In rather overcast and wet conditions Glenwood collided with one of its oldest rivals, Maritzburg College. A proud 98-year-old, 169 games, history between these two sides and the script was written for what would be a thrilling match.
Maritzburg College started with a high drop kick deep into Glenwood’s half. A brutal start to the game saw waves of both teams attacking the advantage line, trying to exploit their opposition’s defence.
Three minutes into the match College were in control with a ruck just outside Glenwood’s 22m. A quick ball from scrumhalf Henry Trodd to flanker Siya Ningiza saw him break through a tackle. Valiant efforts from Jacobs and Jonas was not enough to stop him from diving over to score the first try of the match. The conversion was successful, and Maritzburg College led by 7-0.
The wet surface made it nearly impossible for Glenwood to play the exhilarating rugby which they are known for. Handling errors and ill-discipline made up the rest of the half with both teams not capitalising on their field advantage and making use of their scoring opportunities.
It took 32 minutes for Glenwood’s resilience to pay off as centre Marthino van Wyk received an excellent pass from Hendrikse, stepped inside to beat the defender and finished off well, right next to the upright. Jonas easily converted and the score was equal at 7-7.
That try reignited the Glenwood fire and they were in control, running hard at the College defence. Glenwood found themselves in a commanding position as a good build-up of pick-and-go’s rallied them up the field to College’s 22m. Joe Jonas got the ball from the ruck and played it wide. Bani Holtzhuasen spotted the extra man and threw a skip pass to left winger Lehlohonolo Litabe who did incredibly well to outwit his opposite number on the outside to dot down in the corner. The conversion attempt was missed and the Green Machine had a 12-7 leading into half time.
The raucous support from the Glenwood crowd was evident as their beloved Green Machine went into the lead just before half time. Jordan Hendrikse got the second half underway and it was clear that the men in green was revitalised and ready to go. Solid defence by both teams kept the crowd on their toes. The ill-discipline from College got the better of them when they were penalised in a kickable position for yet another high tackle. Jordan Hendrikse took over the duties and easily slotted the 3-pointer giving Glenwood an eight-point lead (15-7) with 20 minutes left on the clock.
A spirited Maritzburg College clawed their way back into the game. They found themselves in a great position, thanks to a powerful run up field from Siya Ningiza. College went over the try-line but captain Joe Jonas, with an incredible tackle held the player up over the line and the referee called for a scrum. A few minutes later, College managed to get over the line again, but the men in green had other ideas as they tackled the man over the touch line, the referee again not awarding the try.
That turned out to be the last straw for Maritzburg College as Glenwood cleared the ball from their line. With the remaining time left, Glenwood tried once again to launch a counter attack from halfway. With the ruck formed, College knocks as the referee signals the end to a nail-biting game.
GLENWOOD: 15 (12)
Tries: Marthino van Wyk, Lehlohonolo Litabe
Con: Joe Jonas
Pen: Jordan Hendrikse
MARITZBURG COLLEGE 7 (7)
Try: Siya Ningiza
Con: Henry Trodd
Report by Mr Alex van der Merwe
Photos by Ethan Hayman (Glenwood Media Club)