Glenwood scored five tries on their way to recording a comprehensive 31-3 home victory over Maritzburg College. A remarkable feature of this game was that Glenwood condensed all their point scoring in a 20-minute spell of sublime rugby. Simply put, Glenwood clicked.
If analysts were to view the tape of this game afterwards, they could easily have dissected the 70 minutes of action into three distinguishable parts.
In the first 25 minutes, College gave as good as they got and even took the lead compliments of a Jesse Kriel penalty. Glenwood may have shaved them in the battle for territory and possession, produced one or two threatening try-line moments and missed a couple of kicks at goal but there were no visible signs of a one-sided result at this stage. If anything it looked like the match would go down to the wire.
Likewise the final 25 minutes also offered very few clues of the one-sided nature of the game as reflected on the scoreboard. In fact not a single point was scored during this time. Here again Glenwood, who had perhaps taken their foot off the pedal, looked to be the side in control of matters, with their debutant flyhalf Warren Potgieter dictating a good deal of play by means of his accurate tactical kicking into the corners. However Glenwood undid much of their good work by giving away many penalties.
By then College had brought on experienced midfield players off the bench, which helped stem the tide. Prior to that, the visitors' inexperienced yet talented 11-12-13 combination had been placed on a steep learning curve, which will no doubt contribute to their growth as players ahead of next season.
The Red, Black and Whites showed a great deal of determination and desire until the very end. They did their level best to add some respectability to the scoreboard. It was to little avail though, as Glenwood seemed to have their number and fresh ideas on how to crack open the green wall became increasingly hard to come by as the match approached its ending.
Sandwiched in between these two 25-minute sessions was arguably the best passage of attacking rugby of Glenwood's 2011 season.
The purple patch began roughly 10 minutes before the half-time break when fullback Nthlangulela generated enough momentum to cross the chalk from a wide position on the right, despite being ploughed into from the side. However, just like the next two tries scored by Wayne Dalton that were to follow in rapid succession before the break, it really was not as much about the final try-scorers efforts as it was about the memorable build-up play that caused all the damage.
All three tries contained the same fundamental characteristic - speed. The Green Machine simply shifted into the highest gear and put the foot on the accelerator. Glenwood's ability to swiftly move the ball the length of the field from deep inside their own half, recycle it quickly and then move it back the other way at great pace found College's defence wanting. The visitors were not given time to properly reorganise their structures, which in turn resulted in overlaps and defensive mismatches on the park. On top of this, the home team's knack of being to identify spaces and make the right calls with the ball in hand deserves a mention.
Although every Glenwood back played well with the likes of Marwana, Shezi and Tom going on scintillating long runs, it was the presence of alert forwards Swart and Horn in open play that really caught the eye. The two big players showed good pace and judgment when it mattered most and as a result often found themselves at the heart of the profitable moves that led to the 17-3 half time score.
Glenwood continued to play at a frenetic pace at the start of the second half. From a ruck close to the line, Warren Potgieter jinked his way past a couple of defenders and reached out with his right arm to dot the ball over the line for try number four.
Fittingly Ferdi Horn was the scorer of the final try, made possible the efforts of another player deserving praise. Hooker Devon Osborne had made an about turn on a dismal line-out throw-in display from a week before. Faced with the challenges of a wet ball, windy conditions and a huge psychological barrier to overcome, his line-out work was of the highest standard this time around and it was from one of these line-outs that his team formed the perfect maul pod and drove the ball over the line.
Tom's boot was responsible for six of the 31 points via three conversions.
The final whistle brought down the curtain on the 15-man schools game within the provincial borders of KwaZulu-Natal for 2011.
It also served to confirm Glenwood's status as the province's number one team for yet another year and enhanced Dixon's growing reputation as a field on which visiting local teams find results extremely difficult to come by.
Tries: Lwandile Nthlangulela, Wayne Dalton 2, Warren Potgieter, Ferdi Horn
Cons: Siyabonga Tom 3
For Maritzburg College:
Pen: Jesse Kriel
Glenwood: 15 Lwandile Nthlangulela, 14 Jeffery Shezi, 13 Nkululeko Marwana, 12 Dean Moolman, 11 Siyabonga Tom, 10 Warren Potgieter, 9 Mtokosizi Mkhabela, 8 Carel Swart, 7 Wayne Dalton, 6 Brian Potgieter, 5 Bradley Mcneill, 4 Ferdi Horn, 3 Sanele Pina, 2 Devon Osborne, 1 Niel Oelofse (captain).
Maritzburg College: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Lwazi Sithole, 13 Richard Bamber, 12 Matthew Janse van Rensburg, 11 Marcel Coetzee, 10 Ethan Marais, 9 Stefan Ungerer (captain), 8 Reagan Smith, 7 Bradley Malherbe, 6 Penuel Shezi, 5 Ryan Odendaal, 4 Matthew Dickens, 3 Mvelo Khumalo, 2 Desmond Marx, 1 Richard Mhlongo.
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