In this 1st XV match report from Kearsney: The Northwood 1st XV hosted Kearsney College for their annual Classic Clash in Durban North on a steaming hot Saturday afternoon (15 May 2021) with temperatures well above 30 degrees.
Tracey van den Aardweg feature photo: Kearsney 1st XV eighthman Tom Carmody with ball in hand during the loss against home side the Northwood Knights 1st XV on Reece-Edwards Field.
The match got off to a flying start when Northwood’s star flyhalf received a poor midfield kick from Kearsney in an attempt to exit their half from the kick-off.
The Northwood Knights’ number 10 Emmanuel Bahji collected the ball close to the halfway line and ran untouched to score in the right-hand corner. which he converted for a 7-0 lead after 1 minute of play.
Two minutes later, hosts Northwood also failed to exit and Kearsney turned the breakdown – with 8th man Tom Carmody prominent – and winger Trent Coetzee scored an unconverted try, shrinking the deficit to 7-5.
Northwood 1st XV results vs Kearsney the last 8 years.
The next 7 minutes caused some drama with Kearsney losing firstly scrumhalf Matthew Bergset from a late charge, and soon after the inside centre with a suspected concussion.
Kearsney then took the lead 8-7 following a penalty by flyhalf Lethu Gwarube.
NORTHWOOD TEAM vs KEARSNEY 15 MAY 2021
Conditions might have contributed, but both teams were guilty of sloppy skills and below-par defense.
Northwood scored their second try from another poor decision by the Kearsney backs on the counter, to regain the lead 12-8.
In the 25th minute the hosts stretched their lead further to 15-8 with a converted penalty.
Kearsney attacked well during the last 5 minutes of the half and were rewarded with a Coetzee try, which Gwarube converted to take the score to 15-15 at halftime.
Shortly after the break, Kearsney added another Gwarube penalty for an 18-15 lead.
KEARSNEY TEAM vs NORTHWOOD 15 MAY 2021
The visitors played the most constructive rugby in the next 15 minutes, but failed to convert the territory into points, even turning down kickable penalties.
Northwood adopted a kick-and-chase tactic, which led to their next converted try, to regain the lead at 22-18.
Kearsney had a golden opportunity for an all-important 7-pointer but poor handling prevented a sure try.
Kearsney’s morale took a dip, which Northwood capitalised on, to score a converted try, which was also signaled the final score of 29-18.
The first XV match has left Kearsney coaches Barend Steyn and Nico Breedt, and Northwood’s Grant Bashford and Jeremy Mclaren, with much to consider.
ALL THE NORTHWOOD RUGBY RESULTS vs KEARSNEY 15 MAY 2021