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The three matches were played over 20 minutes a half and the teams involved could pull in as many reserves as they wanted. The emphasis was not on the final result but on helping the coaches to see their players in a match situation and help towards formulating their team for the season ahead.
It was certainly not powder-puff rugby. There were some good phases, hard running, tough tackles and a certain amount of needle, particularly in the last two matches. It was not all good rugby as handling mistakes were aplenty, but in the second round this coming Friday some of these will be eliminated.
For the crowd, a few liquid beverages and a boerewors roll or two and they would have gone home satisfied after a good evening’s entertainment.
Howick could not participate as they were involved in another commitment and so their place was taken by the Voortrekker second XV. In the first game they narrowly beat Linpark 12-8. In the second game it was Greytown who caused a surprise by scoring two converted tries, one in either half, to beat Voortrekker 14-0. Greytown backline had some pacey players and each time they ran with the ball it was exciting.
The final game was between Maritzburg College and Westville, arguably what most of the crowd came to see. Westville led 5-3 at half time after a penalty by College and a penalty try to Westville where the conversion in front of the poles was missed.
In the second half College scored a try after a good blind side movement to win the game 8-5.
Both teams showed some neat touches on attack and it was Westville who probably had the greater time in the College 22 metre area, but the College defence stood up to the Westville attacks.
This coming Friday should again see some keen matches.
5 pm Greytown vs Linpark
6 pm M College vs Kearsney
7 pm Voortrekker vs Westville