Wildeklawer Rugby Festival

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Morgan Piek

Kimberley – The 2nd of May 2011 promised to be one of the most exciting days in the history of the Wildeklaver Rugby Festival, if not in the history of South African Schools Rugby. The buzz words of the day were most definitely “Klofies” and “Grey”. It all started on Saturday when Hoërskool Waterkloof convincingly beat Paul Roos Gymnasium 48 – 10. It’s not every day a South African rugby institution gets taught such a big lesson in Rugby. The woes of Paul Roos continued on Monday going down to Saturday’s team of the day Glenwood High School from Durban. Speaking to sources close to Paul Roos I learnt that they were missing seven key players due to injury and were fielding under 16 players on the bench. They admitted it was no excuse. To take the positive out of it one has to believe that these youngsters learnt a few valuable lessons and might just be stars when they’re eighteen and much more experienced.

Grey College won a hard fought battle against Paarl Gymnasium on Saturday to take the game 14-10 in the dying minutes of the game. All truth be told Grey isn’t as strong as they were last season and a person can see that in the forwards. The defence and backline is a different story all together. The centre combination of Jan Serfontein and Dries Swanepoel is a must see. Both are big lads that can step off either foot, hand-off and break the line at any given moment and most important of all they can tackle. Without exaggerating the best comparison is they’re in same mould of Sonny Bill Williams and Robbie Freun of the Canterbury Crusaders. They truly are something special.

This set the tone for Monday because many believed Grey vs. Waterkloof to be the match of the tournament. Many people we’re tipping HS Waterkloof to take the game. Even very big Old Grey boys were worried, very worried in fact. Big names in SA Rugby attended to the festivities Rudolph Straeuli, Heyneke Meyer, Tappa Henning, André Watson, Paul Treu, Anton Leonard to name a few. Straeuli and Meyer were no doubt talent scouting and we will see a few of these youngsters in the big league very soon. Straeuli in particular seemed very interested in the young Affies fullback Henco Deale. Rumour had it that Grey College returned to Bloemfontein after their first round match because of all the talent scouts doing their rounds. I can confirm that Grey did return home and I can also confirm that the afore mentioned reason is totally false. The boys have been on the road non-stop for the last few weeks. Bloemfontein is only 180 km from Kimberley so it was decided that it was in the best interest of the kids to let them sleep in their own beds for a change.

So much focus was placed on the “main game” the people seemed to forget about the second game on day two of the tournament, Affies vs. Paarl Gym. In all truth it should have been played a bit later in the day, as we all know the first game or two of the day is always a rather low-key affair. This has not been a good tournament for Paarl Gym. Affies handed Paarl Gym their biggest hiding in the history of the two teams. The previous highest score between the two was set in 1973 when Paarl Gymnasium beat Affies 38-3. Affies were way to strong for Paarl Gym in the scrum and consistently forced them onto the back foot which setup the Affies backline. The Affies fullback in particular impressed me more than any other player with his boot. There didn’t seem to be a spot on the field where Henco Deale couldn’t slot the ball over from. The closest boot to that of  Deale was Framesbys’ Ernst Stapelberg with his stunning left boot. Affies were too strong for Paarl Gym recording a record 59-6 victory.

Game three of the day turned out to be a very hard fought battle up front between Paul Roos and Glenwood. A weakened Paul Roos used the size of their forwards to dominate the majority of the game neutralizing the Glenwood backline. Every time the Glenwood backs got ball they wanted to run the ball. The shear persistence of the Glenwood backline eventually paid off to allowing them to go over for a match winning try. As the final whistle blew you could see how important this victory was for Glenwood. Glenwood victors with the score line reading 13-8 in their favour.

Game four saw HTS Middelburg facing off against Framesby from Port Elizabeth. It wasn’t a pretty game to say the least and produced very few highlights. Middelburg took the lead in the opening minutes of the game. It looked as if there might have been yet another upset on the cards. Once Framesby got on the board there was no looking back. Middelburg tried hard but could never string enough phases together to break the Framesby defence. The men from Mpumalanga just didn’t have enough dimension and talent to topple Framesby. Framesby took the game 25-17 after leading 25-10 half time.

Game five saw the hosts Hoërskool Diamantveld taking on the very strong Boland Landbouskool from the Langerug farm between Paarl and Wellington in the Boland. Home ground advantage played a very big role in the game. Diamantveld wanted to impress as well and they sure did in the thrilling encounter. Diamantveld eigthman Herman Scholz, flanker André Roberts and fullback Ronaldo Abrahams were by far the best players on the field. Scholtz for his big hits, Roberts for his great kicking and Abrahams for his running game. The flyhalf Elrico Fielies had a blinder as well breaking the Boland defense numerous times. The home team rounded of a brilliant display by scoring in the last minute of the game to thump Boland Landbou 49-21.

Game six was a game I was excited about all weekend. It saw the mighty Monument take on Outeniqua from George. I was anticipating good running rugby and I got exactly what I wished for, I was in seventh heaven. Monnas scored in the opening second with a well worked try on the left wing. It was a see-saw affair with a great battle up front and hard hitting backlines. The halftime score 22-5 in favour of Monnas wasn’t a true reflection of the game. The Kwaggas struck early in the second half to put Monnas on the back foot. It went down to the wire with Outeniqua trailing by 6 with 2 minutes on the clock. Outeniqua set a great move on down the left flank to set up the matching winning try. Unfortunately for them their wing F.A. Meiring stepped on the line and the try wasn’t awarded. Monnas broke away in the very last seconds to score and runaway try to hand them a 37-24 victory. It was a perfect curtain raiser for the game that was about to follow.

Game seven was the big one. There was a buzz in the air and a person could hear a pin drop as the two teams got ready to run onto the field. That’s right, it was half-past three and time for Grey College vs. Waterkloof from Pretoria. Grey were immediately on the back foot and they remained on the back foot for the majority of the first half. Grey got starved of ball by Waterkloof who used their massive forwards well to deny the smaller Grey pack. This meant that the Grey backline couldn’t get moving and was totally neutralised in the first half. The Waterkloof fullback Sean Robinson was something special to witness. He was their star player and a person could see why he was a Blue Bulls Craven Week player the previous year. He will most likely be playing for them in the Craven Week again this year, which also happens to be taking place in Kimberley. Klofies opened the scoring with a penalty. Grey didn’t do themselves any favours by missing two penalties, it must be said they were two long range efforts. Grey were missing their star flyhalf from last year, SA U/19 and current Free State Vodacom Cup player Johan Goosen. It was a dog fight right from the word and I wasn’t prepared to place money on the game. Grey’s discipline was lacking and lock Gerhard Olivier received a yellow card with about six minutes before the half time break for throwing a punch, losing a forward made life very difficult for Grey. The Klofie’s pitbull-like hooker Morné du Plessis was able fire up his men and make use of the one man advantage. Grey lost the lead through a drop goal and a penalty to go into half time trailing 9-5.

Grey came back onto the field after half time a different team. The more positive looking Grey won two early penalties to take the score it to 11-9 in their favour. Waterkloof struck back and scored a converted try just as they looked as if they wouldn’t be able to crack the Grey defense. For the first time it really seemed as if Greys unbeaten run since 2009 was about to come to an abrupt end. Trailing 16-11 Grey scored straight from the kick-off with their captain Dries Swanepoel going over for his second try of the game. Second string flyhalf Jannie Strumpher converted the try to hand Grey the lead at 18-16. Grey now had their tails up for the first time in the game and there was no looking back for them with about five minutes to play.  Grey converted one more penalty to hand them a 21-16 victory over the very impressive and powerful Waterkloof. Watch out for Waterkloof this season they are a true force to be reckoned with and I for one can’t wait to see them face off against either Affies or Monnas.

Game eight was a less then spectacular encounter seeing Duineveld from Upington against the invitational team the Wildeklawer Kings. It was a hard and low scoring fixture, seeing the men from Upington winning the game 10-0.

We would like to congratulate and thank the sponsors for putting on yet another great Rugby Festival and for accommodating Rugby15. It was a true honour to have been there and to be treated like royalty. We are already looking forward to the next Wildeklawer Festival. We don’t know where it will be held yet, but I will keep you posted as soon as the organisers have made their final decision.

Match Round-up:

Game One

EG Jansen (3) Paarl Boys High (45)
EG Jansen Penality Dijan Viljoen
Paarl BoysHigh – tries (7) Rhyno Smith, Authur Vestes, Johan Oberholster, JP le Roux, Andreas Nel, Jacobus van der Merwe, Pieter Schoonraad, Conversions (5) Rhyno Smith
Man of Match – Rhyno van der Merwe Paarl Boys High

Game Two

 

Parrl Gymannasium (6) Affies (59)

Paarl Gimnasium – Penalties (2) Handre Pollard
Afrkaans Hoër Seunskool – Tries (8)Jaco Fourie, Carlo Engelbrecht (2), Bernie Roux, Eital Bredenkamp, Pierre Schoeman, Jan-Boland Deysel, Conversion (8) Hanco Deale, Penality Hanco Deale
Man of Match – Pierre Schoeman Affies

Game Three

Glenwood (13) vs Paul Roos (8)
Glenwood: Try – Jacques Meintjies, Conversion – Siyabonga Tom, Penalties (2) Siyabonga Tom
Paul Roos – Try JP Lewis, penality Michal Hazner
Man of Match – Jacques Taylor

Game Four

HTS Middelburg (17) vs Framesby (25)
HTS Middelburg – Tries (3) Neil Meyer, Reinhardt Griesel, Stephan Voster, Convesion – Kobus Wolmarans
Framesby – Tries (3) Lourens Kapp (2), Bart le Roux, Conversion Ernst Stapelbeg, Penalties () Ernst Stapelberg
Man of Match – Ernst Stapelberg – Framesby

Game Five

Diamantveld (49) vs Boland Landbou (21)
Diamantveld – Tries (7) – Granville Adams, ernst Coetzee, Elrico Fielies, Curtley Kiewiet, Graham de Reuck, Adriaan Smit, Conversins (4) Andre Roberts, Penalities (2) Andre Roberts
Boland Landbou – Tries (3) – Denneys Niemandt, Jan Frylinck, Johannes Karsten, Conversions (3) Jan Frylinck
Man of match: Enrico Fielies – Diamantveld

Gave Six

Monument (37) vs Outeniqua (24)
Monument – Tries (5) Godeon Meyer (2), Chad de Klerk, Buger Odendaal, Shaun Conradie, Conversions (3) Godeon Meiring (2) Jaco van der walt, Penalities (2) Godeon Meiring
Outeniqua: Tries (4) Christopher Richardson, Tinus Vermeulen, Leighton Eksteen, Tersius Kruger, Conversions (2) Sylvian Mahuza
Man of match: Ruan steenkamp – Monument

Game Seven

Grey Kollege (21) vs Waterkloof (16)
Grey Kollege tries (2) Dries Swanepoel, conversion Jannie Strumper, Penalties (3) Jannie Strumper
Waterkloof Tries Janco Gunter, Conversion Francious Tredoux, Drop goal Francious Tredous, Penalities (2) Francious Tredoux
Man of Match – Dries Swanepoel – Grey Kollege

Game Eight

Wilderklawer Kings (0) Duineveld (10)
Duineveld: Try Jacobus Condadie, coversion Dolf Burden, Penality Kobus van Niekerk
Man of Match – Burger Bradford – Duineveld

Photo Courtesy of Dudley & The Two Daves @Kimberley

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