College run Glenwood Close
In a Premier Interschools match on Saturday, Maritzburg College went down to a wet Durban as underdogs and came close to ending top dogs. The fairytale ending did not happen, but some truths were told.
Among the truths told there was a vital one that all sportsmen know – no match is predictable. Glenwood were expected to have an easy passage through this match, but they found themselves battling to the end against a spirited College side. Despite all the game-planning and organisation, there is still a place in rugby for heart and soul.
It also told you that the game in South Africa does not need government ukase to “transform”. At those two schools, players are schoolboys with the same chance to develop and excel.
Schoolboys could still save the game in South Africa.
It took College a little over a minute to get on the scoreboard. They were well in Glenwood territory when they moved the ball left where flank Siya Ningiza was in a centre position on the Glenwood 22. He broke and raced a diagonal for a try in the left corner. Scrumhalf Henry Trodd converted from touch, and College led 7-0. They did not score again in the next 68 minutes of the match, but it was not for want of trying, and their defence made life hard for the home side.
College had five lineouts in the first half and lost four of them, including one five metres from the Glenwood line. They also battled in the scrums where Glenwood, with Blaine Golden in the van, held the upper hand. Glenwood also had the better of the penalty count – 7-2 in their favour in the first half. College made up for this with aggressive tackling.
For all that advantage, College led for a half an hour of the first half, and then Glenwood scored two tries in quick succession.
A penalty gave Glenwood an attacking lineout on their right. From the lineout they went left and, running straight as a die, ecntre Martino van Wyk broke and raced straight to the posts for a try. 7-all after 31 minutes.
Two College mistakes in two minutes gave Glenwood the lead. The kick-off after Van Wyk’s try did not go 10 metres. From the ensuing scrum, Glenwood flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse grubbered into touch. College overthrew the lineout, Glenwood got the ball and two long passes saw left wing Katleho Thamaga round his man and score in the left corner. That made the half-tome score 12-7 to Glenwood.
Glenwood had the wind in the second half but added only a penalty goal to the score. There was only one score but there were several exciting moments – as when Van Wyk broke, a great counterattacking run by College’s flyhalf Anele Nzimande, a College attack when, surprise, College won a Glenwood lineout, and a powerful run by Glenwood lock Henk Gouws.
College were penalised at a maul and Hendrikse goaled. 15-7 after 55 minutes.
College tapped a penalty and attacked. They bashed at the line and were actually over but Wandile Hlope was held up. They tapped and bashed again, but a penalty brought Glenwood relief. Jonas kicked out but the lineout throw was horribly awry and the next thing Ningiza was again striding down the left. Tackled he got a bouncing pass away to Khwezi Hadebe on his left but the wing lost the ball over the line as Jonas flew into him.
The match ended with College running and passing up the field.
Apart from the determination and enthusiasm of the players and their magnificent handling, there were two incidents to gladden any rugby man’s heart.
When Hlope plunged for the line. He was held up by Jonas and Hendrikse, but as he arose, Hlope put out a hand to help Hendrikse up off the ground.
Just before the end the College flyhalf Anele Nzimande was stricken by severe cramp. He was attended to and was pulled to his feet. Then the Glenwood centres Martino van Wyk and Bani Holtzhousen helped him off the field, one on each side, as the Glenwood eighthman Freddie Slabbert came across to give him a sympathetic hand.
Glenwood won the match and College won great admiration.
Tries: Martino van Wyk, Katleho Thamaga
Con: Joe Jonas
Pen: Jordan Hendrikse
For Maritzburg College:
Try: Siya Ningiza
Con: Henry Trodd
The Glenwood’s Joe Jonas, was a wing at last year’s Craven Week and chosen at fullback for this match. But when scrumhalf Nico Steyn could not play, Jonas moved to scrumhalf and Chesney Jacobs came in to fullback.
Glenwood: 15 Chesney Jacobs, 14 Lehlohonolo Litabe, 13 Martino van Wyk, 12 Bani Holtzhousen, 11 Katleho Thamaga, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Joe Jonas, 8 Freddie Slabbert, 7 Linden Roman, 6 Ethan Smit, 5 Cade Esterhuizen, 4 Henk Gouws, 3 Blaine Golden, 2 Vian du Plooy, 1 Parnel Ngobo
Maritzburg College: 15 Jarred Hendrikz, 14 Marcelle Masvikeni, 13 Siphe Kekana, 12 Philani Simamane, 11 Khwezi Hadebe, 10 Anele Nzimande, 9 Henry Trodd, 8 Michael King, 7 Siya Ningiza, 6 Malwande Dlangalala, 5 Brogan Tedder, 4 Wandile Hlophe, 3 Tristan Trollip, 2 Henrico Corbett, 1 Cebo Dlamini
Referee: Yanga Sotshangane
Assistant referees: Shaun Weir, Struan Cowey