Westville Old Boys forming the tunnel as the First XV run on.

Westville Old Boys forming the tunnel as the First XV run on.

Westville hosted their traditional midlands’ rivals, Michaelhouse on their Old Boys’ Day on Saturday.  Bowden’s was packed to the rafters and both teams arrived to play attacking rugby and dished up a lively spectacle but ultimately it was the home team that took the honours and extended their unbeaten run to eight games.

Westville began strongly and took control of possession and territory. The home team turned pressure into points and took an early lead when impressive No 8 Zane Weir crashed over from a driving maul.  Minutes later the Westville centres combined beautifully to create a line break and prop Jonty Osborne was on hand to take the final pass and score in the left hand corner.  Westville’s third try came from a superb break by Weir off the base of the scrum.  The home team set up two quick fire rucks and scrumhalf Kyan Braithwaite sniped to score.  With none of the conversions successful, Westville still had a healthy 15 – 0 lead.

Michaelhouse’s big pack slowly began to gain parity in the set pieces and at the breakdown, and they used their big carriers to good effect but their backs were unable to capitalise on the momentum gained by their hard working pack.  And when the midlands boys turned over ball, Westville was lethal on the counter: Osborne and Ellse both came very close to scoring but they were denied by the visitor’s excellent scramble defence.  The home team was also guilty of too many 50/50 passes, especially deep inside their opponent’s 22m.  The teams traded a penalty a piece and went into the break with the home team leading 18 – 3.

The second half was a far closer affair.  Once again the home team started strongly and attacked the Michaelhouse line repeatedly but the visitor’s defence held firm.  Westville then took their foot off the pedal and played some very ordinary rugby which allowed their opponents into the game and gave them territory and possession.  Michaelhouse scored from a quick tap and kicked the conversion to close the score to 18 – 10. At this point the game opened up and both sides played with plenty of attacking intent.  Once again it was the visitors scramble defence that kept out three certain tries and the home team were also far too guilty of forcing the final pass.  Louis Snyman kicked a penalty to extend Westville’s lead but it was Michaelhouse who were to have the final say with a fine try by their replacement wing to bring the final score to 21 – 17.

Thank you to all the Westville Old Boys who arrived in force to show their support for the winning team.

Next week Westville host George Campbell. The visitors will have shown grit and determination against  strong opposition but they will have to contend with a Westville team that is hoping to finish the domestic season unbeaten.

The full set of results are as follows:

WBHS 1st XV 21 vs MHS 1st XV 17

WBHS 2nd XV 16 vs MHS 2nd XV 18

WBHS 3rd XV 13 vs MHS 3rd XV 13

WBHS 4thXV 24 vs MHS 4th XV 19

WBHS 5th XV 24 vs MHS 5th XV 12

WBHS 6th XV 25 vs MHS 6th XV 12

WBHS 16A 13 vs MHS 16A 15

WBHS 16B 41 vs MHS 16B 13

WBHS 16C 25 vs MHS 16C 5

WBHS 16D 50 vs MHS 16D 7

WBHS 16E 46 vs Dbn Development 0

WBHS 15A 41 vs MHS 15A 12

WBHS 15B 47 vs MHS 15B 12

WBHS 15C 21 vs MHS 15C 15

WBHS 15E 12 vs Dbn Development 12

WBHS 14A 47 vs MHS 14A 12

WBHS 14B 55 vs MHS 14B 0

WBHS 14C 55 vs MHS 14C 0

WBHS 14D 49 vs Dbn Development 5

WBHS 14F 19 vs Maritzburg College 26