Coach quotes: Michaelhouse vs Hilton College match​ & more

IT was an absolute humdinger that did justice to the age-old Hilton/Michaelhouse first XV rugby rivalry. Home side House, who began the season slowly, went into the match on Meadows Saturday 5 May 2018 as marked underdogs against a Hilton who’d won 8 from 8. And yes, Hilton led start to finish, from 10-0 half-time to 23-5 , 2 tries to 1. You had to be there, though, to appreciate that the HC win wasn’t as straightforward as the statistics might suggest.

Featured image: Michaelhouse flyhalf Liam England makes his move against Hilton loosehead Dylan Davies (1) and opposite number Ruan Wilmans.
Photo Thomas van der Hoven

Hilton College first XV head coach Brad Macleod-Henderson offers his thoughts:

“In the first half we didn’t play too badly but our handling let us down, opportunities we didn’t take.

“Our lineouts didn’t function very well in the second half, Michaelhouse put pressure and we lost possession. We also kicked away too many balls, which didn’t give us much of a chance to get going.”
Brad’s pluses: “As a team the Hilton defence was very strong, the guys worked hard.
“Grant Cousins (inside centre), Siyabonga Xulu (outside centre) and Mark Armstrong (​No.6 flank) made some great tackles but it was more of a team effort than an individual effort that was a pleasing part of the game for us.”

Brad’s impressions of the Michaelhouse performance?

“We knew Michaelhouse were going to come hard at us, they grew in confidence as the game went on and made it tough for us, put pressure on our lineouts. They played nicely.”

Looking ahead to Saturday, Brad says: “We haven’t played PBHS before, it’s a new fixture, so it’s great for the school to be going up. Every week you need to put in ​the work before the Saturday match… we’re looking forward to it.”

Best wishes from to Hilton captain & 7 flanker Patrick McVeigh and the boys come 1.15pm Pretoria Boys’ High School Saturday, 12 May 2018.

Michaelhouse first XV head coach James Fleming on the Hilton match:

“I had mixed feelings, partially so proud of the effort the boys put in and their willingness to play to the final whistle. We focused hard on building their confidence after a tough start to the season and they played with some fantastic flare considering. And partially frustrated as we felt we had done our homework on what Hilton would do… and they managed to do just that. They are well drilled, squeezed us into making mistakes and scored from there.

Meadows magic: Livewire left winger Thamsanqa Zakwe takes on the Hilton College lock pairing of Andrew James (5) & Niaan Taljaard (4), Michaelhouse’s schoolboys the backdrop.
Photo: Thomas van der Hoven

“We’ll just have to be more accurate in a few areas, including winning our lineouts and finishing off exciting phases of play.

“I’ll leave the rest for 16 June!”

Yes indeed, the return muscle-up on Gilfillan Field is set to be an absolute cracker, but right now it’s the challenge offered by visitors the Northwood first XV at 3.15pm Saturday 12 May 2018 on Meadows that is no doubt occupying coach Fleming’s mind, as well as that of skipper and number 8 Christian Oppies Opperman and his boys. wishes both House and the Knights of Northwood everything of the best.

Michaelhouse (0) 5
Try: No.8 Christian Opperman
Hilton (10) 23
Tries: No.4 Niaan Taljaard & No.7 Patrick McVeigh
Conversions: No.9 Gareth Schreuder (2)   
Penalties: Schreuder (3)

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