The Hilton College first XV ensured that the Michaelhouse first XV will have to wait a bit longer to secure their 100th win in this generations-old friendly rivalry, winning the 203rd match between the two schools’ first rugby teams 32-17 at Hilton on Saturday.
Michaelhouse’s director of the Old Boys’ Club, Admissions & Marketing, Murray Witherspoon, reports that the occasion was worth the Covid-enforced three-year wait.
“There couldn’t have been a greater sense of occasion on the back of the host’s 150th birthday celebrations, and bonhomie and friendly banter on the banks were as much a feature of the day as the rivalry on the field.”
Murray reports that Hilton started strongly, and proceedings could well have turned into a rout had it not been for excellent Michaelhouse defending. House then scored twice before halftime to stay in the match.
Tracey van den Aardweg feature pic: Kearsney number 8 Cameron Roache’s try makes the game safe for the home side against Northwood.
Hilton scored on two occasions in the second half after House had been on the attack and the brace of tries secured the Hiltonians’ 94th win over Michaelhouse.
The return match at Michaelhouse is on 18 June.
Meanwhile, at Botha’s Hill, home side Kearsney hosted Northwood for their annual FNB Classic Clash in what were ideal playing conditions.
The Kearsney report herewith:
“Kearsney dominated play in the first 25 minutes, enjoying the lion’s share of the territorial battle. The pressure ensured three converted penalties by Matthew Bergset for a 9-0l lead within the first 15 minutes.
“The hosts were rewarded with an unconverted try in the left corner by winger Lihle Maqhugula after some good work by the attacking team and good interplay between the forwards and backs. Maqhugula still had a lot to do after receiving the ball and showed good pace to dive over for a 14-0 lead.
“Northwood kicked too long from the ensuing kick-off and Kearsney used the possession well to get back into the attacking zone. The hosts were awarded another penalty from a breakdown infringement, which Bergset converted for a comfortable and deserved 17-0 lead.
“Kearsney then seemed to lose focus and Northwood found renewed intensity, to eventually find themselves deep in Kearsney territory. The visiting captain elected a scrum from an awarded penalty. The desired outcome was achieved from a well-rehearsed backline attack move, to score close to the upright for a converted try to decrease the deficit to 7-17.
“The last few minutes of the half saw a territorial kicking battle, which did not lead to much and the halftime whistle followed soon after.
[Into the second half and] “Northwood produced a purple patch, scoring two tries from good tactical play and some poor tackling by some of the home team defenders. The first try came from a poor exit kick by Kearsney and hard running by the counter-attack backs.
“From the breakdown close to the Kearsney line the visitors moved the ball to the blind side and dived over for an unconverted try.
“Soon after that, Kearsney launched a superb attack from a lineout from their own 22m and progressed close to the opponents’ 22m, but the ball was turned over at the breakdown.
“Northwood kicked the ball to escape the pressure, and it bounced favourably for the chaser after some poor defence by the Kearsney players. Northwood’s player ran 40m to score an unconverted try to level the scores at 17-17.
“Kearsney regained composure and soon an opportunity was seized by flanker Salu Mqobongo who outsprinted the defence for a good 60m, for Bergset to convert and regain the lead at 24-17.
“Some exciting, although error-ridden, passages of play followed as both teams were motivated to clinch the match. Kearsney used their opportunities better and eventually eighthman Cameron Roache displayed some power work from a breakdown close to the visitors’ line when he picked from the base to dive over. The lead was now extended to 29-17 with only a few minutes left on the clock.
“Northwood didn’t give up and attacked up until the last minute, but the hosts’ defence held and they remained victorious 29-17.
“Outstanding players for the Kearsney team were the inspirational captain Jason Brien, Cameron Roache and Salu Mqobongo.”
The other KZN10 match in KZN saw Westville beat hosts St Charles College 46-17.
It was a set of tough matches for the three KZN teams at the Wildeklawer Festival in Kimberley with DHS winning the lone match of the six matches played by DHS, Glenwood and Maritzburg College.
Inter-KZN10 results in KZN
Saturday, 30 April 2022
Kearsney 29 Northwood 17
Hilton College 32 Michaelhouse 17
St Charles College 17 Westville 46
KZN results at Wildeklawer Festival in Kimberley
Saturday, 30 April 2022
DHS 31 Menlopark 15
Paarl Boys’ High 38 Maritzburg College 3
Paul Roos 43 Glenwood 20
Monday, 2 May 2022
Helpmekaar 25 Maritzburg College 16
Oakdale 20 DHS 12
Affies 49 Glenwood 14