Kearsney display determination on Hilton grounds

Kearsney try scorer Taine Polzi in the game against Hilton. PHOTO: Darren Polzi

HILTON College hosted Kearsney College for the first of a double header for the 2018 season in overcast and windy conditions on Saturday.

Kearsney’s 1st XV rugby team started well and scored their first try within the first three minutes of the match.

ALSO READ: Mixed results for Kearsney’s hockey teams

Scrum-half, Taine Muirhead, dived over from the base of a ruck, close to the right upright, which he converted for a 7-nil lead.

Soon afterwards he received the ball from an up-field Hilton kick and delivered a monstrous 45m-plus drop kick for a 10-0 lead.

Kearsney try scorer, Taine Muirhead in the game against Hilton. PHOTO: Darren Polzi

Hilton fought back and, despite solid Kearsney defense, eventually capitalised from a scrum turnover with centre Siyabonga Xulu pushing over under the poles, which Gareth Schreuder converted.

Kearsney slotted a Muirhead penalty, to stretch the lead to 13-7. Hilton dominated the second part of the half. Hilton fly half Ruan Wilmans found a clever worked gap to score untouched close to the left upright. With the conversion, Hilton lead 14-13 at half time.

The second half produced plenty of entertainment with both teams prepared to give the ball air. Hilton started off well when Kearsney failed to exit their half. Hilton winger Robert Mattison eventually scored an unconverted try in the left corner to increase the lead to 19-13.

Kearsney hit back almost immediately with ever present flanker Taine Polzi running through the close defence and stepping the last defender, for Muirhead to convert and regaining the lead 20-19.

The lead changed hands again with Hilton scoring a converted try, courtesy of their hard-running forwards sucking in the defence and rounding the last outside defenders. Hilton continued with more of the same power play and eventually hard-working lock Niaan Taljaard was rewarded with a converted try for a 33-20 lead.

Kearsney then enjoyed a good passage of play. Loose forward Sibu Sangweni charged down the Hilton scrum half’s exit attempt and scored under the posts for Muirhead to convert; shrinking the deficit to 27-33.

ALSO READ: Local teams reign victorious at Kearsney Easter rugby festival

Kearsney battled to exit their own half and, coupled with bad lineout work, gave Hilton the ascendency. Before long the hosts scored in the left-hand corner for a 38-27 lead.

Credit to the visitors as they did not give up and pushed hard to the end. With Robert Koenig prominent, Kearsney’s big centre Derrick Marshall got his try. Muirhead converted to take the score to 34-38. With two minutes left, both teams fought hard but the score remained.

The crowd was treated to a great game of school boy rugby. The return match at Botha’s Hill in a few weeks’ time promises to be an exciting fixture.

High tempo hockey

Kearsney’s 1st XI hockey team locked horns with Hilton’s 1st XI in a game that was played at a high tempo right from the outset.

Kearsney controlled most of the play, but Hilton looking dangerous on counters and broken play.

Halfway through the first half Kearsney were awarded a penalty stroke after Steven Conway was taken out by the Hilton keeper. The penalty stroke was not converted and the score remained at 0–0.

Hilton then quickly found themselves 2-0 up through a scrambled goal and penalty stroke of their own.

Kearsney’s 1st XI hockey player, Ben Proctor, won his 50th cap for the Hilton game. PHOTO: Jonothan Houghting

The game went into half-time with Hilton 2-0 up. This was not a true reflection of the game at this stage as Kearsney had created enough scoring opportunities of their own but were just not clinical enough.

Early into the second half Hilton went 3-0 up and for most teams this could have been game, set and match.

The Kearsney boys, who demonstrated outstanding effort and a never-give-up attitude, started the comeback through vice-captain Ben Proctor’s two goals and captain Guy Morgan with another goal, to level the game at 3-3 with 10 minutes to play.

There was still plenty time to play and both teams had opportunities to go 4-3 up. The result remained at 3-3, however, and credit to both team for positive attacking hockey.

Ben Proctor celebrated his 50th 1st team hockey cap on Saturday, scoring two of Kearsney’s three goals.

 

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  AUTHOR
Submitted by Kearsney College's sports department

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