Queens College travelled to East London this past weekend to take on Selborne College in an FNB Classic Clash. The match did not fail to deliver the uncompromising, physical battle that has categorised this fixture for the last 86 years. Those who were at the game would probably agree that the result, a 22-22 draw, was a fair reflection of the performance delivered by both teams.
Queen’s College has not beaten Selborne since July 2006, with their best effort being a 17-17 draw at the same ground in 2008. Selborne had won the last five fixtures and would have been confident of delivering another stellar performance in front of their partisan crowd. They did just that and were full value for the 22 points they put on the board. However, Queen’s College were up to the challenge and matched their rivals with 22 points, therefore forcing an epic draw.
This was an incredible match to watch. It ebbed and flowed from entertaining to brutal and the level of skill displayed by both teams was astonishing at times.
Selborne opened the scoring in the first two minutes of play. Openside flank, Siphesihle Punguzwa dived over near the upright to give his team the early advantage and fullback, Joshua van Rooyen, added the conversion.
Queen’s College did not start the game well, but they were given opportunities to claw their way back with a series of penalty attempts. Joshua Stander was able to convert only the one into three points. Queen’s College remained on the attack from the restart and created a number of opportunities to further assert themselves in the game. Queen’s College right wing, Khaya Malotana, who was industrious throughout, was on the receiving end of a good pass by scrumhalf, JP Smith, and scored in the corner. Stander missed the conversion.
Selborne were also offered opportunities to score points and did so through a penalty by Van Rooyen and an outstanding converted try by underrated flyhalf, Geoff Lundersted. Queen’s College would again reply with a brilliant solo effort by Stander. Selborne went into the break with a slender 17-15 lead.... sjoe!
Queen’s College started the second half better than the first, but again conceded a try early on. Selborne put a good passage of play together to score a try in the corner by blindside flank, Freddie Lubbe. Van Rooyen missed the conversion.
The advantage continued to exchange hands during the second half and Queen’s College created a few opportunities. Loosehead prop, Mandilake Ponco, who had another solid outing for his team, rounded off a good passage of play with a try. Stander converted to draw level with the hosts.
Both teams opened the kitchen door and threw everything at each other and created a number of opportunities to win the game. Selborne missed a couple of penalties and an attempted a drop goal while Queen’s ran everything they got and were stopped only by some solid defence. The defensive effort from both sides was a highlight and both sets of coaches would have been pleased with their team’s performance in this regard.
This fixture was a wonderful advertisement for school boy rugby. Selborne were very good on the day and might have been disappointed with this result, particularly when they consider how many opportunities they had to win. Queen’s College also had their fair share of chances, but would be more than satisfied with this result because playing Selborne in East London is never an easy task.
The men from Queenstown play their final three games at home against Hangklip, Cambridge and Dale College.
Tries: Siphesihle Punguzwa, Geoff Lundersted, Freddie Lubbe
Cons: Joshua van Rooyen 2
Pens: Joshua van Rooyen
Tries: Khaya Malotana, Joshua Stander, Mandilake Ponco
Cons: Joshua Stander 2
Pens: Joshua Stander
Selborne College: 15 Joshua van Rooyen, 14 Kane Amos-Brown, 13 Uzuzhake Ngantweni, 12, Dylan de Wilzen, 11 Emihle Baneti, 10 Geoff Lundersted, 9 Cameron Opperman (vice-captain), 8 Khwezi Mona, 7 Freddy Lubbe, 6 Siphesihle Punguzwa, 5 Jason Orpen, 4 Andrew Love, 3 Ryan Germishuys, 2 Siphatho Qinisile (captain), 1 Yakha Qinela
Queen's College: 15 Khaka Matwa, 14 Khaya Malotana, 13 Kyle Brown, 12 Lazola Ndata, 11 Chumani Mase, 10 Joshua Stander (vice-captain), 9 Juan-Phillip Smith, 8 Johan Meyer, 7 Andisa Ntsila, 6 Athi Gaqa, 5 Siyasanga Makohliso (captain), 4 Kevin Kaba, 3 Mongezi Manzi, 2 Kegan Emms, 1 Mandilake Ponco
Replacements: 16 Khanya Mzilikazi, 17 Siya Mbebe, 18 Bubele Ranelo, 18 Dylan Gibbens, 20 Simon Bolze, 21 Lilitha Jonas, 22 Luyolo Gqeba
Referee: Raymond Buys (Border Referees' Society)
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