Home side hang on to take festival title

CRASHING THROUGH: Uitenhage High's Riaan Shwerder charges forward in their rugby clash against Middelburg in the Despatch Sports Festival at the weekend. Picture: JUDY DE VEGA
CRASHING THROUGH: Uitenhage High’s Riaan Shwerder charges forward in their rugby clash against Middelburg in the Despatch Sports Festival at the weekend. Picture: JUDY DE VEGA

DESPATCH withstood a furious late onslaught from Winterberg to preserve an unbeaten record with a 13-7 win in their schools rugby clash in the Despatch Sport Festival at the Despatch club on Saturday.

On Friday night, the host school squeezed past Hangklip, of Queenstown, 13-8, and Saturday’s game was another tightly contested encounter.

After taking the lead through a fine try by left wing Heinrich Barnard, Despatch had to withstand a final five minutes of pressure as Winterberg camped on the home tryline.

But the home team were equal to the occasion and a determined effort blunted all their opponents’ attacks.

Earlier, Despatch had taken a 6-0 lead at half time through two penalties by flyhalf Sheldon Meiring. With a cross-wind making kicking for the posts difficult, Winterberg scrumhalf Martin Verster missed two opportunities to level in the first half.

But the visitors took the lead early in the second half when, after a period of sustained attacking, flyhalf Mthi Nabe flew through a gap to score next to the posts.

Verster added the conversion to make it 7-6 to Winterberg.

Deep into the second half, Winterberg conceded possession with a crooked throw-in at a lineout and from the ensuing scrum, Despatch attacked down the left side.

Centre Armand Lombard then produced a good run before off-loading to Barnard who raced through to score in the left-hand corner.

Lombard was impressive during the match with some strong runs in the midfield.

Meiring then added a fine conversion to put Despatch 13-7 ahead, a lead to which they clung despite Winterberg’s brave efforts in the dying moments. – Neale Emslie

 

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