After a 27 year drought, Union wins in Grahamstown!
The Union 1st XV was involved in an absolute humdinger of a match on Saturday in Grahamstown. They had to be at their absolute best for 70 minutes to grind out an unforgettable win against Graeme College. It was a match which encompassed everything schoolboy rugby should, from incredible handling skills, pin-point kicking, huge collisions, flair, precision and a nerve-racking finish which had every spectator on the edge of their seats.
Filled with belief and spurred on by the performance of our third and second teams, Union got off to the perfect start. Union scored an early try after Matt Harpur chased his own kick downfield and, through sheer will-power, managed to nudge the bouncing ball into the in-goal area and dive onto it for a five-pointer. Soon after the try, Matt slotted a penalty to stretch our lead to 8-0. Graeme continued to apply tremendous pressure at the breakdown and was rewarded with field position which they were able to convert into points after scoring a well-worked converted try.
Ahead by only one point at half-time, Union started the second half with renewed energy levels and a burning desire to extend their lead. It was a matter of attacking at every opportunity rather than defending the slender advantage that we held. Through colossal effort and determination, Union played their way into the Graeme territory and crossed over for another unconverted try. The try was scored by Daliwonga Mathiale after he cleverly picked up the ball at the base of the ruck and dotted it down before any opposition defender could react to his ingenuity. Union now lead 13-7 with a quarter of the match remaining.
Soon after Union scored, Graeme, capitalized on our first and only lapse in concentration on defence to score a sublime try close to the left-hand touchline. The conversion was pushed wide, but the teams were again separated by just one point. After a tenacious defensive effort and praiseworthy work ethic from backs and forwards alike, Union held Graeme at bay for the last few minutes while they threw everything at them just 5 metres from their line.
There was an overwhelming sense of relief, as well as jubilation when the referee blew his whistle to end what truly was an encounter that will remain etched in our memories for a long, long time.
U/9A lost 56-0
U/11A won 10-5
U/11B lost 54-0
U/13A lost 51-5
U/14A lost 50-5
U/15A lost 53-5
U/15B lost 38-5
U/16A lost 39-12
3rds lost 17-15
2nds won 24-12
1sts won 13-12
Article by: Union High