by SAXY: www.sacsrugby.com
The South African College High School (SACS) produced a major upset on the first weekend of local league action in the Western Cape by beating Boland Landbou 26-22. SACS had not beaten Boland since BlitzBok Paul Delport, who was there to watch the game, captained them in 2002.
Boland Landbou kicked off and SACS, who were playing looking into the sun on a hot Cape Town day, dropped the ball and allowed the visitors to immediately go onto the attack. Crucially SACS soaked up the early pressure and repelled the onslaught from the massive Boland pack. Boland had a penalty which they chose to kick to touch and maul instead of taking an early lead.
SACS managed to get out of their half and after ten minutes got hold of the ball for the first time around the halfway line. SACS did a simple cut move from a scrum and centre Richard Rodgers managed to find some space and weave through the Boland defence. He broke clear and fed his centre partner Keagan Wheeler who raced over to score. Flyhalf Shane Fourie converted.
Fourie kicked a penalty soon after to which his opposite number Tian Nel responded. SACS played well for territory and Boland made a number of mistakes in their own half, one of which allowed right-wing Damian Rawstorne to capitalise and score an opportunist try. SACS turned pressure into more points soon after which saw them go out to a 20-3 lead after twenty-five minutes.
SACS dropped another kickoff and allowed the Boland pack to get momentum via their pick and go. Boland turned up the heat and a tired looking SACS side began to fall off their first time tackles. Boland scored two quick tries before the break through flank Wiaan van der Merwe and prop Matthys Basson to narrow the gap to 20-15 at the interval.
SACS extended their lead soon after the restart as Shane Fourie slotted another penalty. Clever kicks by SACS scrumhalf Michael Henning and flyhalf Fourie kept Boland pinned in their half and Fourie was able to draw SACS nine points clear ten minutes into the second half.
Boland upped the tempo going in search of a try which they got when centre Adriaan Louw ran a beautiful line off his flyhalf’s shoulder to cut the SACS defence wide open. Nel convertedand Boland were back in the game at 26-22 with fifteen minutes to go.
The final fifteen minutes were full of action as Boland pushed hard for the win and SACS tried to hold on for dear life. Boland had a string of penalties near the SACS line in the last five minutes but SACS showed the same resolve they had shown in the opening ten minutes and defended their line like warriors.
It was a momentous win for SACS and a great way for them to start the local league season. As for Boland they are a very proud rugby school and they will no doubt come back stronger and more determined than ever.
South African College High School
Tries: Keagan Wheeler, Damian Rawstorne
Conversions: Shane Fourie (2)
Penalties: Fourie (4)
Tries: Wiaan van der Merwe, Matthys Basson, Adriaan Louw
Conversions: Tian Nel (2)
Rugby Matters thanks Gail Barnard for her photos of the Match!