Maritzburg College 7 Affies 33 : Match Report

Affies, a team with a big pack of forwards, would have been forgiven for using their size advantage to play a 10-man bash it up game against Maritzburg College. Instead they impressed with their expansive style of rugby. The Pretoria school went on to record a five tries to one 33-7 win against Maritzburg College on Goldstones.

The Affies support runners stole the show. They pick wonderful lines often identified the right space. This wouldn’t have amounted to much had these support runners not had the privilege of being on the receiving end of some high quality passes. It was a game plan built around using spaces but also relied on speed. Once Affies got in behind their opponents, they continued to work the ball with urgency until College ran out of defenders.

Amongst the players that caught the eye were captain Pierre Schoeman and hooker Francois Steyn, who both made a habit of either breaking the defensive line or making big plays. Schoeman has set himself apart from other forwards this year as a ball runner and playmaker. Affies’ second try was evidence of his wide range of skills. Having forced his way by a tackler, Schoeman then managed to stay upright long enough to make a textbook offload to the try-scorer Heinrich Viljoen. Later on in the first half, Schoeman once again showed great determination and presence of mind to firstly get to the tryline and then dot the ball over the line, only for the unsighted referee not to award the try. With his attention-grabbing performances week in, week out it’s becoming increasingly difficult to imagine a shortlist of SBR players of the year without Schoeman’s name appearing on that list.

Hanco Posthumus filled in well at flyhalf for the highly rated Ryno Eksteen. He was instrumental in the opening try by speedster Andries van der Merwe. He also did the kicking and succeeded with a conversion to help Affies to an early 12-0 lead.

Affies came close to scoring at two more junctures with College just doing enough to ensure that last passes did not go to hand, this after more breathtaking build-up work.

Just when College were beginning to look dead and buried, they then lifted their game. With better possession the College team forced Affies to do some of the defensive work. Kicker Marcel Coetzee missed a penalty but made it up to his teammates with a well-taken try. The young centre who will certainly be a leading candidate for Craven Week selection in 2013, collected a well-timed pass from Lucas Booysen, then accelerated past the first line defence before selling a dummy to the cover tackler and racing clear for College’s opening score. Coetzee added the extra two points and at 12-7 things were looking up for the Red, Black, Whites all of a sudden.

Affies responded by scoring the next try. A kick did not find touch and well positioned Affies no.8 Steven Meiring ran it back strongly. From the next phase Frans Steyn pulled off a “Sonny Bill Williams” pass to Janse van Rensburg. The tall lock came agonisingly close to scoring. It was then left to scrummy Louis Venter who picked the ball up from the ruck, spotted a gap and sniped. Posthumus converted for a halftime score of 19-7.

After the break, Jurie Linde extended the Affies lead with their fourth try. Magnificent handling was once again the architect. The free flowing rugby presented an overlap opportunity for Thys van Wyk on the wing. He raced down the right-hand touchline and fed inside to supporter Linde who then just had to canter in for the converted try.

The next highlight came when Louis Venter’s box kick wasn’t controlled by a College player inside his own 22-metre area. Janse van Rensburg picked it up brilliantly but then lost the ball over the try-line.

College then placed some sustained pressure on the visitors in a good field position for an attack. The home team had three attacking lineouts in quick succession. The first two did not work out well but the third one found the target. The territorial advantage was abruptly ended though when Booysen was caught in possession. Without support the ball was turned over and within a few seconds Affies took play down town to inside the College red zone.

There were a few more good Affies moves featuring firstly Venter and then Meiring in open play but it was left to a setpiece to lay the platform for the final try of the game. College conceded a tighthead from a scrum near their own goal-line. Meiring picked up at the base, bounced off a first defender and then powered his way over despite the attentions of second defender. Posthumus’ fourth conversion ended the scoring at 33-7.

It was pleasing game for Affies and their supporters. Despite the holiday break they were full value and looked to be on top of their game. For College, they have now probably put their most difficult game of the season behind them. A stiff challenge at altitude against Pretoria Boys High awaits them next weekend. Once again they need to reexamine their methods used to win and then protect possession. Changes and/or improvements in this area are vital. A game on Monday at 15:00 against touring Dulwich of the UK might just present the perfect opportunity to focus on these aspects and get back some confidence at the same time.

Maritzburg College: : 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Cyle Muil, 13 Marcel Coetzee, 12 Richard Bamber, 11 Banele Ngwenya, 10 Lukas Booysen, 9 Josh Rencken, 8 Reegan Smith (captain), 7 Cameron Christie, 6 Jacque Conradie, 5 Robert Kamhoot, 4 Everett Pieterse,  3 Mvelo Khumalo, 2 Vuyo Khathide, 1 Njabula Gumede. Replacements: 16 Alex Cahill, 17 Seko Buthelezi, 18 James Smith, 19 Jacque Conradie, 20 Kelvin Elder, 21 Murray Janse van Rensburg, 22 Thato Molelekoa

Affies: 15 Costant Pretorius, 14 Thys van Wyk, 13 Jurie Linde, 12 Nico Lee, 11 Andries van der Merwe, 10 Hanco Posthumus, 9 Louis Venter, 8 Steven Meiring, 7 Heinrich Viljoen, 6 Albert van Heerden, 5 Nicolas Janse v Rensburg, 4 Jean Droste,  3 WP Eloff, 2 Francois Steyn, 1 Pierre Schoeman (captain). Replacements: 16 Cornell de Waal, 17 Xander Swart, 18 Gerhard de Beer, 19 Calvon Allison, 20 Heine Lombaard, 21 Marchant van der Heever, 22 Andrew Langridge

19 Comments

  1. MARCEL COETZEE for kzn u18A selection next year!! i hope he makes it as it will be his last year as an u18, will have stiff competition from Brad Ellse, Ntlantla Ngubane and co though!

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  2. Pierre Schoeman has been sensational for the past two years.He’s the Sonny Bill of props :mrgreen: .
    If only Dean Greyling could learn. :-?

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  3. Oom Werner De Beer :) told me to keep an eye on the College under 16 A side lots of talent that will be lost to Sharks rugby again. :mrgreen:
    He has already spoken to a few boys. :mrgreen:

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  4. @Muzi: Why do I have a feeling we could sub the name College for any one of 50 top schools in SA and your statement would still be true.

    The Bulls scouts are way ahead in the recruitment game. Province are saved by having such good quality schools in their region coupled with 2 excellent universities to keep talent interested in staying home. What do the Sharks have??? :roll: Scouts – NO! Universities – NO!

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  5. @muzi
    Not much difference between College,Westville and Glenwood u16As so there should. Be enough talent left for us even though Bulls willve taken the best of the bunch!
    Am sure that scout. Of. Yours has spoken to Goodson whom I rate. Highly, he could be a good. Rugga. Player if waterpolo doesn’t take him first!

    @kcob
    Yeah it is still early but from this years performance I think we can safely. Choose a CW backline! Could give mine to you if you want.

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  6. @KCOB, if Glenwood’s Corne Vermaak plays like he did this year then he is a shoe in for the wing spot.

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  7. @grassy
    Hope he does, he’s a really good player when on form! He’s got a wicked step on him too!!!

    @kcob
    9) Reece Mchardy(WBHS)
    10) Leroux van zyl (DHS)
    11)Corne Vermaak( GW)
    12) Ntlantla Ngubane (DHS)
    13) Brad. Ellse (WBHS)
    14) Marcel Coetzee (MC)
    15) Nkosi Dlamini/Louis Snyman(KC/WBHS)

    Forwards a bit tougher to choose but I think College will make. Up the. Whole front row.

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  8. @horsey; I don’t think discount Reece-Edwards as I am sure the KC No 9 position will be his permanently.

    The no 10 has some stiff opposition; DHS, Glenwood, Kearsney and I think the “ginger” from College?

    I may be talking out of turn here, but KC only lost to Glenwood throughout their run through to 2013…?

    I suppose their strength was in their forwards huh, Biaggo, du Preez x2, Francis, Rossouw etc.

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  9. @Horsie, Tedder from Kearsney could take the flyhalf spot. In the forwards Glenwood’s Rupert Kay and Mazibuko could via for the grafting lock position. Glenwood too will have a good front row as usual and some quick backs. Who knows what will happen, look what happened to the Glenwood team this year. On paper they should have swept everyone aside but did not, alot changes over 6 to 9 months at this level…

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  10. This was a game where the College front row did not arrive on the day. They got bullied and hence the right or left shoulder was easy for Affies. They created space for their loosies to run and then good handling and support finished it off. At 12-7 College were in it and then a poor clearance and bad communication let Affies in just before half time. Critical score. Rolling maul in the second half was collapsed by Affies and should have been a penalty but resulted in t/o ball that ended up with Affies try. College were not going to win it but it should have been a lot closer. College front row needs to man up if they are going to take on PBHS. Thought the Affies 6 was great.

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  11. @All Black. Agree 100% about that rolling maul, I was standing right there and the collapse was blatant, it was moving forward rapidly. Apparently there are nuances to that collapsing law that I need to know … will have to ask our resident ref what the laws are.

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  12. It looks like College will be playing a lot of their youngsters in todays game against Dulwich. Kriel, loose forwards etc will not be playing.

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  13. @Gungets Tuft: By all accounts this was not a very good game. Not many 1st team players played and College tried some experiments, possibly for next year. Those who did play found it hard to lift themselves after a physical battering on saturday.

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  14. @All Black and Gungets, I would not read anything into the game against Dulwich, it must have been like a 2013 trials game for College. Also, a little unfair considering College played argubly the strongest rugby playing school in the country only 2 days prior. I’m looking forward to the return Glenwood vs College fixture, should be interesting. However, Glenwood will probably be licking their wounds from a trip up to Affies….good luck vs PBHS this weekend…

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  15. I said it before CW and after seeing the games there and the game against Affies , and it is the one area GW are undoubtedly better is the front Row. College have a weak front row , noted with all respect, for me technically the don’t or position themselves correctly for the set pieces and as such this is where Affies excelled , if GW dominate this area of the game and get front foot ball, it will be a long day at the park for College, unless we do something stupid like we did in the last game , lol

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