Schoonspruit survived a few nervous moments early on to run out comfortable 41-13 winners in their match against Hermanus at the Wesbank grounds in Malmesbury on Monday. The match was an eliminator to see who would represent Boland as a Medium School in Die Burger's competition.
After the sides had taken a few minutes to size each other up in the lovely warm conditions, it was Hermanus who drew first blood through two penalties by full back Chad Kleinsmidt.
The second of these finally alerted Schoonspruit to the task at hand and in a four minute blitz midway through the first half they registered seventeen unanswered points, a setback from which even a very competitive Hermanus outfit found it impossible to recover.
Flyhalf Ashlon Davids opened his team’s account with a penalty which was followed by a try by lock Curtley Jefferies after the local backs and forwards had sliced and diced the Whale Watchers’ defence. Barely a minute later another break had the visitors grasping at shadows as mercurial scrumhalf Marno Hart went in under the crossbar.
The boys in maroon and orange were in imperious form and only a desire by one player to score a spectacular touchdown – during which he dropped the ball behind the try-line – and some poor handling prevented at least three more tries.
Both Jefferies’ and Hart’s efforts were goaled by Davids, who added a penalty on the half-time whistle to put Schoonspruit firmly in the driving seat at 20-6.
Six minutes after the change-over Davids himself exchanged passes with several of his team-mates to cut through and reach over the line for a try he duly converted (27-6).
As the second half progressed the Hermanus defence managed the hosts’ attacks a lot more effectively, flyhalf and captain Thomas Bednall having moved himself out to first centre where he proved remarkably capable.
In the eighteenth minute powerful loosehead Deacon Chowles drove over the ’Spruit line with the support of his pack-mates. Kleinsmidt’s conversion reduced the deficit to 13-27.
Needless to say, Hermanus’s defensive heroics had taken a heavy toll and towards the end they were close to being out on their feet. The result was a further two Schoonspruit tries, by inside centre Anzo Stubbs and replacement three-quarter Jemeul Thompson, both of which were converted by outside centre Andy Huisamen. Final score: Schoonspruit 41 Hermanus 13.
Despite the trophy semifinal place at stake, the game was played in a wonderful spirit. Hermanus have enjoyed a truly superb season, but they will be the first to admit that, when you run into this Schoonspruit side on the wrong day, there is ultimately very little you can do to stop them. Nevertheless, their never-say-die attitude earned them the spectators’ respect.
On Wednesday the Boland/Western Province small and middle schools finalists will be decided at the Malmesbury Rugby Club grounds when Hawston face old foes Scottsdene at 14.00, followed by Schoonspruit against President from Goodwood.
The Eastern Province/South Western Districts middle schools match sees Nico Malan host Punt in Humansdorp on Tuesday afternoon..
By Tony Stoops
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