Pretoria Boys make Saints suffer

Pretoria Boys High reversed an 8-7 half-time deficit to beat St Stithians 28-8 in Pretoria on Saturday.

The result saw them end their season on a winning note and return a 50% success record.

A win for the home side looked unlikely early in the second half, however, with Saints 8-7 up and on the attack for a sustained period. But Boys High weathered the storm and edged ahead through two penalties by flyhalf Matt Currie before fullback Mitch Harris rounded off a move that started off in midfield in his own half to go over in the corner and make the game safe.

Saints were first on the board though a try by prop Gordon Shaw and a penalty by fullback DeanWilkinson put them 8-0 ahead before Boys High pulled back via a try by their SA U18 winger Richmond Collins, who shrugged off several tackles in a run that covered half of the field. Currie added the conversion to make it 8-7 at the break.

Harris scored in the 10th minute of the second half and it was all Pretoria after that. Their forwards took control, particularly in the loose phases and their backs were able to work their moves in midfield, resulting in Saints scrambling on the defence for the rest of the game.

Another try was inevitable and it came via a fortuitous bounce, which saw winger Ezekiel Segole go over and Currie kick the conversion to make it 28-8.

Pretoria Boys coach Greg Hassenkamp told keo.co.za that the game was the cherry on top of a great comeback in the latter part of the season.

‘We lost seven out of nine early on and won seven out of nine at the end, which is a credit to the spirit of the boys and their determination.’

In their last four outings Boys High beat KES, came close to upsetting Grey College, and then beat St Alban’s and St Stithians.

Saints rugby director Mark Percival is also happy with the season as a whole.

‘We had a 65% success rate across the school this year, which is a great improvement on previous years,’ he said. ‘More than half of our first and second-team squads will be back again next year, which augers well for the future.’

By Gauteng correspondent