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KZN run riot on opening day

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, School Rugby on 10 Jul 2012 at 08:10
Tagged with : , , , , ,

There were plenty of stand-out performances on the first day of the 2012 Craven Week tournament, held at the Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth this year, but none more so than the KZN schools team’s 48-24 demolition of Free State.

The boys in black and white laid down a strong marker in thrashing a side that is typically well-nigh unstoppable at schoolboy rugby level, given the traditional strength of Grey College Bloemfontein, which typically supplies all but a handful of the Free State Craven Week team. Justin Moberly and his KZN team, though, paid scant regard to reputation as they ran in seven tries, to the three of their opponents.

It was the two lock forwards who got the ball rolling, with Dan du Preez (son of Sharks scrumhalf Robert) who crossed the line in the third minute, followed in the fifth by Moberly himself. Fullback Jesse Kriel from Maritzburg College, arguably the best individual player on the day across all of the teams, crossed for the third, before Michaelhouse’s flying winger Bruce Arnott scored a quick-fire brace to put the result beyond doubt before the first half had ended. School team mate and flyhalf Rob Anderson kicked all but one of the conversions and added a penalty for good measure to see his side take a 36-3 lead into the break.

The second half was a far more even affair, with left wing Cornelis Vermaak and Kriel again crossing for tries, while Free State came back to score three of their own (two in the closing minutes by which stage the game was well and truly lost).

KZN will now face the Lions on Wednesday and should they be able to replicate this sort of form, should be a shoe-in to contest the main game on Saturday – the unofficial “final” of the Craven Week tournament. What they have shown, though, is that there is again this year a very special crop of schoolboy talent emerging in the province and the Sharks, if they haven’t already done so, would do well to ensure they retain the bulk of this side in the junior structures next year. Strong rumours that the side’s best player, Jesse Kriel, has already committed to joining the Bulls does tend to take the gloss off the victory to an extent, but we’re hopeful there could still be an opportunity for the Sharks to change his mind.

Free State (3) 24 – Tries: Othello Sebotsa, EW Viljoen, Edward Schmidt. Conversions: Pieter Jordaan (3). Penalty: Jordaan.
KZN (36) 48 – Tries: Bruce Arnott (2), Cornelis Vermaak, Daniel du Preez, Jesse Kriel (2), Justin Moberly. Conversions: Robert Anderson (5). Penalty: Anderson.


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