Grey College powered to a massive 73-26 victory over Christchurch Boys’ High at the World Schools Festival in Stellenbosch on Wednesday. DYLAN JACK reports.
Much was expected from this game, especially after Napier Boys’ High gave Boland Landbou a good contest earlier in the day. However, Christchurch Boys’ wilted under the pressure from a relentless Grey College onslaught.
The boys from Bloemfontein raced into a three-try 21-0 lead thanks to a brace from wing Franco Knoetze.
Christchurch then woke up and managed their best period of play midway through the first half, bringing themselves to within one try of the lead, but another flurry of tries saw Grey go into the break 35-14 ahead.
Grey turned their early territory and possession into points as big loosehead prop Jan-Hendrik Wessels muscled his way over the line from a quick-tap penalty.
Some loose play from the Christchurch boys then allowed Knoetze to toe the ball ahead and collect to score Grey’s second of the match. The lively wing got his second minutes later, but had his heart in his mouth as he came close to knocking the ball on behind the posts after taking a comfortable run in.
Christchurch nearly hit back through fullback Callum Simpson, but good scramble defence forced a knock-on, with Grey clearing their lines soon after. Knoetze’s double seemed to awaken the New Zealanders and after another good period of pressure, they crossed for their first through Sairusi Samuelu.
After a short water break, Christchurch wing Jake Whalley intercepted and raced away for their second. However, the New Zealand side were under their posts almost from the kickoff as Grey grabbed their fourth try in similar fashion, with outside centre JD Odendaal intercepting just outside the 22.
Grey restored their three-try lead when hooker Ricardo Fourie ran a solid line on to an offload from lock Danwitch Beukes and reached to ground the ball over the line.
Early in the second half, Grey hooker André-Hugo Ventre went over from a maul, before some good work from Ian Small-Smith allowed Beukes to score as College began to run away with the match.
A moment of respite allowed Christchurch Boys’ to build a bit of pressure and win a few penalties in Grey territory. Tighthead prop Ryan Sheehan scored their third of the match from close range.
But backline substitute Marcell Muller muscled through a couple of poor tackles to dot down for Grey College’s eighth of the game to bring up the half-century, and replacement scrumhalf Tiaan Fourie added a try of his own.
Christchurch scored a late consolation try through centre Josh Jennings, but Grey added further tries through No 8 Tiaan Jonker and Muller to complete the rout.
Grey College – Tries: Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Franco Knoetze (2), JD Odendaal, Ricardo Fourie, André-Hugo Venter, Danwitch Beukes, Marcell Muller (2), Tiaan Fourie, Tiaan Jonker. Conversions: FC du Plessis (9).
Christchurch Boys’ – Tries: Sairusi Samuelu, Jake Whalley, Ryan Sheehan, Josh Jennings. Conversion: Ollie Lewis (2).
Photo: Mlungisi Louw