This past Saturday, 1 June, Union High School hosted Woodridge College in a fixture last played over 10 years ago! The games started at 09:15 in rather chilly early-morning conditions. The fixture proved to be one of a very competitive nature.
Union won two out of the three junior matches, which encouraged the senior teams to give it their all. The third team had a thrilling victorious encounter against Asherville’s 2nd team, where after the second team had a tough encounter… against Asherville’s 1st team, however, they never gave up and gave it their all ‘till the final whistle.
The results of the games preceding that of Union’s 1st XV were as follows: the u/14As lost 5 – 17, the u/15As won 19 – 12, the u/16As won 63 – 12, the 3rd team won 10 – 2 and the second team lost 12 – 38.
The “Mighty Whites” were in for a tough battle as Woodridge College’s 1st XV have been “up there with the best of co-ed schools in the Eastern Cape for the past five years”. Woodridge were first to put points on the board through a penalty after just five minutes. A few minutes later, Woodridge pounced from a knock-on and scored in the corner. They failed to convert, making the score 8 – 0 in their favour.
Fifteen minutes into the game, Junior Duba crossed the line for Union’s first try. Union missed the conversion and the score then read 8 – 5 to Woodridge.
Union continued to secure possession and applied tremendous pressure to ensure that Gary Shell crossed over for the team’s second try. The conversion was missed, however, Union still took the lead 10 – 8. This epic seesaw battle then saw Woodridge breach Union’s defences again. Woodridge went into the half time break 15 – 10 up. Three minutes into the second half, Union set up an amazing maul on the half way line. Zusakhe Ngwane broke blind off the maul to run 20 metres untouched before linking up with Brett Amsterdam who was awarded a try for his brilliant support play.
Brett converted to put Union back in the lead, 17 – 15. Woodridge slotted a penalty a few minutes later to take the lead by one point.
Luke McNaughton then converted a penalty awarded to Union, to put Union back in the lead. The scoreboard now read 20 – 18 in Union’s favour.
Both teams continued to battle it out until the end. The “Mighty Whites” were awarded with one final penalty, which was converted by Luke McNaughton. Union won the match 23 – 18.
Try scorers for Union were Junior Duba, Gary Shell and Brett Amsterdam. Brett Amsterdam converted 1 from 3 successfully and Luke McNaughton successfully converted 2 penalties.