The South African College High School (SACS) finished their season on a massive high with a hard fought 29-26 win over archrivals Wynberg Boys' High. Playing at Wynberg on a glorious winters morning, SACS, as they had done the week before against Bishops, came from behind to win a thrilling encounter.
Wynberg played with the breeze at their backs in the first half but as they have done all season they chose not to kick but rather to spread the balls and run at their opposition. Wynberg were all over SACS in the first twenty minutes and should have been well clear at the interval. Scrambling defence by SACS and crucial handling errors by Wynberg meant that the hosts only garnered seven points from this period of Hugh pressure. Wynberg’s SA Schools No. 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe cut though and offloaded for wing Lwandile Sompontsha to score. Fullback Ramees de Vos converted from right in front.
SACS eventually came into the game late in the half as debutant scrumhalf Wayne van Niekerk broke brilliantly upfield. He eventually finished off the move by diving over next to a ruck once the forwards had driven the ball close to the Wynberg line. Flyhalf Chris Smith converted.
The scores were locked at 7-all at the interval but Wynberg should have had the game wrapped up by then. Two quick scores after the interval though put Wynberg into a well deserved lead and at 19-7 SACS appeared dead and buried. Centre Justin Scott finished off a flowing move for Wynberg’s second try, after which the visiting English referee adjudged SACS to have collapsed a maul and awarded a penalty try.
The SACS pack responded to the challenge and began playing with more passion and precision. Holding on the ball for long periods SACS began piling on the pressure. This led to tries for Gino Lupini and Chris Smith. With the scores tied at 19-all Smith coolly slotted a snap-drop to see SACS take the lead for the first time in the game.
Lupini, a loose-forward who started the game at hooker and then slotted in at scrumhalf for the final fifteen minutes, then broke clear after a classic 8-9 from a right-hand scrum on the halfway line. He drew the fullback and passed inside to wing Joshua Jacobson to score the winning try.
It was a deserved send-off for Jacobson who was playing his final game in the SACS 1st XV. For two seasons he has toiled manfully on the wing in a struggling SACS team and has not missed one of SACS’s 21 games this season, top scoring with fourteen tries in the process.
Smith converted Jacobsen’s try to put SACS ten points clear with five minutes remaining. Wynberg pushed hard for another try but as had happened most of the day crucial handling errors cost them. Wynberg stretched the SACS defence and created the openings but could just not finish off. It took their star player Sikhumbuzo Notshe to take things into his own hands and single-handedly open up the SACS defence. Breaking clear on the halfway line he beat a number of would-be defenders to finish under the sticks. It was too late though as the referee blew the final whistle as De Vos’s conversion split the uprights.
Both sets of supporters swarmed the field but it was visitors SACS who were celebrating for the second week in a row. The team’s shook hands and acknowledged that they had been involved in an epic battle. As the SACS supporters sang the school song and performed their war-cry it was difficult to not feel for Wynberg who played their part in a great game but who had missed out narrowly three weeks in a row. With two-thirds of the team, including Sikhumbuzo Notshe, available next year their time will come again sooner rather than later.
For Wynberg Boys' High School
:Tries: Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Justin Scott, Lwandile Sompontsha, penalty try
Con: Ramees de Vos (3)
For South African College High School:
Tries: Wayne van Niekerk, Chris Smith, Gino Lupini, Joshua Jacobson
Cons: Smith (3)
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.