Saturday saw Northwood kick off against Glenwood in an unusually early Reunion Day time slot of 12H30, due to the International double header being played at Kings Park. With Glenwood fielding 13 provincial players, it was always going to be a tough task for a young Northwood side fielding 11 GR11 boys.
The 1st XV took to the field to rapturous applause and looked very focussed. Glenwood were quickly into their stride, wining the ball from the kick off. Both sides looked evenly matched for the first few minutes, until an intercept by Phiko Sobahle was popped to David Weersma. Weersma carried the ball for 20m, before giving Northwood captain Garreth Murran a perfectly timed pass that saw him racing to the tryline for the first points of the match.
The conversion was missed by Weersma and the score stood at 5-0. Glenwood was stung into action and a very well executed backline move saw the Green Machine scoring in the corner. Morne Joubert converted to take the score to 7-5 to Glenwood. A few minutes later, Weersma attempted a long range penalty, which had the distance but shaved the uprights.
It was evident that while the Northwood forwards were getting the better of Glenwood, the slick handling of the Green Machines backline was devastating. Glenwood played to their strength and kept the ball with the backs, scoring 3 more tries in the first half, courtesy of Jonas, Ncobo and Vidima, with Joubert converting 2. Lindo Makhanya was successful with 2 penalty attempts in the first half, with the score at 26-11 at half time.
Northwood’s half time team talk by coach Donald Ngwenya seemed to be on the mark, as the Knights played with a renewed sense of urgency in the second half. Eventual “Man of the Match” David Weersma was outstanding in both defence and attack ad constantly broke the Glenwood line. Such was the defence of both sides, that Glenwood managed only 1 try in the second half, scored and converted by Joubert.
The full time score of 33-11 flattered Glenwood somewhat, as Northwood chose not to goal a number of kickable penalties, opting instead for touch. However, Glenwood were always full value for money and played some superb rugby. Whilst Weersma was man of the match, Curtis Jonas and Morne Joubert were also in great form. Northwood has now ended their season, but have reason to be confident about 2014 given the fine performance of the youngsters on Saturday.