a penalty from fullback Stiaan Joubert.

This was answered by Framesby flyhalf Tiaan Stander and with the two kickers exchanging penalties, it was Framesby who led at the turn 9-6.

Monument scored the first try of the match when Waldo Kriel dotted down, but Framesby soon replied with a try of their own, prop Wessel Strydom doing the honours and Stander converting. With Framesby ahead 16-11, Monument changed gear, scoring two quick tries through Ashley Carr and flank Gavin Delport. None were converted and Monument had edged ahead 21-16, a lead they managed to defend as both sides ended the clash with moments of brilliance, which sadly saw no points scored. Framesby ended the stronger side, putting Monument under tremendous pressure before the final whistle allowed them to breathe.

Westville Boys’ High 41

Nico Malan 10

It was Nico Malan who scored first, No 8 Dean van der Westhuizen crashing over after driving play from a ruck and Darren Domingo converting.

Stung into action, Westville responded with two unconverted tries from No. 8 Nathan Meilhon and Bradley Smith. A penalty in the final minute of the half from wing Dominik Uytenbogaardt saw the sides level at 10-10 as the second half started.

Another two tries from Westville — Smith getting his second and fullback Lindo Buthelezi — under the poles saw flyhalf Kyan Braithwaite adding the conversions for a 24-10 lead.

Despite their best efforts, Nico Malan could not get on the board in the second half and salt was rubbed in the wound when Meilhon and flank Adrian Heystek stretched Westville’s lead.

At 36-10 the match was over bar the shouting and a last-minute try from Westville wing Shane Ball saw the KZN boys to a strong and deserved win.

Selborne College 12 Affies 34

Affies affirmed their status as one of the country’s strongest school rugby outfits with an assured win in this clash. Officiated by World Cup Final referee Craig Joubert, it was soon evident Affies had come to play rugby and not enjoy a holiday.

They took control within the first 10 minutes of the match when fullback Eduan Keyter bagged a brace and, with Selborne barely having time to regroup, a third try was added when centre Tiaan Schmullian went over.

Wing Pieter Coetser added two conversions and there was much for Selborne to do at 19-0 down after 16 minutes.

The only visiting school to have played in every Kearsney Festival, Selborne re-grouped and prevented any further points by their opponents in the first half, despite their best efforts to put some value of their own on the board.

Reward came when wing Tristian Coetzer broke the duck and had the scoreboard at 19-5. With 10 minutes left on the clock, a plucky Selborne added a second try, centre David Britz doing the business. Flyhalf Morgan Steyn converted and the Eastern Cape side was back in touch at 19-12.

As both sides entertained with running rugby, Coetser added a penalty for Affies and the result was sealed when Henco Jordaan and Keyter, grabbing his hat-trick of tries, took Affies out of sight.

Glenwood 31 Dale College 17

Glenwood dominated the first half, scoring three tries from wingers Philani Ngcobo and Ilunga Mukendi and scrumhalf Kwazi Khanyile. Fullback Morné Joubert added two conversions and the teams changed ends with the Durban side comfortably ahead 19-0.

A rejuvenated Dale emerged for the second half, the King William’s Town boys surprising Glenwood with three tries, fullback Justerino Davids scoring twice and wing Luzuko Mase getting the other. Flyhalf Courtney Winnaar converted one of these and suddenly Dale were only two points off the pace at 19-17 with time remaining.

Digging deep, Glenwood finished strongly, adding 12 unanswered points from tries by flank James Venter and Ngcobo’s second. One Joubert conversion saw the “Green Machine” maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

Grey College 26 EG Jansen 8

Great running rugby from these two sides ended the first day of the festival. Grey opened the scoring with a penalty from fullback Henry Immelman and centre Julian Jordaan added an unconverted try five minutes later for an 8-0 lead.

Camping in Grey’s half for a sustained period, EG Jansen were rewarded with a three-pointer from centre Delano Kotze for a half-time score of 8-3 to Grey. This lead was increased with a try from Grey centre Mike Anndrade and a penalty by substitute Louwrens Steenkamp. Immelman added another try and Steenkamp a conversion and penalty to complete his side’s work for the day, while EG Jansen showed tremendous tenacity with a last-minute, unconverted try to loose forward Edwin Jansen.


9.30 am: Selborne College v Framesby

10.45 am: HTS Middelburg v Nico Malan

12 pm: Kearsney v Dale College

1.15 pm: Glenwood v EG Jansen

2.30 pm: Grey College v Westville

3.45 pm: Affies v Monument.

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