Grey stem late Graeme surge to snatch victory

Neale Emslie

IT was never easy, but Grey High did enough to contain a spirited effort from visitors Graeme College to win an entertaining schools rugby encounter 33-26 at the Philip field yesterday.

After the shock of conceding a second-minute try, when Graeme No8 Siya Nzuzo cut through their defence, Grey hit back to dominate much of the first half territorially, taking a 26-14 lead at half time.

Their lineout worked with precision – admittedly under no pressure from Graeme – and locks Gerrit Huisamen and Martin Groenewald provided Grey with a surfeit of possession. Flyhalf Richard Bryant kicked intelligently with a stiff breeze behind him to keep the home team on the front foot.

Grey often had Graeme on the retreat with their strong mauling and it was from such a move that flank Johann van Niekerk scored their first try.

Further tries in the first half came from wing Dylan Vermaak, captain and flank CJ Velleman and wing Luca dalla Vecchia, who put in a terrific run down the left flank. But Nzuzo kept Graeme in touch with a second try, which Abongile Hashe kicked for one of three conversions.

Graeme continued to push and struck early in the second half, when a slick backline move saw Xanti Sandi cross to make it 26-19. But Grey were constantly pressing the Graeme defence and fullback Keanu Vers produced some sniping runs from the back. From one such run they were able to charge forward and, eventually, Huisamen scored and Bryant kicked his fourth conversion.

With only minutes remaining in the fiercely contested game, Graeme went all out on attack, but the Grey defence stood firm for a hard-earned and well- deserved win.

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