THE annual fixture against Durban High School (DHS) first rugby team’s oldest rivals, Maritzburg College, is always a massive occasion and provides the school with a guaranteed test in physicality. It was to be an exciting game, with the Horseflies running out 45-30 victors and ensuring two consecutive victories on the trot against its respected foes.
College, however, had the best of the opening exchanges as DHS looked to play too much from deep early on. The school team lacked discipline throughout the match and conceded numerous penalties that allowed College a foothold in the game. College took a six-point lead before a break from Captain, Celimpilo Gumede, allowed hooker, Stoney Stenekamp, to race through under the sticks. DHS found some rhythm after this and were able to add two more tries through centre, Lwandile Menze, and captain Gumede. Unfortunately, DHS conceded just before half time to keep the game a tightly contested affair at 19-16 in favour of the hosts.
The second half saw DHS draw first blood as Celimpilo Gumede scored another try, only to concede again straight after from a grubber that fortuitously bounced into the hands of a College attacker. The game looked poised to be a nailbiter as both teams traded blows with each other.
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It was DHS, however, who seized the advantage, with an excellent skip pass from replacement scrumhalf, Darren Booysen, who found replacement winger, Ulrich Brown, to race through untouched to take the DHS lead to 31-23. Flyhalf, Shakur La Douce, added an excellent conversion from the by-line. DHS created some breathing room for themselves as flanker, Asande Mnguni, scored for DHS from a well-worked lineout drive ensuring DHS rumbled over from 5m out.
In true College fashion, the team never stopped fighting and responded with another try to keep the score line to eight points. However, DHS was proving too creative on attack and their interlink play ensured another try for Brown and DHS restored the 15 point buffer. The final whistle drew a close to an entertaining affair, DHS the victors with a 45-30 result. DHS played with their usual brand of rugby “keeping the ball alive” but added a new zest at the breakdown to ensure a thrilling victory over their respected opponents.
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