Outeniqua High eclipsed more favoured opponents Glenwood 21-20 at the St John’s Easter Festival on Saturday.
Trailing 13-8 at the break the Outeniqua side turned in a stellar second-half performance to win a nail-biter.
Outeniqua came out firing and the opening exchanges were explosive with the George outfit having the upper hand. However, it was Glenwood’s impressive flyhalf Fred Zeilinga who drew first blood with a long-range penalty to take the lead 3-0.
Glenwood then lost the dynamic Francois Kleynhans after 10 minutes that hampered their competing at the breakdown. Zelinga then added his second penalty before Glenwood No 8 Kurt Beeten set off on a rampaging run which ended in prop Aalwyn Janse Van Vuuren crashing over from short range. Zeilinga added the conversion for Glenwood to take a convincing 13-0 lead with 10 minutes to go before half-time.
Outeniqua finally got onto the scoreboard with a penalty through No 8 Franco Geldenhuys. With half-time approaching Zeilinga sliced his clearance kick and Outeniqua launched a counter-attack. A clever chip by fullback Rudi Boshoff resulted in a wicked bounce landing up with the centre Adriaan Fransman dotting down in the corner. The conversion was wide and the half-time score read 13-8 to Glenwood.
Shaun Erasmus, coach of the Glenwood side, was understandably upset and laid into his team at the break. This approach seemed to hamper the ‘Green Machine’ and Outeniqua received a penalty straight from the kick-off. Geldenhuys steered the ball through to reduce the deficit to 13-11.
Outeniqua then started to dominate the scrums and lineouts and prop Marius Fourie and lock Peet van der Walt immense in these facets of the game. Van der Walt then received a yellow card for repeated infringements at the ruck. This stung 14-man Outeniqua into action and right wing Manie Heneyke rounded off a slick move for a converted try to put the underdogs in front 18-13 for the first time in the match.
It was then Glenwood who seemed to get the upper hand and find some rhythm in this see-sawing encounter. After a patient build-up Glenwood scrumhalf Ettiene Beneke snuck under two tacklers and scored a converted try to put Glenwood 20-18 up with seven minutes left to play.
Finally, with two minutes left, after some solid defence from Outeniqua centre Fransman, they were awarded a penalty that Geldenhuys converted for a 21-20 lead. Glenwood then threw everything at the gallant Outeniqua side. Glenwood fullback Pieter Oosterhuizen set off on a jinxing run which put the KwaZulu-Natal side deep in the opposition territory, but it was too little too late. Geldenhuys had the final say as he won the ball on the ground for Outeniqua to clear on the final hooter.
Meanwhile, KES beat a never-say-die Rondebosch side 24-15 in entertaining game at the KES Easter Rugby Festival. KES were full value for their half-time lead courtesy of three penalties by fullback Lucien Ruiters.
KES made better use of the ball and played the territory game to perfection in the opening quarter. Reds centre Jaryd Meyer was the standout player amongst the home side’s backs and waltzed through the Bosch backline every time he received the ball.
The Bosch side then started to click into gear and their pack decimated the much-vaunted KES eight at the scrums. Gary Topkin and Louw Naude took the fight to the hosts and pushed them off their own scrum ball on numerous occasions.
KES, though, looked slicker with ball in hand and butchered two tries in the first half through poor option taking. Leading 9-0 with two minutes to go before half-time Rondebosch finally got three points through fullback Darryn Berry.
KES started the second half as they had the first, when captain and flanker Senna Esterhuizen seared through the Bosch backline. The hosts converted their fourth penalty through Ruiters who put them into a 12-3 lead.
KES then started a counter-attack deep in their own half through Meyer and they created a massive overlap for Esterhuizen to thunder over in the far right corner to send the home crowd into raptures, although the conversion was wide.
From the kick-off and after some good linking play, Bosch were awarded a penalty 5m out. Scrumhalf Steven Wallace reacted quickly and maneuvered through three tacklers to score near the uprights. Berry converted to leave the visitors trailing 17-10.
Once again from the kick-off Bosch moved the ball into space and left wing Cameron Wright scorched past three KES defenders to score in the far left corner from 60m out. Berry, who had an indifferent game with his boot, missed the conversion and the game was precariously balanced at 17-15 with four minutes left to play.
Bosch then surged down field once again through colossal captain and No 8 Chad Mathews. The Reds won a scrum on the visitors’ 10m line. Daniel Eyre then ripped the ball out of the opposition’s hands and cantered over to score the match winner, just as he had done against Marlow on Thursday. Ruiters converted, the final whistle blew and KES had won an entertaining fixture 24-15.
Meyer is definitely a player to watch, being in the Michael du Plessis mould with silky skills, while Bosch hooker Gary Topkin and Mathews also look like players for the future.
By Gareth Wright
Easter Festival Results (Saturday):
KES 24 Rondebosch 15
Pretoria Boys’ 6 Westville 17
Eldoraigne 21 Rob Ferreira 3
Marlow 45 Florida 3
St Benedicts 18 Muir College 13
Union High 14 Hudson Park 24
Trinityhouse 20 FNB Invitation 11
Maritzburg College 16 Jeppe 5
Affies 25 Paul Roos 22
Paarl Boys’ 23 Monument 15
Outeniqua 22 Glenwood 20
St John’s 16 Helpmekaar 12
Lions 22 FNB Invitation 21
Bishops 33 St Albans 3
St Andrew’s 23 St Stithians 7
Boland Landbou 32 St Charles College 7
Wynberg Boys’ 17 Parktown 13
Selborne College 23 Marais Viljoen 13
Queen’s College 39 KZN Development 3
Upington 18 Dale College 13
EG Jansen 29 DHS 12
HTS Middelburg 27 Kearsney College 16