It was a moment to savour for the Maritzburg College first XV when they overcame an 11-year hoodoo to beat the Glenwood first XV 20-12 on Dixons in Durban on Saturday.
Red Black & White head coach Cameron Fraser said that the College boys under the captaincy of flanker Corbin Thunder were determined to break the first XV win drought against Glenwood.
Justin Waldman Photography feature pic caption: The powerful Maritzburg College first XV left winger Siphozola Radu finds some space with flyhalf and head boy James Beauclerk in support.
Coach Cameron said of the 3-tries-to-2 victory that turning the 11-year tide of losses in this decades-old contest between two proud rugby schools required a brave performance from the lads in Red Black & White.
And they duly delivered, did captain Thunder’s young men.
“College managed to win the physical battle upfront and avoided ill-discipline as best as they could,” said the coach.
The men from PMB gained the early ascendancy when right wing Kuhann van den Berg chased after a telling attacking kick from scrumhalf AJ Knoetze and managed to offload the ball to inside centre Liam Prinsloo, who raced over in the corner for the opening points of the game (5-0).
Coach Cameron said the match was of an exceptionally physical nature and the number of penalties conceded was a by-product. College’s lively number 9 AJ Knoetze slotted a penalty goal towards the end of the first half to leave the visitors with a handy 8-0 lead going into the changeover.
“Glenwood struck back early in the second half after some powerful surges from their forwards,” said the College coach.
“Glenwood caught College unawares at the breakdown to eventually crash over the line on the blindside.”
Now within just 3 points of College (8-5) Glenwood then leaked a penalty and Thunder’s men conjured up a very destructive maul to bring the Red Black & White within striking distance of touchdown.
And after a number of pick-and-go’s there was no stopping the inspirational Red Black & White captain and flanker Corbin Thunder, as he breached the try-line whitewash despite the attention of a posse of Glenwood players on his back.
Scrumhalf AJ Knoetze converted captain Thunder’s try and with the scoreboard reading 15-5 College had regained a bit of breathing space.
Going into the last quarter of the game, alert Maritzburg College hooker Quentin Pitout contrived to pinch an overthrow off a Glenwood lineout and then demonstrated his mobility and rugby intelligence to swerve inside and outside the approaching Glenwood cover defenders before offloading to his left winger team-mate Sipho Radu who dived over in the corner.
With College now in a comfortable 20-5 lead and 10 minutes left on the clock, the never-say-die Glenwood lads hit back with a converted intercept try under the posts (20-12).
The gutsy Glenwood men were on the attack as the match drew towards its close but it was a superb Willian Pretorius turnover at the breakdown that saw the Red Black &White number 8 deny the Green Machine and put the College victory beyond doubt.
“It was a special performance by the College 1st XV who will be highly motivated to repeat this result in the return fixture on Goldstones this coming Saturday [11 September 2021],” Red Black and White coach Cameron Fraser concluded.
It certainly looks to be an absolute belter of a match in store between these two age-old rivals on what we hope will be a balmy Goldstones spring afternoon.
MARITZBURG COLLEGE FIRST XV vs GLENWOOD
1. Mawande Mdanda
2. Quintin Pitout
3. Roydon Swift
4. Joshua Kähler
5. Christian Williamson
6. Corbin Thunder (capt)
7. Wela Takata
8. Willian Pretorius
9. AJ Knoetze
10. James Beauclerk
11. Siphozola Radu
12. Liam Prinsloo
13. Lusanda Mtshali
14. Kuhann van den Berg
15. Spha Ngcobo