KZN school rugby Clifton College vs St Charles College match report

It appeared evident against hosts Clifton College at Riverside on Saturday that the St Charles College first XV’s experience of playing against KZN powerhouse Glenwood last time out has certainly done them a power of good in terms of confidence and energy.

It was the first time in decades that Saints had faced Glenwood – and reports suggest they gave a good account of themselves on Old Orchards.

Duncan Andrew feature image: St Charles College centre Steven Scott was outstanding on attack and in defence.


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And in an entertaining match at Riverside two days ago, the Saints stamped their name on the match very quickly and apart from a late surge by Clifton when the Pietermaritzburg visitors already had an unassailable 30-0 lead, captain and loosehead Jason Robert’s side controlled proceedings.

In taking a look at the game let’s mix and match present- and past-tense, as it unfolded in Jono Cook’s eyes.

“A superb start for St Charles but the final pass goes astray out left with the tryline in sight. Soon after a St Charles College penalty goal by centre Steven Scott makes it

Clifton College firsts 0
St Charles College 3
4 minutes gone


Clifton flyhalf Claudio Lehman did not have the easiest of days dealing with the likes of the on-fire Saints backline duo Zukile Mbuli and Simi Ngubane. Photo Duncan Andrew


“Then a fortuitous bounce of the ball on the edge of Saints’ defensive third of the field sees the alert fullback Simi Ngubane set up a breakaway try by St Charles College right winger Ruben Jacobs. Steven Scott converts and it’s


Clifton College 0
St Charles College 10
8 minutes gone


“And it’s not long before it’s try time again for St Charles College first XV after concerted pressure, scrumhalf JJ Foord the man making the touchdown.


Clifton College 0
St Charles College 15
Midway first half


Saints scrumhalf JJ Foord was at his efficient best linking the backs and forwards at Riverside Saturday. Photo Duncan Andrew


“Then follows a great spell of fast attacking rugby that has both sets of supporters on their feet; quick, clean turnovers opening up space for both sides. Clifton number eight Phin Kalambay and fullback Tim Shangase at the forefront for the home XV with equally good stuff from combative Saints centre Steven Scott and left wing Nate Sisa.


8 minutes to go in the first half
Clifton College 0
St Charles College 15


“A strong home-team finish inspired by Phin Kalambay, powerful hooker Seb Rich, flanker Josh Platford and captain and tighthead Greg Binedell in the death throes of an energetic first half put Clifton in excellent field position inside the Saints 22 with a variety of possible plays at hand. But the tryscoring opportunities are blocked out by determined and courageous Saints defence with strong grade 11 centre Steven Scott never far from the action.


Clifton College 0
St Charles College 15


An example of the accuracy and efficiency of the St Charles College pack in securing quick clean ball for scrumhalf JJ Foord and Co. Photo Duncan Andrew


“As in the first half, an excellent St Charles College start in the second and an inventive backline thrust leads to Saints hooker Alex Patullo powering over in the left-hand corner, towards the Spur restaurant.


Clifton College 0
St Charles College 20
3 minutes into the second half


“Then it’s loosehead and captain Jason Robert who forces his way over in the same Spur restaurant left-hand corner, as did the previous tryscorer, the Saints hooker Alex Patullo.


Clifton College 0
St Charles College 25

24 minutes to go


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“And the St Charles College first XV’s self-confidence leads to the Saints once again crashing through in that selfsame left-hand corner – this time the touchdown from lock forward Scott Haygate… the tight five clearly have a penchant for Spur restaurants.


Clifton College 0
St Charles College 30

15 minutes to go


“The 20-minute sequence from the onset of the second half was the period where St Charles College first XV took the outcome away from the home side, with Clifton trying in vain to get back in the game.

“And it might have got even worse for the home side after the re-start, when a powerful run by tough-as-teak Saints centre Steven Scott sees the midfielder having the ball dislodged from his grasp by a clutch of defenders on his back with the touchdown just a glimpse away.

“And here’s the point.

“In spite of being 30 points down with less than 15 minutes to go and the match to all intents and purposes lost, Clifton never threw in the towel – not even for a moment. To Jono Cook’s mind there was not one Clifton man who figuratively “raised the white flag of surrender”.


Clifton College had their moments (Conna Steadman in possession) but as a rule Saints had their number – until the brace of home-side tries near the end. Photo Duncan Andrew


“This Clifton spirit was perhaps personified by using one example – Tino Mazhinda, who started the match at 12 but moved to 8 and made a set of bullocking runs from the base of the scrum in the second half.

“And after over an hour of toil without the electronic scoreboard reflecting any reward… that never-say-die Clifton College first XV spirit was finally acknowledged in the numbers when it looked like – possibly… I think, I hope – it was centre Conna Steadman who went over (why do this year’s KZN10 first team players persist in scoring at the furthest possible distance from where I am standing lol).


Clifton finally on the scoreboard…
Clifton College 5
St Charles College 30

7 minutes left


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And Clifton continue their strong finish when energetic fullback Tim Shangase crashes over under the posts and flyhalf Claudio Lehman converts.


Clifton College 12
St Charles College 30

And soon after it’s…
Yes, it’s GAME OVA-AAA!


Congratulations to both sides on your skill, teamwork and spirit, which added up to great entertainment for the appreciative crowd, who got on very well as a group, notwithstanding their allegiances.


The Saints were confident from start to finish at Riverside Saturday. Photo Duncan Andrew



1 Mike Bensch
2 Seb Rich
3 Greg Binedell (capt)
5 James Feuilherade
6 Scott Cliff
7 Josh Platford
8 Phin Kalambay
9 Luke Ashton
10 Claudio Lehman
11 Seb Marshall
12 Tino Mazhinda
13 Conna Steadman
14 Jason Nieuwenhuis
15 Tim Shangase


1 Jason Robert (capt)
2 Alex Patullo
3 Erich Ortmann
4 Scott Haygate
5 James Laynes
6 Jacob Queen
7 Justin Cloete
8 Sanele Mdingi
9 JJ Foord
10 Eyethu Majozi
11 Nate Sisa
12 Steven Scott
13 Zukile Mbuli
14 Ruben Jacobs
15 Simi Ngubane


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