On Saturday 15 May 2010 Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool from Pretoria hosted Grey College from Bloemfontein.
With Affies ranked 2nd and Grey College ranked 1st before the weekend, there was a lot of excitement in the air. A capacity crowd gathered to watch these two teams battle it out.
The weather was perfect for running rugby, with only a slight breeze blowing across the field. The pitch also looked much better after it was turned into a pool of mud, three weeks ago, during the Wildeklawer Tournament.
After a shaky start, Grey College dominated most of the match with a great running game. Affies failed to expose Grey’s poor line-outs and convert them into scoring opportunities. Rock-solid defence from Grey College forced numerous Affies errors and also had Affies deviating from their original game plan. In the end, Grey College comfortably won 6 – 23.
Summary of the match:
The first 10 minutes were all Affies as they put Grey College under immense pressure from the kick-off. Very poor line-out work from Grey College did not help either as they continued to be pinned back in their own 22.
Affies scored first when pressure from the huge Affies forwards resulted in a kickable penalty. Converted by Affies fly-half Warren Gilbert and Affies led 3 – 0 after 4 minutes.
Affies continued to carry the ball up through their forwards and good tactical kicking pinned Grey College back in their own half. Affies looked in control as Grey College continued to make basic mistakes and lose most of their own line-outs.
A great hanging kick from Grey, and even better chasing, saw Grey College break the defensive line and they were stopped just short of the line by an early tackle. The forwards took a quick tap from the penalty but lost the ball forward after a few phases. The referee awarded another penalty for offside and Grey College fly-half, Johan Goosen went for posts to level the scores 3 – 3 after 10 minutes.
2 minutes later Grey College got another penalty for Affies collapsing the scrum. Johan Goosen slotted it over again to put Grey College in the lead 3 – 6.
Play was isolated to the midfield for the next 10 minutes as both teams defended well and turned over ball numerous times. Good contesting on the ground from Affies loose forwards.
Grey College then started to dominate possession and territory. They converted that into points when the scrum-half broke away from the back of a scrum and fullback Neil Marais joined the line at speed, he broke the defensive line and dove over in the corner for the first try of the day. The try was converted and after 27 minutes the score was 3 – 13 for Grey College.
Affies immediately struck back through the boot of Warren Gilbert. Kicking a penalty after good pressure by the Affies forwards. The score 6 – 13. That was also the score at half-time
The second half started and Grey came out all guns blazing, running the ball from everywhere and putting Affies defense under serious pressure. Grey crossed the try line 2 minutes into the 2nd half but the referee called obstruction and awarded a penalty to Affies.
Affies cleared their lines but a scrappy line-out and offside play cost them another penalty. Johan Goosen wasted no time in taking the penalty conversion. 6 – 16 for Grey College, 7 minutes into the 2nd half.
The next few moments were dominated by Grey College replacement winger, Jan Serfontein. He handed off would-be tacklers and ran straight over other. A young Jonah Lomu comes to mind. Another smashing tackle from him stopped play as the Affie right winger stayed down. Serfontein is certainly a star in the making.
It was not long before Grey College was back in the Affies 22. Grey College replaced their hooker shortly after half-time and it paid off when they got their first clean line-out of the match. The ball was spread wide and wing Innus Keyser crossed over in the corner for the second try of the match. A brilliant conversion from the touchline by Johan Goosen, put the score at 6 – 23 for Grey College, 15 minutes into 2nd half.
Affies then went back to their original game plan, that saw them dominating in the first half. Kicking deep into the corners, putting the Grey College line-out under pressure and carrying it up with their forwards.
They spent most of the next 10 minutes in Grey College territory but failed to convert that into points.
Great counter-rucking from Grey College resulted in turn-over ball 5meters from their own line, and knowing they’ve got the game in the bag, they tried running from inside their own 22. Affies defended well and Grey College decided to rather go back to basics and clear their lines. Not long after that, the referee blew the final whistle.
AFFIES 6 – 23 GREY COLLEGE
Pens: Warren Gilbert x 2
Pens: Johan Goosen x 3
Cons: Johan Goosen x 2
Tries: Neil Marais, Innus Keyser
[Report by Nico Venter & James Loretz/Rugby15]