Northwood School Junior Rugby 7’s – Runners Up at Voortrekker 7’s Tournament

On Saturday the 20th August, The Northwood Junior Rugby 7’s teams comprised of U14 and U15 players, participated in the Inaugural Voortrekker 7’s Tournament held at Woodburn Stadium in Pietermaritzburg.

Both Northwood A and B sides were placed in Pool D alongside Pionier and Voortrekker.

In the other pool were Westville, Kearsney A and B and PMB Development. The Northwood A side played some fantastic rugby early on with a convincing first round victory against a highly competitive Pionier side who fought hard to the end. Northwood eventually running out victors by 24-12. At the same time our B side were met by a very much improved Voortrekker A side who were just too good on the day, winning their contest 24-19. It is important to note that the Northwood B side were made up mostly of our U14 boys who played with huge heart and showed outstanding character against bigger and older opponents on the day.

In the second pool games Northwood A had an arm wrestle against hosts Voortrekker, winning 21-19 and at the same time our B side had a very tough encounter with a bruised Pionier side who were clearly out to rectify their weaknesses from their earlier loss to our A side, the B side losing that fight 42-7.

In the last Pool game our A side were pitted against our B side, which turned out to be a great spectacle with both teams having a full go at each other. Some great rugby was played and both teams showing excellent skills and tactics. Our A side were just too good though running away with it in the end 30-5. Due to their pool stage loses, our B side were sadly eliminated from the playoff stages but our A side continued the fight and after losing in the Cup final the previous weekend at the College 7’s Tournament to a very tough Kearsney side, they were to meet once again in the Cup Semi—Final.

This time the Northwood side were a different beast. They were still hurting from their loss in the Final and were resolved to set the record straight. Their level of motivation and focus before this game was tangible and the coaches never felt the need to say anything before-hand. The team adopted the motto “Not today” and stood by these words. The semi-final was one sided with Northwood dominating possession and territory throughout. They controlled the game completely and played their best rugby of the season, winning 32-0. Certain players can be commended on their individual performances, such as our captain Sasko Ndlovu, Willa Chininga, Ranger Mfakadolo, Ntokozo Makhaza and Munashe Maisera, but as a team, this game would go down as our best performance of the season. The last game of the day would see us meet Westville in the Cup Final. The Westville side did very well to beat Pionier in the other Cup Semi-Final by 29-7.

The Northwood side gave a poor first half display, possibly finding the occasion a little daunting. The boys needed to settle and find some sort of cohesion and rhythm to their play. They showed too much respect for their opponent and made too many tactical errors which in hindsight, if avoided could have changed the outcome and flow of the game. Westville took their chances and were accurate in their execution going into the halftime break 14-0 up. The second half was a much improved display for Northwood who started to play more accurately and held onto the ball for longer periods. They managed to score 3 great tries to push the Westville side all the way. Westville scoring one try in the second half to end the game 19-21 in their favour. It was sadly too little too late for the Northwood side who showed great character and ability in the second half. A better first half may have given Northwood a much better chance, but this is rugby and the boys learnt some valuable lessons. We’d like to thank Westville for a great game and wish them well for the rest of the season.

We thank the following boys for their outstanding commitment and service on the day:

 

Northwood A

  1. Charles Gamhiwa
  2. Danie van Huizen
  3. Bubz Mpendu
  4. Ranger Mfakadolo
  5. Sasko Ndlovu (Captain)
  6. Luke Cornelius
  7. Ntokozo Makhaza
  8. Munashe Maisera
  9. Willa Chininga
  10. JP Du Preez
  11. Christopher Sarafidis
  12. Sim Mazwi

Northwood B

  1. Akapele Mkosana
  2. Kyle Niemann
  3. Jordan Renney
  4. Johann Cronje (Captain)
  5. Shayne Dinhidza
  6. Salizwa Mlenzana
  7. Vernon Matongo
  8. Onyi John-Osunkwo
  9. Mnqobi Shoba
  10. Punashe Maisera
  11. Joel Chigonga

Coaches: Mr T. Sorensen and Mr D. Steyn

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