The DHS 1st XV traveled the long road down to Port Elizabeth to participate in the annual Grey Rugby Festival. After the arduous journey it was great to unwind in our hotel on the beachfront.
The 1st XV played the first game against the rather unknown township rugby school Ithembelihle. This game allowed the team to run out the cobwebs from the day’s travel. Although the weather was not the best to run the ball as much of the Old Grey field was slightly waterlogged, expectantly DHS lead the 1st half 19-0 but it was a poor performance from the Horseflies as the team looked slightly jaded. After some stern words at half time the team rallied to produce some scintillating running rugby in the 2nd half, running in a mass of tries. The final score being 60-0.
The team hotel situated within walking distance of the PE beaches gave the squad the best opportunity to recover whilst enjoying the sun and sand. The ice cold water was also met with some starting reactions as the boys did their recovery routines … there was definitely no need for ice baths on this trip!
After the day off the team was prepared and focused for the main game of the festival in which DHS lined up against the hosts, Grey High, in a mouth-watering fixture. Much had been said about the battle of two very exciting backlines and we were not to be disappointed on the day.
DHS put in one of their best performances of the season, putting the highly rated PE team under more pressure than they have experienced so far this year. DHS spent a lot of the game attacking the Grey line and were rewarded mid way during the 1st half when outside centre Onke Jiba made a stunning break through his opposite centre pairing. He managed to pass before contact to the supporting fullback Cham Zondeki, who proceeded to step the Grey fullback and score under the posts. Scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba converted with ease.
Grey managed to pull back into the game with a well-executed 5m drive before crashing over to level the scores. DHS continued to find in-roads into the Grey defence and were unlucky not to convert line breaks from Centre Mvumeleni Mathenjwa and lock Ryan Dafel. However, as the half wore on Grey started to accumulate a penalty tally that helped them increase their lead to 13-7 at the break.
The 2nd half was much of the same with DHS surprising the crowd at their running display of rugby and the manner in which they were outplaying their opponents. Their opportunity came late in the 2nd half when presented with a penalty 5m from the line DHS start scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba was running towards the mark 5m from the try line to take a quick tap when he was taken out off the ball. Unfortunately, the referee let the incident slide and DHS missed an opportunity that would have put them in the lead.
DHS showed some massive courage in the half too, with the pack showing such tenacity on their own line defending the pick and go for 13 phases before eventually forcing a turnover.
It was a drop goal from the Grey flyhalf that put the game out of “School’s” reach, however, with the stadium clock showing a different countdown DHS had more time than they realised, mounting another flurry of attacks that ultimately they could not convert.
It was a frustrating game for the DHS faithful who will feel extremely hard done by but will take great heart and encouragement from the performance. The final score in favour of the host was 16-7.
1st XV Rugby Coach / Head of Rugby