Despite a lackluster start, Grey College outplayed Monument Hoërskool to beat them, 41-17, in a first look Supa Quick Premier Interschool fixture, on Saturday 28 May on the Main Field at Grey College in Bloemfontein. (Halftime Grey College 24-10 Monument Hoërskool)
JJ Theron from Grey with ball in hand - Photographer: Charle Lombard (Gallo images)
This victory marks the biggest winning margin for Grey College against Monument Hoërskool since 1993, when Grey beat Monnas by 34-12.
Grey outscored, outplayed, and outsmarted a very spirited Monument High School by six tries to two with the talented home team scrumhalf, Caleb Abrahams scoring a brace of tries.
Monument Hoërskool came out firing on all cylinders with the home side tipped as the favourites ahead of this fixture despite Monnas enjoying some good results in recent years against the mighty Grey College.
Conrad Sevenster from Monument with ball - Photographer: Charle Lombard (Gallo images)
However, it took the elusive and talented Grey runners like Abrahams, centre duo Ulrich Wahl and Alec McIntyre, and late call-up speedster Hayden Tolmay, only 10 minutes to get the home team ahead by two tries on the scoreboard. Abrahams' accurate left foot box-kicks ensured the territorial battle being dominated by Grey College.
Tolmay replaced regular right winger Alfondso Isaacs in the starting lineup with Martin Botha shifting to the right wing and Tolmay donning the number 11 jersey.
Upfront, it was the lock duo of Supa Quick Man of the Match JF van Heerden and Ranon Fouche that established quality ball for scrumhalf Abrahams. The pair was well supported by the entire front row. An all-around sound and very well-rounded performance from the Grey College side.
The first try came from a rather scrappy lineout, five metres away from the Monnas try line, Jean Erasmus getting his name on the scoring sheet. Erasmus replaced captain Tat Botha ahead of this fixture. Bradley Giddy, who captained the side in this match, missed his first attempt, 5-0.
A knock-on from Monument deep inside Grey territory resulted in a counterattack spearheaded by Abrahams, who on his part linked up with Tolmay, before getting the final pass back from his left wing to canter in for Grey's second try. This time, Giddy succeeded with his attempt. 12-0.
It was through a passage of sustained pressure coupled by several consecutive penalties conceded by Grey in their own 22 area, that handed the Monnas their first try. Some brilliant enterprising and positive play from the visitors got rewarded when front rower Dylan du Plessis finally got the first points for Monnas, Tylor Sefoor adding the extras, 12-7.
The home side would add 12 more points in a space of 10 minutes and in response Monnas only managed a solo penalty via the boot of Sefoor.
Two tries, one converted by Giddy, came when loose forward Jean-Henri Smit collected the ball at the back of a driving maul as he crashed over in the same corner where Erasmus opened the scoring for Grey.
Soon afterwards it was the proverbial champagne-styled type of running rugby synonymous with Grey which enabled fullback Gunter Janse van Rensburg to ghost in virtually untouched, dotting down under the uprights, Giddy making no mistake with the conversion, 24-10.
It looked like Grey would add a fifth try on the stroke of halftime, but the clinical Monnas defense held firm, and despite conceding four tries, it stopped the dangerous and talented Grey backs at crucial moments. Grey headed into the break with a 14-point cushion, 24-10.
The visiting side got the first points of the second half when Marcey de Waal got Monnas' second try, Sefoor reducing the deficit to just seven-points, 24-17. However, the home side restored their 14-point lead when the nippy scrumhalf Abrahams got his second try and with the extras added via the boot of Giddy the scoreboard restored in the favour of Grey, 31-17, as the final 20 minutes of the match drew closer.
Excellent strategy by stand-in captain Giddy, as he opted to kick for poles when the home side got awarded a penalty, making the score 34-17 meaning that Monnas had to score three times if they were to cause an upset. This gave Grey the mental edge as they played with even more freedom, as Ranon Fouche scored the home side's sixth try, Giddy adding the extras, 41-17.
In similar fashion to the closing of the first half, the home side looked like they would score on the stroke of full-time, but the scores remained, with Grey College recording their biggest margin of victory (24 points) against Monument Hoërskool in nearly 30 years.
Full-time: Grey College 41-17 Monument Hoërskool
Grey College: 15 Gunter Janse van Rensburg, 14 Martin Botha, 13 Ulrich Wahl, 12 Alec McIntyre, 11 Hayden Tolmay, 10 Bradley Giddy (c), 9 Caleb Abrahams, 8 Jean-Henri Smit, 7 Jaen-Pierre Fourie, 6 Marno Stopforth, 5 JF van Heerden, 4 Ranon Fouche, 3 Casper Badenhorst, 2 Nick Greyling, 1 Jean Erasmus
Replacements: 16 K Mathibedi, 17 AJ Burger, 18 S Du Plessis, 19 Morne Diederichs, 20 JJ Theron, 21 Roux Heyns, 22 Ian vd Merwe, 23
Monument Hoërskool: 15 Jody Schambreel, 14 Marcey de Waal, 13 Zain Henery, 12 Conrad Sevenster, 11 Kelvin van Wyk, 10 Tylor Sefoor, 9 Deon-Divan Groenewald, 8 Ruan Hartman, 7 Morne Venter, 6 Xander Schoeman, 5 Ulrigh van der Merwe, 4 HJ de Beer (c), 3 Dylan du Plessis, 2 Jan Botes, 1 Sifiso Magwaza
Replacements: 16 Stephan Uys, 17 DA Swart, 18 Ricardo Du Plessis, 19 Dolan French, 20 Tristan da Costa, 21 Ceano Everson, 22 Dylan de Klerk, 23 Arie van der Walt
SupaQuick Man of the Match: JF van Heerden (Grey College)
For Grey College 41
Tries: Jean Erasmus, Caleb Abrahams (2), Jean-Henri Smit, Gunter Janse van Rensburg, Ranon Fouche
Cons: Bradley Giddy (4)
For Monument Hoërskool 17
Tries: Dylan du Plessis, Marcey de Waal
Cons: Tylor Sefoor (2)
Referee: Clearance Khumalo
AR1: DJ Hefer
AR2: Scott Olivier
1984 Monument 10-10 Grey College
1985 Monument 0-15 Grey College
1988 Monument 3-34 Grey College
1991 Monument 16-14 Grey College
1992 Monument 11-6 Grey College
1993 Monument 34-12 Grey College
1994 Monument 36-30 Grey College
1995 Monument 20-27 Grey College
1996 Monument 13-8 Grey College
1997 Monument 7-21 Grey College
2008 Monument 14-16 Grey College
2010 Monument 6-26 Grey College
2011 Monument 14-18 Grey College
2012 Monument 0-8 Grey College
2013 Monument 8-13 Grey College
2014 Monument 10-10 Grey College
2015 Monument 17-7 Grey College
2018 Monument 21-36 Grey College