Battle for Johannesburg Tied in Epic Derby

Mon, 28/07/2014 - 08:41
  • Jeppe and KES prepare for a scrum with Jonathan Kaplan refereeing
    Jeppe and KES prepare for a scrum with Jonathan Kaplan refereeing

A monumental chapter was etched into South African schoolboy rugby as Jeppe High School for Boys and Kind Edward VII School locked horns in their 83rd clash. KES had had the better historical fairing against the old foe, but a recent renaissance at Jeppe had resulted in three wins in the last four meetings between the schools. Alas, in a match of this magnitude, historical facts are futile.

Jeppe began proceedings positively, as strong running from their forwards earned them a penalty within a minute of kick-off. The kick evaded the poles, but KES found little respite as Jeppe continued their lengthy offensive.

The bulk of possession was enjoyed by the home side in the opening quarter. KES displayed slick running ability in moderation, with Champion standing out as Destroyer-in-Chief. The opening stages were embellished in fascinating running rugby and resolute defence, but points eluded both sides.

The ball was spread to the burly centre, Mngomezulu, who smashed through the defenders to open the scoring.

In the 20th minute, a clearance kick awarded Jeppe a line out in KES' 22 and a break from Robert Hartley forced KES into manic defence on their try line. The ball was spread to the burly centre, Mngomezulu, who smashed through the defenders to open the scoring. Van Waardhuizen slotted the kick, and Jeppe took a 7-0 lead.

KES employed effective kicking tactics, and landed in Jeppe territory. An offside position at a ruck resulted in the awarding of a  penalty  to KES,  which Fuller slotted to open the Reds' account.

Jeppe lead 7-3 at the break.

Renditions of school songs fuelled each side’s effort as the match resumed, as ferocious work from the forwards galvanized proceedings. KES drew first blood within 2 minutes of the restart, as quick hands spread the ball to O'Donahue on the wing. The flank weaved through the defenders and crossed the whitewash. KES took an 8-7 lead.

The Reds responded with swift, seemingly impenetrable tryline defences. 

Jeppe launched a counter-offensive, and gained momentum as their dangerous back line found space. The Reds responded with swift, seemingly impenetrable tryline defences.  Jeppe were awarded a penalty after a number of phases. Van Waardhuizen absorbed the pressure, handing Jeppe a 10-8 lead.

The comfort was short lived, as Jeppe were penalized for not releasing the ball at a ruck. Fuller was flawless in his execution, and the lead returned to KES with the scoreline reading 11-10.

Positive kicking landed KES a position of advantage in Jeppe territory, which was immediately turned over by the home side. Dayimani broke the line off of a ruck, but was brought down in KES' 22, which inflicted massive pressure onto the defence.

 

Morowane eliminated a defender with a late offload to De Lange, who seared through the vacant wing to score, and the Black and White took a 17-11 lead.

 

The deficit increased the KES work-rate as their forwards bludgeoned their way through titanic defence.

The deficit increased the KES work-rate as their forwards bludgeoned their way through titanic defence. A penalty was awarded after Jonathan Kaplan played a lengthy advantage, which Fuller slotted to reduce the lead to 17-14.

De Zorzi ensured that continuity hassled Jeppe, and rapid running play from KES tired Jeppe out. An offside Jeppe defender proved to be a pivotal mistake, as Fuller equalled the scores at 17 all.

The pressure was tangible.

With the clock winding down, KES launched a final attack. Following a clearance kick, possession belonged to the visitors in the midfield. The pressure was tangible.

Fuller was burdened with the attempt at goal which would win the match.

The final movement of the game saw a Jeppe handling error on attack as KES were awarded a penalty from beyond the halfway mark. Fuller was burdened with the attempt at goal which would win the match. Disaster struck for the fullback, as the ball found the crossbar, and bounced back into play. Jeppe tried to clear the ball, but KES used the possession to launch another attack. The ball was spread to Mbatha on the wing but a cover tackle from Hartley forced the ball into touch, and referee Kaplan called the match with the scores deadlocked at 17 apiece.

Little could separate the sides, with pockets of brilliance ensuring that spectators were enthralled throughout the clash. Though little satisfaction could be derived from the tie, it was a fitting end to an outstanding match.

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