What promises to be an exciting day of rugby in extremely wet conditions with some great matchups is awaiting all that dare to pitch. Three matches that grab the attention must be host St John's vs NSW, Nelspruit vs Boishaai and Helpmekaar vs Windhoek Gym.
16h20 Nelspruit 0-40 Paarl Boishaai
Paarl Boys’ High School remained unbeaten at the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival sponsored by Standard Bank after they managed to beat Hoerskool Nelspruit 40-0. The game was however cut short due to the threat of lightning looming over Burger field. The display of rugby from the boys from Paarl was incredible to witness throughout the festival, as they dismantled every team they squared up against.
The match, however, started off with Nelspruit really threatening Boys’ Highs unbeaten record in the festival, playing the early exchanges between the two sides deep in the Paarl half. Nelspruit however made errors in crucial areas, which stopped them from getting any points on the board. Paarl did however eventually gather themselves and start playing the free-flowing expansive rugby they are famous for, with their backs running great lines creating space. This eventually leads to a pile-up of points, with the likes of Javier Farmer, Gideon van Wyk and Neil Venter being amongst the scorers that saw Paarl off to a 26-0 lead at the interval.
There were evident signs of fatigue from the Nelspruit players as the game progressed, which led to them failing to keep up with Paarl’s high tempo. Nelspruit continued to concede in the second half, with Paarl’s Kian Meadon once again in great form with the boot, only failing to convert 2 out of 6 tries. The game was however eventually cut short due to the bad weather and Paarl were happy to finish with a 40-0 win even though the boys would have probably preferred to have been on the pitch longer.
Paarl Boishaai: Tries: Venter (2), Farmer (2), van Wyk (2), Conversions: Meadon (5)
10h50 Daniël Pienaar 15-7 Graeme College
The final day at the St John’s College Easter Rugby Festival sponsored by Standard Bank, saw a couple of games cancelled due to bad weather. This led to a delay in matches as the field was inspected and eventually deemed safe for play. After the inspection, it was then decided that 3 matches would take place instead of the scheduled 7 for the day. The first game saw HTS Daniel Pienaar produce a gutsy performance to defeat Graeme College 15-7, after having trailed the boys from the Eastern Cape 7-5 at the break.
The first half saw both teams having to adapt very quickly to the conditions that were laid out in front of them, with the pitch being very greasy due to the heavy rainfall that took place overnight and earlier in the morning. Both sides found it difficult to handle the ball, especially when it was played out wide. Eventually, short passes were the go-to plan and the forwards held onto the ball more, which saw the game settle more. It was, however, Daniel Pienaar who crossed the whitewash first through Ceagan Bothma, with the conversion attempt going wide. With the score at 5-0, Graeme fought hard to find a way back in the game and were eventually rewarded for their efforts just before the break, when Declan de la Mare dived over to level matters, before Lakhanya Sam added the extra 2 with a conversion, to give Graeme a slender 7-5 lead at halftime.
The second half saw a little more handling errors, but it was Daniel Pienaar who seemed like they wanted the victory more, running in a further 2 unconverted tries through Marco Gouws and Darrian Edwards. That, in the end, was enough to secure a thrilling 15-7 win on Burger field.
Daniël Pienaar: Tries: Edwards, Bothma, Gouws
Nelspruit: Try: De La Mare Conversion: Sam
08h30 St Charles v Noordheuwel (Cancelled)
St Charles must be the favourites if this Festival's results are taken into account. Maybe Noordheuwel, who is still searching for their first win played a little better opposition, but this could be one of the better matches on the day.
09h40 Stellenberg v Golden Lions (Cancelled)
Stellenberg will definately go home unbeaten.
10h50 St David's v Graeme College (Cancelled)
St David's is still looking for their first win of the Festival while Graeme is playing very entertaining rugby and their flair on field should give them their second win of the Festival.
12h00 Windhoek Gym v Helpmekaar (Cancelled)
Windhoek Gym's bigger forwards and the rain will test the exciting team on Helpmekaar, who is struggling with injuries. Helpmekaar, however, will win with a smallish margin.
14h00 St Alban's vs Daniël Pienaar HTS (Cancelled)
St Alban's performance against Helpmekaar spells a lot of problems for Daniël Pienaar who is not only looking for their first win of the Festival but also looking for their first points of the Festival. St Alban's to win, with ease?
15h10 Combined New South Wales v St John's (Cancelled)
NSW is one of the surprise packages of the Festival with some big forwards and fast backs and will test the unbeaten hosts St John's to the max. St John's maybe to struggle a bit in the wet conditions that will promote forwards play. St John's however, to end unbeaten.