SOME of the rugby matches went according to form, but were closer than expected.
There were no major surprises, perhaps the biggest being the score at Hilton. Most sides now have only one match left this season, as they will not play next weekend as it is a long weekend for some schools.
Hilton vs St Albans
This game was won by 42 points to six by Hilton, against expectations that it would be a close match. This was mainly due to Hilton playing good rugby and keeping to their structures. Hilton paced themselves well, scoring three tries in each half and preventing St Albans from crossing the try line.
The home side used their forwards to carry the ball up, sucking in the defenders and then they spread the ball to give the outside backs some space. This tactic worked as the three tries in the first half were scored by the wings. Chris Wood scored the first after just a few minutes and then Emil Schwartz scored a brace. Josh Negri converted a penalty and the last of the tries for Hilton to lead 20-3 at the break.
Mark Tollett added his second penalty for St Albans just after the resumption of play and Negri replied for Hilton. The next two tries were scored after forward drives. Eighth man William Leathern from a maul down the middle converted by Ngeri and then Negri scored from a lineout. The final try came when St Albans were on attack in Hilton’s 22-metre area.
Woods intercepted a pass and ran 80 metres to score under the posts for an easy conversion by Negri to give Hilton their 42 points.
Carter vs Howick
There was some niggle in this derby match and incidents off the ball, which made it difficult for referee Kevin Wood and detracted from some good hard play. The heavier Howick pack dominated in the first period and Carter players often failed to get across the advantage line.
The first try came when wing Sthem Maduna broke from a ruck to score. Kurlin Chetty added the extra points and Howick led 7-0. Carter were starting to get more ball the longer the half progressed and they were rewarded with a penalty by Jake Smith to trail 3-7 at half-time.
Five minutes into the second half, Chetty added another three points from a penalty. Continued pressure from Carter resulted in lock Mnqobi Mwlase breaking through a number of tackles to score. The conversion from close to the touch line was taken by KK Mongia and under pressure he slotted it to level the score at 10 all. Neither side got close to scoring again, leaving the result a fair reflection of the play.
Northwood vs Kearsney
This was Northwood’s Founders days and the old boys present lifted their side’s performance, so that at the break the scores were level, with a penalty apiece from Warren Seals from Kearsney and Northwood’s M. Brennan.
It was only in the last quarter of the game that Kearsney got on top and three tries were scored. The first to lock Jesse Mina from a lineout, then a good line movement saw centre Andrew Holland breaking through, only to be caught just short of the tryline, but he managed to pop the ball to supporting Brett Walsh who went over. The last try came from a kick ahead and K.G. Sergoli was tackled before he could gather the ball, resulting in a penalty try being awarded. Seals converted all three tries for Kearsney to win 24-6.
Clifton vs St Charles
St Charles soon realised that Clifton were not there merely to make up numbers, as they came out firing. However, the longer the game progressed, the stronger the Maritzburg boys became. In the end it was a comfortable 27-0 win with four tries to St Charles. The tries were scored by Devon McHardy, Damien Horeau, Andile Dlamini and Dylan Teubes, with Matthew Mitchell converting two and adding a penalty.
Treverton vs St Henry’s
St Henry’s were slow to warm up on a cold Mooi River morning and Treverton scored two tries in the first 10 minutes. Two more were scored before the half-time whistle for the home side to lead 22-0. In the second half, with the breeze at Treverton’s backs, St Henrys found it difficult. Treverton ran in three more tries all converted, with St Henry’s scoring a consolation try in the final minute. Treverton fully deserved their 43-7 win.
Port Natal vs Voortrekker
Voortrekker battled manfully against the unbeaten Port Natal and were down 0-6 at the break. In the second half, Porties class came through and they scored three tries with Voortrekker hooker Nic du Plooy getting over for the visitors. Gertjie Brits converted and Vories lost the battle 7-25.
SCORES IN BRIEF
(home side first)
Maritzburg College 11 Glenwood 23 (reported as “Match of the day”); Hilton 42 St Albans 6; Carter 10 Howick 10; Northwood 6 Kearsney 24; Clifton 0 St Charles 27; Treverton 43 St Henry’s 7; Port Natal 25 Voortrekker 7; DHS 3 Westville 22; Michaelhouse 27 George Campbell10; Wartburg 25 Ixopo 0; Michaelhouse II 50 Hillcrest 0; Amanzimtoti 24 Scottburgh 15; Kloof 16 New Forest 14; Gelofte 7 Thomas More 3; Kingsway 23 Port Shepstone 22; Grosvenor 22 Durban North College 5