Grey & Queen's ignore the Weather
SCHOOLS RESULTS: If ever you doubted the innocence of schoolboy rugby and conviction to play the game as it was intended to be played, watch the match at Grey High School and Queen's College on a miserable day, 27 May 2017.
Doff your hat to both sides who ran and ran as the weather got worse and worse. There were Grey leading by two points and tapping a kickable penalty to run with the ball in their hands. There were Queen's, tapping and running regardless of position on the field or score on the board.
Doff your hat to Queen's. They have roughly half the number of boys, they travelled 340 km from Queenstown to Port Elizabeth, they have been having a poor season whereas Grey had been having an excellent season, they had the worst of the weather and they came within two points of winning a match in which they were quite possibly the better side.
And at the end, as gleeful Grey boys flooded in relief onto the Philip Field, Grey did not hug and dance but the two teams shook hands in thanks for a great game, as they have been doing for about 90 years. And your heart swelled in pride, that these were South African schoolboys in whom the virtues of the game were a part of their souls, bringing out the best that was within them.
It was a wintry day in Port Elizabeth with a wind and then with heavy rain. Grey had first use of the wind and the rain held off till half-time. They built a 19-0 lead at one stage in the first half though Queen's playing into the wind, were having the better of the game.
Grey were first to attack. In a match in which not one penalty was aimed at goal, Runaldo Pedro, son of Henry who scored many tries for Eastern Province in the 1990s, kicked out for a line-out. Grey mauled and broke away and Pedro emulated his famous father with the opening try of the match. Flyhalf LJ du Preez converted. 7-0 after 8 minute.
The second try started when Kholiwe Konza counterattacked and Waqar Solaan broke powerfully. Queen's were penalised, Pedro tapped and the Grey captain, who is also the Eastern Province captain for Craven week, bashed over for the try. 12-0 after 13 minutes.
Queen's went through many phases and were inside the Grey half, when their handling let them down. Two flykicks and Grey were attacking. Uan Tait flykicked further and the bounce stood up for Matroos who scored the try. 19-0 after 22 minutes.
Queen's were the ones making the play but Grey were doing the scoring.
Queen's attacked and this time got close. They had a five-metre scrum on their left. Eighthman Siya Matanda gave to Edumisa Njumba on the left and he gave to left wing Malotana who was unmarked and Malotana scored in the corner. 19-5 after 32 minutes.
Queen's came back on the attack again as Bathandwa Mqhayi broke with power and seemed on the way to scoring. The forwards took it on with pick-'-drive till Matanda scored. 19-10, which was the half-time score.
From a line-out neat the half-way line, Grey's centres, Matroos and Solaan, went on the rampage, breaking down field. A grubber kick, and Tait was over. 24-10, one minutes into the second half.
That was the last time Grey scored and when they lost a player to the sin bin their troubles turned into dangers.
A penalty gave queen's an attacking line-out. they mauled and were close to the Grey line, when the maul stopped and Grey were given the scrum five metres from their line. They hooked but the ball shot out of the back past Pedro. Njumba fell on the ball for a gift try. 24-15, 10 minutes into the second half.
From a line-out near the half-way line, some excellent interpassing took Queen's downfield, and tall right wing Tumelo Montisi cut inside, clean through two defenders to score near the posts. Keith Kroutz converted. 24-22 with just over 20 minutes to play.
The 20 minutes were to and fro till eventually Grey had Queen's pinned in their half and then when Queen's lost the ball in a tackle, Matroos kicked it out to end the absorbing match.
Tries: Runaldo Pedro, Bevan Prinsloo, Aya Matroos, Uan Tait
Cons: LJ du Preez 2
Tries: Asi Malotana, Siya Matanda, Edumisa Njumba, Tumelo Montisi
Con: Keith Kroutz
Grey: 15 Enrique Franks, 14 Kholiwe Konza, 13 Aya Matroos, 12 Waqar Solaan, 11 Uan Tait, 10 LJ du Preez, 9 Runaldo Pedro, 8 Bevan Prinsloo (captain), 7 Dean van Dyk, 6 Travis de Bruin, 5 Laken Grey, 4 Gerik Rautenbach, 3 Philip Weyer-Henderson, 2 Ruan Jonker, 1 James Scott
Replacements: 16 Corné Slabbert, 17 Warwick Griffin, 18 Ryan Adams, 19 Dumisa Ngcivana, 20 Praveen Bosch, 21 Jordan Blewett, 22 Joshua Oosthuysen, 23 Robin van Eyck
Queen's College: 15 Enrique Oranje, 14 Tumelo Montisi, 16 Bathandwa Mqhayi, 12 Siya Tyulu, 11 Asi Malotana, 10 Keith Kroutz, 9 Edumisa Njumba, 8 Siya Matanda, 7 Siya Jwacu, 6 Bryan Bless, 5 Junaid Bijal, 4 Aaron Brody (captain), 3 Othandwayo Nogqala, 2 Gareth Heidtmann, 1 Siba Mnkani
Referee: Sindile Ngcese (Eastern Province Referees' Society)
Grey PE vs Queen's since 1971
1971: Queen's won 9-3 at Queen's
1972: Queen's won 14-0 at Grey
1973: Grey won 12-10 at Queen's
1974: Queen's won 12-3 at Grey
1975: Grey won 18-16 at Queen's
1976: Grey won 36-0 at Grey
1977: Grey won 34-4 at Queen's
1978: Grey won 34-4 at Queen's
1979: Queen's won 34-15 at Grey
1980: Queen's won 36-0 at Queen's
1981: Draw 12-12 at Grey
1982: Queen's won 12-6 at Queen's
1983: Grey won 15-0 at Grey
1984: Queen's won 16-9 at Queen's
1985: Grey won 10-6 at Grey
1986: Draw 9-9 at Queen's
1987: Draw 15-15 at Grey
1988: Queen's won 10-9 at Queen's
1989: Grey won 17-3 at Grey
1990: Grey won 9-0 at Queen's
1991: Grey won 12-3 at Queen's
1992: Queen's won 18-3 at Grey
1993: Queen's won 24-14 at Queen's
1994: Grey won 10-6 at Grey
1995: Grey won 27-0 at Queen's
1996: Queen's won 33-12 at Grey
1997: Queen's won 13-8 at Queen's
1998: Queen's won 11-8 at Grey
1999: Grey won 39-3 at Queen's
2000: Grey won 17-6 at Grey
2001: Grey won 35-22 at Grey
2002: Queen's won 15-12 at Queen's
2003: Grey won 67-14 at Grey
2004: Grey won 19-7 at Queen's
2005: Grey won 43-17 at Grey
2006: Queen's won 21-10 at Queen's
2007: Queen's won 9-7 at Grey
2008: Grey won 48-17 at Queen's
2009: Grey won 41-10 at Grey
2010: Grey won 21-16 at Queen's
2011: Queen's won 18-17 at Grey
2012: Queen's won 22-19 at Queen's
2013: Grey won 20-13 at Grey
2014: Queen's won 29-15 at Queen's
2015: Grey won 46-13 at Grey
2016: Grey won 31-17 at Queen's
2017: Grey won 24-22 at Grey