Graeme College 19 - 26 Kingswood College Match Report
30 July 2016
Graeme College proudly hosted Kingswood on Saturday, in what was an exciting derby fixture. It is always a great occasion to host a derby day in a small town, and this particular fixture has a proud tradition, going back nearly 80 years. The first two fixtures in 1938 and 1939 were both draws, and Graeme then drew first blood in 1940 with a 3-0 win. The Kingswood teams were very much favourites in this particular derby though. Their sides have had a superb season, with most of the talkrevolving around the 1st XV’s brilliant season. The 2nd XV, u14a and u15a side’s though have been as impressive, and Graeme would have their work cut out for them on the day. That in itself, seemed to be all the motivation Graeme needed, and were certainly keen to battle it out on the rugby field. The Graeme hockey side had already punched far out of their weight-division losing 2-0 to Kingswood, building up to the rugby fixtures on Saturday.The Graeme rugby sides, have had some impressive performances this season too, with the u16a and 2nd XV standing out with probably having the most consistent seasons. That set up a number of exciting fixtures on the day, with a lot of respect, but very little fear from either school.
With rain pouring for most of the week, and indeed for most of the Saturday, it would be interesting to see who managed to adapt to the conditions quickest. There is no doubt, that those conditions would very much assist the Graeme 1st XV, as the Kingswood side would not be able to express themselves as much as they would be able to in dry conditions.
Interestingly, nobody won two games in a row on Somerset Field. Graeme snuck a hard-fought win in the u14a game, while the Kingswood u15a side proved far too strong on the day. The u16a match was also a superb contest, and this time Graeme got another tick in the win column, with an impressive performance. It was then Kingswood’s turn to get a win in the 3rd XV match, leaving just the 2nd and 1st XV games to go. The 2nd XV contest was always going to one of the matches of the day, and it lived up to expectation. Graeme hung on to a 15-10 win, with Kingswood making 80 metres with the last move of the match.
Graeme always knew they would be up against it in the 1st XV match, as they were taking on a Kingswood team who had had a very good season to date. Graeme coach, Jonty van der Meulen, said this helped to ‘motivate the Graeme side as they matched up and on occasions even bettered the Kingswood team in a number of departments’. It was a game that could’ve gone either way at times but Kingswood eventually ran out 26-17winners.
In the first half the Kingswood team crossed the line twice – both times the backline showing their worth with good skills and pace to finish off. One of the tries was converted, but Graeme had managed to stay in the hunt with two penalties from the boot of SivuNgqiyaza. Kingswood had a much bigger side and even though the Graemians showed tremendous heart, it often meant the KC side got good front foot ball to work with. At half time, KC led 12-6 and the game was still there for the taking by either team.
Graeme started the 2nd half very well by applying some pressure of their own. Kingswood had a scrum on their own try line, but Graeme managed to get the scrum timing perfect, which meant they won a tight head resulting in a Graeme try by captain Ntsika Ndungane. The try was converted as Graeme went into the lead for the first time, 13-12. Kingswood then kept their hands on the ball for long periods of time, which led to another converted try. Graeme struck back with two penalties, taking the score to 19-19 with 10 minutes left on the clock. The derby was brilliantly poised with both sets of spectators on the edge of their seats. Again Kingswood managed to keep the ball, and with Graeme missing a few key opportunities to clear their line, the pressure mounted on them. Kingswood eventually crashed over for the try, again taking the lead 26-19. Graeme didn’t give up as they came close to scoring one of their own in the corner as winger Azizipho Mngcongo was bundled into touch after a superb run down the touchline. The score-line was probably a fair reflection of the game, and Kingswood had to fight hard to earn the win on the day. They were good value for the win, and many teams would not have come through the character test that Graeme had delivered on the day.
The weather didn’t play the part but that didn’t stop the crowds from turning up and they were rewarded by being treated to a spectacle, as the level of rugby from the schoolboys was quite incredible in the testing conditions. In the end, the results were evenly shared with Graeme winning 8 and Kingswood winning 5 matches. Kingswood though would be happy with both the u13a and 1st XV results as part of their wins.
Summary of Results:
U9 lost 19-17, u13c won 41-0, U11b won 22-7, U11a won 38-5, U13b won 53-14, U13a lost 25-19
U14a won 17-7, u15b won 8-5, u15a lost 48-0, u16a won 22-5, 3rds lost 31-0, 2nd won 15-10, 1st XV lost 26-19.