KES FEST RUGBY DAY 1, 29 MARCH 2018
Day one ends on a double high note – written by Theo Garrun
The best was saved for last on the first day of the Standard Bank King Edward VII School Easter Rugby Festival, with the hosts beating Westville Boys’ High 28-20 and Jeppe scraping home 29-26 over Ben Vorster in the last two games of the day.
The earlier clashes were all rather one-sided, so two exciting, close clashes at the end were welcomed by the large crowd, and they were both high-quality contests.
KES were rocked by an early try by Westville, but got the next two touchdowns to lead 14-7 before Westville scored just before the break and the sides changed ends 14-12 up.
The second half was closely contested, both sides scored one try, with Westville flyhalf Kyle Fortsyth slotting a drop goal and his KES counterpart, Reece Botha, kicking two penalties to make the game safe.
Both teams played attractive, running rugby. They were well matched up front, and both sets of backs squandered several chances, but in all, it was an entertaining spectacle and a good start to the festival for the Reds.
Jeppe’s captain, Muzi Manyike slotted an injury-time penalty to snatch victory for Jeppe after they were 26-14 down at one stage and looked like they were going down to an impressive Ben Vorster side. Manyike was the difference between the teams in the end. He scored two second-half tries and was a handful for the Ben Vorster defence throughout. The Tzaneen side dominated the forward exchanges and looked in control for long periods, but they had no answer for Manyike’s flair.
Earlier, Hudson Park caught the eye with their all-out running style. They have exciting back aplenty and when they began spreading the ball in the second half, the markedly bigger Eldoraigne side had no answer and they saw a 21-14 halftime lead turn into a 47-16 defeat as the East Londoners outscored them by five tries to one.
In game one, Marlow beat Marais Viljoen 39-10. Their Claude Jacobs had a blinder, scoring 29 points via three tries, two penalties and four conversions and was one of the standout players on view on day one.
The Northwood vs Muir College clash was a lop-sided affair. Muir had no answer to the very big Northwood pack and hardly saw the ball. In the end, Northwood scored tries, five on them in the second half when Muir’s defence crumbled.
The Wynberg vs Noordheuwel clash produced an identical 50-7 deadline, with Wynberg getting seven tries in a great display of controlled rugby. Noordheuwel had the bigger pack, but they wilted in the mid-day sun and Wynberg ran them off their feet in the latter stages of the game.
Saturday’s late clash between King Edward and Wynberg is going to be cracker between two of the most impressive sides on view on day one, while Jeppe’s matchup with Marlow will feature two of day one’s winners who play a similar style of rugby. It will be an intriguing contest.
Marlow 39 Marais Viljoen 10, Northwood 50 Muir College 7, Wynberg 50 Noorheuwel 7, Hudson park 47, Eldoraigne 26, King Edward 28 Westville 20, Jeppe 29 Ben Vorster 26.
9am Muir v Noordheuwel, 10.15am Ben Vorster v Northwood, 11.30am Marais Viljoen v Hudson Park, 12.45pm Eldoraigne v Westville, pm Jeppe v Marlow, 3.15pm King Edward v Wynberg.
Author: Theo Garrun