On a crisp Highveld afternoon, the two schools battled each other to a standstill to eventually share the honours 17-all. It was all about Jeppe attacking and KES defending for most of the match, with KES grabbing every opportunity they could to score some points. With only about 30% possession during the match, KES did extremely well to draw this match and could have won it at the end, but a long range penalty attempt from Rashard Fuller hit the crossbar to deny them the victory.
Jeppe did outscore them with two tries to one, but the boot of Fuller kept KES on the hunt and backed by their great defence, the right score was probably recorded. At first Jeppe did most of the attacking and Jeppe captain, Jethro de Lange, burst straight through a gap, offloaded to Sibusiso Nkosi, who got the ball and headed to the line but about a metre from the line Jeppe were penalised.
KES attacked and a chip made a line-out five metres from the Jeppe line. Jeppe threw in and scrumhalf Itumeleng Monyai broke brilliantly racing nearly 50 metres. Burly prop, Bradley van Waardhuizen, then took it further up, chipped the ball ahead for Fuller to gather and counter attack brilliantly, only to be stopped a few metres from the tryline.
Jeppe won a further 2 penalties and took the ball upfield. From a set ruck Sibusiso Mngomezulu received the ball at centre and burst through the KES defence for the first try. Van Waardhuizen converted and it was 7-0 for Jeppe. Fuller converted a penalty for KES and the halftime score was 7-3 for Jeppe.
Just after halftime KES attacked right and then went left again when flanker Brendon O’Donahue swerved inside and raced past two defenders to score a wonderful try. Fuller could not convert and KES took the lead 8-7. The two teams exchanged penalties to keep KES just ahead of Jeppe at 11-10. Then a strong run by Sibusiso Mngomezulu set Jeppe on the attack. They went left with a two-man overlap and skipper, Jethro de Lange, swept over for a try at the posts. Van Waardhuizen converted and it was 17-11 to Jeppe.
Fuller converted yet another two penalties for KES and they clawed their way back to 17 all. Mngomezulu had a long break upfield but the final pass went astray, denying Jeppe another try.
Time was up when Jeppe were penalised five metres inside the KES half near to the left touchline. Rashard Fuller lined up the kick. The ball flew high and straight towards the middle of the Jeppe posts but then it dipped and hit the middle of the crossbar and bounced back into the field of play where there was a scramble for the ball that ended when Manny Mbatha was tackled into the touch a few metres short of the left corner. The final whistle blew and honours were even for the day.
Tries: Sibusiso Mngomezulu, Jethro de Lange
Cons: Bradley van Waardhuizen 2
Pen: Bradley van Waardhuizen
Try: Brendon O’Donahue
Pens: Rashard Fuller 4
Jeppe: 15 Abraham Hartley, 14 Robert Hartley, 13 Sibusiso Mngomezulu, 12 Ryan Doubell, 11 Sibusiso Nkosi, 10 Brenton Faulds, 9 Itumeleng Monyai, 8 Wade Hassett, 7 Patrick Wait, 6 Jethro de Lange (captain), 5 Andile Ngobe, 4 Joshua Allan, 3 Bradley van Waardhuizen, 2 Emmanuel Morowane, 1 Ricky Nwagbara
KES: 15 Rashadr Fuller, 14 Keketso Maphathe, 13 Sicelo Champion, 12 Joshua Bryan, 11 Manny Mbatha, 10 Tony de Zorzi, 9 Nkosana Mathaba, 8 Jordan Mills (captain), 7 Brendon O’Donahue, 6 Senzo Mkhize, 5 Rowan Coetzer, 4 Dorian Botha, 3 Keagan Mills, 2 Naas du Plessis, 1 Jake Glass
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (Western Province Referees’ Society)
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