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Mixed bag of results for local schools

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NCH proved a tough nut to crack as they fought back almost immediately scoring a goal in response, briefly retaking the lead

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The tenth edition of a very successful Wildeklawer Super Schools Festival ended in the city on Monday with Kimberley-based schools recording a mixed bag of results.

On Saturday Northern Cape High (NCH) was the first local school to step onto the proverbial mat as they faced off against Cape Town’s Oakdale High.

At one point things were looking easy for the hosts with NCH having the match by the scruff of the neck at the break, leading 21-10. However, after the break Oakdale turned the tables twice breaching the NCH chalkline and converting their chances to take the lead.

NCH proved a tough nut to crack as they fought back almost immediately scoring a goal in response, briefly retaking the lead.

Yet, despite NCH giving their best it was Oakdale that finally pulled away recording a convincing 56-24 win.

Meanwhile, tournament hosts Diamantveld High (DHS) next took the pitch against Helpmekaar High from Johannesburg. The visitors helped themselves to points on offer and went into the break with a 19-17 lead.

After the break it was a nail biting affair with the visitors seemingly set for a win at 26-24 with just 10 minutes to the final whistle. But at the death the host’s pluck paid off as they won a penalty right in front of the Helpmekaar uprights.

The kicker made no mistake and helped the hosts to the narrowest, but a very satisfying 27-26 victory. DHS coach Jaco Dames told the DFA that their game plan had worked despite the intense pressure.

A good win

“Our preparation for Helpmekaar was good. We had two weeks off to prepare for them, with two Griquas trials in-between. We had a plan and we stuck to it. This was very good win against a top 10 school. We’ll take a 27-26 win,” he said.

However, on the last day of the tournament the luck of the local sides had completely dried up. Stellenberg came up against NCH and completely outplayed and overwhelmed the Kimberley team beating them 52-12.

Diamantveld did not fare any better against Hugenote High from Wellington. DHS managed to get five points on the board courtesy of a solitary try but the visitors notched up 28 points against them, ending their tournament on a low note.

A disappointed Dames told the DFA that the team were unable to rise to the challenge on the day.

“After such a narrow win on Saturday, it was a challenge to get the focus onto the next game against the Hugenote Invitational.

“The game against Helpmekaar took a lot out of the boys and we could see during the warm-up that they were not focussed and a lot of them were still stiff and sore from the previous match,” he added.

Dames said that a slow start basically cost them the match. “Hugenote scored two soft tries in the beginning of the game and it was all catch-up from there. We had a hard talk with the boys and they came back just after half-time, to bring the score to 23-17, but too many mistakes and not sticking to the game plan cost us the game.

“Obviously we are disappointed,” he added. “But we will now start focusing on the Classic Clashes game against Northern Cape High.”