Ricochet News

St Andrew’s 1st XV at the ISRF

Jun 26, 2018
St Andrew’s 1st XV at the ISRF

A young, inexperienced St Andrew's College 1st XV has played two games thus far at the Independent Schools Rugby Festival at Kingswood College. On Day 1, under lights, they went down 17-25 to Kearsney and on Day 2 they comfortably defeated a game St David's Marist side 33-3.

Against Kearsney, both sides started brightly and looked to go wide early on but neither was able to convert territorial pressure into points. Kearsney were first on the board with a penalty goal to their scrumhalf, taking them into a 3-0 lead. A converted try to the Kearsney inside centre, after good continuity meant that Kearsney went into the half-time break 10-0 up.

A well taken try by hard running inside centre Murray Wilson saw College close the gap soon after half-time. Callum Skinner converted, and when Skinner charged down a clearance kick and score, College suddenly found themselves 12-10 up, and looking far more confident. This was short lived however as a converted penalty and a further try to the hard-running Kearsney inside centre, meant that College again found themselves behind on the scoreboard. College fought back hard as tighthead prop Matthew Barlow crashed over to reduce the deficit to three points with time running out. Kearsney were not going to let this opportunity slip however and scored a further try to finish the game 25-17 in front.

Against St David's Marist, College were put under early pressure by the opposition as St David's looked to exploit the space given to them out wide. They were unable to convert this possession and territory into points however and it was College who scored first with a well taken try to Ross Pringle after a good steal on the ground by Stephen Ross. St David's responded with a penalty to reduce the deficit. With College starting to get their hands on the ball more often they turned down a couple of opportunities to take points and were finally rewarded with a try to Buhle Matshaya, which was converted by Guy Rushmere. A fantastic turn of pace on the stroke of half-time saw Matthew Royle outsprint the cover defence and score, to leave College 19-3 up at the break.

With College defending superbly for much of the second half, they managed to keep St David's from crossing the try line. They absorbed an enormous amount of pressure and finally, with ten minutes left in the game, debutant Lloyd Koster got a crucial intercept that took College into the St David's half. A good line break by Ryan Ford saw him score, with Rushmere converting, easing the pressure on the College defence. A further try by Stephen Ross after a good break by Olona Ratsibe saw College finish the game 33-3 in front.

Much has been learned by this young and inexperienced side over the past few days and we look forward to the game against Hilton on Wednesday, in what should be a really challenging encounter.

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