In their final match of the 2019 hockey season Westville Boys took on Kearsney College on old boys day. In a fixture which saw the hosts seldom troubled for any extended period of time, a totally dominant display, lead to a 3-1 victory for the home team.
Kearsney started off the game at a frenetic pace as they harried and hassled the Westville players into unusual mistakes in the opening minutes.
The strategy seemed a good one as Westville play a slow, deliberate, possession based game which forces their opponents to cover allot of ground to cover passing lanes as the move the ball from side to side.
Kearsney, for their part, were successful in halting any Westville flow as they tore round the 3 schools astro.
For all their endeavour, though, they couldn’t quite get enough of the ball to create goal scoring chances of their own.
The quality of the Westville team soon started to show, however, as Ethan Matkovich and Wynand Steynberg gained control of the tempo of the game.
Their passing and great linking with Luke Allen and Randal Govender pushed Kearsney further and further back until the visitors were well and truly pinned in their half for large portions of the 1st half.
The first opportunity for a goal came in the 5th minute as a strong drive by Govender earned Westville a PC. A Luke Allen drag flick flashed past the left upright of Christopher Kiggen, a warning shot to the boys from Kearsney that this wasn’t going to be an easy afternoon.
With 3 seconds left in the 1st chukka a driving run from Govender earned the griffins another PC. The resultant save by Hayden De Kock must go do as one of the stops of the season. A Matkovich drag flick missile was incredibly swatted away on the goal line a few inches from De Kocks face.
A great piece of skill and life preservation from the defender.
The 2nd chukka had a familiar pattern to it as Westville’s calm, measured, approach eventually lead to a passing lane for the ball to get up field.
In the 23rd minute came their next chance as some great individual work from Joshua Davies created a little space for Joshua Korte to fire over the Kearsney crossbar.
That the half ended at 0-0 doesn’t reflect the total control that Westville had on the match at this stage. But, to Kearsneys credit, they had defended manfully up to this point in keeping Westville at bay.
The Griffins dominance was rewarded, however, shortly after the break, as a great run from Korte earned Westville a PC in the 31st minute. A simple push out to the 1st castle and a Allen drag flick found the back of the goal. 1-0 to the hosts.
Kearsney College, who had been content on sitting fairly deep on defence, immediately sprang into life and starting pressing little a bit higher up the field in search of a equaliser. Westville who had been in total control of the tempo of the match got a bit to casual in possession and were disposed deep in their half giving Calvin Davis a chance to shoot just wide.
Kearsney, sensing that Westville had lost a little concentration, continued to play with a lot more aggression and hunger. It was during one of the brighter passages of play from Kearsney that a brilliant 40 metre slap stick pass from Chase Kelly found James Maguire open on the edge of the D. With only the keeper to beat the striker unfortunately scuffed his shot.
In the 48th minute Kearsney were rewarded for their efforts with a goal of their own after some great work in the D by Menzi Mhlungu earned Kearsney a PC.
If there is anyone who has been a rock for the Kearsney team this season it has to be captain, Chase Kelly. The PC specialist has a bullet drag flick and has phenomenal strike rate at short corners.
With another one of his thunderbolts crashing into the back of the goal he levelled the scores at 1-1. Great rewards for the Kearsney boys as they came out with a great deal of intent after the Westville score.
With Kearsney playing such a high line in search of goals it left acres of space in the midfield and it was only a matter of time until the Westville passing game clicked into gear.
In the 52 minute a breakout lead by Korte headed up the field with Randal Govender and Mazwi Meyiwa in support. Korte bounced through the defence like a pinball as would be defenders were summarily dispatched as he sped determinedly up field.
Just as he was about to be enveloped a by a swarm of defenders he deftly passed to an unmarked Govender to his left.
The midfielder, showing a great degree of poise, pirouetted away from the advancing goalkeeper before rolling a simple pass to Meyiwa who tapped the ball into the empty goal making the score 2-1 to the hosts.
Credit must go to Kearsney who, in spite of conceding a goal, continued to press a high line in search of an equaliser. The Westville midfield and backs were just to calm and controlled though.
They picked their way through the Kearsney pressure with Govender, Davies and Korte being simply outstanding in this stanza as they moved purposefully up field.
It was the another midfielder, Jarrod Slanely who earned the PC for the 3rd goal in the 55th minute after a great lay off from Davies.
A drag out to the 1st castle set the table for Matkovich to drill a powerful drag flick to the keepers left making the score 3-1 to the hosts.
The remainder of the game turned into a bit of a procession as the Westville boys relished the last 5 minutes of their school hockey careers.
That this team finished undefeated is a testament to the quality of this bunch of boys and the work of Cameron Mackay, the names of Matkovitch, Steynberg, Allen, Govender, Korte and Davies will be forever remembered as being part of one of Westvilles finest 1st XI hockey sides.
Aaaaaa-aaand on the first minute it’s a Westville try by outside centre Mlu Khalishwayo in front of the Kent Pavilion after a judicious kick towards the corner.
* Justin Waldman feature image: RedBlackWhite captain Siphe Kekana and The Nicholson Arch Touch.
College infringe 30 metres out and the low Grove Akker kick sees the 10’s effort flash a metre over the crossbar.
27 minutes to go.
16 minutes to go
But it’s never over till the full-figured lady sings…
Then it’s Maritzburg College first XV flyhalf Anele Nzimande who smashes through for a Henry Trodd converted try!
Maritzburg College 19
And this KZN10 Super Saturday 1 June it’s the formidable Hilton first XV on Graeme Gilfillan Field in the lovely land of the Hiltonians.
A buoyant Westville tackle Kearsney on WBHS OB Day.
“Throughout history a win on Goldstones has always been a difficult thing to obtain, but on Saturday after a hard-fought game the Westville 1st XV managed to hold on to their lead to win 28-26.
“1 minute into the game Westville were already on the score sheet with a try through outside centre Mlu Khalishwayo.
“The try was unconverted but more points were to follow with flyhalf Grove Akker kicking two penalties for 11-0 up.
Westville were looking comfortable and clinical, however College were to step up their performance and in the 25th minute replied with a converted try of their own.
“The score was to remain the same till halftime 11-7 in favour of Westville.
“The momentum shifted with about 10 minutes to go in the first half and continued with College scoring a try from deep in their half just 3 minutes into the second half for the home team to take the lead for the first time (12-11).
“College were now finding space in the wider channels and had Westville’s defence scrambling, but Westville managed to somehow hold them from scoring and instead responded with two beautiful tries of their own through right wing Simemela Nkomo and tighthead Okuhle Siyeni.
“The tries were converted by Grove Akker and, at 25-12 to Westville, yet again it seemed as though Westville had taken the game away from College, but yet again College showed that they are a team who never say die as they rallied together to score two converted tries in quick succession to regain the lead at 26-25 and set up a nervy last couple minutes of the game.
“Westville got a penalty right in front of the poles, though, and Akker’s kick reclaimed the lead for Westville at 28-26 and that is how it would stay till the final whistle.
“That final whistle seemed to take an age to come, though, as Westville had to defend and survive the relentless College attack at the death.
“Westville seemed to be camped for an age on their tryline. In the final moments College were awarded a penalty in front of the poles to win the game but inexplicably they turned it down and took a quick tap instead.
“Westville breathed a sigh of relief and tackled with renewed gusto. College eventually knocked the ball on and Westville had survived the tidal wave to record a 28-26 victory on the hallowed turf of Goldstones.”
Here are the last 30 seconds of the rugby match between College and Westville. Maritzburg had been camped on the Westville line for a number of minutes without crossing the whitewash.
After having received 4 penalties in quick succession College elected to score a try to win, something which they had done against Kearsney College. Westville decided to dig in. Watch the play:
The question as to why Maritzburg College didn’t take the opportunity to kick the 3 points is still a mystery, but, if this season in the KZN10 has shown us anything its that the matches between the schools have been tight, tough contests where there doesn’t seem to be one clear dominant school.
There is an African proverb that says, ‘when elephants fight the only thing that suffers is the grass’. This will be so true when these two rugby giants collide on Goldstones on Saturday Afternoon. Fortunately, the only thing that will suffer will be the grass and nothing else. The hallowed ground of the red, black and white is a little more forgiving these days so come sun down tomorrow the field will most certainly bear the marks of a ferocious battle.
College come into the game with a 5 match winning streak after early season wobbles and seem to have settled on the right combinations. The inconsistency which has marked this Westville season took another twist last week as they lost to Hilton College at home in another game they had all the rights to win.
In Westville, College face a very similar team to Northwood, a brutal pack and some lighting quick backs. The key is, can the College loose forwards get around the park quick enough to plug all the holes that the likes of Westville fullback, Mbaso Nonki, may exploit.
Not that we need reminding just how dangerous they can be but here is the match winning try between Westville and Affies from just two weeks ago:
Against Northwood, College were caught a bit flat footed against the pace of Makhaza at the back. If College are going to play field position the rugby axiom of ‘a kick up field is only as good as its chase” comes into play.
There are intriguing match ups all the way through the teams. In the forwards it should be a titanic struggle for supremacy.
A player to keep an eye out for is Kgopotso Matlena of Westville in the second row. The Academy week player had a brilliant game against Hilton and has got great hands for a lock and is extremely agile. The question is can he do enough of the work in the trenches to affect play.
Opposite Matlena, is uncompromising Wandile Hlope for College. The Craven week lock may not move as well as Matlena but his brute strength in defence and general work in the tight lose sets him apart.
For College they will look for play maker Nzimande to control the game and spark their back line. A running flyhalf if ever there was one, the question that will need answering is, can he get College to play rugby in the right parts of the field? For all his great abilities he does lack that extra 10-20 metres of distance in his touch finders which could give Westville the platform to attack from.
Then there is the midfield battle between Mambo Mkhize of Westville and Kekana of College. Mkhize is a powerful ball runner, who more often than not, draws two and sometimes three defenders as he attacks the line.
The one weakness in his game at this stage of his rugby development is that his pass off either hand isn’t particularly convincing. He has perfected the art of the ‘Sonny Bill’ type pass out of a tackle so if he can free his arms he is capable of keeping the play moving.
Kekana is the rock of defence in the midfield between the two play makers Nzimande and Simemane and his role has certainly bought a little more balance to the College back line.
It is sure to be a great match as these two schools clash and we at KZN10 cannot wait.
Kickoff times : 1st 15:00
Elsewhere in the province, DHS take on Voortrekker in Durban whilst Clifton College play the DHS 2nd team on stagger. DHS should be to strong with Academy week player, Darren Booysen, sure to set Van Heerdens alight with his dynamic running.
Northwood head out of the province to take on St Benedicts College. The Knights have enjoyed the comforts of home or 4 weeks now and have delivered some great performances and leave with a 3 from 4 record. This should be a weekend where Northwood take the spoils ably lead by Craven week flank and team Captain Sasko Ndlovu.
Here are the brief brief highlights from the action this last weekend, great moments from these boys!
The highly anticipated clash between Westville boys High and Hilton College was about as tight as their positions in the rankings indicate. Numbers 1 + 2 and a right to claim the outright number 1 spot. A 0-0 draw most probably doesn’t satisfy the hockey lover but both teams would have taken the scoreline if given the option before the game.
Games of this magnitude come with pressure, something which seemed to affect the Hilton players a little more than Westville. During the course of the game Hilton had no less than 7 players sent off the field with green and yellow card offences.
With 3 players being sent off in the 1st chukka alone, any rhythm that Hilton College might have created was hamstrung by ill discipline. Consequently, coach Devon Van der Merwe had to a employ a very tight, compact defence for large portions of the game to plug passing lanes into the Hilton D. Credit must go to the Hilton defence, however, as they maintained their discipline and shape during these periods to keep a clean sheet.
The Hilton 1st XI as a group are capable of playing great hockey, and are a highly competitive bunch of boys but they are inclined to push the boundaries much to the ire of the officials.
That being said the Hilton team is filled with great players but in my estimation the heart and soul of this team is Cameron Pearce(featured image). The powerfully built midfielder is rock solid on the ball and plays with a determination and drive that is eye catching. His runs from midfield were difficult to contain and it was after one such run that Hilton had their best chance to score 4 minutes from time.
Westville, a player down themselves, coughed up the ball in a strong tackle from Pearce. The number 9 put his head down and drove purposefully to the right of the Westville D. With great vision he threaded a pass to an unmarked Rory Duffy to his left, unfortunately, the striker pulled his shot just wide to the left as he tried to pull it from under his feet.
Westville, themselves, got around the edges of the Hilton defence with some great running from Randal Govender and Joshua Davies but could not apply the final pass to either earn a PC or get a shot at goal. The numerical advantage handed to them seldom saw them pressured into any mistakes.
A sign of truly great player is that they seem to play the game at their own pace and are never hurried, Luke Allen of Westville is such a player. More often than one could count he relieved pressure through sheer guile and ball craftiness as he coolly and calmly dealt with the Hilton forwards.
That the game ended at 0-0 will probably leave Hilton happier of the two schools considering the disadvantage that they had. In the end its hard to gauge as to which team is better. Possibly the best way to explain the difference between the two would be one is a bit more dynamic whilst the other is more workmanlike. Both, however, are highly skilled and well coached and it will take an inspired performance to beat these two teams.
Westville and Hilton both have fixtures against perennial hockey powerhouse, Maritzburg College, in the next couple of weeks which will test these two teams.
In KZN10 world, though, we are just happy that these two top hockey schools in the country come from the province. One from Coastals, one from Inland; lets trust that these two regions meet in the finals of the Hockey IPT again highlighting the excellence of the sport in the province.
Perhaps you would think it strange that we would use this now famous picture of Naas Botha’s clean pants in a match report between Westville Boys and Hilton College. But, this is probably the most vivid way to describe what happened on Bowdens on Saturday afternoon as Hilton College walked away with a 25-22 victory over Westville Boys High School.
Despite playing all the rugby and dominating territory for large portions of the game, Westville couldn’t make it count where it mattered most, and that was on the scoreboard. Pacey and dynamic in attack, with game breakers all over the park, the griffins will look back on this game and realise that costly errors at key moments contributed to their loss.
Hilton, for their part, were clinical and efficient in almost every aspect of the game. Seldom did they play above themselves, seldom did they make errors. Make no mistake, Hilton College are far from perfect, neither do they have other worldly talent that just overwhelms the opposition. Rather, this a team that is extremely well coached, and where everyone just does his job, to borrow a quote from the New England Patriots Head Coach, Bill Bilechick.
The opening score in the 4 minute epitomised everything about this Hilton team. A penalty deep inside the Westville 22 metre led to a text book score via a rolling maul. A pin point throw from Holdsworth found Luke van Ryswyk and, with perfect technique, the Hilton pack marched over to score. Simple rugby, done with excellence. Wilmans missed the conversion to make the scores 5-0
From then on it was Westville who spent the larger part of the next ten minutes camped inside the Hilton half. Their
ball carriers ran with purpose and in the 15th minute were rewarded with a try of their own. A great line busting effort from Kgopotso Matlena who, quite literally, dragged defenders with him, was rewarded with an offload to Ockie Barnard who scored next to the uprights. Redemption for the big number eight who had knocked the ball on with the goal line begging a few minutes earlier. Grove Akker stepped up to convert making the scores 7-5 to Westville and just rewards for some great play.
Hilton scored almost immediately after Westvilles opening salvo. A high, hanging kick from Wilmans at the restart was knocked on by Westville handing Hilton vital field position inside the Westville half. From the resulting phases Westville were penalised for being offside in the midfield and in the 18 minute Wilmans slotted the penalty making the scores 8-7 to the visitors.
From the kick off Westville again started to apply pressure on Hilton who just couldn’t seem to get out of their half. In the 22 minute a brilliant box kick from Braden Van Wyk led to a key moment in the half. With Westville metres from the line, Hilton were penalised for not rolling away at a ruck. Westville Captain, Gareth Bevan, sensing that they had the momentum took a quick tap and charged at the line.
The ball was recycled quickly and with a huge overlap on the left a try looked certain. Instead it was taken to the line and a ruck was set up in front of the Hilton uprights. A quick pick and go from ever lively Matlena got him close to the line and as he was tackled he slammed the ball over the line, or had he knocked it on? The ref, being unsighted, ruled knock on. So close for Westville after some great build up play once again.
In the 43 minute, after another line break from Ockie Barnard, Hilton were penalised for tackling a player without the ball. Akker duly stepped up adding the the 3 points making the score 10-8
Hilton came back immediately with some bone jarring runs, from particularly Zigiriadis, the ball was passed to Wilmans who spun a teasing pass in front of the defence to Mark Armstrong. With the defence slightly out of alignment Armstrong beat the the first tackler. The eighth mans explosive pace drove him through the gap before unleashing a beautifully floated pass as he was falling to the ground to find flying fullback Thabiso Dlamini to score in the 47 minute. Wilmans converted making the score 15-10.
Hilton scored again in 52nd minute. After going through a number of phases Hilton had set up a pod on the Westville left. Zigiriadis who had been a willing ball carrier the whole game just held his run for a moment and threw a
perfectly timed inside pass to hit a speeding Latica Nela who sliced through the gap near the ruck. The graceful outside centre sped away and with a beautiful step off his right foot beat the fullback to score to the right of the uprights. Wilmans converted making the score 22-10 with 18 minutes left.
Westville, though, were the next to score in the 56th minute. After a great run by fullback Mbaso Nkonki set up the
play inside the Hilton half the ref awarded a penalty to Westville on the Hilton 5 metre line. A dominant Westville scrum gave the necessary platform for dynamic runner Mambo Mkhize to crash over next to the posts. Akkers converted making the score 22-17.
Hilton again scored straight from the kick off in the 57th minute. Another perfect restart from Wilmans was knocked on by Westville and smartly collected by Hilton. The composure shown by the Hilton players in the next few passages of play was exemplary as they calmly worked through the phases creating a great angle for Wilmans who, taking a neat drop kick, made the scores 25-17. Great game control from the pivot putting Hilton two scores ahead with 13 minutes to play.
Back came Westville in the 60th minute, Hilton, trying to play the territory game, kicked deep to the Westville right. A long pass infield from Barnard found Nkonki who, with blazing acceleration, got around the edge of the Hilton cover. The Hilton defensive line was to slow and disorganised and up the field flew the diminutive fullback making his way to the Hilton 22 metre line. After some great support from Josh Aigner the ball was recycled and got into the hands of Simelela Nkomo who released Cameron Best to score in the corner.
With 5 minutes left to play Westville had their chance to possibly win the game. One of the few errors on the day from Wilmans handed possession to Westville on the Hilton 22 metre line. From the throw in Mkhize fed Khalishwayo who passed to Nkonki who stretched play all the way to the left. Westville recycled and Matlena putting his head down charged to the line.
After another ruck, the ball was passed to Barnard who seemingly ran straight at the base of the poles and somehow didn’t score. With numbers to burn the ball was swung to the right and with a clear run in to score the ball was knocked on. Oh my word an absolute heartbreaker for the Westville boys!
Hilton had dodged a bullet and fittingly it was Wilmans that iced the game for the visitors who, with a telling touch finder, took the game to within 7 metres of the Westville line. Another line out error from Westville handed possession to Hilton who ran out the clock to win 25-22.
Well played to Hilton College who continue their unbeaten march through KZN opposition. They head into half term with some big matches still to come but quietly building a great body of work. Westville will again rue some costly errors and with a trip to Martizburg College next week things aren’t going to get any easier.
WESTVILLE BOYS: 22 (7)
Tries: Ockie Barnard, Mambo Mkhize, Cameron Best
Con : Grove Akkers (2)
Pen: Grove Akkers
HILTON COLLEGE: 25 (8)
Tries: Connor Holdsworth, Thabiso Dlamini, Latica Nela
Con: Ruan Wilmans (2)
Pen: Ruan Wilmans
Drop kick: Ruan Wilmans
KZN School Boy Rugby match report – Northwood vs Westville
Featured Picture Credit – Northwood School
In a game that was marked by ferocious froward exchanges Northwood triumphed over a formidable Westville 1st XV. It was a memorable day for the Northwood Knights as they recorded their first win over the Westville Griffons in many a year winning 19-15.
Northwood learnt from last weeks encounter against Hilton College and their play was more varied. With field position being key Northwood elected to kick far more than the week before. The margins at this level are fine and in the process now kicked away far to much handing possession to the dangerous Westville backs.
It was from one of their kicks out of hand, however, that Northwood scored their 1st try. Luke Cornelius spotting space behind the Westville defence opted for a short box kick which Northwood captain Nldovu collected and dotted down for a try. The conversion was missed making the score 5-0 to the Knights.
Exciting Westville talent, Mambo Mkhize, impressed greatly on the day and looks to be settling into his new roll of inside centre. The rampaging centre got over the advantage line almost at will and placed the Northwood defence under tremendous pressure. Regrettably, Westville were not able to capitalise on these and missed all their kicks at the posts in the 1st half.
It wasn’t as if Mkhize had it all his own way, opposite number Tapuwanashe Nyangani had an outstanding game of his own.
His elusive running created a number of opportunities to release centre partner Linamandla Majola to punch further holes in the Westville lines. Northwood will be kicking themselves as their decision making was not of a very high standard and, as was the case last week against Hilton College, would hold onto the ball when a simple pass would be more effective.
Those missed opportunities came back to haunt Northwood as a late Westville try in the 1st
half levelled matters at 5-5.
From the way the two teams started the second half the message in the respective huddles was clear: gain forward supremacy. The minutes after half time were brutal as the front eights from both teams piled into each other as they battled to get over the advantage line.
It was during one of these passages of play that Northwood scored their second try. A neat little chip into space caught Westville a little flat footed and Northwood raced onto the ball. The Knights secured possesion and made towards the line and, after receiving a cracking pass, ever present Mpendu scored under the poles. With the conversion the score was 12-5 to Northwood. Just rewards for Mpendu whose work rate and nose for the ball were marked features of his play.
Westville roared back into life and came straight back on the attack and scored a converted try of their own making the score 12-12 midway through the 2nd half. A few minutes later Westville again scored via penalty kick making the score 15-12 to the visitors marking the first time that they had led in the whole match.
It was going down to the wire as the Northwood faithful urged their team on and with 7 minutes remaining their beloved knights delivered. A Knights scrum created the perfect platform for a set piece move and, with exquisite timing, Nyangani once again stepped up for Northwood as he sliced through the Griffons defence. Showing great awareness he fed the ball to Makhaza who scored under the poles. With the conversion the scores were now 19-15 in Northwoods favour.
Westville were not done, however, and back they came as the searched for a try to win the game. The tension was palpable as the spectators anxiously watched play move up the field.
With a few seconds remaining Northwood spotting the ball carrier run a little upright into contact latched onto the player and attempted to hold him up in the tackle and force a maul. Westville frantically tried to get a knee on the ground to make it a tackle but to no avail as the referee called maul handing the possession back to the Knights much to the elation of the home fans.
With only a few seconds remaining a solid scrum and clearance into touch ushered in the end of the game with the referees shrill blast of his whistle. Game over and a superb 19-15 win for the Knights of Northwood over the Griffons of Westville.
Northwoods fine season continues and this team is certainly leaving its mark as one of the finest to have ever come out of the Durban North School. Next up for Northwood is a home fixture in a schools exchange with Parktown Boys from Johannesburg.
Westville’s up and down away form this season will again be tested as they make a trip up to Tshwane to take on a powerhouse Affies team.
KZN Schoolboy Hockey results
A busy weekend for the boys, hat tip to Westville, big win against a quality school. KZN schoolboy Hockey is certainly something that we can be proud of.
Westville versus Jeppe
Maritzburg College versus Pretoria Boys
DHS versus Northwood
Glenwood versus Monument
Clifton College Versus Glenwood
Till next time,