By CHESLEY DANIELS
Mary Waters (Mawas) clinched a dominant 51-5 win over Alexandria High School in the final of last Saturday’s under-19 rugby tournament at the Oval. Nonzamo pulled off a huge surprise when they beat Ukanyo in the 3rd/4th play offs to win the bronze.
The inaugural tournament, under the auspices of the South Eastern Districts Rugby Union (Sedru) was hosted by the Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts and Cultur. Its purpose was to provide participation and development opportunities for schools from disadvantaged areas, to promote and accelerate talent development, and to identify talent.
Thousands of spectators came out in their numbers to watch entertaining rugby of a high standard. Mawas started their campaign against PJ Olivier early in the morning, clinching a hard-fought 22-6 win. PJ conceded a few soft tries, with their defence found wanting on the outside. Nevertheless, Mawas made full use of their chances and deserved the win. PJ came back strongly in the second half, but it was too late.
The final, as expected, was played hard and fast. Mawas found themselves 17-0 in front in the first five minutes of the game, leaving Alex under enormous pressure. Thereafter, the Makhanda side opened the floodgates and rained down the tries. Mawas fullback Nolan Soyes was the big hero with a hat-trick of tries of his own, as well as being involved in most of his side’s other tries. Mawas was just on another level in the final. The Alex defence let them down with the Mawas backs running riot from the outset.
Mawas received the winners trophy, gold medals and additional R15000 of rugby equipment from DSRAC. As the winning school, they will also have the opportunity to participate in the Mzwandile Mali Memorial Under-18 Tournament.
Mawas Head Coach Richard Natie Sphere was a very happy man. “The players made us all proud today and kept the school’s name high. To be crowned as Champs today is a huge honour. I am pleased with our performance so early in the season but there is obviously a lot of hard work that lies ahead.”
Warren Loubsher, Assistant Director of Schools Sport at DSRAC, said the standard of rugby was very exciting to watch. “Today was an advertisement of good schoolboy rugby. Our communities must take ownership in schoolboy rugby. The community must know that they have a strong heritage of rugby comes September and in our history in Sedru. We aimed to revive rugby in Sedru and after today, things can only grow from strength to strength.”
Nonzamo beat Nombulelo 15-10
Mawas beat PJ 22-6
Alex beat Nompucuko 43-0
Nombulelo beat Nompucuko 27-0
Mawas beat Nonzamo 47-3 (Semi Final)
Alex beat Ukanyo 34-9 (Semi Final)
Nonzamo beat Ukanyo 19-5 (3rd/4th Play off)
Mawas beat Alex 51-5 (Final)