On Saturday, 6 April, Union High School’s rugby teams faced one of the school’s oldest rivals, Muir College from Uitenhage.
A morning of hard fought competitive rugby ensued, resulting in a mixed bag of results.
The U/13A team won their match 38 – 19 and the U/14A team lost theirs 0 – 33.
The U/15A team beat their opponents 19 – 12, with the U/16As losing 10 – 45.
The third team and the second team then won their matches, 34 – 10 and 19 – 17, respectively.
The all-around tough matches set the tone for the much-awaited 1st XV game that followed.
The game between the two schools’ first teams was tremendously fast-paced from the get-go with both teams taking turns to test each other’s defences with neither one giving way.
The stalemate was broken when Muir converted a penalty kick to take the lead.
The game continued back and forth until Muir, through some individual brilliance, managed to break Union’s defences and crossed the line for the first try of the match. Despite being behind, Union’s defence held true and although on the back foot, some quick thinking from Brett Amsterdam, turned defence into attack taking a quick tap penalty to put Junior Duba away to cross the line. Muir kicked another penalty and the teams went into half time, with the score standing at 13-5 in Muir’s favour.
The second half seemed to prove a very different game, with Muir almost immediately taking the advantage to cross the line. This seemed to have taken the wind out of Union’s sails and the players struggled to recover, leaving our defence breached too easily. This allowed Muir to cross our line almost at will and left too much work to play catch-up.
Despite falling far behind on the scoreboard, the Union boys continued to fight and put together some wonderful phases of attack towards the end of the game. They were finally rewarded for their efforts when Zusakhe Ngwane crossed the line after a well-structured mall from ten meters out.
The game’s final score was 37 – 10 in Muir’s favour.
“As expected, this was a tough, but well-contested match,” says coach Stephen Bezuidenhout. “We were, unfortunately, our own worst enemy and went down to a better side on the day.”