St John's Easter Festival, Day 2
It was Day 2 on the St John’s Easter Rugby Festival on the Burger Field at the foot of a steep koppie crowned with the school’s stone building. It kicked off with a thrilling match, won in the last minute.
Golden Lions Presdient’s XV vs St David’s Marist Inanda
Day 2 at the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival brought about a big surprise in the first game of the day, as the Golden Lions President’s XV shocked St David’s Marist, by beating them 19-12. The Lions had really struggled to get wins in their past visits to the festival, but they will definitely be proud to secured a victory over St David’s.
The Lions led 7-0 at half-time. Two tries gave St David’s the lead at 1`2-7. Back came the Lions to level the scores. When the winner came it was a try of great individual brilliance.
With five minutes to play, St David’s kicked the ball down into the Lions’ 22 where Scrumhalf Tinashe Gowere fielded the ball and raced down the right side of the field swerving at speed before scoring the winning try.
St David’s attacked but the Lions kept them at bay for the victory in a thriller.
Graeme vs St Charles
Graeme College, making their debut in this year’s St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, earned themselves a big victory, when they produced a dominant performance to defeat St Charles College 19-10.
The match up started on a high note for the boys from Pietermaritzburg, St Charles, when they managed to score an early try inside 5 minutes. Fullback Simiso Ngubane was responsible for finishing in the corner for the Saints, but it was unfortunate that the try was not converted but Graeme trailed 5-0. This however saw the resurrection of Graeme, who slowly got into the swing of things and started to play attractive running rugby, that saw speedster Yanga Bangisa and Sanqoba Makalima dive over twice, with Zusake Kepe converting both to see Graeme 14-5 up. The rest of the half was end to end stuff, with both teams just sadly making errors in good positions. Before the hooter sounded for the interval, St Charles did however get a 5 pointer through Eyethu Majozi to see the scores read 14-10 to Graeme.
The second half saw Graeme really pounce on the errors made by St Charles, in the end only managing one unconverted try that gave them a bit of breathing space. In the end, that was enough to get the boys from the Eastern Cape their first ever win at the festival.
NSW Combined High Schools vs Noordheuwel
New South Wales Combined High Schools continued their great run of form at the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival, making it two wins from two games so far. This time they defeated Hoërskool Noordheuwel 38-19.
The first half was competitive and tough, with both sides finding it difficult to find weaknesses in each others game plans. There were however scorers in half, with NSW dotting down first and taking a slender lead. Noordheuwel did continue to give their all, in pursuit of leveling matters or even taking the lead but they instead fell behind even further, with NSW this time around getting themselves a converted try, to take a 12-0 lead. That was not how things ended in the half however, with Noordheuwel doing well to claw their way back and leveling matters with two tries of their own. At the break, the sides were deadlocked at 12 all.
The second half saw Noordheuwel put in a great fight in the opening 10 minutes but as the game went on, NSW seemed to grow from strength to strength, terrorizing the Noordheuwel defence at every opportunity. In the end things just became too much for Noordheuwel to handle and NSW were eventually crowned 38-19 victors.
Helpmekaar vs St Alban’s
The match up between Helpmekaar Kollege and St Alban’s College was arguably the most entertaining game so far on Day 2. Helpmekaar in the end merely outlasted St Alban’s, after the two sides were separated by only a try for a lot of the second half. In the end, the final whistle sounded with Helpmekaar winning 33-19.
The first half saw St Alban’s really play out their socks, in a game where they were expected to not do so well in, considering the form Helpmekaar had coming into the festival. The opening moments however did see Helpmekaar really dominate proceedings, especially from a physical aspect. This saw the Johannesburg based side eventually race over the line twice, to a 14-0 lead. St Albans then found a way back, scoring two tries of their own, bringing the score to 14-all, before Helpmekaar bounced back to score one more try and take a 21-14 lead at the break.
The second half saw the clash remain slightly in the favour of Helpmekaar, with St Albans putting in a big effort in keeping within touching distance. Helpmekaar did however end up turning it up a notch, running 2 tries to St Albans’ 1 try. The game ended with Helpmekaar sealing off a 33-19 victory.
From St John’s