Jeppe beat Pretoria Boys’ High 57-35 in a high-scoring clash on Saturday, writes THEO GARRUN.
The schools fielded 21 teams each in a mass participation rugby day, with the main event, the 1st team clash, going Jeppe’s way 57-35.
It was an entertaining clash that saw both sides run the ball at every possible opportunity, and if the defences were a bit leaky at times, the spectacle more that made up for that.
Jeppe’s pack was more physical and dominated the forward exchanges, so Pretoria saw less of the ball, and Jeppe were clearly on top for most of the game. They were particularly impressive in the scrums, where their powerful front row caused Pretoria problems, while lock Calvin Kuperus was a towering presence in the lineouts.
Eighthman Lifa Jambane took a lot of stopping when he went on the charge. Jeppe scored six first-half tries, but allowed Pretoria in for three, so the visitors were still in touch at the break, 38-21 behind.
Jeppe got three second-half touchdowns to draw clear, and although Boys’ High crossed their line twice late in the game, it was too little, too late.
The Jeppe backline made good use of the quality possession their forwards provided. Centre Boitumelo Tstansane made several telling breaks, as did the halfbacks Tsoane Tiro and Sechaba Mokoena. Wing Hugo Monteiro used his pace well, while fullback Gareth Louw was full of tricky running.
The score could in fact have been somewhat higher – Jeppe threw away several sure scores through handling errors.
Tiro scored two tries and did the goal-kicking, scoring 22 points on the day. Flanker Jarred Hawthorne also scored two tries for Jeppe.
Pretoria suffered injuries to key players over the Easter weekend, and they fielded a makeshift backline that sometimes struggled on defence. They looked good with ball in hand, however, and their flyhalf, Justin Cross, had a fine game capped with two tries. He also had a flawless afternoon with the boot, converting all five of his side’s tries.
Up front, eighthman Tom Calenbourne put in some big hits, while prop Ruan Nel was prominent with ball in hand.
Hope Mashabana came on as a replacement late in the game, and he scored two tries as Jeppe were tiring, adding some respectability to the final scoreline.
Jeppe – Tries: Tsoana Tiro (2), Lifa Jambane, Jarred Hawthorne (2), Sechaba Mokoena (2), Hugo Monteiro, Max Motaung, Calvin Kuperus. Coversions: Tsoana Tiro (6)
Pretoria – Tries: Justin Cross (2), Tom Calenborne, Hope Mashabane (2). Conversions: Justin Cross (5).
Photo: Theo Garrun