We must appreciate the work done by Premier Interschools and FNB Classic Clashes providing us with these wonderful derby's broadcasted on TV. If it was not for these broadcasts only a privileged few would be have able to enjoy these matches.
The power of the Affies forwards and pace of their backs was just too much for Maritzburg College in their Premier Interschools match on Saturday. College defended bravely but could not close down all the gaps and eventually went down 59-7 after being 31-0 down at halftime. It was always going to be a tough ask for the side from Pietermaritzburg as the Affie team was packed with provincial players. The individual skills and strengths of these players was what separated the two teams on the day.
Affies got on scoreboard first after a good counter attack by fullback Charles Goedhals to set up a drive and then winger Ruben Meiring cut through the College defence to score the first try. Flyhalf Ruan de Swardt converted and Affies were 7-0 up after five minutes.
For the next 10 minutes all College did was defend like tigers while Affies launched wave on wave of attack. A Combination of good defence from the hosts and poor handling from the visitors kept the Pretoria team from scoring. They eventually did cross the line in the 15th minute when their hooker and captain Schalk Erasmus scored from a line-out penalty after a good drive from their forwards. De Swardt again converted and the score was 14-0. Five minutes they got another try when centre Marnus Potgieter scored after some good interplay between forwards and backs. De Swardt did the rest and Affies were pulling ahead of the clock at 21-0 after 20 minutes.
Affies continued to dominate for the next 15 minutes with College desperately trying to close down the gaps created by some bullocking runs from flanker Phillip Krause and replacement prop James Combrink. One of these runs resulted in a try for Combrink and another for winger Carel Kock in the corner, both conversions were missed by De Swardt.
Halftime came mercifully for College with the score at 31-0.
College started the second period much better than the first half and showed some signs of attack only to be turned over. This set Krause off on another run upfield where he was stopped just short of the tryline. From the resulting ruck he received the ball again, but lost it as he dived over the line. College then did some counter attacking of their own with winger Ayanda Duma prominent in some moves. He was stopped just short of the whitewash when the ball was dislodged from his grip with an open line in front of him. Affies then received a yellow card for a dangerous high tackle and from the resulting penalty, College tapped and drove for the line but were bundled into touch. They won the scrappy ball on the Affies throw and from a low pass, College scrumhalf Lodewyk Muller picked up and dove over the line for College’s first points. With bashers flying around in the air, Ruben van Blerk converted and the score was 31-7 to Affies.
Affies immediately hit back scoring right from the kick-off. Krause dispossessed College in the air and offloaded to Combrink who ran straight through to score untouched. De Swardt converted and Affies were 38-7 up. College had one more long range attach when Xolisa Gama nearly ran the length of the field and was brought down in the 22 meter area. The team from Gauteng turned over possession and immediately went on attack again. Krause broke through the College midfield and with a long pass put Potgieter away. He cut infield and scored under the posts and took the score to 45-7 with five minutes to go.
Potgieter then completed his hatrick when he flyhacked a ball through and the bounce favoured him to add another try under the posts. Replacement flyhalf Tristan Janse van Vuuren converted for Affies to go 52-7 up. The clock ran out but Affies were not looking to ease down and from the kick off they passed the ball around until Erasmus rounded it off with his second try of the match. Janse Van Vuuren’s conversion also signalled the end of the encounter with Affies deserved 59-7 winners.
It will be difficult to single out players but than flanker Phillip Krause made nine tackles, 11 carries and eight tackle busts, and his strong offloading game led to four of Affies’ tries. He rightfully earned the Man of the Match award. One of two loosies missing out on SA School's teams presentation unfairly.
Maritzburg College: 15 Jaco Truter, 14 Xolisa Guma, 13 Njabulo Mjara, 12 Cameron Hope, 11 Ayanda Duma, 10 Ruben van Blerk, 9 Lodewyk Muller, 8 Matthew Diedricks, 7 Nicholas Odendaal, 6 Andile Khanyile, 5 Myles Hancock, 4 Liam Cameron- Macintosh, 3 Andrew Reintges (captain), 2 Austin Landman, 1 Matthew King
Replacements: 16 Fezo Mbatha, 17 Thubelihle Nzimande, 18 Nththuko Mchunu, 19 Jeandré Labuschagne, 20 Ross Williamson, 21 Chris Reed, 22 Matthew Squires
Affies: 15 Charles Goedhals, 14 Ruben Meiring, 13 Marnus Potgieter, 12 Louritz van der Schyff, 11 Carel Koch, 10 Ruan de Swardt, 9 Jack Hart, 8 Jaco Labuschagne, 7 Phillip Krause, 6 Regardt du Plessis, 5 Henk Pretorius, 4 Dylan du Preez, 3 Arno van Wyk, 2 Schalk Erasmus (captain), 1 Cabous Eloff.
Replacements: 16 Joe van Zyl, 17 James Combrink, 18 Pretorius, 19 Ruben Dreyer, 20 Desesde Nel, 21 Mulder, 22 Ruhan Schmulian, 23 Tristan Janse van Vuuren
Referee: Vusi Msibi (KwaZulu Natal Referees' Society) Assistant referees: Andrew Pace (KwaZulu Natal Referees' Society), Johan Pretorius (KwaZulu Natal Referees' Society)
Affies – Tries: Ruben Meiring, Schalk Erasmus (2), Marnus Potgieter (3), James Combrinck (2), Carl Koch. Conversions: Ruan de Swardt (7). - See more at: http://schools.sarugbymag.co.za/affies-school-maritzburg/#sthash.EixER6C4.dpuf
Maritzburg College – Try: Lodewyk Muller. Conversion: Ruben van Wyk.