WYNBERG FINISH ON A HIGH
Wynberg Boys High School 1stXV gave their retiring Headmaster Keith Richardson the perfect send-off, producing their best performance of the season, in beating visitors The South African College High School (SACS) 30-23.
Wynberg outplayed and out thought SACS producing an emphatic display after what has been a disappointing season for them, while conversely SACS produced arguably their worst performance of the season. SACS were soft in contact from the outset and paid the ultimate price on the scoreboard, trailing 23-6 at halftime.
Wynberg moved their nippy scrumhalf Labib Kannemeyer to centre for the match and he popped up everywhere in the first half tormenting the SACS defence with his sniping breaks and deft kicks. Wynberg played with more width as a result though and after the kickers had traded early penalties Wynberg ran a lineout play into midfield. They reversed the direction of play and moved the ball left where wing Dian Fourie burst through some weak SACS defence and raced clear to score. Flyhalf Mika Ekstrom missed the conversion.
Kannemeyer was back in the pocket from the SACS kickoff and after shaping to kick stepped off his right foot and straight through the SACS defence. Pressure was immediately transferred back onto SACS and Wynberg kicked a penalty to the corner. Wynberg produced a classic “vacuum” play, throwing deep with burly flanker Stephen Mathew peeling around the back. He crashed over to score making it 13-3 after twelve minutes.
SACS produced a period of sustained pressure from the next kickoff but came away with only three points to show for it. “The Kannemeyer-Show” resumed soon after though as he chipped over the SACS backline re-gathered and scored on twenty-five minutes to make it 20-6. Ektrom kicked an offside penalty on the half hour before SACS butchered a guilt-edged chance to get back in the match on the stroke of halftime when they mauled over the line but failed to get the ball down.
SACS had it all to do in the second half playing into the breeze. They started well and ran the ball at Wynberg scoring two tries, one for each of their wings Kyle Boyd and Tumi Mogoje, in the first twelve minutes of the half. At 23-18 with twenty minutes to go it was game-on but SACS lacked composure throughout and chased the game wasting opportunities to kick for the corner and maul, a tactic that had been working well for them.
With nine minutes to go the game was signed and sealed! Wynberg had a lineout five metres from the SACS line. They took too long deciding on the calls and the referee, Egon Seconds, gave SACS a free kick which SACS tapped and ran. Wynberg captain Jordan Holgate read the play perfectly and intercepted under the SACS poles. The kick was converted making it 30-18 with seven minutes left to play.
SACS attacked again chasing an unlikely win and managed to score on the stroke of time. Flank Tommy Posen going over but it was too little to late as the final whistle blew. Wynberg celebrated a well-deserved win with their ecstatic fans and Headmaster who along with Wynberg legends Rob Louw and Dave Stewart joined the boys on the field.
This victory will be a major fillip for Wynberg who have the majority of their team back for next season. They will head into the gym with renewed vigour and no doubt come out snorting in 2016. SACS have seven players returning and with a strong Under-16 group coming through we can look forward to more fiercely contested derbies in 2016.
Tries: Dian Fourie, Stephen Mathew, Labib Kannemeyer, Jordan Holgate
Conversions: Mika Ekstrom (2)
Penalties: Ekstrom (2)
Tries: Kyle Boyd, Tumi Mogoje, Tommy Posen
Penalties: Boyd (2)