The DHS 1st XV ran out 24-14 victors on their Founders Day against Westville Boys High School, ending a 7-year drought of results on this day. It was a match that lacked for rhythm and was littered with penalties, with both teams struggling to maintain a firm grip on proceedings. With DHS having won the earlier fixture in the season 60-10, it was clear Westville were out for revenge as they flew into the early exchanges with much gusto.
DHS, however, were able to take a 12 point lead through an excellent break from Captain Celimpilo Gumede, who set up a well-coordinated red zone attack which ultimately led to tight-head prop, Mthokozisi Gumede, crashing over for a try. The next attack proved to be a superb solo effort from Captain Gumede, who smashed and rolled his way to a try as he nimbly hugged the touch line to score in the corner after an incisive pass from scrumhalf, Jaydian Cedares. DHS were looking good to run away comfortable winners until two yellow cards towards the end of the first half allowed Westville to find a foothold in the game when they scored in the final play of the half with a driving maul. The half time tally was 12-7 in favour of the hosts.
The second half was to be a frustrating one for the “Horseflies” as they had to contend with a final penalty count of 20-5 in favour of the opposition. This included a red card for hooker, Stoney Stenekamp, ensuring that DHS played the final quarter of the match with a man down. Although up against it, the DHS boys showed dignity that belied their age and, with that firm DHS resilience, were able to thwart much of the Westville attack even though the teams added one more try a piece, taking the scores to 17-14 to DHS with 10 minutes remaining.
Through sheer commitment the DHS team made a ‘final stand’ on their own try line in the final minutes of the game forcing the opposition to a knock-on over the line in a stand that would have made Colonel Custer proud.
The Horseflies showed immense composure to see out these final minutes but there was one more twist in the tale as a moment of utter brilliance brought the game to DHS. It was a moment that made the entire affair somewhat palatable and added a sense of euphoria to the occasion. It came from a stunning break from deep within our 22m from Craven Week centre, Lwandile Menze, who, after weaving his way through a few defenders, found himself on the by-line just inside the DHS half. He managed a sublime offload that found Craven week tight-head prop, Mthokozisi Gumede, who, unbeknownst to the Westville players, has alarming speed for someone his size. He proceeded to swerve past an opposing player before outstripping the opposition fly-half to run untouched and score at the St Thomas Road end! A moment that will be forever suspended in time on Van Heerden’s field.
It was an excellent victory for “School” on their Founders Day and was made even more enjoyable having completed the double over their opponents this season.
1st XV Rugby Coach
Head of Rugby