2015 has been the most successful season since the introduction of 7’s Rugby in Kwa-Zulu Natal, having achieved two third places, two seconds and also winning two tournaments in the 7’s Inter Schools Tournaments held this term. At Woodburn on Saturday, Westville finished their 7’s season off on a high note by defeating the host school in a closely contested final to win the Voortrekker 7’s Tournament.
With the matrics having turned their attention to the final matric trials examinations, Westville fielded two “Stayers” teams in the Voortrekker tournament and both teams reached the semi finals with the 1st team topping their pool and the 2nd team finishing second behind Port Natal’s 1st team and, in the process, knocking Pionier’s 1st Team out of the play offs.
As a result, the two Westville teams faced off against each other and the first team won this game comfortably 30 – 10 with Dominic Rivalland and Luc McIntosh both scoring a brace each. Voortrekker narrowly defeated Port Natal in the other semi with a try at the death after the hooter. Westville 2nd played Port Natal for 3rd and 4th and gave an excellent account of themselves. At one stage the entire team on the field were U16’s (playing in an U18 Tournament). After leading at the break 10 – 5, they went on to concede the game 10-15 in the dying minutes and can be justifiably proud of their efforts.
The final was a real grudge match as these sides had clashed in the pool stages and Westville claimed a narrow victory 10 -7 over Voortrekker in a very evenly contested affair. Playing six matches in one morning had taken its toll on the Westville team and they had already lost Taljaard to a quadriceps injury early in the day. Mahlangu, Mthembu and Grant were all battling with injuries and Xaba and Lombard both had chronic cramp. Despite this, the team were determined to win the trophy and finish their season off in style so aches and pains were put aside and the boys pushed through in honour of their motto “incepto ne desistam”.
Voortrekker were also playing for pride and started off stronger at first. They capitalised on an extra man when Rivalland was yellow carded for a tip tackle and drew first blood with a well taken try which they converted to lead of 7 – 0. With Rivalland back on the field, Westville conceded a second try after a mix up at the base of the scrum saw the Voortrekker scrumhalf dart over in the left hand corner. At 12 – 0 down, Westville had their backs against the wall but they refused to give up and struck back on the stroke of half time when captain Tonny Mahlangu made a great midfield break and Sakhile Xaba was on hand to finish off under the posts and Westville went into the break 7 -12 down.
The final is ten minutes a half and fitness plays a large in the outcome of such games. Wesville had trained hard all term and were ready for this challenge. They took complete control in the second and scored a further two tries through Ntando Mthembu and Tonny Mahalangu to clinch a well deserved victory by 19 points to 12. Mahlangu’s try capped another fine display from the captain who is sure to add a Craven Week 7’s blazer to his 15’s blazer he earned earlier this year. Mthembu was the top try scorer with 8 and Rivalland scored 5 to top the forwards stats on the day.