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Fired-up Maritzburg College beats Michaelhouse on Reunion Weekend

By Brad Morgan , in Rugby | Featured Rugby | News , at 2024-05-13 Tags: ,

Naz Isaacs scored Maritzburg College's fourth and final try in their Reunion Weekend win over Michaelhouse.
Naz Isaacs scored Maritzburg College’s fourth and final try in their Reunion Weekend win over Michaelhouse.

Goldstone’s was a seething cauldron on Saturday afternoon, with the Maritzburg College faithful out in force to support the College 1st XV against Michaelhouse on the Pietermaritzburg school’s Reunion Weekend.

Michaelhouse, also, were very well supported, which added to the festive and adrenaline-pumping atmosphere.

College, off the back of two disappointing performances at the Absa Wildeklawer Festival, desperately wanted to exorcise those demons. Michaelhouse, after a cherished 24-23 win over Hilton College on Gilfillan Field, were keen to add another big scalp to their season’s achievements.

There might have been some trepidation in the Red, Black and White‘s coaching ranks, but from the first whistle it became clear they need not worry about the commitment of their players. They were up for the game and took it to the visitors.

It took College seven minutes to break the deadlock and it was fullback Luyanda Kunene who had the supporters on their feet when he rounded off a superb spell by diving over in the left-hand corner. He was put in the clear by Aiden Botha after the tighthead exploited an overlap and took a gap before drawing the last defender and putting the flyer in the clear.

The cool as a cucumber Michaelhouse flyhalf Luke Davidson reduced the deficit to only two points shortly afterwards with a nicely judged penalty, bringing it in from the right to pass between the uprights.

College continued their frontal assault and their captain Rambo Kubheka was almost over from close range. ‘House, though, tackled manfully and kept the hosts at bay. However, Kubheka and company kept the pressure dialled up to 10, and were awarded a penalty when Michaelhouse strayed offsides.

It would have been an easy kick at goal for College no. 10 Jordan Thackeray, but they showed their intent by taking a tap. This time it took only three phases and lock Jake Jansen dived over for five points to the right of the posts.

Thackeray made the easy kick and the home side was 12-3 ahead.

From the kick-off, Michaelhouse regained possession and probed both flanks, spreading the field but, when Davidson attempted a long skip pass, College centre Nkululeko Sithole had read the play perfectly. He raced up out of the defensive line to snare an interception and raced in, under the poles, from 50 metres out, to extend the hosts’ lead.

It was 19-3 at the break.

Michaelhouse needed to make early inroads in the second half, and they did just that. From a lineout close to the Maritzburg College try line, they worked their way towards the middle of the field and, from there, their captain Carlyle Hawkins burst over the top of the ruck and stretched out over the whitewash to bring his team back into the game.

Davidson’s trusty boot had no problem with the easy kick and ‘House was within 10 of College.

Kubheka and company found a reply, however, and it began with a fantastic effort play from wing Lee-Rynne Sinkfontein, who turned a harmless-looking kick into a five-metre scrum to College after a superb chase.

College attacked off the back of the scrum, keeping the passes short as their forwards ran onto the ball. When they switched the direction of attack back to the left, big Naz Isaacs was in space, and he crashed over to join his lock partner Jake Jansen on the scoresheet.

As the clock wound down, much to the delight of the loyal College supporters, it became clear that it was going to be their day, but Michaelhouse had the last say on the field.

They attacked from a lineout in the hosts’ 22, took the ball inside and spread it down the backline to the left flank, where they were almost over in the right-hand corner. They recycled the ball and sent it in the opposite direction. This time, they found space out wide on the right and Aya Mkokheli was over for a try.

Another successful conversion from Luke Davidson ended the game, with Maritzburg College the winners by 24-17.

Scores

Maritzburg College 24 (19) – Tries: Luyanda Kunene, Jake Jansen, Nkululeko Sithole, Naz Isaacs. Conversions: Jordan Tackeray (2). Michaelhouse 17 (3) – Tries: Carlyle Hawkins, Aya Mkokheli. Conversions: Luke Davidson (2). Penalty: Luke Davidson.

u19 – Maritzburg College II 10 Michaelhouse II 17; Maritzburg College III 13 Michaelhouse III 3; Maritzburg College IV 10; Michaelhouse IV 29; Maritzburg College V 10 Michaelhouse V 14; Maritzburg College VI 22 Michaelhouse VI 21; Maritzburg College VII 32 Michaelhouse VII 19; Maritzburg College VIII 46 St Charles College IV 5; Maritzburg College IX 27 Michaelhouse VIII 5; Maritzburg College X 50 Michaelhouse IX 7

u16 – Maritzburg College A 19 Michaelhouse A 17; Maritzburg College B 24 Michaelhouse B 22; Maritzburg College C 57 Michaelhouse C 14; Maritzburg College D 38 Michaelhouse D 14; Maritzburg College E 33 Michaelhouse E 5; Maritzburg College F 0 Mpophomeni 36

u15 – Maritzburg College A 22 Michaelhouse A 18; Maritzburg College B 27 Michaelhouse B 7; Maritzburg College C 45 Michaelhouse C 5; Maritzburg College D 21 Development 7; Maritzburg College E 0 Michaelhouse D 12: Maritzburg College A 19 Michaelhouse A 17; Maritzburg College F 5 Michaelhouse E 0

u14 – Maritzburg College A 12 Michaelhouse A 7; Maritzburg College B 33 Michaelhouse B 14; Maritzburg College C 50 Michaelhouse C 0; Maritzburg College D 34 Michaelhouse D 21; Maritzburg College E 19 Westville 12

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.