This past Saturday, 13 April, Union hosted Victoria Park High School (VP) from Port Elizabeth for the two schools’ annual rugby and hockey derby. The positive atmosphere around the campus and the great support for all of Union’s teams ensured that UHS completely dominated the ﬁxture.
All the teams played at a high intensity level and showcased the high quality brand of rugby Union is known for.
U/14A team won 50 – 17
U/15A team won 26 – 7
U/16A team won 55 – 12
3rd team lost 25 – 17 against Asherville Secondary School’s first team
2nd team won 41 – 19 against VP
These incredible performances from all the Union teams set a high benchmark for the 1st XV game which was to follow.
There was also a lot riding on this match, with the school’s “Mighty Whites” owing the community a better performance after last weekend’s loss against Muir College. Three minutes into the game, Union was ﬁrst to cross the whitewash through Luke McNaughton picking up a lose ball and running half the ﬁeld to get Union onto the scoreboard. A few minutes later, the forwards set up a good maul, with Zusakhe Ngwane dotting down to increase Union’s lead to 12 – 0. Victoria Park bounced back and scored when Union was two players down due to ill discipline. Ten minutes before half time, the Union team was back to their full contingent of players and took control of the game once again. Good continuity and setting up phases, resulted in Gary Shell scoring Union’s third try, taking Union’s lead to 17 – 7 at the break.
In the second half, Jaden Brotherton and Brett Amsterdam used the conditions perfectly, ensuring that most of the play took place in VP’s 22m area. Union, once again, scored first in this half, through Gary Shell from good trick play off a lineout. VP hit back with a penalty a few minutes later, taking the score to 24 – 10 in Union’s favour.
Amazing attacking play, running lines and interlinking between backs and forwards saw Union score three more tries by Bowen Langmead, Khwezi Simon and Lihle Mxhunyelwa. Jaden Brotherton successfully converted all three.
A lapse in concentration and turning our backs on the opposition led to VP scoring towards the end of the game. The final score was 45 – 17 in Union’s favour. Union High School’s try scorers were Gary Shell (2), Luke McNaughton, Zusakhe Ngwane, Bowen Langmead, Khwezi Simon and Lihle Mxhunyelwa, with Jaden Brotherton successfully converting 5 from the 7.
All in all, it was a wonderful day for Union rugby and a good comeback by the 1st XV.