Northwood’s 1st XV Shines vs St Charles

On Saturday the 21st April the Northwood 1st XV Knights travelled to Pietermaritzburg for the long anticipated clash with St. Charles College. Last season saw St. Charles winning the clash 45-25. This season Northwood were resolved to give a better performance and earn some respect and gain some momentum to their season after a tough battle against DHS the previous weekend.

The match started at a frenetic pace and the intensity and determination that both teams showed from the start was a real spectacle. The first points came from St. Charles in the 6th minute when they set up a backline move from a scrum, with the full back breaking the line to score. Conversion missed. 5-0 to St. Charles.

Northwood were next on the scoreboard with what could turn out to be the try of the season. A quick turnover from a St. Charles attack resulted in Northwood scrum half Cameron Miller launching a massive kick 40 metres up field with right winger Macmillan Mudara on the chase and taking a clean catch to bolt away and score under the poles for a sensational 55m try. This was duly converted by scrumhalf Cameron Miller which brought the score line to 7-5 in Northwood’s favour.

This try gave Northwood a lot of energy and soon they were on the scoreboard again with a turnover in the midfield by outside centre Tyren Kroos, the backs moved the ball wide and created space for winger Mac Mudara who crossed over for his second try of the match, Cameron Miller slotting the difficult conversion from the touchline to take the score to 14-5.  It wasn’t long before Northwood were over the chalk again with another wide attack which came from a scrum. The Northwood backs moving the ball slickly through the hands to right winger Mudara who drew two scramble defenders and gave a great inside pass to fullback Nipho Ndlela who finished just right of the poles for Northwood’s 3rd try. Cameron Miller unsuccessful with the conversion took the score to 19-5 at the half time break.

Northwood on a bit of a winning streak just before half time, had the lion’s share of possession and through sustained pressure and multiple phases, worked their way to the St. Charles line. After a few attempts at the line and through a number of penalties conceded by St. Charles for going off their feet and not releasing, Northwood eventually scored through big outside centre Tyren Kroos who barged his way over from close range under the poles with a clean conversion from Miller to take the score to 26-5. St. Charles, never a team to lay down, fought back through their fly half who chipped and gathered in the Northwood in goal and dotted down under a barrage of bodies to score a fine solo try converted by the scorer to take the score to 26-12. This passage of play seemed to give St. Charles a second wind, and with ball in hand looked very dangerous. They managed to score another well worked try through their big and fast right wing who collected an inside pass on the right touchline to score under the poles, the successful conversion took the score to 26-19. Northwood replied with some impressive attacking play and were very unfortunate to concede a try when Northwood fullback Nipho Ndlela tried to kick the ball behind the St. Charles rush defence, only for the St. Charles fullback to gather it on the full and race away for a solo try against the run of play. St. Charles missing the conversion, brought the score to 26-24. Northwood, hurting from the poor execution, responded almost immediately with a well worked series of pick and goes close the St. Charles line, eventually crossing through replacement flanker, Willa Chininga. Miller missing the conversion, the score line stood 31-24 in Northwood’s favour at the final whistle. This fixture was a great spectacle of school boy rugby and was played in a fine spirit by both teams. Northwood can be proud of this victory against a tough opponent. We wish St. Charles well for the remainder of their season and thank them for the match and hospitality.

This Thursday night, the Northwood Knights host traditional rivals Maritzburg College under floodlights on Reece-Edwards 1 for what should be another massive battle. Kick-off is scheduled for 18h30. We look forward to the Durban North community coming out to support us in full force.

Report by: Mr T. Sorensen

1st XV Head Coach

Northwood 1st XI Take the Win vs DHS

On Saturday the 14th April, the Northwood Knights played DHS at Northwood. The match started as predicted with DHS holding their defensive shape and Northwood on the attack. It didn’t take long for Northwood to open the scoring through an excellent Tyronne Laaks drag flick. Northwood continued to add pressure but were unable to find the back of the DHS net, this cost them dearly as DHS capitalised on some poor pressing and sent a ball from end to end to find an unmarked striker at the top of the D. Northwood goalkeeper, Taine Bird, tried to stop the striker but fouled him instead to give DHS a penalty stroke just before half time. Tiagan Terblanche stepped up and slotted the PS for DHS, 1-1 at half time. The second half was almost a carbon copy of the first half with Northwood dominating play again but still unable to find the back of the net, that was until Chris Sarafidis scored a superb deflection from a penalty corner. This seemed to energize the Knights and they forced several more chances including another penalty corner that Chris sent crashing into the post from another deflection. Jeremy Martins made it 3-1, just minutes after Chris rattled the upright, with a superb flick from open play. With just minutes left, DHS pushed hard to get back into the game and created a few chances of their own, one of which was smashed home with just over a minute left in the match. Northwood composed themselves, got some field position and closed the match out very well to run out 3-2 winners. It must be noted that Mr Michael Baker from DHS has done some superb work with the DHS team and hockey in general at the school. To see where they were and where they are in 12 months is down to his hard work and many hours! Well done to him and DHS hockey!

Picture Credit:  Northwood Press Club

Northwood Rugby – Easter Festival Round-up 2018

Over the Easter weekend a large group of Northwood’s rugby contingent took part in various festivals.

The u14A team were at Parktown and played 5 shortened formatted games. The boys went unbeaten and had 5 massive victories over St Johns, Randburg, Fourways, St Davids and Pretoria Boys High respectively. One of the few unbeaten teams at the tournament, they managed to rake in a total of 251 points (averaging 50 a game for) and only conceded 17 (averaging 3 against). The boys are currently sitting on 7 games unbeaten with a win to Kearsney and a draw to Westville prior to the festivals.

Northwood’s u15A side were also at Parktown and were 2 points away from also being unbeaten. The team made it tough for themselves against St David’s on day one, but came away with a precious victory. Day 2 would see a highlight for the boys getting a great 24-17 win over Pretoria Boys High. Unfortunately, the final day saw the boys lose a closely contested game to a “better on the day” Saint Stithians team, 10 -12.

The u16A team travelled to Jeppe’s u16 Rhino Festival and came away as the only unbeaten team at the festival. The team had good victories over Litchenburg and Die Anker, however the highlight was definitely their 19-17 victory over the tournament favourites, Helpmekaar, on their final day.

The 1st side found themselves at KES once again and on day 1 did well to beat Muir College 50-7. The second game saw the Knights up against a large Ben Vorster team who had dominated from day one. With an extremely slow start and a strong reflection at half time, the boys bounced back to a respectable 38-28 loss. On the final day the Knights had drawn hosts and Gauteng powerhouse KES. The boys were up for the challenge and definitely earned a 10/10 for effort but just couldn’t finish off some well worked opportunities. The final score was an 18-8 loss, a massive turnaround to the past 4 years’ performances at the festival. With up to 12 grade 11’s on the field at one stage it was always going to be a big ask for the boys to pull off such an upset but they can definitely hold their heads up high. With such a young team and a great u16 side coming through, 2019 is already lining up to be a great year for the Knights.

A special mention must go out to all the boys from the u15B and C teams who represented the u15 Barbarians at the Northwood u15 festival. Going down by very close margins against other A teams from around the country, there is no doubt the entire age group comes away stronger for it and ready to tackle the rest of the season.

Lastly, thank you to all the coaches, learners and families who, as always, sacrificed precious family time to invest in the teams they are part of. With 12 out of 15 victories over-all during this period we can all be extremely proud of our young men in not only their on-field performances, but also the manner in which they conducted themselves off the field throughout as well.

Mr J Scruby – Head of Rugby