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Saturday, 30 March 2013 13:36

Rugby: Match Reports for Maritzburg College 150th Festival

Written by  Jonathan Cook

Match reports for the  150th Rugby Festival at Maritzburg College:



150thDay 1


Game 1: Noord-Kaap (12) 24 Jeppe (10) 16

Noord-Kaap beat a game Jeppe 24-16 after leading 12-10 at half-time Jeppe came back with immense courage from a 12-0 deficit in the first half to score two tries, although not dotting down nearer the poles on the second occasion when the opportunity was there cost them a possible conversion.

Jeppe outside centre Cameron Mngomezulu broke the gain line early but his offload to Sandile Sibande went awry. Then the NK juggernaut saw Lux Khoza rumble over for Guillermo Minnie to convert (7-0).
Mngomezulu had another good run but slow ball was costing Jeppe. Referee Keith Wessels kept a tight rein on any indiscretions and Jeppe losing lock Andile Ngobo to a red card for head-butting at the first maul did not prevent a magnificent fightback.

The strong Noord-Kaap school from Kimberley controlled the first quarter, dominating upfront and breaking the line with their surfeit of front-foot ball. Jeppe had their individual moments of brilliance but it was too disjointed to ensure early dominance.The second NK try came from a pushover, flank forward Nico Graaff coming up with the ball (12-0).

Jeppe hit back for eighthman Denzil Hill to score a solid, driving try from a maul (12-5). Sibande got Jeppe’s second touchdown for 12-10 at half-time.The Johannesburg lads’ lethal backline set up two penalty goals for scrumhalf Dudley White-Sharpley to go into a 16-10 lead.

NK rallied and threw everything into the last quarter. Left wing Hilford Clarke dotted down at the corner flag with Luke Mason converting for NK to regain the lead (17-16) before number eight Gerhard Holtshauzen added another for good measure. Man-of the-match Mason converted to make the game safe (24-16).

Game 2: Rondebosch (42) 64 KZN Development 0

The polished Rondebosch side, who won 64-0 after leading 42-0 at half-time, were simply too good for a brave KZN Development XV, who took the place of Durban High School (DHS) in the festival after the lads from the east coast suffered a meningitis tragedy that caused the death of a junior age-group player, medical advice resulting in the decision for the First XV to withdraw.

No less than 10 tries were scored in the 64-0 win with seven converted by Hylton Gibson.
Rondebosch cut the gain line at will at times, despite some courageous tackling by the Development lads, while their scrum reigned supreme. Quickly recycled ball gave Rondebosch time and space with ball on the front foot and it allowed them to utilise their pacy backs out wide.


n order of scoring the tries went to Robert Blake, Clyde Martch, Devon van Rensburg, Kyle Whyte, Graham Geldenhuys, Alan Eaby, Matthew Steel, Robert Jankielsohn, Martch and Van Rensburg.

Game 3: Affies (17) 27 Queens College (0) 13150

The slick Affies line-up opened the scoring early when right wing Thys van Wyk went over for nippy scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl to convert (7-0).

The Pretoria team scored again when Jurie Linde performed the ultimate inside-outside at speed to leave the Queens defence in tatters (12-0).Linde had an absolute blinder of a first half and knifed through for his second, a touchdown that Van Zyl slotted (17-0).

Queens came back with a vengeance and nearly had a moment of joy when captain and pivot Simon Bolze charged down a clearance kick but was beaten by a whisker to the touchdown, the ball carried over by Affies.The outweighed Queens pack deserved a try but their backs were guilty of kicking away too much possession, while the Affies defence held when it mattered.


Fullback Eduan Keyter is a balanced runner with blistering pace, and along with man of the match Linde’s side-stepping skills the quality Affies backline have potent weapons.  Turning around with a comfortable lead, Affies were in control but two well-struck penalties by captain Bolze brought the scores closer (17-6). A feature of the match was the well-set scrums, with accomplished referee Kamal Rugbar slowing the packs down to allow the set-piece to go ahead unhindered without the irritating stop-start so frequent in the modern game.

The Queens defence was far better in the second half, while the Affies cover saved their bacon in some desperate moments near the Pretoria lads’ tryline. The Queenstown side can look back with regret at handling errors within five metres of touchdown territory.
Affies lock RG Snyman broke away from midfield but was brought down in what could have made the game safe with time to spare.

But the pressure told and Van Zyl slotted a penalty before loosehead WP Eloff powered over and the trusty boot of the scrumhalf made the score 27-6. Queens never gave up and were rewarded when number nine Kewan Gibb went over. Bolze converted for the final score of 27-13.

Game 4: Monument (22) 39 Dale College (9) 21mc150th

The far bigger Monument side opened the scoring when tighthead Gunther Janse van Vuuren smashed through and it was immediately apparent that the outweighed but courageous Dale boys were going to find this match a handful.

Solid, controlled rugby saw Dale pull three points back when outside centre Sibahle Maxwane slotted a penalty (5-3). But Monnas’ pressure was evident and Nico Swartz dotted down with Gerdus van der Walt adding the two points (12-3).

A dangerous tackle at the end of the first quarter saw Dale flyhalf Lindokuhle Kenene sent off and Dale down to 14 men for the duration. Van der Walt knocked over the penalty (15-3). Dale were not about to throw in the towel and hit back through Maxwane’s penalty after good forward cohesion (15-6).

Despite brave Dale tackling the pressure was immense at times and massive Monnas loosehead prop and man of the match Frans van Wyk bashed across the tryline for Van der Walt to convert (22-6). Dale came back with a penalty by the reliable Maxwane for 22-9 at half-time.

The second half points-scoring opened when Monnas’ “lighthouse” lock Hanrich Vreken crashed over (27-9) before fullback Abri Reynolds scythed through under the posts for Van der Walt to convert (34-9).

The crowd highlight was still to come, however, and it was the “Maximum Man” Maxwane who showed electrifying pace to dive over in the right-hand corner (34-14).

Dale’s improved performance at this point resulted in frustration for Monnas and they conceded a slew of penalties, but sanity prevailed for the Krugersdorp team when left wing Willem Cloete crossed the whitewash untouched (39-14).

However, Dale were not done yet and right wing Lloyd Mdzvova scored a beautiful try, which the irrepressible Maxwane converted for the final score (39-21).

Game 5: Maritzburg College (5) 18 Grey High School (3) 10

This was an exceptionally evenly matched with both sides prepared to run the ball, although College was the smaller team.

Strong defence on both teams’ part saw a series of massive hits in a first half where referee Andrew Nicholson awarded eight penalties against Grey and five against College.
Wrong options haunted both teams at times but the commitment and endeavour could not be faulted.

The crowd exploded when College scored a fantastic try, the ball passing through several pairs of hands before right wing Lindo Ngcobo dived over at full-stretch in the corner (5-0).Grey hit back immediately with flyhalf Richie Bryant’s penalty goal (5-3).

The pace of the game continued unabated and College left wing BJ Ngwenya was stopped near the corner before Grey mounted an attack through their backs, only for left wing Luca Dalla-Velha to be knocked into touch by Kelvin Elder, a textbook fullback tackle.

College restored their five-point lead through a Marcell Coetzee penalty, the centre slotting under pressure (8-3). Grey were somewhat unlucky when flanker and captain CJ Vellerman came within a fingertip of nailing down a great chip-and-chase solo try.

College were reduced to 13 players via two sin-bin yellow cards issued by Nicholson one minute apart as Grey threw everything at the red, black and white. The 13-player defence was simply heroic as Grey battered away, but Grey eschewed kicking at goal, the Port Elizabeth lads deciding they had left their place-kicking boots at home.

College were playing with incredible heart in the face of a wave of Grey attacks before the home side turned the ball over, ran with it and man-of the-match Coetzee broke 50 metres before being pulled down. The resulting penalty saw the same player coolly stroke over the kick (11-3) with eight minutes left in a match played with Cup Final intensity.

The cherry on top for home fans was when College broke away and lively winger Ngcobo scored under the posts for Coetzee to convert (18-3). Vellerman scored a consolation try at the death and scrumhalf Mathew Alborough converted for the final score (18-10).

The rugby action resumes Monday.

 Photos courtesty of Ken Erler

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