ST DAVID’S EDGE EYE OF THE TIGER 24-19 IN OPENING GAME
The first match of the St John’s College Easter Rugby festival, pitted St David’s against an Eye of the Tiger side that was full of spirit.
Before the game commenced, Eye of the Tiger performed a traditional Haka with a South African twist to it.
The game then got underway with St David’s not seeming to be bothered by the Haka, camping deep in the Eye of the tiger half for what seemed like eternity. The St David’s boys were however eventually rewarded for their hard work, scoring two quick tries through Gregory Kourie and Leo Michael. St David’s Marcell Scheepers however only managed to convert one to give his side a 12-0 lead. Eye of the tiger did eventually get on the scoreboard at the stroke of halftime, through an unconverted try thanks to Sifiso Nhlapo.
The second half saw a more dominant display from St David’s in the first 15 minutes, running in two tries, to take the score to 24-5. Eye of the tiger however showed great character to eventually come to life inside the last 10 minutes, scoring 3 tries but in the end unfortunately losing out 24-19.
PAUL ROOS STEAM ROLL TO A MASSIVE 78-10 VICTORY AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GOLDEN LIONS INVITATIONAL TEAM
The second game of the festival, saw Paul Roos showcase some of the class they possess, when they powered to a mammoth 78-10 victory against the Golden Lions invitational team.
The game saw the Golden Lions Invitational team get off to a dream start in the match, when they crossed over very quickly thanks to winger Kwanele Notyawe, with Brendan Swart doing well to send the conversion through the sticks to earn a 7-0 lead. Paul Roos managed to bounce back 5 minutes later, with two quick tries both in the right hand corner to lead 12-7. The Lions tried to move the ball swiftly through their backs but Paul Roos were always there to turn things around and clear. Paul Roos did soon add to the score board, when flyhalf Juan Mostert, sliced through the Lions defence to cross the whitewash and later convert his own try. The Lions then only managed to convert a penalty, with Paul Roos scoring one more try to end the half at 26-10 to the boys from Stellenbosch.
The second half really saw the rugby Paul Roos is famous for, using the physicality of their forwards and ferocious pace of their backs. The Golden Lions showed great fight but Paul Roos proved too much to handle, as they ran in 52 unanswered points, to seal the game 78-10.
HTS DANIEL PIENAAR LEAVE IT LATE, TO SNATCH 28-22 WIN OVER HOERSKOOL FLORIDA
In one of the most competitive matches at the St John’s College Easter Rugby festival so far, Hoerskool Florida enjoyed a lead for most parts of the game, only for HTS Daniel Pienaar to come at the end and snatch the victory, with two impressive tries at the death.
Hoerskool Florida enjoyed much of the opening exchanges between the two sides, even running in 15 unanswered points in the first 15 minutes. Many supporters would have then backed Florida to easily tug away with the game. Instead, HTS Daniel Pienaar slowly got into the groove of things with inside centre Brandon Boshoff landing their first points on the board with a wonderful try, converted by flyhalf Sachin Toring. The resulting try, seemed to spur Daniel Pienaar on again and they dotted down a few moments later with Toring converting once more to cut the deficit to just 1 point at 15-14 to Florida going into the interval.
The second stanza of play, saw things completely turn around after Hoerskool Florida started the half with a well deserved converted try by Brink Bosman. HTS Daniel Pienaar started playing to their strengths, letting the backline express themselves. A move that started in the Florida half, saw winger Denver Jacobs set off down the touchline with blistering pace to dot down under the poles for a converted try and leave the score at 22-21 to Florida with a few minutes to play. In the last 2 minutes, Jacobs was on his way again down the same touchline, running past two defenders on his way to rounding off a great run under the poles, which Toring had no trouble converting and earning his side a valuable 28-22 comeback victory.
ST ALBANS STORM BACK TO BEAT WINDHOEK GYM 26-17
The game between St Albans and Windhoek proved once more that rugby is indeed a game of two halves. The game saw Windhoek dominate the first half, whilst the second saw St Albans claw their way back to win 26-17.
The game in the opening few moments, immediately looked like it would be tightly contested match up and lived up to exactly that. It took some time for the first scorer to surface but it was Windhoek gym, who pounced on an opportunity to score thanks to Mell Theunissen, with Wiks Tromp having no problem with conversion. With the score already at 7-0, Windhoek got another opportunity to extend their lead, when they got a penalty but the attempt unfortunately went wide. They then received another one, which this time Tromp sent through the upright to give Windhoek a 10-0 lead. St Albans eventually rose to the occasion and got on the board themselves thanks to a powerful run from speedster Campbell Blane, who dotted down for a converted try and see his team trail Windhoek 10-7 at the break.
The second half then saw a complete shift in power, when St Albans got the best possible start, through a darting run from scrumhalf Josh Strydom ended up in a converted try to see St Albans take the lead. With the boys from Pretoria now fired up, not much could stand in their way and they struck twice, before Windhoek could get one try of their own before full time. St Albans in the end did enough to come out 26-17 winners, in yet another thrilling game of rugby.
HILTON DO JUST ENOUGH TO SNEAK PAST NELSPRUIT 10-8
The game saw a try in either half from both sides, which resulted in the match which boiled down to the battle of the boots with Hilton College stealing the battle at the death, to edge past Nelspruit 10-8.
The match started off with both sides looking very conservative, not looking to give too much away. Hilton College however managed to storm through inside the first 10 minutes, thanks to a try from eighth man Lorenzo Palacio Apez, who picked up and leaped over from close range. Flyhalf Ruan Wilmans then stepped and added the extra 2 points to make sure Hilton enjoyed a full range of points after the try. The rest of the half would then be filled with highly physical battles, which saw both sides involved in a bruising battle, which eventually saw Hilton holding onto their 7-0 lead at the interval.
When the second half got underway, Nelspruit looked dangerous everytime they surged forward with both the backs and the forwards complimenting each other well. The Hilton defence however stood strong for a short while, before Nelspruit had to produce a moment of brilliance to barge through off a maul to score. The try was unfortunately not converted and Hilton still enjoyed a slender 7-5 lead. That would be the end of the tries in the game, with the battle of the boots commencing. About 10 mins after getting their try, Nelspruit were then awarded a penalty just outside Hilton’s 22m area to the right hand corner, which flyhalf Tiaan Du Plessis sent through the sticks to give his side a 8-7 lead for the first time in the game. Nelspruit’s joy was however short lived with Hilton being awarded a penalty of their own in a kick able position just moments later, which scrumhalf Gareth Schreuder just nudged over to give Hilton a hard fought 10-8 win.
HELPMEKAAR JUST TOO STRONG FOR ST JOHN’S IN THE END, RUNNING OUT 7-3 VICTORS
The match-up between hosts St John’s College and neighbours Helpmekaar Kollege, was always tipped to be tough battle with a little to tell between the two sides so early in the season.
In the end however Helpmekaar just did was required of them to win the local Johannesburg derby 7-3.
The first half was a very fierce contest, with both sides giving it their all to break the advantage line, but none would let up in the opening few moments. A few errors in attack were putting the home side on the back foot, with Helpmekaar continuously asking questions of the St John’s defence. The defence however did eventually let up, along the right hand touchline, which saw Helpmekaar winger Christiaan Bezuidenhout collect the ball from just over the halfway line, to burst along the touchline, on his way beating a few men to score a hard earned try in the corner. Helpmekaar flyhalf Frans Weiderman, made light work of the conversion which saw Helpmekaar take a 7-0 lead. The remainder of the half, left the St John’s faithful supporters uttering “ooohs and ahhhs” as they came close but it just wasn’t to be. The sides then had to settle for a 7-0 Helpmekaar lead at the break.
The second stanza saw a bit more of the same, with St John’s often coming close to crossing the whitewash. The hosts did get a penalty awarded their way inside the Helpmekaar half, which Bismarck Olivier sent through the uprights to cut the deficit to 4 points with 10 minutes to go. A few moments later St John’s had another opportunity at goal but unfortunately the strike at the poles went just wide this time. The match really looked like it would need a moment of magic from one of the St John’s players, but that moment just never came and Helpmekaar Kollege earned the bragging rights with a 7-3 win over St John’s College.