Maritzburg College has made a return to the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, brought to you by Standard Bank, after a 14-year absence. The Red Black and White faced the Lions Invitational XV in the first college game of day one on Burger Field.

College made their intentions clear from the onset, bringing about a very physical approach, using their forwards well to rumble over the Lions’ gain line. Much of the half consisted of College running the ball through the hands, with the backs and forwards combining well to see them off to a well-deserved 36-0 lead at the break.

The second half saw a better display from the Lions, who often forced College to make errors early on. Their efforts were rewarded in the form of a consolation try, with Maritzburg College continuing to dominate much of the territory and possession statistics. This powered the boys from Pietermaritzburg to a comfortable 50-5 victory. The Lions can be proud of the way they showed up in the second half, really giving College a bit of a headache in the opening few minutes of the second half.



A great second-half showing saw Pretoria Boys High School claiming a 41-5 win over St Charles College on Burger Field at the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, brought to you by Standard Bank.

The first half was a tight arm wrestle between the two sides, with both teams taking a little longer to get into their rhythm. St Charles often looked dangerous in attack and was able to register an unconverted try, while Pretoria Boys High School looked like the better-disciplined outfit. The half-time hooter sounded with Boys High enjoying a slender 12-5 win, which left the game on a knife’s edge going into the second period.

The second half saw Boys High coming into their own, the quickest running St Charles off their feet. The boys from Pretoria were able to add a further 29 points to their lead in the half, with St Charles making a few mistakes that often pegged them big in their efforts to find a way back in the game. In the end, Boys Highs’ dominance was too much for the boys from KwaZulu-Natal, seeing them going down 41-5.



Hoërskool Nelspruit edged St Benedict’s College 12-8 in the third college fixture of the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, brought to you by Standard Bank.

If one would’ve looked at the game on paper, they would have easily picked Nelspruit as the clear winners before the ball was kicked. However, that was not the case as St Benedict’s put in quite a shift to keep the boys from Nelspruit at bay and keeping within the fight. The first game jitters were quite evident from both teams with mistakes being detrimental in the flow of the attacks.

Bennies were unlucky in the end not to claw their way back, with credit also being due to Nelspruit who managed the situation well to clinch a narrow 12-8 win in a cagey encounter.




Jeppe High School for Boys showed incredible grit to keep out a valiant effort from Graeme College, when they dug deep to walk away with a 27-17 victory at the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, proudly brought to you by Standard Bank.

The game could certainly be dubbed as one of the best of the day after just three fixtures. Both teams showed hunger, consistently edging away at each other. Jeppe were the ones who got out the starting blocks the quickest and looked set for an unassailable lead. Graeme, however, had other ideas, fighting their way back and keeping with touching distance going into the break.

Jeppe put in a great defensive performance in the second half with Graeme College so often looking as if they would score. Graeme could be credited for the courage they showed in being able to hit back quickly, with points every time Jeppe had registered something on the board. The later stages of the game saw Jeppe being able to turn Graeme errors into points, putting them out of sight with a late penalty that sealed a 27-17 victory.



A late Grey High School fight back was not enough in the end as Hoërskool Landbouskool Boland held on for a 22-12 win at the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, proudly brought to you by Standard Bank.

The start of the game was a physical bruising opening stanza for Grey High School as Boland enforced themselves on the game. This led to Boland enjoying the early exchanges on the scoreboard, with Grey looking like they could be in for a long day.

The second half saw somewhat of a fight back from Grey, who looked to unleash their skillful backs in a game that was played at a high tempo. Grey were threatening on a number of occasions with the crowd spurring them on from the stands. Boland were able to hold strong for much of the half, launching a number of attacks of their own. The lead built up by Boland looked daunting but the boys from Port Elizabeth took it upon themselves to find a way back in the game. Grey looked good in the backend of the game, but Boland were the last to launch an attack before the final whistle sounded.



Hilton College were able to hold their nerve in a highly entertaining game against Hoërskool Noordheuwel after a late penalty saw them claim a narrow 32-30 win at the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, proudly brought to you by Standard Bank.

Hilton ran rampant in the first half, almost scoring points at free will with Noordheuwel having very little to say about it. The Hilton old boys on the stands got behind their boys, which seemed to push the boys in all white to higher heights. At the break Hilton looked set to put in a score that would see them leap to a comfortable famous victory.

The second half was a completely different story with Noordheuwel shifting gears and mounting what looked like the comeback of the day. Hilton were left stunned for a moment with about five minutes left on the clock when Noordheuwel took a slim 30-29 lead for the first time in the game. A late penalty saw Hilton regain their lead shortly afterwards, which saw Noordheuwel back in the chase again and even gaining a lineout on the Hilton 10m line which they unfortunately knocked on to see Hilton sealing their fate at the buzzer.



A strong first half performance from Welkom Gimnasium saw them overcoming a second half St John’s College challenge 28-12 as the days play drew to a close at the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, proudly brought to you by Standard Bank.

The first half was dominated by Welkom on the scoreboard as they raced to a 20-0 lead at the break. St John’s would have been ruing their errors in set pieces that let them down on three occasions inside the Welkom 22m area. An intercept pass was also detrimental to the St John’s cause because it led to a try that set them back further on the points tally. Welkom were however full value for their lead, playing an exciting attacking game and capitalizing on the Blues mistakes.

The Blues of St John’s turned up a different outfit in the second half, posting 12 points to the 8 of Welkom. It was not enough to turn the game around but the bravery shown by the St John’s boys in the half must be commended as they tackled for their lives against a Welkom team that was eager to continuously keep the scoreboard ticking. Welkom also never let up, they even deflated St John’s hearts, with the Blues needing 13 points inside the last five minutes. In the end it wasn’t the result the Blues would’ve hoped for but congratulations to Welkom Gimnasium on a great performance.

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