Paarl Boys’ High ended the St John’s Easter Festival with three wins out of three, while HTS Daniel Pienaar were too strong for Graeme College in the only other game that could be completed. THEO GARRUN reports.
The third day of the festival was marred by lightning and torrential rain, forcing the organisers to juggle the programme to get any play at all under way. In the end they scheduled three games to fit into a window of clear weather that was predicted and two of the three took place, but only just.
The Paarl game was cut short by the lightning siren with 15 minutes to go, so it can be called a completed game. At that stage the Cape side was 40-0 ahead and Nelspruit were probably spared a bigger hiding by the elements.
It wasn’t one-way traffic initially. Nelspruit gave a good account of themselves in the early stages .Their forwards were competitive and they had enough ball to attack with.
The Boys’ High defence was solid, though, and they used the first clear opportunity that came their way to score a try – in the 10th minute of the game. Flank Neil Venter got the touchdown – the first of two for him. In fact, Boys’ High got six tries in the end, two each from Venter, Javier Farmer and Gideon Van Wyk.
It was all Booishaai from then on, especially when the rain started up again and they were clearly more comfortable in the wet conditions than Nelspruit were. They led 26-0 at the break and got two more tries in the 20 minute-long second half. Flyhalf Kian Meadon converted five of them.
As expected, Paarl were comfortably the best side on view at the festival. They got two 60-pointers in their opening games (66-7 against the Golden Lions XV and 64-0 against Windhoek Gim) and they were probably on their way to another 60 against Nelspruit when the game was called off.
The earlier game, between HTS Daniel Pienaar and Graeme College, was far more evenly matched. It was won 15-7 by Daniel Pienaar.
Both sides tried to play enterprising rugby, but they battled in the wet, muddy conditions and there were many errors. Daniel Pienaar got the first try, well into the half, through flyhalf Darrion Edwards, but Graeme got one back on the stroke of half-time through flyhalf Declan De la Mare, who added the conversion to put the Grahamstown side 7-5 up at the break.
The bigger Daniel Pienaar forwards began to get the upper hand in the second half and they went on to score two more tries through Ceagan Bothma and Marco Gouws.
The hosts, St John’s, and the visiting Australian New South Wales Combined Schools team did take the field for the final game of the day, but the storm came back with a vengeance, and they were forced off without a point being scored.
Picture: Frans Lombard/St John’s College