After the first day of the 2016 Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival the sides which stood out are Selborne College from East London and hosts Kearsney College. The match between Glenwood High School and Boksburg’s Dr EG Jansen was very tightly contested, with both sides scoring two tries, so both these teams have also impressed.
On the second day tomorrow (Saturday), all four of these teams will play those which have not necessarily been at their best, but this does not mean that the matches will not be evenly contested when they face up for their second festival encounter. As each team has at least 23 players, reserves are used who can influence the outcome of matches.
Arguably the game which could be most keenly matched is between Glenwood and HTS Middelburg, which kicks off at 10h45. Here it will be a battle between the forwards that could dominate. The other fixture which should be a good game is between hosts Kearsney and SACS, to be played at midday. Both teams like to spread the ball and there should be plenty of running rugby.
The match between Höerskool Framesby and Dale College (09h30) should be interesting. Dale showed their pace and nimbleness in the backline which could frustrate the big Framesby forwards. Dale will do well to keep the ball from the tight phases as far as possible.
Both Höerskool Noord-Kaap from Kimberley and Maritzburg College will have to show some improvement in their handling and defence when they come up against EG Jansen and Selborne respectively.
With Easter in March this year, it is still early in the season. Most teams are yet to finalise their player combinations and SACS, for example, played their first game of the season at the festival on Thursday.
DAY 1 RESULTS
Kearsney College beat Höerskool Noord-Kaap 27-17
HTS Middelburg lost to Selborne College 14-22
Glenwood beat Dr EG Jansen 14-13
Maritzburg College lost to Dale College 16-25
SACS beat Höerskool Framesby 19-13
Day 2 – Saturday 26 March
09h30 Hoërskool Framesby v Dale College; 10h45 Glenwood v HTS Middelburg; 12h00 Kearsney College v SACS; 13h15 Maritzburg College v Selborne College; 14h30 Dr EG Jansen v Hoërskool Noord-Kaap
Day 3 – Monday 28 March
10h45 SACS v Selborne College; 12h00 – Hoërskool Framesby v Hoërskool Noord-Kaap; 13h15 Maritzburg College v Dr EG Jansen; 14h30 Glenwood v Dale College; 15h45 Kearsney v HTS Middelburg
DAY ONE MATCH REPORTS AND SCORES
SACS 19 – 13 HOERSKOOL FRAMESBY
SACS from Cape Town probably deserved their first half lead of 8-3 against Framesby from Port Elizabeth in the final game of the first day of the festival. SACS had the major portion of possession and territory, but Framesby defended well.
Framesby fought back to go into the lead, but SACS replied with another penalty to snatch the lead again. On the stroke of full-time SACS scored once again for a hard fought 19-13 win.
After initial pressure from Framesby when SACS prevented them crossing the line, SACS surged into the Framesby half for the first time. A good run by right wing Zolanki Masembathe took play to five metres from the Framesby line. Following the line-out, a ruck ensued which saw flank Kyle Coles going over for a 5-0 lead.
A Framesby penalty by fullback Riaan van Rensburg opened their tally but SACS again moved to five points ahead when centre Jordy Hop converted a penalty giving SACS an 8-3 lead at the break.
Shortly after the break SACS were given another penalty, which Hop converted to extend the lead to 8 points.
Framesby centre Leslie Sharp rounded off a good line movement to score in the corner. They followed with a second try, this time by Michael Whittock, after Sharp had made the initial running to give Framesby a 13-11 lead.
Hop put SACS back into the lead with a penalty and in the final seconds flank Liam Larkan scored after a ruck, to give SACS a 19-13 victory.
SACS: Tries Coles, Larkan; Penalty: Hop (3)
Framesby: Tries Sharp, Whittock; Penalty Van Rensburg
MARITZBURG COLLEGE 16 – 25 DALE COLLEGE
The penultimate match on the first day of the festival saw two of the smaller sides, Dale and Maritzburg College, face each other. There were too many mistakes in the match to make it a good one and Dale were quicker on to the loose ball to give them a good win.
Dale took their chances while College’s handling sometimes let them down.
It was left wing Bamanye Xenxo that scored followinga long diagonal kick from fullback Aphelele Fassi. This gave Dale a 5-0 lead. This they increased to 12-0 after right wing Litha Nkula snatched the ball from a College player who was waiting for the high ball. Nkula had a free run to the tryline scoring under the poles to give Siphosothu Diongodlongo and easy two points.
College scored their first points when wing Xolisa Guma kicked ahead and scrumhalf Lodewyk Muller dived over in the corner. This narrowed the gap to 5-12. A penalty late in the half by Reuben van Blerck brought them seven points behind Dale.
Maritzburg College had the better of the second half winning more possession but there were too many mistakes both handling and at the breakdown. This played into Dales hands.
A penalty by flyhalf Van Blerck and then a good try by Andile Khanyile narrowed Dale’s lead to just two points. A fortuitous kick ahead from a poor pass by flyhalf Dlongodlongo saw him gather the kind bounce and score under the posts. This time it was fullback Fossi that converted for a25-16 win.
Dale College: Tries Xenxe, Nkula, Dlongodonga (2); Conversions Fassi; Penalty Dlongodlongo
Maritzburg College: Tries Muller, Khanyile; Penalty Van Blerck (2)
GLENWOOD 14 – 13 DR E G JANSEN
This was a very intense game where both sides had their chances but, in the final assessment, it was the Glenwood forwards who enabled their team’s narrow 14-13 victory.
Glenwood started the match with some early pressure but a handling mistake saw EG Jansen on attack. A kick ahead and it was an open try-line but as the Jansen player attempted to pick up the ball he knocked on. Further concerted pressure by the team from Boksburg ended with flyhalf Ruben Beytel making a break and scoring the opening points. The conversion was unsuccessful.
Glenwood came back and left wing GJ Lubbe had a strong run down the touch to beat the defence and touch down. Flyhalf Francke Botha succeeded with the extra points for Glenwood to lead 7-5.
EG Jansen went back into the lead when Beytel was successful with a penalty just before the drinks break, taking his side to a narrow 8-7 lead.
The intensity of the rugby continued in the second half with both sides having chances but good defence stopped certain tries. From a forward maul on the try-line Glenwood prop Quintin Vorster forced his way over. Botha added the two points for a 14-8 lead. EG Jansen came straight back and it was another forward drive ending with hooker Werner Fourie going over. The conversion was again not successful, leaving Glenwood 14-13 ahead.
The last 10 minutes were nail biting with both sides having their chances but missing penalties. This provided the KZN team a narrow win.
Glenwood: Tries Lubbe, Vorster; Conversions Botha (2)
EG Jansen: Tries Beytel, Fourie; Penalty Beytel
HTS MIDDELBURG 14 – 22 SELBORNE COLLEGE
Two teams with heavy forwards, HTS Middelburg and Selborne College met in the second game of the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival. The forwards were evenly matched but it was in the backline where Selborne had an advantage.
The scoring was opened with a penalty by Selborne flyhalf David Coetzer. Middelburg came back strongly and they pressurised the Selborne try-line for five minutes. In that time they were awarded three penalties but did not attempt the conversions. After the pressure it was Selborne who got back into the Middelburg half, ending with a try by right wing Joshua Armstrong. Just before the break Coetzer found the defence napping as he ducked round the blind side of a ruck to score. This he converted for Selborne to lead 15-0 at the break.
The second half saw Middelburg giving their best to score, but Selborne again held firm until a yellow card was given. With a player short, Middelburg forwards were hard to stop on the line; and a ruck on the try-line saw prop Armando Lubbe come up with the ball. It was converted by flyhalf Riekerd Barnard to narrow the gap to 7-15.
Quick thinking at a penalty saw Selborne flyhalf James Bruce snipe through the defence and run 20m to score under the posts for an easy conversion by Coetzer. The game ended with Middelburg on attack and it was again their forwards who forced their way over. Lubbe scored and with a successful conversion by Barnard; Middelburg had reduced the margin to 14-22.
Selborne: Tries Armstrong, Coetzer Bruce; Conversions Coetzer (2); Penalty Coetzer
HTS Middelburg: Try: Lubbe (2); Conversions: Barnard (2)
KEARSNEY COLLEGE 57 – 10 HOëRSKOOL NOORD-KAAP
The ninth annual Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival kicked off in sunshine with a light breeze blowing down the field. Hosts Kearsney College played into the breeze and established early pressure against Hoërskool Noord-Kaap from Kimberley. The forwards had the better of scrums and line-outs and the backline showed the willingness to spread the ball from touchline to touchline.
Noord-Kaap gradually adapted to the conditions and, although Kearsney had the better of the first half, the visitors scored a try to end off the half.
It took Kearsney only six minutes before they opened the scoring with a try by flank Dylan Richardson. He broke through the defence with a strong run. The conversion was successful by fullback James Sutherland.
There were two further tries, the first by prop and captain Greg van Noordwyk and the second, a brilliant try, where the movement was started by Richardson and finished by flank Luke Croshaw. Both were converted by Sutherland, for a commanding 24-3 lead.
Just before halftime some elusive running by Noord-Kaap flyhalf Byron Qupa found support in centre Ruan Schultz and, with Hufke converting, Noord-Kaap narrowed the gap to 10-24 at the drinks break.
Kearsney then had the breeze behind them and they were quickly on the board again, after good pressure ending with scrumhalf Warren Driver diving over. Then came the try of the game as the ball moved through the hands ending with left wing Matthew Watts who ran 40m down the touchline to dot down. Sutherland had his most difficult kick but he split the uprights for another two points and a 38-10 lead.
Kearsney were not finished, scoring another three tries. Sutherland put in a strong run to score in the right corner and this time he did not convert. Watts scored his second try with another strong run down the left touchline, converted again by Sutherland. Matthew Blair then scored the final try with a run down the right touch, again converted by Sutherland for a 57-10 win.
Unfortunately Noord-Kaap were their own worst enemies as some promising moves were spoilt by poor handling.
Noord-Kaap: Try: R Schultz. Conversion & penalty: C Hufke
Kearsney: Tries: D Richardson, G van Noordwyk, L Croshaw, W Driver, M Watts (2), J Sutherland, M Blair. Conversions: J Sutherland (7). Penalty: J Sutherland.
All Photos by TRACEY VAN DEN AARDWE