College Clinch Last Minute Win

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It’s my ground and I’ll run where I want to !  Wynberg flyhalf Dom Coetzer jinks
his way through the St John’s defence in their match on Saturday 30 April at
the Wynberg 175 Rugby Festival. (photo: Peter Heeger/Gallo Images)

Even another sublime performance by Jeppe couldn’t steal the thunder from Maritzburg College’s thrilling last-minute 29-28 victory over the hosts at the Wynberg 175 Rugby Festival on Monday 2 May 2016.

Apart from SACS’s runaway victory over DF Malan, the day was characterized by very close contests, something which served to build up the excitement ahead of the superb finale.

A generally clear sky helped the temperature into the late teens, resulting in an even larger crowd than on the Saturday and it is not unreasonable to assume that no-one went home disappointed by the exhilarating rugby on display.

Tygerberg (0) 7 KES (14) 19

Whether or not it was tough to give the Parow side the early game on both days, the dire nature of their performance was little short of inexcusable.

This should not, however, detract from a reasonably spirited display by KES, who had run up what turned out to be a comfortable lead, thanks to tries by hooker Tyron Dickson and scrumhalf Kelvin Mills, both converted by flyhalf Marc Morrison, by the water-break and never looked like being beaten.

The sole Tygerberg threat, full-back Tiaan Henecke, did raise faint hopes with a try and conversion in the second half, but outside centre Kennedy Mpeku sealed their fate when he ran in the Jo’burg side’s third try.

Parel Vallei (8) 22 Upington (15) 27

When one considers that Parel Vallei ply their trade in the third tier of WP schools rugby, they deserve much praise for testing an Upington side, who, irrespective of their fluctuating fortunes, will form a large part of the Griqualand West Country Districts Craven Week team.

The final analysis supports this, revealing that the difference between the sides actually boiled down to one try

Of the seven tries the match produced, it would be hard to disagree that the best came from the Somerset West side’s flyhalf Barend Marais, if for no other reason than for the raptures into which it sent their many supporters.

The Uppies’ no. 8 Nakki Duvenhage impressed again, but even his workload was  overshadowed on the day by that of their industrious flank, Johannes Terblanche.

Durbanville (7) 24 St John’s (10) 26

Edged out by one point by Parel Vallei on Saturday, this must have been a bitter pill for a very game Durbies side to swallow, especially when one considers that they outscored the Saints by three tries to two.

The fact that flyhalf Kieran Houlston accumulated sixteen points from the tee for the winners definitely doesn’t detract from their workmanlike efforts, their two tries, by hooker Sibiya Sibiya and flank Nick Cambanis, merely providing the icing on the cake.

The Durbies gave their all, none more so than energetic scrumhalf Jean Aucamp, but were made to realize the cost of giving away kickable penalties at crucial times.

Rondebosch (7) 20 Windhoek High (8) 18

It would be fair to say that the Namibians, who gave Bosch some very nervous moments before succumbing by a mere two points, were the surprise package of the festival

A lovely run by right wing Keegan Collier settled the locals’ hearts, but a try from a quite stunning 70 metre break by lock Reinar Augustyn, paved the way for a brief comeback. 

Fortunately full-back Sam Cragg’s boot was in good enough nick to goal reserve loose forward Zaka Salie’s try to register the points that ended up making the difference.

Jeppe (12) 40 Bishops (12) 24

Any thoughts of Saturday’s comfortable cruise against Hugenote being a fluke were dispelled by another irresistible performance by a Jeppe side that deserves every plaudit that has already come its way this season.

That said, Bishops unfortunately did their cause no good with some inaccurate kicking out of hand and a very ordinary display come line-out time.

Jeppe scrumhalf Dylan Wadeley opened the scoring with an intercept try, converted by his fellow midfielder, the remarkable Wandisile Simelane, although it was duly cancelled out by a try by the Platinum Blues flank Seb Prentice, goaled by scrumhalf Harry Makin.

The Gauteng side's right wing Moemisie Motsheledi and Makin both dotted down to see the teams still level at the break, but the visitors started the second period in a much higher gear.

Further five-pointers came from hooker Nolo Naka, inside centre Cameron Burke, Simelane and a second effort by Motsheledi, all of which SA Schools star Simelane goaled.

While the Rondebosch side did manage two tries of their own, a second by Makin and one by right wing Tristan Hermans, it was Simelane’s pinpoint accuracy which widened the discrepancy to a slightly flattering margin.

SACS (43) 78 DF Malan (0) 5

Arguably the saddest thing about this manifest mismatch was the fact that it was played as the main curtain-raiser to the festival finale.

The game had been agreed upon when the original schedule was drawn up as the two schools could not find any suitable date for what has become a traditional fixture in recent years.

If the match achieved anything, it was to underline the chasm between the top echelon and the lower B-level sides in the province. 

The ease with which the Newlands team exploited gaps in their hesitant opponents’ defence was alarming, the destroyers-in-chief being three-try Liam Larkan, back on the flank now that hooker Lance Steytler has regained fitness, and inside centre Nick Redelinghuys and full-back Michael Abrahams with two tries apiece.

The happiest person in the ground was probably outside centre Jordy Hop, who relished the opportunity to boost his points tally with a try and eight conversions.

Spare a thought for the thoughts going through the DF players’ minds: on Saturday the side beat Hamiltons Under 19s 68-10, on Monday they lost by an even greater margin !  Where to now ? 

Wynberg (20) 28 Maritzburg College (19) 29

There was never much in this thoroughly engrossing clash, a most fitting end to a most enjoyable sporting weekend.

First half tries by Wynberg flyhalf Dom Coetzer, scrumhalf Labib Kannemeyer and full-back Abdul Armien for the Berg were offset by two tries by College no. 8 Craig Glover and one by willowy right wing Xolisa Guma, the value of the kicks landed by their respective flyhalves Dom Coetzer and Ruben van Blerk being the only difference.

The second half was agonizingly close throughout, with the Natal midlands unit trailing by just two points as dusk started to settle over proceedings.

Whether it was the concerted war-cries of their age-group school mates or simply fate, the result was only one kind of ecstasy as Van Blerk slotted the long-range winner to seal the hosts’ fate.

Mike Engelbrecht and his cohorts took the event to an even higher level than previous editions with the inclusion of higher profile visitors Jeppe, Maritzburg College and KES.  Hopefully they will all return to grace Hawthornden in 2017.


The Best of the Fest Team

15 Labib Kannemeyer (Wynberg)
14 DJ Falconer (Rondebosch)
13 Wandisile Simelane (Jeppe)
12 Jordy Hop (SACS)
11 Tiaan Henecke (Tygerberg)
10 Ruben van Blerk (Maritzburg College)
  9 Jean Aucamp (Durbanville)
  8 Hacjivah Dayimani (Jeppe)
  7 Michael Goodall (Hugenote)
  6 Tebogo Ramodike (Jeppe)
  5 Yanga Ngcayisa (Wynberg)
  4 Reinar Augustyn (Windhoek)
  3 Clyde de Beer (Bishops)
  2 Liam Larkan (SACS)
  1 Didier le Roux (Tygerberg)