St Stithians managed to break a five-year jinx when they beat St Alban’s 44-19 in Pretoria.
The last time Saints won this traditional late-season fixture was back in 2004 (the sides drew in 2005). And they did it in some style on Saturday, running in five second-half tries after they trailed 12-11 at the end of a tight first half.
The home side was first on the board via a try by centre Hayden King, which was converted by fullback Leroy Afrika, before Saints struck back with a try by lock Wolfgang Horlacher and two penalties by flyhalf Morgan Ferguson, to go 11-7 up.
St Alban’s giant lock Geraan de Wet muscled his way over on the stroke of half-time to put his side 12-11 ahead at the break.
The visitors struck back immediately after the interval with a try by winger Mandla Mhinga, which was converted from the corner by Ferguson.
This was followed by two tries resulting from strong running straight down the middle of the field, one by flanker Teague Wyngaardt and the other by prop Scott Carroll who ran 30m before crashing over near the posts. Ferguson added the conversions to take his side out to 32-12 before centre Sean Sanders and lock Quinton Wobbe crossed over to make it 44-19.
St Alban’s got a consolation try through flyhalf Willam van der Byl, which was converted by Afrika.
St Stithians coach Yaldren Vickery was delighted with the result.
‘We felt we had the beating of them this year,’ he told keo.co.za , ‘but past results have shown you can never be too sure about this fixture.
‘Our plan was to take them on close to the rucks and mauls, and we forced the gaps and finished off well. It was a good way to get the last leg of our season under way and we are looking forward to the rest of the season.’
Saints play touring teams from the UK on Wednesday and Saturday next week and finish off against Pretoria Boys High in two weeks time.
By Gauteng correspondent