Centre, Matt More bagged four-tries, as the hosts saw off Kingswood 72-5, in an utter try-fest at St Andrews College on “K-Day Saturday”.
The 2017 edition of this historic schoolboy rugby derby was one of the most hotly anticipated yet, with no less than 16-players from both sides selected for provincial representation in the upcoming Craven and Academy Weeks respectively.
And the Eastern Province provincial coaches would have been particularly pleased with the performance of the St Andrews lads, as they produced some enthralling moments of Barbarians-esque attacking football.
The home side got off the mark in quick-fashion, as first vice-captain Byron Sharwood, and then Matt More went over after two great periods of attacking play. Murray Koster was successful with the first conversion.
Jeff Mutuku struck back soon for the visitors, after he intercepted a rather wayward St Andrews pass right on their try-line, to dot down in the corner. Bradley Sterling could not convert a rather challenging effort from the touch-line.
That was about as good as it got for Kingswood, as the game again swung in favor of the hosts when Chulumanco Mngxase powered his way over. Koster failed with the extras, and the scoreline remained 17-5.
The tensions boiled over after More bagged his second late in the first-half. A classic schoolboy-brawl broke out between the sides, which eventually resulted in Thembi Mangwana being shown yellow – Koster missed the ensuing conversion.
There was still time in the first stanza for another SAC five-pointer, after a strong rolling maul culminated in a Callum Dugmore score, with Koster’s second successful conversion meaning the hosts went into halftime leading by a handy 29-points to 5.
St Andrews picked up where they left off at the beginning of the second-half, after Jack Allanson, Graham De Vos, Oscar Evans and another Dugmore effort pushed their side out to a commanding 53-5 lead with tries apiece. Koster could only convert two of his attempts.
A great St Andrews line-break, followed by some slick interplay between More and Allanson, eventually resulted in the former grabbing his third try of the afternoon. Koster added two more points.
More and Allanson were soon in the spotlight again when, after an Allanson yellow for a cheeky aerial challenge, More crossed the chalk for a fourth time. Koster’s added extras made it a whopping 67-5 to the hosts.
SAC added another try when Mngxase completed his brace late on, as they eventually ran out victorious by 72-points to five.
Co-St Andrews head coach, Andy Royale, offered some insight into his side’s preparations over the past seven days.
“We spoke all week about being composed and playing together as a team – forgetting about the scoreboard and just ticking those small boxes. I know it sounds cliched, but I certainly thought the boys did that today.”
When queried about what this performance meant to his team, Royale remained humble in his response.
“It’s a good moment – the memory’s short from a year ago and two years before that [referring to two previous St Andrews defeats to Kingswood]. It’s good for the boys – they’re pretty grounded.”
St Andrews will next travel to Muir College, while Kingswood will search for improvement when they host Woodridge College next week.
St Andrews –
Tries: Sharwood, More (x4), Mngxase (x2), Dugmore (x2), Allanson, De Vos, Evans
Conversions: Koster (x6)
Yellow Cards: Allanson
Yellow Cards: Mangwana