(Photo Credit: Ethan Hayman)
Glenwood travelled across the bridge to tackle city rivals DHS, who also celebrated their Founders Day, in a highly anticipated fixture. Saturday was the 151st match between these two schools, dating back to 1922. Glenwood dominated the past 15 years, winning 16 of the last 18 games. The past few years saw the importance of this derby rise to a whole new level. The Glenwood boys turned out in numbers, turning an away game into a home game.
In a relentless start, it was Glenwood who dominated from the get-go and drew first blood in the first nine minutes. Inside centre, Bani Holtshauzen lofting an appealing pass to hooker Sikholise Nanto on the wing who popped it behind his back to Carlo Cloete to score the first try. Joe Jonas easily converted. Glenwood leads 7-0.
Moments earlier, a try-saving tackle by DHS denied left winger Katlego Thinyane to dot down in the corner.
Four minutes later and Nanto appeared to continue his blinder of a game as he latched on a flat pass from Nico Steyn just outside DHS’ 22m to storm past the defender to cross in the corner. Jonas successfully converted setting Glenwood up with a lead of 14-0.
A penalty from Jonas made sure the scoreboard keeps ticking over, extending the lead to 17-0.
After a period of attacking play, Glenwood found themselves in touching distance of the try line again. This time, the scrum-half, Steyn picked up the ball from the base of the ruck and opted to go himself, from a few metres out, to score a converted try under the poles. Glenwood 24, DHS 0 with 6 minutes left of an entertaining first half.
Having collected the ball from Steyn, Jonas cut a sumptuous line through the DHS defence, with outside centre Luyanda Mbona in support. Mbona confidently took it up to the 22m, then passed it back to Jonas to finish off some stunning play by the Glenwood boys. Joe Jonas made it a maximum score from the tee. Glenwood leading 31 – 0.
DHS tried to salvage some pride before half time with some attacking phases and pressing up towards the Glenwood 22m. But some resolute defence by the Glenwood’s men in green resulted in a turnover. Eight-man Ethan Smit picked up and spotted the space. The ball was sent wide to Nanto who sprinted down the wing and popped it back inside to Thinyane. The ball was thrown around a bit before Steyn collected the final pass from Nanto and sprinted down the wing to finish off his brace. Jonas converted successfully.
Glenwood went into the break comfortably with 38 - 0 in a very much one-sided affair. A few errors from the Green Machine put a halt to their momentum, but they capitalized on the ill-discipline of DHS.
DHS came out firing in the second half pressing up to Glenwood’s try-line in no time. Captain Taariq Kruger collected a pop pass from the scrumhalf to make his way over. Shakir la Douce converted. The score read 38 – 7 to Glenwood.
The Green Machine was nowhere near done yet, though. Nanto bagged his brace after sprinting on to a pop pass from Steyn, just metres out, crashing through the defence and over the try line. The extra two were added by Jonas. The score 45-7 for Glenwood.
The next period of play was punch-for-punch with DHS soon firing back, fighting their way into the 22 with short pick-and-goes. DHS flanker broke loose from the pack and swirled his way over to score another try for the Horseflies. La Douce converted. Glenwood 45 with DHS 14.
Nanto completed his hat trick a few minutes later when Steyn delivered a quick ball to Nanto who ran a sharp line to break the defensive line. Jonas converted yet again for a score of 52-14.
DHS gathered the ball from the kickoff, catching the Green Machine napping. They played it wide, through the hands and the full-back crossed over in the corner. La Douce failed to add the extra two. Score 52-19 with 15 minutes left to play.
With 8 minutes left on the clock and with their lead insurmountable, Glenwood scored a brilliant team effort try. With a scrum 5 metres out from their own try line they decided to run it out. Steyn delivered to Jonas who chipped the ball over the defence. Cloete latched on to it and while being swung off his feet by the defenders he still managed to get the pass away to Jonas. Jonas passed to Mbona who draw the last defenders in and set up Thinyane, who run it home from 50 metres out and scored the final converted try of the match.
Steyn came close to scoring his hat trick but was tackled into touch just short of the line in the dying seconds.
Glenwood showed their dominance and outplayed DHS. It was exciting to see the Green Machine regaining its fire and playing the exhilarating rugby their supporters expect from them. Glenwood will meet up with DHS for a return fixture on the 20th July 2019.
GLENWOOD 59 (38): Tries: Carlo Cloete, Sikholise Nanto (3), Nico Steyn (2), Joe Jonas, Katlego Thinyane. Conversions: Joe Jonas (8). Penalty: Joe Jonas
DHS 19 (0)