Grey College and hosts Kearsney College opened their Easter Festival accounts in style.
Kearsney thumped the eLan Invitational side 58-5. Despite only coming together shortly before the festival, the eLan XV put in a gutsy effort and were rewarded with a consolation try to outside centre Durell Mahadasen.
Kearsney were disciplined, while skillful ball handling and structured forward play resulted in plenty of touchline traffic from the hosts.
The second match was a closer contest, with Marais Viljoen coming from behind to down Upington 31-14. The first half was spent largely in the middle of the park with forays into either team’s 22 rare. The tide turned in the opening stages of the second half when a converted try to Marais Viljoen levelled the scores at 7-7.
Upington’s response was swift. Winger Etienne Dick latched onto a chip-kick, fended off a defender and slipped the ball inside for centre Eben Nel to dot down under the posts. But again Viljoen equalised with a converted try of their own to make it 14-14. They then added another converted try and penalty, before No 8 Jonathon Klopper crossed over to end any hope of an Upington resurgence.
Grey College dominated the third clash of the day, thrashing EG Jansen 47-0. But it was Grey who did the early defending, before a converted intercept try by flyhalf Johan Goosen broke EG Jansen’s resistance. Grey led 19-0 at half-time with tries to left wing Ruwellyn Isbell and No 8 Henco Venter. Grey kept the scoreboard ticking over with regular five-pointers, but EG Jansen never gave up and the final score didn’t do them justice.
A penalty and try by centre Deon Hammond gave Selborne an early 8-0 lead in their match against Nico Malan. Selborne scored further tries by Emihle Boneti and Luke Longbottom to make it 20-3. Nico Malan fought back with a penalty and Rosseau Prinsloo’s try closing the gap to seven, but another Selborne penalty put them beyond reach at 26 -13.
The day closed with a scrap between Glenwood, KZN’s top team in 2009, and Monument. The Gauteng side struck first with two penalties from flyhalf Marais Schmidt. Glenwood responded with a try in the corner to wing Reece Jeffreys, but this only spurred Monument and they answered with a try in the opposite corner to lead 13-5 at the break.
Soon after half-time, Monument capitalised on poor Glenwood discipline to steal another six points through the boot of Marais Schmidt. Mounting pressure resulted in another try and a Schmidt conversion took the game away from Glenwood.
Kearsney Easter Festival results (day one)
Kearsney College 58 eLan Invitational 5
Marais Viljoen 31 Upington 14
Grey College 47 EG Jansen 0
Selborne 26 Nico Malan 13
Monument 26 Glenwood 5
Fixtures (day two, Saturday)
08:00 – Selborne vs eLan Invitational XV
09:15 – Monument vs Upington
10:30 – Glenwood vs Marais Viljoen
11:45 – EG Jansen vs Nico Malan
14:00 – Kearsney vs Grey College
By Rory Keohane