PAARL, 4 April 2018 – The second day of the Oakland World Schools Festival tilted towards equilibrium as the international teams launched a comeback in the latter part of the programme.
The South African one-way traffic from the day before flowed into the early matches on Wednesday with the overseas sides suffering defeats early on in the day.
The South Africans extended their lead in the “Oakland Cup”, a Ryder Cup-style contest between South Africa and the Rest of the World.
The format ensures that each match counts, where two points will count towards a win and a draw is worth one point.
The home sides lead the competition 16-4 so far in the tournament.
The week-long festival features some of the most promising schoolboy talents from around the globe.
The South African sides did not quite have it their way with two international sides beating two of South Africa’s top rugby schools.
Hosts Paarl Boys’ High School suffered their first defeat on home soil in three years when they suffered a 19-10 defeat to Argentina.
The match ultimately came down to Argentina flyhalf Exequiel Alegra-Chedied’s boot as he converted their only try while slotting three penalties.
It was only the second South African defeat of the tournament after Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool bowed their knee to Hartpury College from Gloucestershire, England.
The English side was full of value as they secured a 26-15 victory over Affies scoring four tries to the two by the Pretoria school side.
Piers Hamer, Bailey Wahs, Joe Howard and Josh Phipps scored a five-pointer each with Dan Cole converting three.
Affies’ points came courtesy of tries by Stephan Alberts and Jason Scheepers with Regardt Roets slotting a conversion kick and a penalty.
Grey College brought the second day to an emphatic end with Grey College beating Christchurch Boys’ High 66-28 in a mouth-watering encounter.
The match was the best advertisement of what schoolboy rugby is all about with both teams playing with reckless abandon producing high-quality action.
It was wall-to-wall action with Grey College racing to a 26-0 lead within 13 minutes with Franco Smith, Ian Small-Smith and De Wet Marais each crossing the whitewash.
Christchurch mounted a fight-back with George Harding, Cullen Moody and Ryan Barnes scoring for the visitors.
Fleet-footed Grey outside centre Wyclef Vitoor with possibly the try of the tournament so far when he stepped his way over the advantage for his five-pointer before Marais scored his hat-trick shortly before the break.
The New Zealand side fought gallantly but they could not keep up with the skill and the pace Grey produced on the night.
The bleeding stopped by the third match when the Africa Pacific Dragons provided some serious resistance against Hilton College.
The Dragons, with a few South African players in their midst, lay down the challenge with a haka before the start of the match before going down 35-24 in a close match.
Made up of schoolboys from Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, and local players, the Dragons were the first international team to take a lead in any of the matches so far during the tournament.
The match could have gone any way with one point separating the sides with 12 minutes to go in the match.
Niaan Taljaard’s hat-trick try in the 64th minute and a penalty conversion courtesy of Gareth Schreuder clinched the victory for the team from the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
In the opening match of the day, Glenwood High School raced to a half-century of points to beat the Italian All-Stars 53-10.
Scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse was one of the star performers on the day scoring a five-pointer while converting five of his team’s seven tries and kicking two penalties.
The second match was a one-sided affair as Paarl Gimnasium went on a rampage against American side, Rhinos Rugby, scoring 84 unanswered points which included 12 tries.
Flyhalf Jurie Matthee made a massive contribution to the score line with his metronomic boot converting all tries including his own five-pointer.
Grey College vs Christchurch Boys’ High
Grey College 66 (45): Tries: De Wet Marais (3), Franco Smith, Ian Small-Smith (2), Wyclef Vitoor (2), Werner Gouws, George Coetzee. Conversions: Zander du Plessis (8)
Christchurch Boys’ High 28 (21): Tries: George Harding, Cullen Moody, Ryan Barnes, Corbon Harding. Conversion: Moody (4).
Paarl Boys’ High vs Argentina
Paarl Boys’ High 10 (10): Tries: Trent Sivertsen, Javier Farmer.
Argentina 19 (13): Try: Joaquin Oviedo. Conversion: Exequiel Alegra-Chedied. Penalties: Alegra-Chedied (3).
Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool vs Hartpury College
Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool 15 (5): Tries: Stephan Alberts, Jason Scheepers. Conversion: Regardt Roets. Penalty: Roets.
Hartpury College 26 (12): Tries: Piers Hamer, Bailey Wahs, Joe Howard, Josh Phipps. Conversion: Dan Cole (3).
Hilton College vs AP Dragons
Hilton College 35 (8): Tries: Mark Armstrong, Niaan Taljaard (3). Conversions: Gareth Schreuder (3). Penalties: Gareth Schreuder (3)
AP Dragons 24 (12): Tries: Kingi Herewini, Oliver Hilton-Jones, Joe Lesa, Andrew Edwards. Conversions: Herewini (2).
Paarl Gimnasium vs Rhinos Rugby
Paarl Gimnasium 84 (42): Tries: Juan Wilson, Marco van Rhyn, Jurie Matthee, Stephan du Toit (2), Jacques Moller (2), Dirk Visser, Rikus Brand, Juan Wilson, Tiaan Visser, Gerhard van Niekerk. Conversions: Matthee (12)
Rhinos Rugby 0 (0)
Glenwood High School vs Italian All Stars:
Glenwood High School 53 (27): Tries: Thabison Mdletshe, Aaron le Roux, Siyanda Cele, Jaeden Hendrikse, Conan Le Fleur, George Luzoko, Carlo Cloete. Conversions: Jaden Hendrikse (5), Rynhardt Jonker. Penalties: Jaden Hendrikse (2)
Italian All Stars 10 (10): Tries: Nicola Rizzotti, Heinrich van der Watt.