Northwood edge gutsy Kearsney
REPORT: Kearsney fought their way back into their Classic Clash with Northwood but eight points in the final 10 minutes secured a 20-12 victory for the home side.
The home side went into the half-time break with a 12-0 lead but Kearsney hit back to level matters early in the second half to level matters. However, Northwood displayed grit and determination to break their opponents’ hearts to claim the Classic CLash bragging rights.
Northwood on the front foot straight away but spurned an early opportunity as they turned the ball over on Kearsney’s try-line. Handling errors were the order of the day in the opening 10 minutes which allowed Northwood to camp inside Kearsney’s 22. All the pressure would tell in the ninth minute as the ball was spread wide and found wing Sali Mlenzana, who dotted down an easy finish to hand the hosts a 5-0 lead.
Kearsney grew in confidence in the middle period of the opening half but Northwood’s defence stood firm to ensure the visitors couldn’t enter the 22.
As we entered the final five minutes of the half, the home side had an excellent attacking platform with a scrum on Kearsney’s five-metre line, No.8 picked up form the back of the scrum and looked to bulldoze his way through but was brought down inches short.
After a few phases, prop Ryan Francis had just too much power from close range as he grabbed his side’s second of the match. Lock Cairan Bigwood took over kicking duties and slotted the extras as the home side’s lead extended to 12-0 after 33 minutes.
Kearsney came out firing and camped in Northwood’s 22 for much of the opening 10 minutes but the home side’s defence kept their opponents at bay. However, Kearsney’s persistence paid off in the 48th minute, when from a five-metre attack scrum, fullback Derick Marshall received the ball at first receiver and dummied his way past a solitary defender. Jordan Bamber popped over the extras to reduce the deficit to 7-12.
Both sides had chances to add to their tally and it would be Kearsney who got themselves level in the 56th minute. An error by Northwood fullback Ntokozo Makhaza handed the visitors a scrum seven metres from his try line. The scrum was solid and flyhalf Matthew Hind came off an angled run to snipe through a gap and make his way over the line.
Northwood were back in the lead heading into the final 10 minutes as Getkate broke through Kearsney’s defence from the halfway line and was eventually brought down 20 metres from the try line. Northwood maintained continuity before Vernon Matongo showed his strength by muscling his way over the line as the rain began to fall and handed the home side a 17-12 lead.
The home side remained on the front foot from that point and a 67th minute Bigwood penalty stretched that lead to eight points. They hung on for the final four minutes to claim the bragging rights for another year.
Tries: Mlenzana, Francis, Matongo
Tries: Marshall, Hind
Pic: Northwood School