HTS Middelburg Spring Surprise
HTS Middelburg vs Pretoria Boys High, 32-27
Pretoria Boys High were looking for their third win at the festival when they came up against HTS Middelburg, hungry for their first win.
It was Middelburg who made the best of their chances to take a 19-8 lead at the break. Pretoria had a number of chances, but a mistake in the last move prevented more than one try from them.
Flank Jandré Kleyn opened the scoring with a try for HTS; and this was followed by Jaden Collaros converting a penalty. Impressive wing Quintino October then scored the first of his two tries, for Middelburg to go into a 12-3 lead.
Pretoria had some sustained pressure in the red zone with wing Bradley Mayekiso diving over to reduce the lead to 8-12. Pretoria Boys could rue the chances that they let slip and it was October, scoring his second try of the match, this time converted by Alec Vermaak, for HTS to lead 19-8 going into the break.
Some good handling led to HTS opening the scoring in the second half, when centre Christiaan Vlok scored, converted by Vermaak, to increase the lead to 26-8.
This seemed to wake up the Pretoria forwards and they were rewarded when centre Mikhail Edwards held on to the ball, broke through a tackle and ran 30m to score. Midway through the half, Edwards was again on hand to score his second try, this time converted by Justin Cross, to narrow the gap to 20-26. Two penalties converted by Vermaak increased the HTS lead to 32-20.
Boys High came back with Edwards scoring his hat-trick under the poles for an easy conversion by Cross to give them hope at 27-32. It was not to be; after another great game with plenty of movement ended with HTS Middelburg getting their first win of the festival in an exciting finish.
For HTS Middelburg:
Tries: Quintino October 2, Christiaan Vlok, Jandré Kleyn
Cons: Alec Vermaak 3
Pens: Alec Vermaak 2
For Pretoria Boys High:
Tries: Bradley Mayekiso, Mikhail Edwards 3
Cons: Justin Cross 2
Pen: Jaden Collaros
By Sue Miles of Working Words
Photograph by Tracey van den Aardweg