Saturday the 6th September saw twenty of the top rugby 7’s schools in KwaZulu-Natal converge on Glenwood High School for the annual Photonote Toshiba Glenwood Rugby 7’s Festival. Certainly the highlight of the schools 7’s calendar, this prestigious tournament provides the participating schools the opportunity to compete for silverware and establish themselves amongst the best 7’s schools in the province.
Westville’s Pool D results were as follows:
Game 1: Westville 22 – DHS 2nd’s 5
Game 2: Westville 33 vs Sarel Cilliers 5
Game 3: Westville 26 vs Hilton College 0
Game 4: Westville 28 vs Pionier 0
Westville have improved tremendously as a rugby 7s outfit this season and the previous week had won a tournament up at Hilton. They went into the competition keen to do well.
Westville finished top of their pool, scoring 109 points and conceding only 10 which was an outstanding statistic given the nature of the 7’s game. This meant that the winner of the Pool A match between St. Charles and the highly rated Glenwood team would progress through to the Cup Semi-Final against Westville. Miraculously the St. Charles team had perhaps the game of their season and secured an extremely hard fought and well deserved surprise victory over the hosts, Glenwood High. At the conclusion of the pool stage it left St. Charles, Michaelhouse, DHS and Westville still in the hunt for the title in the Cup competition.
In the Cup semi-final against St. Charles, the Westville team played some of their finest rugby by keeping the ball, attacking with width and pace and making huge tackles on defence, they we were able to score four well worked tries. St. Charles on the other hand fought really hard in the opening stages and managed to score two unconverted tries to notch up 10 points for their efforts. This did little to stop the Westville team who were unrelenting in their goal of reaching their first ever final at this tournament. In the end Westville were too good for St. Charles and ran away eventual victors by 28 points to 10, securing their place in the Cup Final.
The other Semi-Final was a fiercely contested match between DHS and the tournament favourites, given their recent string of easy wins at the other tournaments this season, Michaelhouse. The match went into extra time and with the teams still dead-locked after 3 minutes of sudden death play, the tournament rules came into effect which determined that the team that scored the first try of the match would be declared the winner and so sadly for DHS, it would be Michaelhouse who would progress to the Cup final.
As far as 7’s finals go, this was surely one of the best. For those in attendance, the level of skill and frenetic pace at which the game was played between these two proud, traditional rivals was incredible to witness. Both teams showed their intent right from the get-go and played like men possessed. Michaelhouse managed to breach the Westville defence out wide on two occasions through their very talented flyhalf and provincial 7’s player Barda Pretorius, but Westville managed to reel him in through the determined defensive scrambles of Westville’s captain and key player Wayne Smith. In all fairness there was very little between the two teams on the day. Westville managed to score three outstanding tries through flyhalf Ruan Kotze, winger James Wheeler and centre Wayne Smith respectively, two of which were converted by prop Kevin Smit to notch up their 19 points on the scoreboard. Michaelhouse also managed to score three well deserved tries but only managed to convert one with Barda Pretorius uncharacteristically having an off day with the boot. He missed a crucial conversion late in the game which could have levelled the scores at 19 all. From the ensuing kick-off, with less than a minute to go and the score at 19-17 in Westville’s favour, they managed to secure the ball and run the clock down, Kevin Smit eventually booting the ball into the stands to secure the win and crown Westville Boys High as the 2014 Photonote Toshiba Glenwood 7’s Tournament champions.