The Easter weekend is synonymous with school rugby festivals, but this year it is later than normal, coming three weeks into the second term for state schools. Many of those playing in the 12thStandard Bank Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival has already played a number of matches, providing some indication of comparative strengths.
15h45 DHS 12-34 HoërskoolTransvalia
The final game of the first day sees DHS against Transvalia. The KZN side has lost most of their talented players from last year and, although there is a core of six players who remain, they have struggled against opposition played so far. A narrow win against Westville followed three losses against Hilton, Framesby and Grey High. Transvalia is also not the force they were last year, having yet to record a win after six matches; so this match could be evenly contested.
The final game on the first day of KERF was between locals DHS and HoerskoolTransvalia, making their first visit to the festival. It was a case of ‘if only’ for DHS who made too many mistakes and these were capitalised on by the boys from Vanderbijlpark.
Transvalia managed to score three tries in the first half. It took 19 minutes before the first points when flank Christiaan Burger dotted down. Four minutes later lock Marno Swanepoel showing good skills went over and this time flyhalf Shaun Christie converted. He also converted the next try that was scored by lock Gareth Graham to take Transvalia into a 19-0 lead at the break.
From the kick-off flank, Brian Dosemba stormed 50m, breaking two tackles to open the scoring for DHS.
Transvalia, looking the more accomplished with the ball in hand, scored again when prop AnrichBotes stormed over. This was followed a few minutes later as centre Ronan Elhers beat the defence to dot down, but neither was converted, leaving Transvalia 29-5 ahead.
With conditions becoming fairly dark, DHS handling seemed to improve. Transvalia had however added to their try tally when fullback MarnusTheunissen dotted down. With the scoreboard shining brightly, DHS centre Nhlakanipho Nene rounded the defence to score under the poles, converted by Ngobeni Dlamini for a final score of 12-34.
Transvalia: Tries: Burger, Ehlers, Swanepoel, Botes, Graham, Theunissen Conversion: Christie (2)
DHS: Tries: Nene, Dosemba Conversion: Dlamini
14h30 Glenwood 27-26 EG Jansen
Glenwood, the power-house of KZN school rugby for a number of years, will play the penultimate match on Thursday against Dr EG Jansen. The KZN boys are definately not as strong as the team of 2018 and are especially short on quality up front. EG will and should take on Glenwood up front and will dominate Glenwood up front. Glenwood who lost to Monnas 11-48 last weekend who also dominated up front and ran them ragged at the back.
EG Jansen has played five matches this season, winning against four which they would have expected to beat, but losing 32-45 to Stellenberg. Thursday’s game will be keenly contested with EG my favourite to win.
In a hard-fought physical encounter between Glenwood and Dr EG Jansen, back after missing last year, the game was on a knife edge for the last quarter. Glenwood went into a slender one-point lead for a brief period before EG Jansen snatched it back. Glenwood did not give up and scored in the final seconds to win the nail-biter.
The first half was just three minutes old when EG Jansen centre Duane Bloem burst through to score and, with a good conversion by Kyle Potgieter, saw the visitors from Boksburg 7-0 in front.
They extended their lead midway through the half when flyhalfPotgieter saw the defence open in front of him, allowing a dot down under the uprights for an easy conversion and a 14-0 lead.
Glenwood did not lie down and came back to score in the last seconds of the half, when centre LehlohonoloLitabe dived over, converted by Jordan Hendrikse, for a 7-14 score at half time.
The game was played at a fast pace, and the tackles were ferocious, which led to handling mistakes by both sides. A kick ahead by EG Jansen, a mistake in the defence in the red zone and prop forward Branden Pienaar stormed over for a try. The conversion was surprisingly missed but EG Jansen was 19-7 up.
Glenwood moved the ball through a number of hands, and it was centre Martino van Wyk who managed to get over the line, converted by Hendrikse, who added a penalty shortly after Glenwood to trail by just two points at 17-19.
A long 40m penalty by Hendrikse put Glenwood into a 20-19 lead with five minutes remaining.
EG Jansen came storming back when hooker Kyle Pepler ran 40m down the touchline to score a converted try in the corner, and with that, the lead changed back to EG Jansen 26-20.
Glenwood was determined and with time up on the clock they fed the ball left and Steven Gibb went over in the corner. Hendrickse needed to thread the needle from the touchline, and this he did to give Glenwood a 27-26 win in an outstandingly exciting finish.
EG Jansen: Tries: Potgieter, Pepler, Pienaar, Bloem Conversions: Potgieter (3)
Glenwood: Tries: Van Wyk, Litabe, Gibb, Conversions: Hendrickse (3) Penalties: (2)
13h15 HTS Middelburg 14-19 HTS Drostdy
Both Middelburg HTS and Drostdy HTS having horrible season if measured to their normal standards. Drostdy, however, looks like they are turning their season around while Middelburg HTS struggled to beat Nelspruit 32-30 this past weekend. Drostdy to win?
An evenly matched first half saw HTS Drostdy from Worcester scoring just before half-time for a 19-14 lead. The two sides had each scored twice before the try that gave Drostdy the lead.
Fullback Keane Galant had shown a clean pair of heels in scoring two tries, both converted by Carlton Pietersen. HTS Middelburg’s first try went to hooker Rivaldo de Kock following a rolling maul. The second went to centre Christiaan Vlok with an intercept in the Drostdy 22m area. Both were converted by flyhalf Alec Vermaak.
Drostdy took the lead when flank Wynand du Plessis burst through the defence to dive over for an unconverted try and a 19-14 lead.
The second half saw no further points as the two competitive sides made every attempt to score but good defence prevented them doing so, leaving the final score 19-14 to HTS Drostdy.
HTS Drostdy: Tries: Galant (2), Du Plessis Conversions: Mostert (2)
HTS Middelburg: Tries: Vlok, De Kock Conversions: Vermaak (2)
12h00 Selborne 29-10 Hoërskool Noord-Kaap
Selborne last game should send a lot of warning signs to Noord Kaap. They hosted Grey College and lost 8-17 with their only other loss in six games came against Jeppe (15-19) at the Grey PE Festival. Noord Kaap, not that active up to now losing to Goudveld (10-15) who admittingly is having a very good year, and two wins against Louis Botha HTS (36-14) and Maritzburg College (34-24). My money definitely on Selborne.
Selborne College, who is at the festival for the 12th consecutive time, used their forward power to win the majority of the possession and territory. Noord-Kaap spent most of the first half defending. Selborne scored three tries and was over the line on two other occasions, but Noord-Kaap defence prevented them from dotting down.
The first Selborne try was scored by lock Grant Pretorius, and well converted by Warrick Day. Fly-half Day converted the second try scored by eighth-man Raiden Masters for a 14-0 lead.
The third try came in the last minute of the half when prop forward Dylan Minnaar dived over. This time it was not converted, for a 19-0 lead at the break.
The second half saw Noord-Kaap winning more ball and this enabled their swift backline to make a bigger impression. They scored two tries on either side of a fourth Selborne try. The first was to fullback Elzandro Fredericks and the second by wingJacquin van Wyk. The Selborne try was by flank Jarrod Taylor.
Selborne continued with their pressure and they were rewarded when prop Loyiso Peteni went over in the corner for a 29-10 win.
Selborne: Tries: Masters, Taylor, Pretorius, Peteni, Minnaar, Conversions: Day (2)
Noord-Kaap: Tries: Fredericks, Van Wyk
10h45 HoërskoolFramesby 25-25 Welkom Gimnasium
Framesby is still unbeaten after six games but Welkom Gim is looking extremely good this season. Their only loss in 2019 was against Grey College (0-29) and that should tell the whole story. Welkom Gim should win.
The second game of KERF saw two powerhouses, HoerskoolFramesby from Port Elizabeth against Welkom Gimnasium in their second year at the festival.
Framesby were quickly on the scoreboard following pace by Cadan-Wade Finnis down the right flank for a 5-0 lead in the 90th second of the game.
Welkom opened their score with a penalty by flyhalf Bennie Human. Welkom forwards, a number of them under 19, began having the better of exchanges which led to hooker MartleyBayman diving over for their first try.
The pressure continued by the Free Staters and their lead increased to 11-5 when fullback Marchall Andrews converted. Framesby flyhalf Jaundre Liebenberg reciprocated to reduce the lead to 11-8.
Centre Keith van Aswegen scored two tries minutes apart, both converted by Andrews, to take Welkom into a healthy 25-8 lead at half-time.
Framesby came out in the second half, moving the ball trying to tire the heavy Welkom forwards. They were rewarded with two tries in the first 20 minutes of the half, to reduce the deficit to 18-25 as neither was converted.
The first went to hooker William Moffat after some forward interplay and the second where Moffat was stopped just short, but wing Tiaan Smith was on hand to dot down.
A tense and exciting finish saw flank Ruan du Preez going over for Framesby with just 30 seconds remaining. The try was converted by Liebenberg to tie the second game 25-25.
Welkom Gimnasium: Tries: Bayman, Van Aswegen (2) Conversions: Andrews (2) Penalties: Human, Andrews.
Framesby: Tries: Finnis, Moffatt, Smith, Du Preez Conversion: Liebenberg Penalty: Liebenberg
09h30 Kearsney 11-27 Pretoria Boys
Kearsney traditionally plays the opening game of the festival and on Thursday face Pretoria Boys. Kearsney may have the advantage, they already played seven games this year winning three losing three and one draw against Hilton (14-14). Pretoria Boys High are still looking for their first win but they are already looking a lot better than what they did in their first game this season. They lost 15-20 against Maritzburg College who just lost Glenwood who just managed to beat Maritzburg College. Kearsney should be the favourites but expect a very close game.
Kearsney traditionally opens their Standard Bank Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival and this year, the 12th, it was against Pretoria Boys. Kearsney had the better of the first half, but it was all PBHS in the second half for a 27-11 win.
After initially feeling out each other it was Pretoria who scored when wing Tim Glatthaar beat the cover defence to score in the corner for a five-point lead.
Gradually the Kearsney forwards began dominating and after 17 minutes it was the prop forward Bradley Taylor who opened their scoring with a try after the forwards had advanced 15m with pick and go driving. The scores were level but Kearsney sneaked ahead following a penalty by scrumhalf Jordan Bamber.
Boys High rallied and exerted their own pressure which led to Glatthaar going over for his second try following broken play in the Kearsney red zone. It was easily converted by flyhalf Justin Cross. On the stroke of half-time, a penalty by Bamber narrowed the score to 11-12.
The second half saw a change with Pretoria exerting most of the pressure. Early in the half scrumhalf Jaden Collaros ran 20m through the defence to score and Cross’ conversion saw Pretoria increasing their lead to 19-11. A long-range penalty by Cross increased it further to 22-11.
Aidan Bristow, captain and flank, scored the final try which was converted.
PBHS: Tries: J Glatthaar (2), J Collaros, A Bristow Conversions: J Cross (2) Penalty: J Cross
Kearsney: Tries: B Taylor Penalties: J Bamber (2)