1st XV Rugby vs Michaelhouse : Match Report
DHS welcomed their counterparts from Balgowan on a stunning day for schoolboy rugby. With a slight North Easterly blowing, the wind was always going to be a factor in the game. It was to be a tale of two halves and DHS withstood a 2nd half comeback from House to run out victors in a well-deserved 27-14 victory.
DHS started the stronger of both teams, and looked resolute in defence as all House efforts to breach the DHS defensive line were thwarted. It was an excellent defensive performance in the first half, but one felt that the DHS team had defended too much in this half and this would hurt them later on in the game in regards to fitness. This defence was a direct result of being unable to secure their lineout ball, which made it very difficult for School to launch and sustain any credible attack.
However, such is the strength of the DHS turnover game that it led to their accumulation of points in the first half. A turnover resulted in “School” launching an unstructured attack that allowed DHS to end up close to the House goal line. A series of well navigated forward plays ensured that eventually tight-head prop, Mthokozisi Gumede, crashed over for the first try of the game.
School continued applying pressure on the House attacking game, and from another turnover they worked the blindside multiple times before in-form scrumhalf, Jaydian Cedares, scampered to a try and took the lead to 14 points. The diminutive scrumhalf then sealed another with a nimble-footed run that allowed him to twinkle-toe perilously close to the outline and score another try in the corner and allow DHS to secure a 19-0 lead at the break.
The 2nd half would always be a difficult task for the “Horseflies” as they had used a lot of energy in defence in the first half, they also had to contend with the wind in the 2nd half.
A penalty kick that didn’t find touch led to House’s first try of the game and allowed them a sniff into the game. Their second came shortly after as sustained phases led to an overlap and another try for the away team, both kicks being converted. The score 19-14.
The momentum had clearly shifted in favour of the away team, and DHS had to rally hard to pull this game back. Such is the tenacity of this DHS unit that, although not at their best, they were able to ensure a period of phases to allow fly-half, Shakur La Douce, to slot a penalty from a tight angle to take the lead to 8 points.
With the game still on the line, DHS capitalised on a quick-tap penalty from La Douce whose quick thinking ensured centre, Lwandile Menze, on his return from injury, scored the final try of the game. This all but ended the House resistance and secured another victory for the “Horseflies”.
It was a game that ebbed and flowed nicely, although the messy breakdown management detracted from the spectacle it could have been. All in all, DHS will be happy to have ground out a win before they leave for the Grey Festival on Thursday.
1st XV Rugby Coach
Head of Rugby