A taste of things to come

Photo Jono Cook : Maritzburg College first XV rugby captain Ntuthuko Mchunu and backline player Nkondlo Radebe. 

Edited extract of an informative report off the Glenwood FB page by Beet on the KZN pre-season schoolboy 1st XV rugby 🏉 warm-up mini matches at King’s Park Saturday.

“These were just warm-ups to aid the players’ and coaches’ prep,” said Beet.

Westville 5 Glenwood 5

“I thought Glenwood were fantastic in this match.

“They fielded a 2nd team and the players played out of their skins. They were hungry and created an even contest against Westville.

“Westville scored a lovely try. Flank Dylan Jung had a decisive carry and fed it to big Okkie Barnard who was wearing the no.8 jersey.

“This gave them serious front-foot ball and flyhalf Kyle Forsyth came up with a class chip to the corner which wing Grove Akker did not waste.

“From the kick-off Westville failed to control and Glenwood pounced. The ball was hacked ahead and a loose forward won the race to re-gather and dotted down to level matters.”

Maritzburg College 0 DHS 0

“Surprisingly this game failed to produce a score.

“DHS still have strike players. If everybody does their job by putting in the hard yards, these go-to players can make a difference.

“The top-rated Horsefly Celimpilo Gumede did not play because he was with the SA U18 Sevens team, so that tells you something about the 1,9 metre young man’s mobility and skill-set.

“DHS have a decent front-row. Celimpilo’s brother Mthokozisi Gumede is a useful all-round player and showed it with a good carry during this game.

“Marcel Nel is really big now and Donovan Adams is a livewire hooker with a lot of heart. Asande Mnguni definitely had his moments last season. He can be lethal as ball runner and is a turnover specialist.

“In the backs, flyhalf Shakur la Douce has a big boot and KZN Craven Week centre Lwandile Menze, who was so destructive as a big metres-gaining 12 last year is back, but playing 13 now.

“There are also useful backs in versatile Lwazi Moletshe and determined Malusi Ntuli.

“The Maritzburg College pack could be developed into a major asset this season if they get the self-belief system to the level it needs to be.

“Props Ethan Hodgson and Sphekahle Dube are a part of the reason why impressive no.8 Nthuthuko Mchunu has been so effective off the back of the scrum.

“The Maritzburg College captain has been ticking all the right boxes and is arguably the best individual player in KZN pre-season.

“For Maritzburg College to do well this season all they need is a few others to close the gap on Mchunu and they will be a handful to deal with.

“Maritzburg College may be a bit short on X-factor players this year.

“The College backline still need a lot of work on attack and the coaching staff are going to have to work extra hard on this aspect of play to make them more effective.

Westville 10 College 7

“Maritzburg College didn’t bring a big squad to King’s Park and had to stay on the field for a second successive game  so it was interesting to see if this continuity helped or hurt them and how the fewer subs would impact on their day.

“They subbed who they could and struck first blood. MC fullback Matthew Willemse had scored an absolute gem of a solo try against Westville at the Vories Night Series a week earlier and continued to haunt them when his chip-and-chase down the middle had the Westville fullback in a spot of bother and forced a turnover via a scrum.

“A free-kick and quick tap followed and with the ball spun wide it finally resulted in no.18 scoring a try, which Keegan Collyer then turned into 7 with a good kick.

“With consistency, Willemse is the kind of player College could build attacking plays around.

“Westville fullback Nqubeko Mkwanazi looks like he is going to pick up from where he left off last season, as a create-something-out-of-nothing player.

“Mkwanazi played a big part in Westville’s first try thanks to a good run. The try-scorer was scrumhalf Stanley Giani. After that, Mkwanazi combined with wing Akker.

“Akker stabbed the ball ahead and dived on it in-goal to push Westville into a 10-7 lead, which could have increased when the no.11 wing came close.

“Then at the death College were denied what would have been a wonderful try.

“Mchunu had one of his now trademark carries. After he was stopped in the 22 the ball was recycled and what looked like a brilliant skip pass by a front-rower out to the left and into the breadbasket of unmarked wing Siphesihle Kekana was judged to be forward by the assistant referee.

Glenwood 3 DHS 3

“DHS showed lots of commitment to hold off a strong Glenwood team.

“Glenwood seem to bring out the best in DHS. Glenwood looked like they were about to get going on several plays but never really got out of the low gears.

“The most interesting of the positional set-ups was that Joe Poen Jonas played fullback. Rynhardt Jonker and La Douce traded penalties.”

DHS 14 Westville 0

“A quick tap-and-go penalty taken by DHS flank Mnguni caught Westville unawares.

“He then drew and passed to scrumhalf Jaydian Cedares, who turned out to be a bit of a pocket rocket. He jet-shoed his way to the tryline from about 40m out.

“The little scrummy wearing 21 also had a part in School’s second try. His box kick was well placed and forced pressure near the touchline in Westville territory.

“DHS then worked the ball well and, aided by some soft hands, no.11 (Moletshe) got in for the try. Both tries were converted by La Douce.

“Westville were not outplayed by any means but just couldn’t come up with any plays to breach the DHS defence.

Sadly, Mkwanazi picked up an injury during this match. Hopefully it’s not serious.”

Glenwood 7 College 0

“The Maritzburg College pack started to get the hang of things during this match and with more effort like that they stand a good chance to dominate others in KZN.

“From a College lineout gone wrong Glenwood sprung into action and gave a taste of the firepower they are capable of producing.

“Centre Jason Conradie did very well and a useful pass by a wing to the flying, powerfully-built centre Conan le Fleur saw him race in. Jaden Hendrikse the scrumhalf succeeded with the difficult conversion.

“Hendrikse also impressed with the hang time on his big base kicks.”

* Thanks Beet and the Glenwood Facebook page for the info.