Dale edge Kingswood in schools thriller with last-gasp penalty
Flyhalf Likho Vandala claims 13-12 victory for team
Dale College flyhalf Likho Vandala emerged as the school’s hero when he slotted a last-gasp penalty to snatch a 13-12 victory in their rugby match against Kingswood in Quonce on Saturday.
The match was in the balance after the visitors from Makhanda hit back with two tries to transform a 10-0 deficit into a 12-10 lead, a position they held until there were just a few minutes remaining.
It was then that Dale capitalised on a scrum in the middle of the field and worked their way closer to the Kingswood try line to get within kicking range.
This they achieved and then forced a penalty, which Vandala was able to successfully convert for a thrilling win in a well-contested encounter.
Earlier, Vandala gave Dale the lead with his first penalty and then converted a try scored by fullback Oyama Kuse.
Dale coach Royden Kennedy said they had placed a lot of emphasis on their defensive systems in the build-up to the match.
“I think the boys grasped every aspect of the defence structure we worked on and it worked well for us,” he said.
“Their forwards put in some powerful runs and were tough to take down, with double hits often having to be made.
“But then again, it forced us to scramble in our defence, which was one of our focal points this past week.
“The boys did well in their attempts to execute the gameplan and to perform as expected. I am proud of their performance.”
Kingswood’s opening try was scored by Shingi Manyarara, converted by Lethu Gwarube and the second try came from Lyle O’Connel.
The Kingswoodians will be aiming to restore their spirits this week as they look ahead to their biggest clash of the season when they meet arch-rivals St Andrew’s in their annual K-Day derby on Saturday.
• Though Brandwag ultimately registered a relatively comfortable 39-8 win over Ithembelihle, they were made to work hard for their points throughout the match.
The home side scored tries through prop Keagan van Rooyen, centres Owen Maya and Shewandre Miggels (2), lock Duncan Blignaut and fullback Jamaine Dampies. Flyhalf Johan Smalberger added a penalty and three conversions.
Ithembe were no pushovers and never stopped trying, hitting back with a try by fullback Liya Nyazmfu and a penalty by Thatho Modukanele.
The previous week Ithembe went down 31-0 to Graeme College and despite the defeats, this is the sort of exposure the team needs to develop their overall play.
• In another match in Kariega, Graeme called all the shots as they crossed for 11 tries to overwhelm Daniel Pienaar 71-3.
Their try-scorers were Liselihle Maphekula (2), Asemahle Mbanga (2), Bhatobele Hlekani (2), AC Mnandi (2), Mu-Eed Fritz, Kenneth Magau and Licebo Ngwentle. Lagon Oerson kicked eight conversions.
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