Graeme College 15 – 10 Pearson – Match Report

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Graeme College vs Pearson 23 July 2016

Graeme college had two fantastic derby fixtures arranged for the weekend. The junior school hosted Herbert Hurd, which is always a fantastic event and the senior school travelled to Pearson, which is also a great fixture on the sporting calendar.

The Graeme junior rugby sides dominated their fixtures and were delighted with a great set of results ending with a 43-10 win for the u13a side.

The senior school arrived in Port Elizabeth to find harsh conditions with wind and rain matching the temperatures. The games then were all going to be tightly contested and a little messy at times with a lot of handling errors. The early fixtures went Pearson’s way as they won the u14 and u15 matches.  In a fantastic u16a match, Pearson scored in the last few minutes, leaving a conversion kick from the touch line to win. The kick almost looked impossible with regards to the conditions, but the Pearson fly half had been brilliant in the conditions up to that point. He calmly slotted the kick through the middle, to claim a one point victory over the Graeme side.  Graeme were determined to turn this around in the open age group and did just that as the 3rd and 2ndXV were good value for their wins. The 2nd XV seemed to have the best of the weather conditions and played some attractive rugby in their 33-3 win.

In the 1stXV encounter Graeme got off to a good start, scoring early to take a 5 point lead.  Graeme were playing into the wind and they negated this by holding onto the ball for long periods, not allowing Pearson into the game for the first 15minutes.  Pearson then went through a stage whereby they spent 10minutes on the Graeme try line.  Graeme went ahead early in the game, but missed the conversion. They then had a man in the sin bin for a shoulder charge, but the rest of team stood strong as they absorbed the pressure and Pearson came away with no points to show after sustained attacking play. After a blind side snipe the ball found its way to Azizipho Mngcongo who made a good 50m run to score his, and Graeme’s second try of the day.  The try was not converted as Graeme led 10-0 at halftime.

With conditions significantly worsening in the 2nd half, and rain falling horizontally, the task was always going to be tough for Pearson playing into the wind.  Pearson however did what Graeme did in the first half and kept Graeme in their own half, by playing most of the rugby.  They were finally rewarded for this with a penalty to take the score to 10-3.  A game that was already very scrappy turned into a tactical battle as attacking team’s preferred kicking the ball away instead of making mistakes themselves.  One kick from Pearson fell to Bukhosi Mhlambiso who showed some great feet, in which his counter attack skills got Graeme into Pearson’s 22m area and finally led to a try by Cameron Amos.  Graeme were leading 15-3 with 10 minutes to play and one would have been forgiven to think the game was over due to the trying conditions and wind at their back.  However, Pearson fought back and scored straight away with a try from a great driving maul after a lineout.  Graeme’s lead was now only 5 points with 5 minutes to play.  Some errors from Graeme meant Pearson worked their way back into the Graeme 22m area and Graeme had to show some determination to hold on for a 15-10 victory. 

It was never going to be pretty with the conditions on the day, but it did seem bizarre that both teams scored the majority of their points playing into a strong wind.  Graeme deserved the victory as they dominated in key areas and they will be hoping to take this form into the clash against a formidable Kingswood team next Saturday.  They were delighted to be so well hosted by Pearson in the horrible weather conditions.

Summary of Results

Graeme College rugby results vs Pearson:

U14a lost 28-5, U14b lost 31-5, U16b won 17-0, U15a lost 28-0, U15b lost 29-0, 3rds won 12-10, U16a lost 16-15, 2nd XV won 33-3, 1st XV won 15-10.

Graeme College Junior rugby results vs Herbert Hurd:

U9A lost 39-10, U11B won 51-12, U11A won 29-0, U13B won 53-5 and U13A won 43-10.