Affies scored a last-minute converted try to draw 31-31 with Christchurch Boys’ High at the World Schools Festival in Stellenbosch on Saturday. DYAN JACK reports.
This was expected to be one of the most competitive matches of the festival, and it definitely lived up to its billing.
Christchurch Boys’, who led 17-5 at half-time, looked to be on their way to victory after scoring in the 55th minute to give themselves a 31-24 lead.
However, Affies scrumhalf Michael van Aswegen made himself a hero by sniping around a ruck for his second of the game, which was converted by fullback Dieter Crafford.
Christchurch applied all the early pressure, forcing penalties from Affies, which eventually saw flank Adolph Visser yellow-carded.
After a missed opportunity near the Affies tryline, Christchurch took advantage of their numbers by spreading the ball to left wing Jake Whalley, who sprinted clear to score.
Affies responded with a converted try from No 8 George Oosthuysen.
After a short water break, Christchurch continued the tit-for-tat nature of the match as lock Harri Langworthy went over from close range, before flyhalf Ollie Lewis extended their lead with a penalty.
Affies saw the majority of the ball in the opening period of the second half, eventually scoring through hooker Jacques-Louis du Toit.
However, Christchurch again responded just as it looked as if Affies were in for a third try, when fullback Keegan McGregor intercepted and ran 50m-plus to score a converted try.
Affies continued to pile the pressure on their opponents and got exactly what they needed when Van Aswegen darted through a gap near the posts.
The scores were levelled moments later when wing Kyle Liebenberg was freed up on the left and managed to ground the ball in the corner, with fullback Dieter Crafford importantly nailing his touchline conversion to make it 24-24 with 10 minutes to go.
The New Zealanders, as they did all through the game, fought back and got themselves into Affies territory with a strong run by centre Callum Simpson. After a number of goes at the line, Christchurch seemed to have got the winner through hooker Clayden Paranihi.
But Affies hit back in the final minute to snatch a dramatic draw, though.
Grey College – Tries: George Oosthuysen, Jacques-Louis du Toit, Michael van Aswegen (2), Kyle Liebenberg. Conversions: Dieter Crafford (2).
Christchurch Boys’ –Tries: Jake Whalley, Harri Langworthy, Keegan McGregor, Clayden Paranihi. Conversions: Ollie Lewis (4). Penalty: Lewis.
Photo: Ashely Vlotman/Gallo Images