The KwaZulu-Natal school boy rugby history books were drawn from the archives this past Saturday and rewritten as Northwood school claimed their first ever victory over the traditional rugby giant Maritzburg College away on the notorious Goldstones pitch in a thrilling match that had 8 tries in it, with Northwood taking the end spoils 30-26.
The experienced team comprising 12 boys from the 2018 first team season hit the gates running and scored an early opening try thanks to their expansive style of play started deep by fullback Ntokozo Makhaza running back a missed kick for touch by College and the team countering and linking well to get left wing ,Keane Fourie, into the corner.
College flyhalf Anele Nzimande did well to get a quick try back after the reset off a scrum. Makhaza slotted 2 penalties in a short space of time to make the score 11-7 in Northwood’s favour after 20 minutes.
Northwood flyhalf JP Du Preez controlled the game extremely well with the boot by getting Northwood into good positions on the field at vital times of the match.
Early on in the 2nd half Northwood hooker Danie Van Huizen gathered a wide intercept and linked up with inside centre Joep Henseljin who managed to put his outside centre, Lina Majola, under the poles. Makhaza, with the easy conversion, put Northwood in a comfortable 23-7 lead.
College worked very hard and managed to swing momentum back into their favour mid-way through the 2nd half with 2 quick tries. With the scores at 23-21, Northwood had another chance to pounce out wide on a College handling error which saw Makhaza kick the ball and chase from inside his own half where he gathered and passed on to Lina Majola for his 2nd try of the match. The physical presence of Captain and flanker Sasko Ndlovu as well as the 2 young props Ryan Francis and Vernon Matongo all managed to slow the momentum of College down by holding up their ball carriers for continuous phases towards the end of the game.
College broke away from a quick penalty which saw their young lock Michael King dart into the corner out wide and score the 8th try of the game.
With 4 minutes to go Northwood backed their experience and fitness and never stopped attacking, winding down the clock with great phase play until they managed to get to the 70-minute mark and kick to touch.
With the 2018 season being characterised by many big games being lost closely towards the end, one will imagine that this would be the perfect start to a season that the Northwood Knights and Durban-North community can all be proud of.
Northwood MIC of Rubgy
Mr J Scruby