Glenwood travelled up to the capital, Pretoria, this weekend to take on the mighty Afrikaanse Hoër Skool (Affies). Having not beaten Affies at their home since 2008, the Green Machine were ready to rewrite the history books.
It was clear from the outset that Glenwood meant business and played with a great intensity to put the home team under several sustained periods of pressure. The visitors were rewarded with 2 penalties early in the game which gave them a 6 point lead as Curtis Jonas converted both.
Having the bulk share of territory and possession Glenwood continued to hammer at the Affies defense. They were finally rewarded when Kenny van Niekerk, the Glenwood loose-head prop, linked with the outside backs unleashing the pace of Sphamandla Ngcobo, Glenwood’s outside centre, who crossed the try line in the right hand corner to extend the visitors to lead 11-0. Jonas was unsuccessful with the conversion.
Ngcobo could not be kept out of the action as the Glenwood forwards asserted their control opening space out wide. Having gone through several phases of well constructed attack, the space was created wide on the left hand side were Ngcobo outsprinted the cover defence and dotted down in the corner.
With the clock winding down towards half time, Affies were rewarded with a penalty to close the gap to 16-3.
Glenwood were not about to give up their ascendancy and continued to play constructive rugby deep in the Affies half. It was a line break again by Jaco Coetzee, Glenwood’s eighth-man and SA schools representative, who set up the next try scoring opportunity. Van Niekerk was again instrumental in the play when he passed to James Venter, Glenwood’s open side flanker, who busted through a number of tackles to score. The try was converted by Jonas as the visitors extended their lead to 23-3.
On the stroke of half time, Affies had a line-out close to the Glenwood line and scored a well worked try from a very strong rolling maul. The conversion was unsuccessful and the teams went into the break at 23-8.
The 2nd half saw the home team take more control as the visitors visibly started to tire. With the game opening up and the pace still high Glenwood had to tighten up the game. James Venter added another try to his name as he scored from a line-out maul 10 meters from the opposition try-line. The score now stood at 28-8.
Jonas stepped up again to convert a penalty as the visitors continued to apply pressure deep in the Affie’s half. The lead was extended to 31-8.
Having more possession than in the 1st half, the Affies team spread the ball wide and made Glenwood work hard on defence. They were rewarded with 2 tries during the half forcing their way back into the game. Both tries were converted as the Glenwood lead was reduced to 31-22.
With the final whistle only seconds away Glenwood’s captain, Kevin du Randt, opted to kick a penalty to touch instead of taking a sure 3 points. Glenwood won the lineout and scored a great team try as they mauled the home side over the try line to score. James Venter came up with the ball and earned himself a hat-trick for the day!
The final score was 36-22. Credit must be given to a Glenwood team that showed great attitude and discipline in a game that was played under some difficult conditions.