Schoolboy Rugby – Day 1 Of 2024 Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival Match Reports

 

Westville 10-31 Rondebosch

Some classy free-flowing rugby played in the wet elevated Rondebosch Boys’ High School to a convincing 31-10 win over Westville Boys’ High in the final game of Day 1.

In constant drizzle, Rondebosch displayed superior tactical awareness and execution to claim a comfortable victory in what may otherwise have been a very tight game. Westville had their moments but were simply unable to match the calibre of their opponents on the day.

An Unathi Mlotshwa penalty got WBHS off the mark, but it wasn’t long before the Western Cape side hit back after a sparkling line-break and offload by AluthaWesi put Ewan Lawrie away under the sticks.

Randall John Davids scored another for the festival debutants, who seemed to be breaking the Westville defensive line at will before the superb David Simon slotted a penalty to extend the lead.

Zekhethelo Siyaya showed great finishing ability to dot the ball down in goal and haul Westville back to within seven at the break, but the writing was on the wall.

As conditions continued to deteriorate in the second half, Rondebosch assumed full control of the contest and never really looked like missing out on the win.

Tries converted by Travis van den Berg and Caleb Belelie were the only scores after the break, as Rondebosch eased home.

Framesby 18-17 Kearsney

HoërskoolFramesby condemned Kearsney College to an 18-17 defeat in the fifth game of the first day’s action.

In another classic KERF arm wrestle, the Eastern Cape school outlasted the tournament hosts to get their festival campaign up and running in the best possible fashion.

For Kearsney, the result dashes their hopes of finishing unbeaten and they’ll need some massive improvements going forward to compete with Rondebosch and EG Jansen on Days 2 and 3.

They started brightly enough, with a break down the right touchline ending in a score for Valentino Lenge, but the Gqberha-based side hit back quickly through Cole Hilpert.

The driving maul was again at the cornerstone of the Framesby approach, and through it they manufactured a penalty attempt for Logan Muller, which he duly slotted, to nudge ahead.

As defensively organised as Kearsney were in consistently thwarting waves of Framesby attack, they found themselves helpless when an efficient quick-tap maul from the boys in red and blue got them their second try through No 8 Johan van Zyl.

Not to be brushed aside so easily, Kearsney came storming back, and when Lenge grabbed his second to reduce the deficit to 14-15 with just 15 minutes remaining, the intensity of both outfits went up a notch.

Daniel Eagar and Muller traded penalties as the lead continued to change hands, but it was Framesby who held out.

DHS 21-00 Nico Malan

Durban High School’s three converted tries were enough to see off a determined Hoërskool Nico Malan outfit 21-00 in game four of the opening day.

The much-vaunted KZN side lived up to their billing, bouncing back well from their defeat to Rondebosch last week, to deliver a skilful and physical display here. With matches against Hoërskool Rustenburg and Pearson High School still to come, Peter Engledow’s charges will be eyeing a 100% record.

Nico Malan was industrious on offence, showing a real willingness to swing the ball around, but just couldn’t live with the size and strength of their opposite numbers for the full 60 minutes.

 DHS skipper Muhle Sithole rumbled his way over from the back of a driving maul to open the scoring, before Adriano Jackson added his side’s second, with a well-worked finish in the left-hand corner.

To their credit, the Bloutrui refused to fade, throwing a number of counter-punches DHS’ way. Their defensive bravery also stopped the DHS attack on numerous occasions but ultimately they didn’t have enough in the arsenal to unlock the DHS defensive system.

A late try by flyhalf Aka Boqwana was the last play of the game, as the Durbanites cantered home in the end.

Glenwood 14-06 Marlow

Glenwood High School took their chances when they mattered most to see off HoërLandbouskool Marlow 14-6 in a low-scoring affair in the third game of Day 1.

Having won all three of their festival games last year, the Green Machine, playing in red, were eyeing the perfect start to this year’s event. As it happened, they got what they were looking for by making good on the few chances that came their way.

In what was a proper game of attrition, it was Marlow who looked sharper out the gate, putting Glenwood under real pressure early on. They couldn’t capitalise on that ascendency however, with two attempted Gideon Jordaan penalties going wide of the mark to let the KZN side off the hook.

The Cradock boys were made to rue those missed opportunities a few moments later when Leo Weber nailed a three-pointer of his own to give Glenwood the lead.

Despite their slender advantage, Derek Heiberg’s side slowly began to assume control of the tempo, with the 3-0 half-time scoreline not an accurate reflection of their dominance.

Marlow was better in the second half, but another Weber penalty extended the Glenwood lead before the Eastern Cape side was rewarded for their staying power when Jordaan came right with his third attempt at goal.

Unfortunately for them, a rare lapse in defensive concentration allowed Glenwood flyhalf KungawoNcamazana through to score in the defining play of the game.

Jordaan and Weber traded penalties thereafter, but Glenwood hung on for the win.

Noord-Kaap 07-59 Dr EG Jansen

Hoërskool Dr EG Jansen were far too strong for Hoërskool Noord-Kaap, easing their way to a comfortable 59-7 victory in the second game of Day 1.

In all, the Boksburg boys ran in nine tries to comprehensively outplay their opponents. Their powerful ball-carrying and solidity at set piece was just too much for the Kimberley side to handle, but more challenging tests await in the forms of respective Days 2 and 3 opponents Glenwood and Kearsney.

Despite the enormity of the scoreline, Noord-Kaap showed some potential at times, particularly in their offensive one-on-one battles. Unfortunately, an inability to match the intensity of EG Jansen meant it was always going to be a tough day at the office.

They were put on the back foot immediately after kick-off after eighthman Shaw Lourens received a yellow card. From there, it didn’t take long for Egiesto to open their account through an Ettienne Smit double before tighthead Duwan Potgieter added to the tally.

Further, five-pointers through Keanu van Loggerenberg, Gerhard van Aswegen and Jayden du Preez put EG Jansen 38-0 ahead at half-time.

The scoring slowed down in the second half, though the boys in black and yellow did manage more tries through Steven Williams, Craig Lightfoot and Zandre Naude.

For Noord-Kaap, a Tyron China score under the sticks ensured they didn’t leave the game scoreless.

Worcester Gim 26-25 Rustenburg

A last-gasp converted try saw Worcester Gimnasium claim a dramatic 26-25 victory over Hoërskool Rustenburg in a tightly fought 2024 Kearsney Easter Festival opener on Thursday morning.

The sides were neck and neck for the majority of the contest, and it looked for all money like Rustenburg had sealed the win after a superb breakaway try from Lorenzo Snyers with a little over two minutes remaining. However, a valiant fightback by Worcester finally resulted in a Tyron Abrahams try in the corner, which was converted brilliantly by namesake Aiden Abrahams for the victory.

Some manful defending in the opening exchanges kept Rustenburg at bay, but their sustained pressure finally told when Jaden Meyer slotted an early penalty to edge the KERF debutants in front.

They extended their advantage through a Zulu Khumalo try after a failed Worcester attempt to play from deep as the boys in green and orange raced into a 10-0 lead.

Those early setbacks seemed to spark the Western Cape lads into life, and two quickfire tries against the run of play through Conzay Roelf and Wilfred Slingers reduced the deficit before another Meyer three-pointer.

The schools traded tries through Waylan Pienaar and Henco Raath as Rusties took a slender 20-19 lead into the break.

The game slowed down somewhat in the second half, with both sides guilty of several unforced errors. In contrast to the first-half, it was Worcester that enjoyed the lion’s share of territory and possession in their hunt for the lead.

Then came that electryfying try from Snyers that looked to be the final nail; but Worcester showed enormous tenacity in the dying embers to finally snatch it at the death.