In what can only be described as atrocious conditions of mud, rain and more mud, the boys from Bloemfontein adjusted much better than the boys for Port Elizabeth to run out comfortable 33-7 winners after leading 19-0 at halftime in their derby rugby clash on Saturday 30 July.
The muddy field wasn’t conducive to running rugby as the pitch was very slippery underfoot. Which meant the game was supposed to be played tight and mostly with the forwards. But no-one told either team that, that was the supposed game plan! Both teams tried to run the ball at first and they handled the conditions very well. However, as the game progressed and the field got heavier, the mistakes started creeping in. Grey College realized earlier that throwing around the ball with abundance will only result in handling errors and tried to keep the ball close to their forwards with pick and drive and the occasional offload. This resulted in them getting a penalty for collapsing the maul close to the Grey High goal line. Flanker Wihan Klopper took a quick tap and skidded over for the first try. Marco Vieira could not convert and Grey College lead 5-0 after 12 minutes.
Grey High then got some possession, but they struggled to get out of their own half as they kept ball in hand and tried to run with it. The Bloem outfit kept driving them back in tackles and overturning possession. Grey College went on another pick and drive mission and then offloaded a short pass to the other flanker Huan Venter, who thundered over next to the posts for their second try. Vieira dually converted and took the lead to 12-0 after 25 minutes. Five minutes later centre Jaco Wessels burst through the middle of the Grey High defence and was held just short of the line, from the resulting ruck, Scrumhalf Rewan Kruger picked up and dove over for Grey Bloem’s third try of the half. Vieira again converted and the Free State outfit were 19-0 up going into the break.
Grey High started the second half much better and got into Grey College 22m area where they had a five metre line out, a penalty and a scrum, but they could not convert it into points. Grey College again turned the ball over and hoofed it downfield. From a scrum on halfway line, Kruger kicked ahead and the awkward bounce was kicked ahead again by 8th man Dian Schoonees. The ball bounced kindly for winger Henk Cilliers who gathered it and scored next to the uprights. Vieira was again succesfull with the conversion and Grey College lead 26-0 after the 55th minute.
Grey High then got back into their opponents 22 where they launched a few attacks. They did well to retain ball possession and from a resulting ruck, flyhalf Waqar Solaan corkscrewed his way over the line for the Boys in light blue to get their first points on the board. Fullback Sihle Njezula converted and the score was 26-7 with about 10 minutes to play. Grey College then charged down a attempted clearance kick and from the resulting scrum, Kruger found Schoonees who powered his way over the tryline for the last try of the match.
Replacement flyhalf Christopher Schreuder converted and Grey College won the game 33-7 in very difficult conditions.
- Grey High (0) 7– Try: Waqar Salaan, Con: Sihle Njezula
- Grey College (19) 33 – Tries: Wihan Kloppers, Juan Venter, Rewan Kruger, Henk Cilliers, Dian Schoonees. Con: Mario Vieira (3), Christopher Schreuder (1)
Grey High School: 15 Sihle Njezula, 14 Khanyo Mafunda, 13 Aya Oliphant, 12 Josiah Twum-Boafo, 11 Aya Matroos, 10 Waqar Solaan, 9 Praveen Bosch, 8 Tertius Groenewald (captain) , 7 Azola Mahonga, 6 Bevan Prinsloo, 5 ConnorThalrose, 4 Travis Outram, 3 Sive Mazosiwe, 2 Aphiwe Febana, 1 Michael Biggs. Replacements: 16 James Scott, 17 Ruan Jonker, 18 Travis de Bruin, 19 Philip Weyer-Henderson, 20 Bradley Nelson, 21 James Neubert, 22 Uan Tait, 23 Damien Smuts
Grey College: 15 David Kriel, 14 Henk Cilliers, 13 Janco van Heyningen, 12 Jaco Wessels, 11 Marnus Boshoff, 10 Mario Vieira, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Dian Schoonees, 7 Juan Venter, 6 Wihan Kloppers, 5 Jaco de Beer, 4 Marcel Theunissen, 3 Gideo Beukes (captain), 2 Matthew Wessels, 1 Naudé Naudé. Replacements: 16 Ru-Hann Greyling, 17 WJ Kruger, 18 Wihan Marais, 19 Michiel Burger, 20 Arno Niewoudt, 21 DC Odendaal, 22 PR Serfontein, 23 Nico Prinsloo, 24 Christopher Schreuder
Referee: Rodney Boneparte (Eastern Province Referees’ Society)
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