Eastern Cape schools rugby wrap-up 9th June

BY MARC JACOBSON - JUNE 9, 2016

Top Eastern Cape school rugby representatives, Dale College and Grey High, faced off against each other in a thrilling encounter on Saturday, as Dale edged the PE-based side 26-21 at Grey High on Saturday.

The match displayed strength versus strength as both sides played for pure pride as the Eastern Cape’s top rugby achievers this year. The scores suggested that neither team were willing to back down, as both sides scored their tries in constant tandem in a see-saw affair.

Grey High struck first blood in the fifth minute when they had capitalised on Dale’s mistake and ran away for a break away try. This did not discourage the visitors, as Dale responded with two consecutive and excellently distributed tries, as they took a 12-7 lead at half-time.

The first half showed that Dale were willing to run the ball at all costs and showed to be significantly effective at doing so. Their expansive play, using the totalled widths of the field with good backline interplay, heeded much threat for the home side heading into the second half.

The boys in blue, however, managed to regroup sternly and show fine composure, as they strung up the territorial advantage to respond with two further consecutive converted tries – taking the scores to 21-12 in the last quarter of the match.

Grey managed to capitalise on their strengths with Dale’s weaknesses in the set-piece plays, as the boys from PE had the upper-hand in the scrums and applied much pressure in the line-outs.

Dale, however, once again managed to exercise much-needed composure, as their tenacity at the breakdowns and short-cut defence milked penalties to their favour. Dale then scored a try with 10 minutes to go, taking the scores to 21-19.

The visitors’ continued pressure with the correct game plan to get under Grey’s skin, then milked more penalties as they worked their way up-field onto Grey’s try line. Without using their forwards in pick-and-go’s and first-phase crash runners, Dale stuck to their strengths and swung the ball out wide with every movement begging a try.

It was then a matter of time until Dale thinned Grey’s defence out so much as to prevent a score – as Dale scored the winning try with four minutes to go in a great come-from-behind display – sealing a 26-21 victory.

Following the result, Dale College move into first place as Eastern Cape’s top school rugby side, with Grey High being second. There are now only three Eastern Cape school rugby sides in the top 30 SA Rugby Magazine School Rugby Rankings, with Queens College, St. Andrews College and Selborne College all falling out of the mix, and with Daniel Pienaar from Uitenhage entering the best 30.

The three schools are: Daniel Pienaar (29th), Grey High (13th) and Dale College (10th).

Other Eastern Cape schools rugby results over the weekend:

Grey High 21 – 26 Dale College

St. Andrews College 31 – 23 Queens College

Framesby 21 – 22 Die Brandwag

Stirling 10 – 46 Dale College

Pearson 29 – 17 Otto du Plessis

Selborne College 109 – 10 Port Rex

SA Rugby Magazine schools rugby top 30 rankings (6th June):

  1. Paarl Boys’ High
  2. Grey College
  3. Paarl Gymnasium
  4. Affies
  5. Oakdale Landbou
  6. Glenwood
  7. Boland Landbou
  8. Monument
  9. EG Jansen
  10. Dale College
  11. Jeppe Boys’ High
  12. Diamantveld
  13. Grey High
  14. Helpmekaar
  15. Nelspruit
  16. Paul Roos
  17. Garsfontein
  18. Welkom Gymnasium
  19. SACS
  20. Ben Vorster
  21. Rondebosch Boys’ High
  22. Kearsney College
  23. Outeniqua
  24. Voortrekker
  25. Pietersburg
  26. Duineveld
  27. Stellenberg
  28. Bishops
  29. Daniel Pienaar
  30. Drostdy  

 Image: Dale College players and coach line up after their victory against Grey High