Match Report: Kearsney vs Michaelhouse

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Kearsney 1st XV beat Michaelhouse 1st XV 64-22

Kearsney hosted Michaelhouse on what started out to be a windy, cold and wet day in Botha’s Hill, but was no doubt enhanced by the hosts winning 14 of the 18 rugby games played. Strangely though, the weather cleared just before the 1st XV kick-off, as if inviting attractive open running rugby from the two teams.

Both teams responded but it was Kearsney who showed their intentions as they scored the first try straight from the kick off. Fly-half Cameron Ritchie collected a loose ball and fed the backs, when eighthman Brady Erlich linked and made good yardage to combine with centre Matthew Watts, which was brought down in the visitors’ 22m. From the breakdown, centre Cameron Craze fed flanker Luke Croshaw to break the defensive line to score under the posts. James Sutherland converted.

It was 10 minutes later when Kearsney scored their second try; after good continuity play and many phases when prominent hooker Dylan Richardson collected a pass on an angled run from Cameron Ritchie, to score the first of his four tries for the day.

The visitors’ first real opportunity came from a sniping run from the fly-half but his final pass was intercepted by the ever-present flanker Croshaw and three phases later, after some good interplay between backs and forwards, centre Watts dived over in the left-hand corner for a 17-0 lead.

Two minutes later Kearsney was awarded a penalty in a strong attacking position which followed some good play. The captain opted for a line-out which offered Richardson his second try, courtesy of a well-executed line-out maul. Sutherland converted for a 24-0 lead.

Kearsney’s fifth try came from a stripped tackle by Erlich which the hosts carried up field and back to the right-hand side when Ritchie broke a half tackle with Erlich the perfect link to winger Reece Daniel to dive over. Sutherland again converted.

Michaelhouse ended the half with a try in the left-hand corner after sustained pressure play in the hosts’ 22m area. Half time score was 31 – 5 to Kearsney.

The hosts started the second half strongly and from a line-out setup flanker James Miller ran well to link with Richardson who dived over in the right-hand corner. Michaelhouse enjoyed some time in the attacking zone now, but Kearsney scored again from a line-out just inside their own half. Ritchie penetrated the line with a well-executed move and ran almost 40m before passing to winger Reece Daniel in full flight to score his second try. Sutherland converted.

Michaelhouse enjoyed a better period of play and soon scored a well-executed line-out maul converted try.

Kearsney responded quickly from a right hand scrum using the blindside winger to carve the defence and offload in time for winger Sutherland to dive over in the left corner and converting his own try for a 50 – 12 lead.

Michaelhouse scored another line-out maul try after the hosts were penalised with series of breakdown and offside infringements. Michaelhouse gained their fourth try from a Kearsney handling error which they moved wide quickly to score in the right-hand corner.

The hosts’ responded immediately and managed to win the ball back from the kick-off with Richardson collecting a pass following some good interplay and fending the first defender and outsprinting the cover defence to score his fourth try of the match which Sutherland converted.

With only a few seconds on the clock, Michaelhouse opted for a deep kick-off which Kearsney ran. Ritchie, finding a half gap and running close to 30m, found centre Craze who masterfully found Croshaw, with a long pass on his inside. Sutherland converted to seal a final crushing 64 – 22 win for the hosts.

Outstanding players for Kearsney were Cameron Ritchie, lock Jared Meyer, Luke Croshaw, centre Cameron Craze, Brady Erlich and hooker Dylan Richardson.

Photo by Tracey van den Aardweg

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