It was to be a bittersweet end to the DHS rugby season as the 1st XV failed to engineer a victory in their final fixture of the season on their Founders Day, eventually succumbing 24-25 to Westville who scored a last second penalty kick.
In what was a surprising result on the day, DHS did more than enough to win the game comfortably by four or more tries but it was the last pass that kept eluding them. Taking nothing away from the fight and desperation in the Westville troops, it was a game that “School” threw away more than anything else.
It was Westville who started brightest with a fantastic exploitation of space allowing the Left Wing from Westville to score a fantastic solo try in the corner. DHS rallied well thereafter and put together some wonderful pieces of rugby before eventually crashing over in the corner through Centre, Lwandile Menze.
DHS were doing all the running but failed to convert several clear-cut opportunities, which added to the belief in their counterparts. DHS, however, managed to secure another score late in the half through Winger, Luthando Buthelezi, leaving the scores at 12-10 at the break.
The 2nd half was more of the same for the Horseflies and after arguably the move of the season resulting in a dropped ball in front of the try line it started to look like it just wasn’t going to be DHS’s day. Even a try from Craven Week Fullback, Cham Zondeki, didn’t justify the dominant performance issued out from the Horseflies and the scoreline of 17-10 flattered the visitors on the day. Westville managed to bounce back and scored a try through their own ingenuity bringing the scores level at 17-17.
With 5 minutes remaining it appeared, however, that DHS had closed the game out as they managed to score through Flank, Kamvelihle Fatyela, to take the scores to 24-17 in favour of the home side. It was a well-worked try which allowed Zondeki to float a ball over the top for Fatyela to finish superbly.
However, from the resulting kickoff, Westville re-gathered the ball and through some poor defending, their Left Wing scampered through a hole in the defence to leave the scores at 24-22. The final few minutes’ momentum was all with Westville and a string of penalties from Referee Marius Jonker allowed Westville to gain the territory needed to come in range for a last-gasp penalty. When Lwandile Menze was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on the ball, failing to grasp it at his second effort, Westville was given the chance to win the game in front of the poles.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for the “Horseflies”; however, DHS can take massive positives from the game knowing they had done more than enough to win by a comfortable margin. It was never going to be the game that DHS could win after the many spurned chances. All credit must go to a valiant Westville team who fought until the end and were gifted a wonderful victory on the day.
DHS will look back on a successful season, playing a fantastic brand of rugby and capturing the hearts of all Old Boys and the neutrals. There were always bound to be disappointments along the way, but the positives outshone the final fixture disappointment. It seems that the “School upon the hill” is starting to rise, and in the most magnificent way, yet again!
1st XV Rugby Coach/Head of Rugby