Kingswood College saw off a determined Graeme College side 27-11 in a fast and physical encounter played at Somerset Field on Saturday afternoon.
The tone for the game was set in the opening movement when Graeme flank Dalu January flattened Kingswood captain Jason Collet with a big hit. Kingswood were on the back foot for the next 13 minutes but their defence held firm, with centres John Hale and Chris Keets prominent.
Kingswood flank Theo Calitz was subbed early, an indication of the ferocity of the breakdown contest, and a ruck infringement by the visitors led to a penalty, which was converted by flyhalf Alex Banfield.
Kingswood hit back immediately after the restart when the hosts fumbled a kick-off. Kingswood recycled the ball quickly and stretched the home side’s defence. That resulted in a penalty which was taken quickly by the nippy halfback Sello Phafane and left wing David Kombe scored a try.
The visitors then took control of the game and kept the ball in hand, and another ruck penalty was slotted by fullback Scot van Breda.
The home side, though, again wrested back the initiative and another Banfield penalty narrowed the margin to 8-6.
Another kick-off blunder by the hosts saw them lose possession, and from the ensuing lineout, outside centre Hale broke through the line and put right wing Ruru Msutu in space to dot down in the corner. Van Breda kicked the conversion to make it 13-6.
But the hosts again did not lie down, with the loose trio of Januarie, Juandre Nel and captain Wikus Coetzee prominent on defence and attack.
In the second period, the hosts came out firing and flanker Nel was stopped just short of the line, but Graeme College could not press home the advantage and conceded a penalty for holding on. This proved to be a turning point of the game as Kingswood held on to the ball and worked their way into Graeme’s 22. From a lineout, Hale broke through the Graeme defence and put a grubber through for Van Breda to collect and score.
A 40m try from flanker Chris Roberts a few minutes later sealed the result, with Graeme scoring a consolation try through Nel.
By Khanyiso Tshwaku