As morning broke on Saturday 31 August there were a lot of worried faces at Nico Malan High School. It had been raining all night and the wind was predicted to gust up to 80km/h. Fortunately, there was no more rain and the wind moderated a bit and the crowd enjoyed a fine day’s 7’s rugby.
As usual, the pool stages provided one or two upsets, as well as close shaves for some of the favourites. Noord-Kaap beat the defending champions Boishaai 26-19 and Despatch accounted for Oakdale 22-21. Oakdale was also involved in a nail-biter against local minnows Humansdorp and won that match 21-14 after being behind 14-0. Oakdale also beat Grey High 19-12 in a slight upset and the marvellous boys from Ithembelihle beat Graeme College 22-12.
The quarterfinals were all great contests. The strong team from Brandwag edged out the Oakdale boys 14-12, while Noord-Kaap beat a Despatch side that had its best season in ages 17-12. The local Eastern Cape derby between Framesby and St Andrews ended in a 17-17 draw with Framesby scoring right at the end to tie up the scores and progress to the semi-final as the tournament rules state that, in the event of a draw, the team that scores last progress. The last quarterfinal between the blueblood rugby schools Boishaai and Grey High provided a humdinger with both schools taking the lead at various times during the match. In the final seconds, Boishaai scored just to the left of the uprights to trail 24-22 and the fairly simple conversion would have tied the scores and eliminated Grey. Unfortunately, the kick drifted wide and Grey was through.
Both semi-finals proved to be fairly comfortable affairs with Brandwag beating Noord-Kaap 19-7 and Grey beating Framesby 26-12.
The local final went down to the wire in near darkness with Brandwag searching for that final try to tie the match but the Grey boys held on for the well deserved 24-17 victory.
Pellsrus Primary beat the defending champions Jeffreys Bay Primary in the u/13 final with a well-deserved 14-5 win.
Article by: Rainier Vermaak