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Westlake Boys and St Michael’s dash SA hopes at 2023 WSF

By Willem Louw , in Rugby | Featured Rugby | News , at 2023-12-15 Tags:

Westlake Boys - 2023 World Schools Fest
Westlake Boys | PHOTO: World Schools Festival

Westlake Boys from New Zealand and Ireland’s St Michael’s will face each other in the final of the 2023 World Schools Festival in Thailand on Sunday after cutting short the South African challenge for the title in Friday’s semi-finals.

In the first semi-final of the day, Dr EG Jansen were on the scoreboard first after their winger, Cameron van Wyk, slotted an early penalty to ensure they weren’t caught unawares like the New Zealanders’ first opponents.

Westlake had made it to the semi-finals thanks to a late comeback draw against Hartpury on the opening day, with the tournament rules stipulating that the first team to score advances in the event of an undecided match.

Later in the game, brilliant interplay between Van Wyk and hooker, Danré Pike, led to EG Jansen’s first try, which helped them regain the lead after Iggy Iversen had opened Westlake’s account.

Their two New Zealand Schools’ representatives, captain James Cameron (centre) and Isaac Murray-Macgregor (fullback), showed their class in the second half as Westlake took control of the contest. In the end, they beat the Boksburg boys 25-16.

St Michael’s demonstrated their intent early on, scoring in less than three minutes through Irish international Ethan Black.

Oakdale was starved of possession in the first 10 minutes until their captain Kurt Coetzee (centre) took matters into his own hands by bursting through to score.

Kai Pratt, Oakdale’s young loosehead prop, was a standout again. Early in the second half, he crossed the whitewash for a five-pointer, which brought the boys from Riversdal back into the game. The Irish side kept piling on the pressure, however, with their game-breaking flyhalf, Joe Quigley, pulling the strings to see St Michael’s to a thrilling 17-12 victory.

This means the two South African schools will do battle for third place in the playoffs on Sunday, while Westlake will seek to emulate Hamilton Boys’ victory in the 2022 World Schools Festival and return the cup to New Zealand. They will need to deliver their best performance of the week, however, if they are to upset a St Michael’s team which hasn’t revealed any chinks in its armour.

The South African teams in the Open had a more successful time on Thursday. Southern Legion continued their dominant run with a decisive win over the Odyssey Knights (55-14) in which Durbanville’s Lian Jordaan caught the eye by crossing the line twice for his team.

Both Rugby Travel Academy teams in the Open also won their matches, beating the Odyssey Spartans (27-7) and the Dubai Tigers (38-24) respectively.

With the squads being mixed to give everyone time to rest and recover, Raynard van Loggenberg scored for RTA in both games.

The RTA boys showed resilience to come from behind to take victory on both occasions.

The Dubai Tigers’ captain Marcus Guerin and his side gave the South Africans a good challenge, but a hattrick by Marno du Plessis, from Hoërskool Nelspruit, was enough to see them take the win.

Guerin is a particularly rare find in that he is a captain who plays lock, jumps in the lineout, handles the kicking responsibilities, and falls into the midfield on the attack.

The action in the Open tournament continues on Saturday before the Cup finals take place on Sunday.

SCORERS

Cup

 St Michaels 17 (14) – Tries: Ethan Black, Riain Coogan. Conversions: Joe Quigley (2). Penalty: Quigley. Oakdale 12 (5) – Tries: Kurt Coetzee, Kai Pratt. Conversion: Warren Labuschagne.

Westlake Boys 25 (10) – Tries; Iggy Iversen, Tyler Pulini, Casey Good, Travis Findlay. Conversions: Isaac Murray-Macgregor. Penalty: Murray-Macgregor. EG Jansen 16 (8) – Tries: Cameron van Wyk, Jeandre Jacobs. Penalties: Van Wyk, Matthew Bergman.

Hartpury 29 (17) – Tries: Ruben Cummings, Caio James, Harry Tovey, Charlie Manship, Taite Fortey. Conversion: Hugh Jones, Fortey. Rugby Travel Academy 14 (0) – Tries: Reinhardt Venter, Jayden de Leeuw. Conversions: De Leeuw (2).

Eton College 24 (19) – Tries: Guy McMullen, Chinonso Ogbunude, Izaak Manuel, Hunter Deane-Johns. Conversions: Benji Bushnell (2). Cardiff & Vale 12 (5) – Tries: Tom Hughes, Kian Williams. Conversion: Hughes.

Open

Southern Legion 55 (29) – Tries: Lian Jordaan (2), Armand Pretorius, Happy Makate, Dehan Neethling, Jacques Benadie, Cody Petersen, WJ Buitendag, Ewan Korb. Conversion: Rynhardt Uys (2), Armand Griessel (2), Ewan Korb. Odyssey Knights 14 (7) – Tries: Rohan Sheldon, Douglas Searles Jnr. Conversion: Ryder Donovan (2)

Rugby Travel Academy Invitational 27 (5) – Tries: Taboka Makhobotloane, Luhann van Rensburg, Chad Leukes, Raynard van Loggenberg, Redifentse Mokoene. Conversion: Van Rensburg. Odyssey Spartans 7 (7) – Try: Zach Smith.

Rugby Travel Academy Barbarians 38 (14) – Tries: Marno du Plessis (3), Pieter Moller, Raynard van Loggenberg. Conversions: Jaedon de Leeuw (4). Dubai Tigers 24 (14) – Tries: Sonny Hudson Allen, Matteo Garcia, Livio de Divitiis. Conversion: Marcus Guerin (3). Penalty: Guerin.

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