Day Three @ The St Johns Festival



09h00: St John’s Harare 7-32 Hilton


It is difficult to say anything positive regarding this match. Still a complete mismatch with the boys from Zim, although always putting up a good fight I can not see them even coming close to beat Hilton. Hopefully, we can see them scoring their first points in the tournament. Some valuable experience gained by the boys of Zim but as I said.............



Match Report

Hilton came into this final day having lost 6-14 against the powerhouse of schoolboy rugby in the north, Affies, and a good win of 28-19 over the hosts St. John's College on Saturday. St. John's Harare were on the losing end of their two matches against Helpmekaar Kollege of Johannesburg 7-65 on day one and then 0-36 to Parktown on Saturday. The weather was fine and cool with a light Hilton came out firing from their kick-off against St. John's Harare in the opening match of the last day of schoolboy rugby here at the St. John's Easter Rugby Festival in Johannesburg. Clearl, Hilton's #5 got it all this morning as he scored two good tries in the first 10 minutes of the game. Hilton were turning over ball on the ground and their 5 turnovers gave them plenty of ball to SJH was yellow carded, putting his team under even more pressure. Both tries were converted by #6 David Rodseth who has a beautiful kicking style. Then Rodseth slotted a penalty to make the score 17-0 before scoring a try of his own and converting it for a personal tally in the first half of 14 points. Another penalty was kicked over by #15 Nicolas Winskill to give Hilton a commanding 27-0 lead at half time. St. John's Harare struggled to get into anything more than 3 phases, partly because they seem to lack the ability to look up and see space and get the ball distributed to get into space. This is a coaching element that should be taught to these players. Hilton took off where they stopped and but SJH resisted well in the 2nd half, with Hilton down to 14 men, Hilton we able to breach their defence and #21 Gareth Schreuder went over for a try. The try was not converted.  Hilton lost their #3 Dylan Davies to a yellow card. St. John's Harare, playing their best rugby of the festival, were led by the inspirational play of their scrumhalf, #9 Dillon Brain, and this allowed number 2 Tanaka Mpofu to score under the poles. #20 Matthew Davenport converted the try to bring the final score to 32-7 for Hilton.

Hilton College 32 (27): Tries: Drieë: Jared Venter (2), David Rodseth, Gareth Schreuder. Conversions: Rodseth (3). Penalties: Rodseth, Nicholas Winskill. 

St. John’s College 7 (Harare): Try: Tanaka Mpofu. Conversion: Matthew Davenport.


10h15: Combined High School (Australia) 29-7 Florida


The boys from Aus will meet a Florida team, although without a victory at this festival full of confidence after their wonderful display against a highly rated and ranked Affies. The Aussie displayed again against Boishaai that they always come back in the second half and will give it their all as everybody said before the festival started that they could win this one. I expect a major battle up front with the winner also taking the game.



Match Report

The visiting team from down under, NSW Combined High Schools, impressed from the start in their third match of the St. John's Easter Rugby Festival against Florida from the West Rand. NSW came into the match having lost to Parktown from Johannesburg  19-26 in their first game together as a team (ever)and then received a lesson in running rugby from the magnificent Paarl Boys team on Saturday, losing 0-67. Florida, on the other hand, were confident in their ability to compete, after losing out 13-20 on day 1 against a very slick St. John's College but then putting up a west rand special against Affies on day two, narrowly losing out 24-28 to the schoolboy rugby factory from Pretoria. NSW have a large pack, their #5 sporting a good 2.0m, but the pack of Florida, measuring an average height of 1.91m was even taller. The lads from Australia were heavier though, averaging a massive 114 kg in the front row, but they were the youngest team at the festival with 17 players still considered as U17 players, although Florida themselves were clearly building towards the future, including 12 U17 players in their squad. From the kickoff NSW was intent on spreading the ball, keeping play away from the large pack of Florida. They did so successfully and this leads to the first try of the 1st half by hooker William Bremener.  Florida came back and was camping on the NSW line when the moment was too big and their backs spilt the ball, which was turned over and allowed NSW to increase their lead when #13 Joey Walton streamed across the field to score under the Florida posts. #10 Billy Carberry converted. For Florida Maxwill Louw clearly had a lot of wheels, tearing up that left-hand touchline on more than one occasion but falling short of points on the board every time. The second half started with NSW leading by 12-0. They fired off the first salvo of the second half when #22 Said Halbouni scored an unconverted try in the left-hand corner after good support play. Shortly after that the NSW flyhalf Carberry was yellow carded after a ruck infringement. Florida almost immediately lost their ball again in the lineout. They gathered the ball shortly afterwards before #13 Timothy Allies broke the line with some wonderful footwork to put the wheels of winger Maxwill Louw into space to score under the posts. #10 HG De Kok converted and it was NSW in the lead by 17-7 before the huge #16 Netane Talanoa crashed over for a try, converted by #24 Isaac Williams. NSW simply smashed Florida with energy, turning over the ball 13 times to the 2 of Florida. The NSW #12 is a very good centre, our only criticism being that as a team they don't always look for space to play to. Then #7 Harrison Turner scored a try and the final scoreboard at 29-7 was a bridge too far for the Flories. NSW can walk tall, they came here to entertain and that they did!

Nieu-Suid-Wallis CHS 29 (12): Tries: William Bremner, Joey Walton, Said Halbouni, Netane Talanoa, Harry Turner. Conversions: Billy Carberry, Isaac Williams.

Hoërskool Florida 7 (0): Try: Maxwill Louw. Conversion: HG de Kok.


11h30: Parktown 61-12 Paul Roos


Parktown still undefeated at this festival will come up against a rampant Paul Roos. One can just wonder if the boys from the Western Cape will have their foot off the petrol and sending on the heavy artillery only if and when needed. Paul Roos again with an easy win?



Match Report
The exciting Paul Roos were out of the blocks like an Olympic sprinter, sending #11 WJ Smith over in the corner within 2 minutes from the kickoff. Colia Louis converted. Then Parktown fought back through #4 Simao Dioniso and it was only tremendous defence by the maroons that kept the men from Parktown from scoring, and not after the referee had to have a stern talking to the #12 Rufus Dercksen of Paul Roos, that they managed to turn the ball over and get out of trouble. This was an important moment in the match, as the maroon gears started falling in place. After hard work by the Paul Roos lock Ryno Niemand, they managed to work their way up the field and star loose forward Philip van Dyk broke the line to score a great try which Colia Louis converted. At this stage, PR got a lot of ball as Parktown were kicking away their possession. After some hard work on the stroke of 20 minutes #12, Rufus Dercksen scored their third try of the match. Colia Louis converted the try to make the score 21-0 to Paul Roos. The maroons won a Parktown scrum but lost the ball over the try line and Parktown kicked themselves out of trouble. They were however in trouble soon enough again though. After good work by scrum half Antonie Kock, Philip van Dyk scored his second try and Colia Louis kicked over a superb conversion. This player, Colia Louis, is a cool customer and a very good fullback who should be a very strong contender for provincial honours later in the season. Next on the score sheet was the always-involved #5 Breyen Maritz. Louis converted and the halftime score was 35-0 to Paul Roos. Philip van Dyk opened the second half with his hat-trick of tries. He is a very powerful loose forward indeed. #17 Hanru Jacobs demolished a Parktown scrum and in the process ensured the third heel against the head for Paul Roos. Then Parktown was awarded their 9th penalty of the match and shortly after that #13 Wonga Matubatuba scored under the posts to make the score 40-5 to Paul Roos. #16 Willem vd Heever was next up to score, which Colia Louis converted. Parktown opted to kick a lot of ball away, no less than 20 times, but their tactics were not very effective, failing at 40% of their kicks and the backline of Paul Roos eager to make every opportunity count. This, among factors like good play on the ground, allowed Paul Roos to dominate the turnover stats, getting no less than 10 turnovers in the match, but the referee was heavy on his whistle, punishing them no less than 11 times versus the 3 penalties against Parktown. Credit to the jackers and jumpers of Paul Roos, winning 3 of the Parktown lineouts against the formidable 2.00m frame of Dioniso due to their speed on the ground. But young Wonga Matubatuba was not done yet, as he scored his second try of the match which #10 M Hopp converted to make the score 47-12. Next up to score a try was lock #18 Lombard Basson, converted by Colia Louis. #14 Regan Vd Westhuizen added another try for Paul Roos for a final score of 61-12 to Paul Roos who end the festival undefeated, playing beautiful rugby, to march into the rest of their season brimming with confidence and ready to take on their traditional rivals in the Western Province as the season unfolds. All credit to Corne Uys and the rest of the Paul Roos management team for stepping up to the challenges presented to their team at the festival, and for making sure the South African schoolboy rugby community know there are more than one or two (or 3, sorry Ploeg) exceptional rugby teams down South this season.

Paul Roos Gimnasium 61 (35): Tries: WJ Smith, Philip van Dyk (3), Rufus Dercksen, Breyten Maritz, Willem van den Heever, Lombard Basson, Regan van der Westhuizen. Conversions: Colia Louis (7), WJ Smith.

Parktown Boys’ High 12 (0): Tries: Wonga Matubatuba (2). Conversions: Matyas Hopp.

13h30: St John’s College 59-10 Eye of the Tiger


St John's will be a much better opponent for Eye of the Tiger after they suffered two massive defeats against Boishaai and Nelspruit. The points difference will not be as big in the two previous matches but St John's, who will look to rectify their mistakes against Hilton to come out with all guns blazing. A win for st John's but not as easy as everybody may expect.



Match Report

Hosts St. John's College, looking to continue their impressive 2017 season, faced the daunting haka of crowd favourite Eye Of The Tiger as they lined up for their final match of the St. John's College Easter Rugby Festival 2017. SJC, lead by fly-half Kieran Houlston, looked impressive throughout the festival, beating Florida 20-13 on day 1, before losing 19-28 in a titanic battle against Hilton. EOTT had a tough old time so far, losing against Paarl Boys High 0-57 and to Nelspruit 0-43 in their two matches, but always trying to run the ball and being very entertaining at that. SJC burst into the match through a bull run by the large frame of #4 David McAlpine before an unfortunate injury saw an EOTT player stretchered off the field. Shortly after #5 Murray Blair scored the first try of the match for SJC. After 12 minutes scrumhalf Cameron Lengacher scored a try which #15 Ruben Engelbrecht converted. Soon after that outside centre Tshepo Chipu scored their third try which was converted by Engelbrecht. Then EOTT showed some intent on attack and after 22 minutes of play their fullback scored a blistering try in the corner right in front of the media tent and almost ran up to the boarding house before his brakes were effective. EOTT dominated play leading up to half time but poor decisions with ball distribution and handling errors prevented them from scoring again before half time. St. John's College leading 19-5 going into the break. Within 2 minutes into the 2nd half #10 Kieran Houlston scored a try which #12 Will Davis converted. A minute later and Kieran Houlston smashed through defence and passed to #9 Cameron Lengacher who worked very hard to cross the line for his try. The conversion by Engelbrecht was successful and the score was 33-5 to St. John's College. Then EOTT hit back through a try by #19 Lutho Mboniso after great interplay by the backline. St. John's College forwards turned the tables again as first #6 Philip Mparutsa and then #4 David McAlpine scored tries. Both tries were converted by #12 Davis to make the score 47-10. Then #9 Cameron Lengacher completed his hatrick to bring up the 50 for St. John's College. Not even a minute later Kieran Houlston showed his power again and burst through for his second try which he converted himself to make the final score 59-10 to St. John's College.    

St. John’s College 59 (19): Tries: Cameron Lengacher (3), Murray Blair, Tshepo Chipu, Kieran Houlston (2), Phillip Mparutsa, David McApine. Conversions: Ruben Engelbrecht (3), Will Davis (4).

Eye of the Tiger 10 (5): Tries: Barnes Hoggard, Lutho Mboniso.


14h45: Nelspruit 18-12 Helpmekaar


This could be an interesting match as Nelspruit had an easy day out on day two beating Eye of the Tiger with ease, and Helpmekaar's bodies will still bear the scars left on them by Paul Roos. Nelspruit received a rugby lesson against Paul Roos on day one but as said will be fresh and ready knowing where to take on the boys from Helpmekaar. I do not think the boys from Helpmekaar will be thinking of the Paul Roos game and their focus will be on winning this one. Helpies should win this one BUT ......................................



Match Report

The Rhinos from Nelspruit took on the highly rated Helpmekaar Kollege from Johannesburg in their final match of the St. John's College Easter Rugby Festival. Helpmekaar were on the scoresheet within seconds after #9 Ruhan Viviers picked up a ball from a good scrum to score under the posts. #10 Oosthuizen converted and Helpies were up 7-0. In a very interesting turn of events, with Helpmekaar obviously realising a problem at #3, they moved the strong hooker Dameon Venter to the tighthead side of the scrum and brought in #16 Jean Engelbrecht to start as the hooker in the match. Nelspruit #10 Stephan van der Bank then slotted over a penalty kick to make the score 7-3 to Helpies. Then Nelspruit attacked and #9 was stopped just short by a massive double tackle by Dameon Venter and Ruhan Viviers to stop a possible try by Nelspruit. What started off with a great lineout ended with a high-speed long-range try by Frederick van Deventer for Helpmekaar, changing the score to 12-3. This was the halftime score with Helpmekaar firmly in command of the match. But such is the game of rugby, that Nelspruit scored first in the 2nd half through a penalty kick making the score 12-6 to Helpmekaar and got back in the match. Helpmekaar seemed hell bent on spoiling every ball they decided to run through poor passing and handling. Nelspruit then collected another ball spilt by the Helpies backs as Helpies were attacking at pace and #11 Reinhard Roets sped down the left-hand  touchline to score a try, which was converted by #10 Stephan van der Bank, to give Nelspruit the lead for the first time in the match with the score at 13-12 to Nelspruit and about 10 minutes to go. Shortly after that Nelspruit split open the Helpmekaar backline like a can of Jo'burg sardines when #15 Paul Rheeder scored under the posts for an unconverted try, to extend the Nelspruit lead to 18-12. Then Helpies had a good opportunity to score when they took their 2nd heel against the head but the ball was lost in the backline and the hooter sounded for Nelspruit to record an epic victory as they won the match deservingly by 18-12 and suddenly the road back to Nelspruit became a lot shorter for the Rhinos and a lot longer for the boys from Braamfontein around the corner.

Hoërskool Nelspruit 18 (3): Tries: Reinhard Roets, Paul Rheeder. Conversion: Stephan van der Bank. Penalties: Van der Bank (2).

Helpmekaar Kollege 12 (12): Tries: Ruhan Viviers, Frederick van Deventer. Penalty: Tristan Oosthuizen.


16h00: Paarl Boys’ 14-10 Affies


Everybody will know who I will be supporting in this one, and if it is not clear - AAaaaafffffiiiieeeeeesssss !!!!!!!!!!!!!. But one can also not go through life not facing up to the realities. Affies is seemingly having problems at several key positions and it seems that they win with low margins and somewhere like in 2016 they are in for a big hiding. Boishaai, on the other hand, was also not really tested this year barring their last match in New Zeeland which they narrowly lost. Boishaai will be the fresher on the day as they clearly took the foot off in the second half against the Aussies on Saturday whereas Affies had to bring on the heavy artillery to overcome the onslaught by Florida. My heart, Affies my head, Affies my soul Affies but it's that "verdomde kokkerot" on my shoulder that keeps on shouting otherwise.

Match Report

The full match report will be done in a separate report. Just looking for that kokkerot to kill the gemors.

Paarl Boishaai 14 (6): Try: Thakir Abrahams. Conversion: Chamberlain, Seon Mouton. Drop Goal: Henry Chamberlain.

Affies 10 (7): Try: Johan van Zyl. Conversion: Regardt Roets. Penalty: Roets.