Late Tries from Seemingly Nothing Kicks Determine Huge Private School Derby Outcomes

“There is no such thing as a bad kick, but there can be a poor chase.”

At Michaelhouse, Hilton came from behind to beat the hosts 26-25 in a highly entertaining match for which tickets cost R160 a pop.

Michaelhouse threatened to run away with the match after growing their lead to 22-7 early in the second half, but a massive, never-say-die effort led by Hilton captain, Hanu Pieterse, saw the Black-and-White work their way back into contention. In the fashion of contestable tries that have dominated this great Midlands derby in recent times, the most surprised-looking player on the pitch after Hilton’s late winning try was awarded seemed to be the try-scorer himself, Sebastien Gaboreau.

It all started when Hilton fullback Ivan Jjuuko, who had a solid game, opted for an ambitious 50:22 after collecting a punt deep in his own half and running it forward a few metres. He produced a useful ground-gaining kick, but somehow the ball just kept on rolling from the field of play in the 22 to inside the House in-goal area and finally towards the deadball line.

All this time, Michaelhouse fullback Aya Mkhokeli, who was the player of the first half, seemed to have the situation fully under control. He could have picked it up or dotted it dead at his leisure, yet he held out for the higher risk, maximum reward outcome of a scrum back inside the Hilton half with House leading 25-21.

Based on the view from the camera angle, it appeared that the ball might have rolled onto the deadball line just before the determined Gaboreau made contact with it. The very experienced assistant referee was literally a metre away and made the call for the try to be awarded. The rest is history.

At St Andrew’s, the massive K-Day, which probably ranks only second to the National Arts Festival as Makhanda’s biggest economic boost, produced a thrilling encounter that ended in a 22-all draw after the hosts scored in the last play of the game.

Although Kingswood were the favourites, they found themselves behind on the scoreboard for a great deal of the match until talented left wing Vizi Labase collected a pass at first receiver off a red-zone scrum and powered into space, dissecting the defence to help get the visitors ahead 17-12 at 50 minutes.

St Andrew’s opted to go for a fairly difficult penalty to narrow the deficit to 17-15 in the 62nd minute.

Standout Kingswood outside centre Likhona Kepe then came out the winner in a one-V-one to help them increase the lead to 22-15 with just a handful of minutes left.

St Andrew’s showed excellent composure at the death, working the ball using the full width of the pitch a couple of times through good recycling and handling. The ruck near the right touch produced static ball and instead of trying to punch it up to regain momentum through quicker ruck-speed, the hosts went for a deep pass to their flyhalf, Alastair de Kock, who booted a hang-time crosskick. Initially, it seemed to have too much distance and too little lateral direction to be of any use. Crucially, it landed behind the Kingswood defence and the wicked high bounce proved perfect for chasing SAC fullback Karabo van Heerden to gather and race in for the try. De Kock calmly slotted the conversion to level matters, which made the home team supporters feel like they were the big winners on K-Day.

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  1. avatar
    #7 Henkies

    @caleb cancelo (Comment #6)
    Yep Caleb agreed – can’t say I wasn’t worried at halftime though ;)

    16 June, 2024 at 20:49
  2. avatar
    #6 caleb cancelo

    @Henkies (Comment #1)
    DHS against college was always going to be a DHS win they are the better team this year

    16 June, 2024 at 20:22
  3. avatar
    #5 caleb cancelo

    For all this we must not forget the new giants of KZN DHS the comeback is one of the best

    16 June, 2024 at 20:21
  4. avatar
    #4 Henkies

    @Jakkals (Comment #3)
    Yep agreed Jakkals,a painful mix up. Both players had great seasons. I’m sure their teammates will rally around them. Lots of plays would have lead to that loss, not just one.

    16 June, 2024 at 13:56
  5. avatar
    #3 Jakkals

    @Henkies (Comment #1)
    His flyhalf was also telling him to let it roll….it’s not all on him. But shame feel for them. Dreadful mix up

    16 June, 2024 at 07:58
  6. avatar
    #2 Farmer


    Well done SAC i realy think KC should have bought 15 players this season not only 12 they needed that other 3 imports also😂 SAC must bellaughing all the way.😂
    11 EP starters and they still cant beat SAC.
    16 June, 2024 at 07:33
  7. avatar
    #1 Henkies

    That was some game. House looked to be cruising at 22-7. There have been some epic come backs in KZN this season. Westville against Hilton, DHS against College and now Hilton against House. I feel for the MHS full back. It really looked like the ball was rolling out. He had a brilliant game otherwise.

    15 June, 2024 at 21:39

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