150th Rugby Celebration Day : DHS vs Kearsney
The DHS 150th Rugby day proved to be a wonderful occasion for KZN high school rugby as schools from all over the province came together to celebrate 150 years of Durban’s oldest school. With matches taking place on the hour every hour, it proved to be a rugby fans delight as all the top talent in the province was on show. The culmination of the day ended with an official fixture between the hosts DHS and visitors Kearsney.
The much anticipated game was watched by a bumper crowd and unfolded into a fine display of schoolboy rugby. Unfortunately, for Durban High School it was not to be a fairytale ending to a fantastic afternoon as they succumbed to a narrow 22-26 loss.
The first half started brightly for the hosts as they looked intent on keeping ball in hand, however, with better decision making they could have capitalised on this possession if they had looked for a bit more territory early on. Kearsney used this to their advantage as they kept DHS camped in their own half for most of the 1st half. Their line outs were working well and flanker Dylan Richardson was in fine form, bundling over for two unanswered tries. DHS managed to convert a penalty through scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba, who was a shining light for DHS throughout the game. DHS should have had more points on the scoreboard going into the break as two clear opportunities were butchered with the try line in sight. However, it remained 17-3 to the visitors at the break. This score would have been familiar reading for DHS supporters and given the past five years the writing was on the wall for another potential drubbing. However, DHS are made of much sterner stuff these days and the troops rallied to put on a much improved 2nd half performance.
DHS started to retain more of the ball, and although they were struggling to secure their line outs, the scrumming ability of tight-head Tiaan de Jager was helping provide a solid platform at scrum time. Their constant pressure resulted in three unanswered penalty conversions for DHS, with Sanele Nohamba unable to miss on the day. The troops rallied around his form and mounted a comeback. Kearsney, however, managed to stay out of reach until the introduction of substitute Hlumelo Mekuto at centre. His energy brought about a well worked try between outside centre Onke Jiba and himself to give the substitute his first try of the game.
The try proved to be too late for DHS, who tried valiantly to win the game in the final movement but fell short by a 4 points deficit. It was a disappointing result for a team who had looked much better a week previous against Hilton. It did show that the team has a fighting spirit in them, which bodes well for the future.
1st XV Rugby Coach/Head of Rugby