TWO second half tries by wing Jason Ellis proved crucial as Pearson held off a tenacious Despatch outfit to secure a hard-fought 17-13 win in their schools rugby clash at Pearson yesterday.
Initially it looked as if the home side would be too strong for the visitors as they camped in Despatch territory, but it took them 22 minutes to penetrate a hardworking defence when flank Xolisa Matshoba forced his way over, Nathan Augustus adding the conversion.
Despatch came back when left wing Heinrich Barnard went on a spectacular run, only for the final pass, with a try certain, to be ruled forward. Nonetheless, Despatch made use of this stint in the Pearson 22 for flyhalf Sheldon Meiring to goal a penalty.
After trailing 7-3 at the break, Despatch took the lead when Shaun Jansen crossed in the 43rd minute and you could sense a rising confidence as they continually kept Pearson at bay and stole the ball at crucial times.
However, Pearson spent enough time in enemy territory to turn two excellent attacking moves into tries by Ellis and that proved enough for the win, despite a late strike by Despatch wing Sieluvian Kuvido.
Westering v VP
WESTERING extended their unbeaten high schools league run to three matches when they beat Victoria Park 18-13 in an entertaining match at Westering yesterday.
After close wins over Otto du Plessis and Andrew Rabie, Westering were again tested, with VP leading for a part of the second half. But Westering showed more resolve when the chips were down and a try by replacement Lyle Draaghoender clinched the win for the home side.
Westering were quicker out the blocks and flyhalf Keagen Bouwer secured an early lead with a penalty in the sixth minute.
Eight minutes later they took the ball through numerous phases before star No8 Breyten Slabbert crashed over for the opening try.
Brandwag v Union
Brandwag proved too strong for Union High of Graaff-Reinet in their clash in Uitenhage on Wednesday, winning 45-0.
In the first half, hooker Dandre Delport and left wing Davian Swanepoel scored tries, with fullback Jeandre van Ghent adding a conversion. Union squandered two kickable penalties in the wet weather and the half-time score was 12-0 to Brandwag.
After the break, Van Ghent, flank Jack Thomas, centre Derick du Toit, eighth man Bernardus Coetzee and replacement flyhalf Rivan Lemmer all scored tries for Brandwag. Van Ghent slotted another conversion and flyhalf Shevaan Hendriks succeeded with three. – Neale Emslie