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Glenwood thrashes DHS in rugby clash

Glenwood High School's first team beat DHS in a rugby match at the weekend.

THE 133rd meeting between Glenwood and DHS saw hosts Glenwood winning 38-13 at the weekend.

This meant Glenwood improved to 54 wins versus DHS’s 68, with 11 draws since the first game in 1922.

During this match, DHS did well to keep the score at 0-0 for the first 33 minutes but after that the floodgates opened and Glenwood scored six tries in 29 minutes before DHS got a consolation try.

The first half produced only seven points but it was action-packed. A common theme played out in the half – Glenwood would apply attacking pressure, get into the DHS redzone, look like they were about to score from the next phase of play and then DHS would produce a “get out of jail card.”

It was all credit to the DHS defence at that state, as the visitors refused to lie down and showed a lot of spirit.

DHS were stuck between a rock and a hard place though. For a start, their own lineout game was under immense pressure, meaning that attacking possession was hard to come by. Territorially they were pressed back and reluctant to attack Glenwood from deep with ball in hand. One of their defensive tactics appeared to revolve around kicking the ball up-field rather than out, possibly in order to prevent Glenwood from gaining a set piece platform to launch a new attack.

However no matter how good these tactical kicks were, they inevitably resulted in the talented Glenwood fullback Morné Joubert, who was the player of the match, getting numerous opportunities to counter-attack with ball in hand. Joubert experienced another nightmare from the kicking tee but as a player carrying the ball up from the back, there are few players as skilful as he is in the country this year.

Also standing out for their attacking contributions in the first half were Glenwood left wing Philani Ngcobo, who is going to make a strong claim for Craven Week selection in the weeks to come, and underrated openside flank James Venter, who seems to be able to get himself into the right place at the right and become more and more prominent as an attacking player as the season goes on.

Glenwood’s opening try came in 34th minute. Philani Ngcobo fielded a highball kick out of danger and brought it back. Soon the ball was in the hands of the dangerous line-breaking Sparks Ngcobo, who has been a revelation at outside centre this season. He got through a hole as he so often does and for the first time in the match, the DHS last line of defence failed as Sparks bounced off the would-be tackler and ran in for a try, making it 7-0 at the break, with inside centre Donny du Randt taking over the kicking duties.

Four minutes into the second half, DHS once again did not find touch with a relieving kick. Soon afterwards, Donny du Randt had the chance to exhibit the invaluable explosiveness he has by getting around his midfield marker with ease and then racing in for the try, making it 12-0.

Glenwood’s fitness and upper body strength proved to be important as their pack took control from here on out.

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