Rondebosch Boys scrape past tough Stellenberg outfit in thrilling first team action
Paul Roos, King Edward VII School also collect valuable scalps in nail-biting showdowns.
Rondebosch Boys’ High School first rugby team beat Stellenberg 32-28 in an arm wrestle duel at their home ground on Saturday in another weekend of compelling schoolboy rugby across the country.
“Stellenberg, they’re a class team. I think they’re top 10 in the country so for us to put it in the bag, it’s quite a big achievement. I think we haven’t done it in the last five years so it’s quite a big achievement for us,” said Joel Carew, Rondebosch’s first-team coach, to Daily Maverick.
The score swayed in favour of both teams throughout the match but a crucial red card to Stellenberg’s flying left winger, Ughan Africa halfway through the first half ultimately proved the difference on a warm afternoon in the Southern Suburbs.
Rondebosch made use of their superior numbers by pinning Stellenberg into their own half through the educated left boot of flyhalf Jacques Jooste.
“Jacques kicking in behind [was good]. I know we went up a player, so Stellenberg lost a player and I think we exposed them quite a bit in that department, especially kicks in behind and I think that’s one of Jacques’ strongest points is identifying space in behind and controlling the game quite well,” said Carew.
The Rondebosch boys would have believed that the numbers advantage would help them snatch victory with ease with the halftime score reading 17-14 in their favour as the cheers from the stands at the all-boys school rang through the Tinkie Heyns field.
However, two quick tries in the second half by 14-man Stellenberg caught Rondebosch by surprise.
One was a brilliant breakaway intercept try — against the run of play — from virtually his own try line by Stellenberg star player on the day, inside centre, Damian Markus which set up a tasty finish as Stellenberg went up 28-17 with 15 minutes left on the clock.
However, two successive tries by Rondebosch ensured they sealed the match. Left wing Juma Amissi, Rondebosch’s top try scorer of the season, scored the match-winning try in the corner thanks to quick hands down the blindside by his inside backs to give Bosch the lead 29-28.
Jooste then sealed the victory through one of the final plays of the game by converting a penalty in front of the sticks to make it 32-28.
“I think it’s just dedication from the guys, first and second-team guys are putting in all the hard work. They’re coming out Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. Also identifying space on the field. The guys are just hungry, I think that two years off from Covid, the guys are very keen to play rugby and to get into it,” said Carew.
Carew was quick to praise No 8, captain and one of the day’s try scorers, Gareth Blackmore. “Gareth has been industrious throughout the season and I think today again, same thing as last week, he just keeps on going, keeps on going and leads from the front.”
Blackmore himself shifted the credit to his teammates. “We put in a fight, it was definitely quite hard. We were behind at the end with a few points but the boys fought through. The words can’t describe how that really feels,” said Blackmore.
“We follow something called ‘the heart of Bosch’ and we always stay humble, we always come back fighting, when we score we don’t celebrate, we go back to the halfway line and that’s just the way we play. Even if we score, we always say it’s nil-nil,” added the captain.
Rondebosch has had a strong start to the season on the rugby field, having beaten one of the traditional Western Province pace setters Paarl Gimnasium 22-19 on April 23. Their first victory over the Boland school since 1994.
Around the country
Elsewhere in the Western Province, Paul Roos stunned Paarl Gimnasium 26-24 on the Jan Kriel Field in Paarl.
The visiting Paul Roos fought back from 24-9 with outside centre Jurenzo Julius snatching an intercept try in the dying minutes to clinch a thrilling victory for the Maroon Machine.
Meanwhile, in Johannesburg, King Edward VII School produced a rugged and fervent performance to edge Jeppe Boys High 27-26 in their backyard. KES flyhalf Tehani Masondo scored a late try to clinch the victory. DM
SACS 0-34 Bishops
Jeppe 26-27 KES
Selborne 20-38 Grey College
Paarl Gim 24-26 Paul Roos
Rondebosch 32-28 Stellenberg
New Orleans 52-0 Vredenburg
Michaelhouse 22-9 Kearsney
Durban High 17-24 Hilton
Grey High 16-18 Wynberg
Westville 22-7 Glenwood
Michaelhouse 22-9 Kearsney
Maritzburg College 29-21 Northwood
Port Rex 6-51 Queen’s College
Hans Strijdom 22-12 Tom Naude
Drostdy 27-38 Boland Landbou
Menlopark 6-10 Helpmekaar
Kempton Park 7-21 Nelspruit
Middelburg 26-38 Garsfontein