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In-form Kearsney powers to win at St Stithians

By Brad Morgan , in Rugby | Featured Rugby | News , at 2024-06-18 Tags: , ,

Kearsney College travelled from KwaZulu-Natal to St Stithians College in Gauteng for their final fixture of the season on Saturday, 15 June.

The 1st XV showdown began well for Saints, however, when their flyhalf Chris Anderson, with a show and go, followed by a sniping run, put them into the lead with a try. His attempted conversion struck the left upright, but the hosts were 5-0 to the good.

Kearsney handled the early setback well and responded strongly, running in three tries of their own.

The first was set up by Doan Nel after he made a clean break through the midfield before putting Cameron Veenstra away for the try. Veenstra knocked over the conversion, too, to make it 7-5 to the visitors.

A good turnover at a breakdown from right-wing Valentino Lenge gave him an opportunity to work his magic in space. With individual brilliance, he beat a number of defenders and raced through to score under the posts. Another successful conversion gave Kearsney a 14-5 lead.

Then, working with good possession, Kearsney moved the ball down the backline to left-wing Bhuko Hlwatika, who beat his defender to score in the corner. Once again, the conversion was on target and the boys from Botha’s Hill enjoyed a 21-5 lead.

Anderson, the St Stithians’ no. 10, then doubled his personal haul with another try after gathering an exit kick and charging through a would-be tackler before cutting inside and sprinting away to dot down next to the uprights, which made it 21-12 at the break in favour of the visitors.

Kearsney hit their stride in the second half, producing some exciting running rugby, which brought them four tries without a reply from Saints.

Their path to the first five-pointer of the half was started by Daniel Eager, who, after counterattacking, set up an attacking ruck when he went to ground. The ball was quickly shifted out wide and Callum Steer provided the finish. Veenstra’s kicking boots remained dialled in and the extra two points lifted the visitors into a 28-12 advantage.

Kearsney had momentum on their side, and they kept turning opportunities into points. After a line-break from Valentino Lenge and sustained pressure on the line, Connor McIntyre picked up the ball from the base of the ruck and powered over for Kearsney’s fifth try. The conversion was good and coach Neil van Heerden‘s charges led by 23 points.

Then, Saints made the mistake of putting in a cross kick on the fleet-footed Valentino Lenge. He turned it into a 65m runaway try. The conversion was off target for the only time on the day, but Kearsney had reached 40 points.

The One-Stripe then struck from deep inside their 22. Royden Madatt stabbed through a well-place grubber, which was collected by Cameron Veenstra. Then, with one man to beat, the Sharks’ Craven Week speedster drew the defender and passed to Doan Nel, who raced in to score beneath the uprights. Veenstra added the extras to make it 47-12 lead.

A penalty kick, in the final minute of the contest, saw Kearsney breach the 50-point barrier for the first time in the 2024 season. The 50-12 victory was their fourth in succession, following wins over Glenwood, Clifton and Michaelhouse.

Scores

St Stithians College 12 (12) – Tries: Chris Anderson (2); Conversions: Chris Anderson. Kearsney College 50 (21) – Tries: Valentino Lenge (2), Cameron Veenstra, Bhuko Hlwatika, Callum Steer, Connor McIntyre, Doan Nel; Conversions: Cameron Veenstra (6); Penalty: Cameron Veenstra

Other results

u19 – St Stithians II 13 Kearsney II 5; St Stithians III 0 Kearsney III 31; St Stithians IV 0 Kearsney IV 32

u16 – St Stithians A 13 Kearsney A 12; St Stithians B 5 Kearsney B 36

u15 – St Stithians A 10 Kearsney A 41; St Stithians B 17 Kearsney B 7; St Stithians C 23 Kearsney C 46

u14 – St Stithians A 7 Kearsney A 26; St Stithians B 25 Kearsney B 5; St Stithians C 5 Kearsney C 53

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