The South African College High School (SACS) 1st XV attended the seventeenth biannual Cape Schools Week Rugby and Cross-Country Festival at Dale College in King Williams Town and did remarkably well.
The event was the brainchild of Ray Connellan and was first held at Wynberg Boys' High School, where Connellan was a schoolmaster, in 1980. The event moved to odd-years in 1991 when Wynberg celebrated their 150th anniversary and this year coincided with Dale College’s 150th year of existence.
The team’s that regularly attend are from the Western Cape: Wynberg Boy’s High, SACS, Rondebosch Boys' High, Paarl Gimnasium and Boland Landbou and from the Eastern Cape: Dale College, Queen's College, Grey High, Selborne College and Muir College. This year, for the first time, St Andrew’s College and Outeniqua were also invited, but Outeniqua eventually withdrew leaving the festival with uneven numbers.
Each school also sends a cross-country team who contest races in the morning before the rugby games commence.
The SACS 1st XV contested three games over the five days, the first match was against Grey High.
SACS pull of great win against Grey High
The South African College High School (SACS) pulled off a memorable win against Grey High of Port Elizabeth on the opening day of Cape Schools Week at Dale College in King Williams Town. Leading 14-0 at the interval SACS went on to win 17-nil.
The game was played in dry weather but a very strong wind blowing across the field made handling difficult. The conditions meant that Grey were forced to play closer to the forwards than they normally would and SACS were able to hold them at close quarters. When Grey did go wide they struggled for rhythm and rarely troubled the SACS defence. SACS also kept things close but had two very good scoring opportunities early on before flyhalf Chris Smith eventually cut through the Grey defence, sidestepping the fullback to score under the sticks. Smith converted from in front to give SACS a well deserved lead.
Grey used the wind which was slightly in their favour to pin SACS in their own quarter but handling errors and turnovers cost them the opportunity to strike back. During that period Grey also missed a penalty kick at posts. SACS extended their lead with a strike move from a scrum inside the Grey half. Right wing Joshua Jacobsen came into the line on the far side of the field. He cut through and raced over in the left-hand corner before running around and scoring under the poles for Smith to be able to nail the easy conversion.
At 14-0 ahead SACS were in the box-seat at half-time as they would have the better of the wind in the second half. It was going to take a monumental effort from Grey to come back and they needed to score first in the second half.
The Grey boys came out firing at the start of the second half and SACS had to defend for their lives. SACS used the wind at their backs to relieve the pressure and were able to secure field position for most of the half. SACS struggled to get continuity in the second period as Grey contested the breakdown ferociously and both teams were guilty of basic errors as the game became a bit scrappy. Disappointingly both teams were unable to score a try.
SACS secured a penalty kick by Chris Smith midway through the second half and Grey finished the game strongly you would expect from such a proud rugby school.
Tries: Chris Smith, Joshua Jacobsen
Conversions: Smith 2
SACS beat Muir College
SACS 1st XV beat Muir College 38-6 on Monday 27 June in perfect conditions for rugby. SACS scored three tries in each half but overall it was a slightly disjointed performance as the team failed to stick to their structure. Muir fought manfully with captain and No.8 Lwandile Vabaza always full of running.
For SACS flank Courtney Heuer made a strong statement with many surging runs.
Tries: Joshua Jacobson, Leighton van Wyk 2, Baden Stevens, Luke van der Smit, Paolo Lupini
Conversions: Chris Smith 4
SACS secure thrilling victory over hosts Dale College
SACS 1st XV claimed their third victory at Cape Schools Week by beating hosts, Dale 23-16 on Wednesday 29 June. The games was played on a lovely warm afternoon and was the final game of the Festival.
Having lost their opening game on the Saturday and then rested on the Monday due to the uneven number of teams at the Festival, Dale were desperate to finish the own Festival and 150th celebrations with a win and came out firing.
SACS knew the first ten minutes would be crucial but their defence held strong, particularly against the strong surging runs of burly Dale hooker Maliviwe Simanga. SACS had a great chance to score when flank Courtney Heuer cut through the Dale defence early on but had to be content with three points via the boot of flyhalf Chris Smith.
Dale struck back immediately though. Taking a ball off the top of a line-out they went wide. Their centres bamboozled their SACS counterparts to put fullback Siviwe Soyizwapi in for the score. Flyhalf Ahumile Mashalaba converted but missed a penalty soon after which would have extended Dale’s lead.
SACS continued to give as good as they got and replacement No. 8 Luke van der Smit burst through before SACS went wide for centre Brendan Rodgers to run a great line and score untouched. Smith converted the try and a penalty soon after to give SACS a 13-10 half-time lead.
The kickers traded penalties after the interval before one of the defining moments of the game, when SACS had a kick charged down. SACS flyhalf Chris Smith and Dale lock Tinotenda Zakeo raced back to secure the dot down but the ball spun in SACS’s favour and Smith saved the day.
Dale had another couple of good chances and eventually drew level 16-all midway through the second half. Both teams struggled with the referee's interpretations at the breakdown and the game was littered with penalties throughout and so it was that the winning score came directly from a strike move from a left-hand scrum. SACS centre Storm Winter ran a hard line off his centre partner to race in under the sticks. Smith did the necessary and SACS were able to hold on for an epic win.
Tries: Storm Winter, Brendan Rodgers
Conversions: Chris Smith 2
Penalties: Chris Smith 3
All the Festival Results
Boland Landbou vs Selborne, 19-18
Boland Landbou vs St Andrew's, 21-16
Muir vs De Vos Malan, 32-10
Paarl Gimnasium vs Queen's, 14-7
Paarl Gim vs St Andrew's, 21-10
Queen's vs Boland Landbou, 14-7
Queen's vs Wynberg, 25-10
Rondebosch vs Dale, 15-12
Rondebosch vs Grey, 17-15
Rondebosch vs St Andrew's, 35-16
Selborne vs Wynberg, 11-8
SACS vs Dale, 21-16
SACS vs Grey PE, 17-0
SACS vs Muir, 38-6
Selborne vs Paarl Gim, 24-19
Wynberg vs Muir, 45-20
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