After much anticipation it was finally time for the World Schools Festival to kick off on the 25th of March 2019 in the Markotter stadium in Stellenbosch. Some of South Africa’s top schools versus the Rest of the World lined up for what turned out to be a real treat for school boy rugby fans.
Glenwood kicked off the tournament opener against John McGlashan College (JMC) from Dunedin, NZ. This college is famous for the few All Black players they groomed, of which Andrew Hore who represented the All blacks in 2013 is the latest. With their big forwards they were looking to be the first upset of the festival.
Both teams dominated the first half with some exciting passages of play. It was Glenwood however to draw first blood as scrumhalf Nico Steyn pounced on a loose ball to dot it down. The conversion from Jonas was good and Glenwood had an early 7-0 lead.
Minutes later, Nico again kicked the ball down field, deep into their 22m where Glenwood winger Katleho Thamaga gave chase to score their 2nd try of the match. Unfortunately, the conversion was missed, but Glenwood now had a lead of 12-0.
JMC restored some pride just before half time when Harrison Morton dived over from a ruck. The conversion was good. Glenwood still lead with 12-5.
JMC was penalized on the stroke of half time and Joe Jonas added the extra three points for a 15-7 lead at the break.
JMC started the 2nd half way better with 8th man, Leeroy Ferguson, dragging a couple of defenders with him over the try line to score. The conversion was unsuccessful, but the lead reduced to 15-12.
The rest of the half belonged to the Glenwood backline – fierce, relentless and exciting – they sure showed what they are capable of as they scored 3 more tries. Substitute winger Marthino van Wyk ran in for two tries, dancing his way through the defence, and Nico Steyn provided great supportive play to score the next try. Two of the three tries were converted.
Glenwood’s backline proved to be the clear difference between the two sides. The final score was 32-17 for Glenwood.
In Glenwood’s second game, they faced the Africa Pacific Dragons.
For the first 40 minutes it was quite a close encounter with the score at 14-10 with Nico Steyn and Freddie Slabbert scoring for Glenwood. Africa Pacific Dragon’s centre, David Kalekale scored twice to keep them in the game. Glenwood seemed to have too much fire power for the Dragons as they scored another 3 tries in 20 minutes to seal the game. A 33-10 victory for the Green Machine from Durban.
Congratulations to Nico Steyn who were included into the Team of the Tournament for the World Schools Festival.
Glenwood will now shift their focus to Maritzburg College on the 6th April 2019.
Alex van der Merwe