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Red Army outguns Bishops


(Photo courtesy of King Edward VII)

King Edward VII turned the tables on the visiting Bishops Diocesan College in the finale of the 20th Standard Bank KES Easter Festival, storming to a convincing 45-8 victory on Monday.

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The Red Army came into the battle without their general, Vusi Moyo, who picked up a knock during their 7-22 loss to Paarl Boys’ High on Saturday. With strong backing from the home crowd, who came out to support in their masses, KES were fired up from the get-go.

After 12 minutes of a physical back and forth between the two sides, the hosts drew first blood through their lively winger, Haniel Monkoti. He went on to score a brilliant hat-trick of tries, playing a leading role in helping his team finish the weekend’s festivities on a high note.

Fullback, Indi Mboniswa, took over the kicking duties from Moyo and executed his assignment with great accuracy throughout the game.

After Monkoti’s opening score, KES doubled their lead five minutes later, when their big no. 8, Kebotile Maake, barrelled over three Bishops defenders to score.

The visitors responded with an excellent try, rounded off by burly flanker, Imma Magongwa, after quick thinking by their little scrummy, Max Marr. The young halfback was called to take on the role after an injury to their regular no. 9, Kashief Joseph, during the Bishops 175 Festival.

He did well to handle the pressure and give the Capetonians front-foot ball, but the KES defence was relentless, with players like Nathan van der Merwe putting in massive hits.

After the break, the boys in red launched an all-out attack, with their powerful SA Schools hooker, “The Rhino”, Esethu Mnebelele, breaking clean through after the kick-off and storming 60m before feeding Monkoti, who went over for his second five-pointer.

That seemed to knock the wind out of Bishops’ sails and, while lock Michael Bownes and replacement hooker, Dylan Piek, made further inroads on the scoreboard for KES, Bishops mustered only a single penalty by fullback Lucca Mynhardt in reply.

Mnebelele was phenomenal for KES, but Piek also played exceptionally well when he came on in his place, which demonstrated the Red Army’s depth this season. In fact, by the end of the match, KES had emptied their bench, which was a response to a taxing run of fixtures over the last couple of weeks, and all of their replacements met the challenge admirably.

Moyo made an appearance late in the game, and it wasn’t long before he showed off his play-making ability, which tore apart the Bishops’ defence and put Monkoti away for his hat-trick.

Fittingly, Moyo then rounded off the match with a try of his own, to put the visitors to bed at 45-8.

Following on a loss to Boishaai in their first match, it was a sweet victory for the home side.

The last time these two sides met was in 2015, at Jeppe’s 125th Festival, when Bishops recorded a 33-15 victory, thanks to tries by Andre Manuel, Tristan Leyds and Seb Prentice, with Cornel Smit adding the extras.

KES’s flyhalf that day was Tony de Zorzi, who captained the SA team at the following year’s u19 Cricket World Cup and went on to earn his first test cap for South Africa in 2023.

Luke Cannon firing for Jeppe
Luke Cannon firing for Jeppe Photo Credit: Theo Garrun

Jeppe High School for Boys showed their recent win over Grey College was much more than a flash in the pan with a runaway victory against Brandwag.

The visitors from Uitenhage struck twice through the boot of their captain and flyhalf, Lu-Crain Muggels, but the majority of the match was one-way traffic as Jeppe ran in nine tries to continue their excellent run of form.

Lock, Luke Cannon, went over for a double and his flyhalf Matthew Coetzee added seven conversions as Jeppe delivered a resounding win, with the entire squad combining well.

Parktown Boys’ High took an early lead when their fullback, Thepiso Tladi, dotted down, thanks to a great assist by Promise Kanda, but Dale College clawed their way back to triumph 30-15.

Selborne College bounced back after a loss to Pretoria Boys High on Saturday with a strong outing against Hoërskool Eldoraigne.

Inside centre, Siya Sakhela, was on fire and contributed two tries to the Eastern Cape outfit’s total. His scrumhalf, Page Fennel, wore his kicking boots and weighed in with 11 points off the tee.

Results and scorers

King Edward VII 45 (14) – Tries: Haniel Monkoti (3), Kebotile Maake, Michael Bownes, Dylan Piek, Vusi Moyo. Conversions: Indi Mboniswa (5). Diocesan College 8 (5) – Try: Imma Magongwa. Conversion: Lucca Mynhardt.

Jeppe 59 (38) – Tries: Luke Cannon (2), Sanele Simelane, Matthew Coetzee, André Poulton, Lagan Leisher, Mcmillen Mongwana, Khuthadzo Rasivhaga, Nathan Claassen. Conversions: Coetzee (7). Brandwag 6 (3) – Penalties: Lu-Crain Muggels (2).

Dale College 30 (13) – Tries: Lakhanya Mbewu, Lilitha Mgijima, AN Other (3). Conversion: Owethu Mpondo. Penalty: Mpondo Parktown Boys’ High 15 (7) – Tries: Thepiso Tladi, Owami Phambuka. Conversion: Kelvin Kotey. Penalty: Kotey.

Selborne College 31 (14) – Tries: Siya Sakhela (2), Josh Cloete, Gcina Puzi. Conversions: Page Fennel (4). Penalty: Fennel. Hoërskool Eldoraigne 3 (3) – Penalty: JP Meyer.

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