In a thrilling FNB Classic Clash Hoërskool Schoonspruit of Malmesbury beat Hoërskool Piketberg from just down the road 24-23, thanks to a try in the last action of the match.
Schools matches of this class are 35 minutes each way. In the last four minutes of this match the score went from 19-17 for Schoonspruit to 20-19 and then 23-19 for Piketberg and finally 24-23 to Schoonspruit.
No wonder the crowds, in big numbers supporting both sides, were noisily excited. For Schoonspruit it was a perfect ending to a perfect day under blue skies amongst the mountains of the Cape.
Before the match the schools each sang their song and toasted each other and then Piketberg kicked off. They kicked off deep and Schoonspruit started running. The player who set them running was flyhalf Anzo Stubbs, a special player who had played centre for Boland Schools at Craven Weeks in 2011 and 2012. He won’t be playing this year as he recently turned 19. What a star!
In the match Schoonspruit were generally livelier, quicker to react. But both sides were guilty of faulty handling and both sides conceded many turnovers.
Stubbs got Schoonspruit running from the kick-off and they were stopped 10 metres or so from the Piketberg line. But Schoonspruit were on the attack as Stubbs broke again and lock Tembelani Matiwani forced his way over under the posts. 7-0 after 2 minutes.
Again Schoonspruit ran from the kick-off and then they counterattacked and then Stubbs broke and chipped. It was all Schoonspruit as Piketberg could not get their hands on the ball. When they did they proved their worth as tall flyhalf Stephan Breunissen broke beating three till Wayde Pieters tackled him just short of the line. Schoonspruit were penalised under their posts but Piketberg tapped and charged. They lost the ball forward and Schoonspruit cleared. After that they kicked penalty attempts at go all.
In the first half Schoonspruit were penalised eight times, Schoonspruit not once. In the match over all Schoonspruit conceded 13 penalties to four. Of the 13 penalties, 11 were at the tackle.
Breunissen goaled two of the penalties. 7-6 after 22 minutes.
Piketberg’s left wing was clearly fast and skilful. He was good on defence and fast on attack., When Devon Smith broke Stander saved and cleared and then hooker Erich Kankowski gave him a perfect pass. Stander raced away from his marker and then swerved inside for a brilliant try. 11-7 after 32 minutes.
A Breunissen penalty at the start of the second half stretched the lead to 14-7.
Schoonspruit counterattacked and Matiwani was close but knocked on trying to ground the ball for the try. Piketberg cleared but Mishaun Arendse kicked and chased and forced a five-metre scrum. From the scrum eighthman Cheslyn Korasie broke. He was tackled but the ball went to Stubbs who cut back against the tide and scored an excellent try to make the score 14-all after 45 minutes.
Breunissen restored Piketberg’s lead with a penalty four minutes later and Schoonspruit speeded the game up. Stubbs chipped and chased. Piketberg were penalised twice and Matiwani tapped and charged. The ball came back to scrumhalf Gertwill le Fleur under pressure. Somehow he got away from one and then with dazzling footwork beat two defenders before celebrating his try with a swanky dive. 19-17 to Schoonspruit after 57 minutes.
That was the score going into the last 10 minutes but Breunissen, from a long way out at an acute angled, unleashed a soaring drop at goal,. which was over. 20-19 to Piketberg with 7 minutes to play. Then he goaled a penalty. 23-19 with 4 minutes to play.
It was a hectic four minutes. Schoonspruit ran a maul from a line-out and Piketberg were penalised. Arendse tapped on the far right, a ruck formed and Schoonspruit went far left where Korasie had an overlap and raced over for the try that won the match. The conversion hit the upright but it did not matter as the final whistle went, producing much glee in the Schoonspruit camp.
It was Piketberg’s first defeat of the year. They were glum.
Tries: Tembelani Matiwani, Anzo Stubbs, Gertwill le Fleur, Cheslyn Korasie
Con: Gurdwill Coetzee 2
Try: JJ Stander
Drop: Stephan Breunissen
Pens: Stephan Breunissen 5
Schoonspruit: 15 Gurdwill Coetzee, 14 Lingkem Joseph. 13 Mishaun Arendse, 12 Devon Smith, 11 Iven Snyders, 10 Anzo Stubbs, 9 Gertwill le Fleur, 8 Cheslyn Korasie (captain), 7 Wayde Pieters, 6 Cupid Myburg, 5 Wayde Arendse, 4 Tembelani Matiwani, 3 Darryn Cleophas, 2 Rowainne Matthyse, 1 Carlyle Kearns.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Arries, 17 Ivor West, 18 Binnville Alexander, 19 Freddie Persent, 20 Gilbert Willemse, 21 Sizzerowe Olivier.
Piketberg: 15 Adam January, 14 Wilbré van Wyk, 13 Roman Zaal, 12 Clyde May, 11 JJ Stander, 10 Stephan Breunissen, 9 Wynand Smit, 8 Barno van der Westhuizen (Captain), 7 Pieter-Hugo Wium, 6 Gysbert Dippenaar, 5 Christie van der Merwe, 4 Divan Ungerer, 3 Duan Mostert, 2 Erich KankowSchoomnspruiti, 1 Danie Visser.
Replacements: 16 Derick van der Merwe, 17 Arno van Deventer, 18 Johannes Mostert, 19 Benna van der Westhuizen, 20 TC Bindeman, 21 Herbst van der Merwe, 22 Carel Kersop, 23 Jan van Zyl.
Referee: Jonathan Jordaan (Boland Referees’ Society)
Assistant referees: Carlton Isaacs (Boland Referees’ Society), Laurent Myburgh (Boland Referees’ Society)