It was a moment to savour for the Maritzburg College first XV when they overcame an 11-year hoodoo to beat the Glenwood first XV 20-12 on Dixons in Durban on Saturday.
Red Black & White head coach Cameron Fraser said that the College boys under the captaincy of flanker Corbin Thunder were determined to break the first XV win drought against Glenwood.
Justin Waldman Photography feature pic caption: The powerful Maritzburg College first XV left winger Siphozola Radu finds some space with flyhalf and head boy James Beauclerk in support.
Coach Cameron said of the 3-tries-to-2 victory that turning the 11-year tide of losses in this decades-old contest between two proud rugby schools required a brave performance from the lads in Red Black & White.
And they duly delivered, did captain Thunder’s young men.
“College managed to win the physical battle upfront and avoided ill-discipline as best as they could,” said the coach.
The men from PMB gained the early ascendancy when right wing Kuhann van den Berg chased after a telling attacking kick from scrumhalf AJ Knoetze and managed to offload the ball to inside centre Liam Prinsloo, who raced over in the corner for the opening points of the game (5-0).
Coach Cameron said the match was of an exceptionally physical nature and the number of penalties conceded was a by-product. College’s lively number 9 AJ Knoetze slotted a penalty goal towards the end of the first half to leave the visitors with a handy 8-0 lead going into the changeover.
“Glenwood struck back early in the second half after some powerful surges from their forwards,” said the College coach.
“Glenwood caught College unawares at the breakdown to eventually crash over the line on the blindside.”
Now within just 3 points of College (8-5) Glenwood then leaked a penalty and Thunder’s men conjured up a very destructive maul to bring the Red Black & White within striking distance of touchdown.
And after a number of pick-and-go’s there was no stopping the inspirational Red Black & White captain and flanker Corbin Thunder, as he breached the try-line whitewash despite the attention of a posse of Glenwood players on his back.
Scrumhalf AJ Knoetze converted captain Thunder’s try and with the scoreboard reading 15-5 College had regained a bit of breathing space.
Going into the last quarter of the game, alert Maritzburg College hooker Quentin Pitout contrived to pinch an overthrow off a Glenwood lineout and then demonstrated his mobility and rugby intelligence to swerve inside and outside the approaching Glenwood cover defenders before offloading to his left winger team-mate Sipho Radu who dived over in the corner.
With College now in a comfortable 20-5 lead and 10 minutes left on the clock, the never-say-die Glenwood lads hit back with a converted intercept try under the posts (20-12).
The gutsy Glenwood men were on the attack as the match drew towards its close but it was a superb Willian Pretorius turnover at the breakdown that saw the Red Black &White number 8 deny the Green Machine and put the College victory beyond doubt.
“It was a special performance by the College 1st XV who will be highly motivated to repeat this result in the return fixture on Goldstones this coming Saturday [11 September 2021],” Red Black and White coach Cameron Fraser concluded.
It certainly looks to be an absolute belter of a match in store between these two age-old rivals on what we hope will be a balmy Goldstones spring afternoon.
MARITZBURG COLLEGE FIRST XV vs GLENWOOD
1. Mawande Mdanda
2. Quintin Pitout
3. Roydon Swift
4. Joshua Kähler
5. Christian Williamson
6. Corbin Thunder (capt)
7. Wela Takata
8. Willian Pretorius
9. AJ Knoetze
10. James Beauclerk
11. Siphozola Radu
12. Liam Prinsloo
13. Lusanda Mtshali
14. Kuhann van den Berg
15. Spha Ngcobo
AS we go into the latter part of the year, it’s perhaps time for KZN10 sportsmen to reflect on what they did well and what they can change.
But during this relative down time, especially for the winter sport aficionados, a degree of conditioning training will be expected – as the cricket, basketball and water polo seasons are already upon us.
Jono Cook feature image: Maritzburg College biokineticist Jason Greeff.
For the rugby, hockey and even the football programmes there will be a cooling off period for most, with rest and rehab thrown into the mix.
The biggest bugbear of every sports-mad KZN10 schoolboy is injury: the seasons are short, compact and extremely intensive; a few weeks out of action, less-than-ideal rehab and suddenly the rugby (for example) season is done and dusted; and potential has not come close to being realised.
What’s even worse is that for the grade 12s it’s the last time they will ever have the unforgettable opportunity to play KZN10 schoolboy sport – you want to leave school with great sporting memories, not “what-might-have-beens”.
So let’s take a look at what the KZN10 schoolboy sport medical specialists’ views are; general pointers to guide KZN10 schoolboy athletes whatever their primary sports code may be:
A while ago, KZN10 asked Maritzburg College biokineticist Jason Greeff, who works closely with physiotherapist Mike Denton, to enlighten us on some of the processes.
Jono: Jason, you have honours degrees in both biokinetics and sports science, and extensive work experience in elite sport, including KZN10 sport, what has always intrigued me personally is how do the bio and physio work together?
Jason: “Jono basically the difference between a bio and physio is that the physio handles the initial phase of injury, while the bio takes over from the physio so that the athlete can to return to play.
“Physios handle the acute injury – they deal with chronic injuries as well, but acute being the initial injury once it’s occurred. Physios handle the fibro-blast repair phase, which is the inflammation; they help the muscle heal, the swelling, the initial healing.
“Once the ‘wound’ has healed and there is pain-free range of motion, there will be a handover from the physio to the bio. Those muscles have atrophied; they have become weaker because they haven’t been used.
“So the biokineticist’s job is to strengthen those muscles to make sure that (a) the injury doesn’t re-occur and (b) also to get the player up-to-speed with his fitness so that he can get back into the match arena.”
Jason certainly knows his stuff, having completed his internship at the Sharks under the guidance of the legendary Jimmy Wright, a man with 30-plus years’ experience in the field in dealing with professional athletes.
Jason: “Yes, Jono, from Jimmy I learnt so much; every time I sat with Jimmy there was something new to take away. I was privileged in having that exposure at such a high level and it laid the foundation for my working with schoolboy teams.”
An interesting aside is that Jason is a big fan of athletics; the sports code being a vital component in the physical development of athletes no matter their sports code of choice, that is, their sports code that involves running as a specific skill in the sport.
Jason: “Jono, in many sports codes it’s essentially all about the mechanics of running. And that is where the sport of athletics comes in.
“From a young age, most [KZN10] boys haven’t been taught how to run efficiently, so from a bio-mechanical point of view more emphasis on athletics in the first school term would definitely aid speedwork, fitness and injury prevention, while the benefits of cross-over training into, for example, the rugby, hockey and soccer seasons, to name but three, will go a long way towards minimising needless injuries.”
Jono: Thanks Jason, certainly much food for thought, and in your employers’ case, Maritzburg College is perfectly placed to take advantage of this insight now that an internationally accredited athletics stadium lies literally a hop, step and jump from the school precinct in Princess Margaret Drive.
Roll on the rest of 2019 – and, of course, a bright new start with the year 2020 not far away. KZN10.com can barely wait.