The 1st XV made their way up to JHB for their annual Easter Festival at St Stithians College. What promised to be a hopeful start to the season turned into one to forget for the Horseflies as they came away with 3 losses albeit against strong opposition.
DHS started their tournament off against a St Alban’s team who possessed a considerably strong pack who dominated DHS in close quarters. School played in patches and were able to string together some impressive interplay and score some stunning tries. However, although DHS dominated the phase play they conceded three tries from driving mauls, including a last minute effort that took the game away from DHS. It was an incredibly frustrating fixture where a single facet of the game cost the team so heavily. This was added to by the injuries of both props S Nduzi and S Barnes.
After some harsh words from the coaching team and some self-introspection, the team rallied well in their next fixture against an excellent SACS team who in their previous game convincingly beat Michaelhouse. DHS led the game at half time 13-5 and played some outstanding rugby, scoring tries from their own half. Centre Asanda Kunene was the pick of the players as his defensive was impressive as well as his ability to run with the ball. SACS, however, came back in the 2nd half dominating possession and testing the School defense. With one minute remaining DHS was camped on the SACS line needing a try to secure the victory, however it proved elusive and “School’ went down 20-16. Although the result didn’t come through it was an impressive performance from the Horseflies and brought some much needed confidence.
DHS were picked to play Grey PE in the final fixture, an extremely tough game considering the depleted squad. However, DHS was expected to fare well, but in the end were no match for the brutal nature of the Grey PE pack who dominated all collisions. Although there were some flashes of brilliance from DHS the team, ultimately we were outgunned and outmatched in what was a disappointing result for this team, going down 50-17.
The festival proved to be a very humbling experience for the team and tested our depth and resolve massively. No doubt it was a learning experience, one that will ensure the team are better prepared for the rigours of a festival of this nature in the future. The team has come together after this result and the collective desire to improve has been felt by all. Every cloud has a silver lining and DHS intends to make full use of the valuable learning curve.
1st XV Rugby Coach/M-i-C : Rugby
1st XV 22 St Alban’s 24
1st XV 16 SACS 20
1st XV 17 Grey PE 50