Maritzburg, Grey PE run riot

Hosts Grey High School ran in six tries for a 46-10 victory over DHS, whilst Maritzburg College downed St Andrew’s 57-18 during Day One of the Grey Rugby Festival.

A brace for Allister Loock gave Grey an early lead, Jan Eslin adding the extras on both occasions, but a converted Xolani Falakhe try and Le Roux van Zyl penalty for DHS kept the game in the balance in the opening half.

Seperated by only four points at the half, Grey looked to have a competition on their hands. However, the DHS that returned to the field was not the same which left it, letting in four unanswered tries: a double for Byron Westcott, and one apiece for Simnikiwe Manentsa and Zuko Ndela. Eslin converted three and, slotting two penalties, rounded off a successful opening day for the hosts.

Earlier in the day, Martizburg College walked over St Andrew’s 57-18. Early aggression from both sides led to a heated opening passage culminating in St Andrew’s kicking for posts, despite heavy wind, to take an early lead. This would prove shortlived as Maritzburg claimed a stranglehold over possession and dominated the first half. St Andrew’s would have been disappointed to trail 24-13 at the break.

The second-half would get no better for St Andrew’s, despite spirited support, as Maritzburg went on to waltz through flimsy defence to keep the second half scoreboard ticking over. Maritzburg 1st XV coach Steve Bolton later said he was satisfied with the game structure and that the boys made the ball work for them.

In other results, Nico Malan battled to a 24-17 victory against a gallant Itembelihle side whilst Kearsney ran through Parktown 43-14, wing Julian Bowman dotting down twice. Dale were made to fight in their match against KES, ultimately winning 13-7, building on the momentum of their 47-3 win over Graeme College at the Graeme Festival last weekend.

Michaelhouse too enjoyed success, snatching victory from a resilient Louis Botha side 36–34 having been 15 apiece at the half. Scoring six tries each, it was the final conversion that decided the match. In the upset of the day, Selborne College toppled 2010 giants Bishops 24-23 for the closest of victories with a converted try in the dying stages.

Westville overcame an early Jeppe lead to run away 19-10 winners thanks to a try by Sean Hayes in an otherwise defensive encounter. Hilton’s first half domination, leading 15-0 at the break, was enough to hold off a spirited Daniel Pienaar resurgence for a 20-13 victory.

Results (Day One)
Nico Malan 24 Itembelihle 17
Dale 13 KES 7
Kearsney 43 Parktown 14
Queen’s 22 Pretoria Boys 17
Michaelhouse 36 Louis Botha 34
Maritzburg 57 St Andrew’s 18
Westville 19 Jeppe 10
Selborne 24 Bishops 23
Hilton 20 Daniel Pienaar 13
Grey High 46 DHS 10