Pretoria Boys High trekked down to Westville last weekend with more than 660 pupils and 40 teachers and coaches. WBHS was privileged to host them on their first visit down to Westville which is expected to be the forerunner of regular annual fixtures in the future.
Unfortunately the weather gods did not co-operate. The heavens opened on the day of the arrival of the Pretoria boys and the downpours continued on Saturday. Waterlogged pitches put paid to most of the Rugby and some of the Hockey games which was a huge disappointment to the boys of both schools.
Nevertheless the rain abated for a brief while which allowed the 1st, 2nd, U16A, U15A and U14 to be completed, albeit on muddy pitches. All the Hockey fixtures scheduled for the Westville Astro went ahead, as did the Squash and Debating contests.
The wet, muddy conditions would have suited the visitor’s massive 1st XV pack, but it was the home side who started brighter and adapted to the difficult conditions well. Westville raced into a 15-0 lead through well worked tries by prop Mzamo Majola and centre Brad Ellse. Fullback, Louis Snyman added a conversion and a penalty.
Pretoria Boys’ bounced back with a try just before halftime after the home side strayed from their game plan and some over elaborate play gave the visitors an opportunity to attack from a turnover deep inside Westville’s 22m. Pretoria Boys’ captain, No 8 R Van Straaten , scored the try and their fullback, D Murray added the conversion. This score galvanised the visitors and they scored soon after the restart through flyhalf D Harris with D Murray adding the extra two to make it a one point ball game.
With the big Pretoria Boys’ pack dominating the set pieces, the home side were forced into defending for long periods but their line held firm and the opposition were unable to break them down. Westville’s third try came from another brilliant defensive effort metres from their tryline: the forwards turned the ball over in the tackle and Ellse booted a massive kick down field which the Pretoria Boys’ fullback chose to kick back but he got his execution horribly wrong and sliced the ball directly into the hands of Snyman who countered strongly and fed centre Jason Wilks to score a sensational try.
At 14 – 22 down, Pretoria launched a massive counter attack but time and time again they were driven backwards by the resilient defence of the home team. Unable to penetrate, the visitors chose to kick a penalty to bring themselves in range of one score of their opposition but these were to be the final points of the game.
Despite the dreadful conditions the game was a tremendous spectacle of school boy rugby with teams proving why they are so highly rated.
The 2nd team and A teams results were as follows:
WBHS 2nd 29 Pretoria 7
WBHS 16A 6 Pretoria 0
WBHS 15A 15 Pretoria 0
WBHS 14A 38 Pretoria 10