Grey College thrashed Selborne 33-0 in East London on Saturday.
The weather conditions proved atrocious, but Grey’s superior class was evident on the day.
Having had heavy overnight rain, the game was never going to be the open, free flowing encounter which Selborne had hoped for. Grey resorted to using their juggernaut pack and the visitors dominated the set phases as well as the loose facets of the game. Selborne turned to match-winning flyhalf Dale Sabbagh to try and ignite proceeding, but the Grey defence thwarted the home side’s advances.
Grey opened the scoring in the 10th minute through a charged-down clearing kick and three Grey players pounced on the ball. Grey flyhalf, Johan Goosen, added the conversion. Right from the restart Grey again rumbled downfield and fullback Riaan Britz sliced through the Selborne defence to score another seven-pointer. Selborne then started to come into the game and controlled the ball, but an unforced error by the backs led to Grey’s winger Chejane Mallanne hacking the ball through to score just before the interval.
Trailing 21-0 at the break, Selborne tried to run the ball but unforced errors cost the home side dearly. Five minutes after the restart it was the turn of the Grey pack to force its way over the line. Prop Marcel van der Merwe was credited with the try under the mass of bodies. The conversion was missed and at 26-0 down with 25 minutes still left to play many thought that the floodgates might open. However, the home side produced some fine rugby and were unlucky not to get on the board. Grey then produced a sweeping movement were they scored in the corner just before full time. Goosen’s touchline conversion was superb and Grey ran out emphatic victors 33-0.
Once again, Grey College look like the side to beat in 2009. Prop Marcel van der Merwe looks a fine prospect and will no doubt go on to receive higher honours at some stage this year.
By Gareth Wright