St Andrew’s produced a strong second-half performance to defeat Grey High 24-21 in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
St Andrew’s are notoriously slow starters and the pattern continued in this Eastern Cape derby. Despite controlling territory and possession in the first half, the visitors were wasteful as they spurned several scoring opportunities while Grey kept the scoreboard ticking over during the same period.
In a complete turnaround in the second half, Grey were made to look pedestrian on attack, while St Andrew’s stormed back into the contest to seize control of the game.
Flyhalf Runaldo Pedro was Grey’s star performer, scoring 13 points via a self-converted try and two penalties. His injury-enforced absence after just 20 minutes dashed the team morale and significantly diminished their chances of victory.
St Andrew’s scored the first try through outside centre Ant More, but Pedro’s 13-point haul coupled with a penalty by his replacement Tony May gave Grey a 16-7 lead at half-time.
A totally transformed St Andrew’s took the field after the interval, as they overpowered Grey, who in response were starting to look pedestrian.
Seventeen unanswered points – two converted tries by captain Alex Menage and More together with a penalty – pushed the visitors out to a surprising 24-16 advantage.
They then proceeded to camp inside Grey’s territory, with flyhalf Murray Wilson’s booming kicks turning the hosts around regularly.
There was to be one final throw of the dice for Grey in the dying stages of the game when inside centre Marc Michau wriggled over.
And receiving one final kick, Grey had a slender chance to go the length of the field to get the win. But Michau stupidly kicked possession away and with that decision ended any shot Grey had of pulling off the comeback.
Grey – Tries: Runaldo Pedro, Marc Michau. Conversion: Pedro. Penalties: Pedro (2), Tony May.
St Andrew’s – Tries: Anthony More (2), Alex Menage. Conversions: Murray Wilson (3). Penalty: Wilson.