On an extremely cold, windy and very wet Saturday morning, Northwood traveled to Hilton to fulfill our fixtures. Rain played havoc with fixtures across the province (and most parts of the country), resulting in this being one of the few fixtures completed. The Northwood 1st team were without 4 key players for this clash due to injuries and this had a knock-on effect on the other open sides.
The field was soggy and churned up from earlier games when play started at 15H00 and resembled a mud bath. Both teams struggled with the underfoot conditions in the 1st half, with Sasassa Makhanye (NW) and Cameron Wright (Hilton) having numerous shots at goals. Makhanye seemed to be the better kicker on the day, converting 70% of his kicks, while Wright struggled in the wet. Half time saw Hilton leading 16-6, having been caught short of defenders out wide twice, leading to 2 Hilton tries.
A quick try early in the 2nd half saw Hilton leading 21-6, before Northwood’s TC Edmunds crashed over for an unconverted try in the corner. The conditions took its toll and the referee enforced uncontested scrums early in the half, taking the wind out of Northwood’s sails. Makhanye and Wright slotted another penalty each, ending the game at 24 – 14.
While the results did not necessarily go our way, there certainly were some highlights. The U14A team are a talented bunch of boys and just need to play from the first whistle, as they inevitably play catch up rugby and normally win every second half. Well done to the U14D team on drawing their first game against Hilton. The U15A team put in their best performance to date and were always in with a chance of victory, until 2 late Hilton tries put the score out of reach. This is a team to watch.
The U16A team turned in another good performance on the main field and I would like to believe that a number of these boys must be in contention for selection for the North Durban team in 2 weeks time.