Queen’s College played host to Hudson Park from East London on Saturday in a high scoring rugby encounter, played on a warm blustery autumn afternoon, on the Recreation Grounds in Queenstown. Queen’s won 38-30.
The match was always going to be an arm-wrestle between the two forward packs for forward domination in order to get their respective backlines good front-foot ball to attack with. The early domination went to the home side, where the Queenians were able to maintain the ball through a number of phases before Hudson infringed and gave away a penalty at the breakdown. Simon Bolze, who has been in rich form with the boot of recent weeks, calmly slotted the penalty to give Queen’s the lead 3-0 after 3 minutes of play.
Foul play, pointed out by the assistant referee, saw the Queen’s lock Alan Rautenbach sin binned in the ninth minute. This seemed to spark the Queenians into action and after some fine work by the outside centre, AvelaJubase, a good try was scored by left wing Jerry Danquah. Bolze converted to make the score 10-0 to Queen’s.
Hudson were able to register their first points of the afternoon in the 12th minute, when Queen’s were penalised for an indiscretion at the breakdown, to take the score to 10-3 in the favour of the home team.
The Queenians then scored their second try of the afternoon through right wing Lilitha Jonas, after a good period of attack and a patient build up by the forwards. Simon Bolze added the extra two through a well judged conversion to take the score to 17-3 in favour of the Queen’s team.
Kewan Gibb, the Queen’s scrumhalf, was then sin-binned for an “off the ball” incident, as Alan Rautenbach was about to rejoin the action after spending his 10 minutes in the bin. This allowed Hudson Park to get their tails up and play some very good rugby to score their first try of the game to the delight of their spectators. The try was converted by Arnu Black, the Hudson scrumhalf, to narrow the gap to 17-10.
With the scrumhalf off the field, Simon Bolze, the Queen’s captain took over the scrumhalf duties and after a fine break was adjuged to have been held up over the line. Alan Rautenbach barged over to score under the cross-bar minutes later, making up for his earlier indiscretion, to take the score to 22-10. Bolze popped over the easy conversion to take the score to 24-10 in favour of the home side.
Off-side at the ruck by a Queenian saw Hudson’s kicker, Arnu Black, add another three points to the Hudson score. 24-13.
A promising looking backline move by the Queenians ended in despair when a poor pass saw the Hudson left wing intercept the ball and run almost 50m to score. Hudson fullback,NgaziSigwili, added the conversion to take the score to 24-20 and it was game on.
The final action of the half saw Queenian left wing, Lilitha Jonas, go over for his second try of the match after some strong work by the fullback Siphuxolo Zaula. Simon Bolze converted to take the half-time score to 31-20 in favour of Queen’s.
The first 10 minutes of the second half saw the home side play with a lot of aggression and after a great turnover in general play by Queen’s scrumhalf Kewan Gibb, the ball was swung wide to the powerful left wing Jerry Danquah to score. Bolze, who again had an excellent day with the boot, converted the try to take the score to 38-20 in favour of the hosts.
Hudson then came back with a vengeance and only a try saving tackle by Jerry Danquah saw the Hudson boys caught just short of the line. From the resulting scrum the powerful Queen’s No.8, Justin Hollis, picked up off the back and pushed off a number of defenders to go on a 30m run but then an accidental obstruction call saw an end to a possible long range try by the Queen’s side.
A penalty to Hudson for an infringement at the ruck saw Hudson add to their first half tally taking the score to 38-23 in favour of the home side.
A very good break by a Hudson player down the middle of the field saw Queen’s having to defend in their ownline and once again a Queenian was pinned for playing the ball while off his feet at a ruck. This time, fullback Siphuxolo Zaula was sent to the sin bin. Hudson then kept the ball and eventually barged over for a try making full use of the one man advantage. The try was converted to bring the final score to 38-30 in favour of the Queenians.
The Queenians showed good composure throughout the game which must have been frustrating for them taking the number of penalties conceded and the three yellow cards. The coaches will be pleased to have won this one and although not really in danger of losing the game the discipline punished, warranted or not, and the three yellow cards will be a concern going forward.