Graeme 2nds make history
The Graeme College 2nd rugby team of 2017 became the school’s first ever 2nd team to go unbeaten for an entire season.
In their final game, the seconds came up against Muir College with their unbeaten run on the line, and in the end, it was never close, as they won 34-0 and booked a place in the history books.
Coach Louis Wolmarans, said he was honoured to be associated with the 2nd rugby team of 2017.
“The rugby season started with earnest and a group of boys were introduced to me,” Wolmarans, a past Graeme parent and rugby coach for the last 20 years,said, “A more gutsy group of young men will not easily be found again.”
The 2nds’ season started well enough, after they beat Hoërskool PJ Olivier 1sts (on the Graeme College Rugby Day), the school where ironically, coach Wolmarans celebrated an unbeaten season as a rugby player 40 years ago.
Wolmarans alluded to the benefit of his team being exposed to pre-season training sessions with Jonty van der Meulen (1sts coach). The derby against St Andrews College was a titanic clash, like all preceding years. Wolmarans said he thought his boys had a chance, even with St Andrew’s expansive game.
“Well, with a close encounter we pulled an amazing game out the fire by beating St Andrews 17 – 12, without any luck helping us out,” he said.
According to Wolmarans, the match of the season for his side was against Grey High School played away from home.
“During our preparations for this match it was more about mental strength than the physical,” Wolmarans reflected. “Within the first 5 minutes Grey scored and many thought the flood gates will open soon. Well, the defence of the Graeme boys, was something like I have never seen before.
“Grey came at the Graeme boys wave after wave. Graeme managed to build some pressure of their own, through the scoreboard. After 60 minutes of intense rugby it was unbelievable to see the final score 17 - 12 in Graeme Colleges' favour. This type of victory does not often happen.”
Wolmarans was wary of the last two matches: “Now, approaching the end of season with two matches to play and Kingswood College, who themselves had a good season, awaited us away from home”.
The Graeme side had to dig deep and managed to narrowly win the match 20 - 14. Finally, it was only Muir that stood between the Graeme 2nds and a historic unbeaten season.
“Never did we anticipate what awaited us the day before the last match of the season,” Wolmarans said. Due to two injuries in the first team and a further two in the second team, four reserves were needed to fill the scrum-half, both centres, and the wing positions.
Wolmarans said he could not have asked for a better performance from his side as they fought for their unbeaten season. “What an absolute honour and privilege to have been associated with these young men. I wish them well in their future endeavours,” he said.
Jonty van der Meulen summarised the success of both the 1sts and 2nds: “Even more exciting than our success this year, is the fact that 14 players from the 1st and 2nd squads, are still available in 2018, which bodes well for Graeme rugby in the near future. The level of belief and confidence is something that will be a major factor next year too.”
The season statistics reads as follows:
Graeme College 2nds remained unbeaten for the 2017 season. The season statistics reads as follows: • PJ Olivier 1sts - 26-5 • Gill College - 67-3 • Cambridge High School - 22-13 • St Andrews College - 17-12 • Port Rex High School - 57-7 • Grey High School - 17-12 • Hudson Park High School - 21-10 • Nico Malan Hoër Skool - 34-12 • Queens College - 35-17 • Union High School - 56-5 • Pearson High School - 29-3 • Kingswood College - 20-14 •Muir College - 34-0
The 2nd team comprised Bhuyile Sphambo (captain), Siphe Sandi, Romario Fritz, Soso Masakane, Intle Moncoko, Oyisa Katshaza, Sixolile Lamani, Jeremy Beyleveld, Bavu Manyakanyaka, Sihle Mginywa, Liam Agnew, Uminathi Anthoni, Dylan Rielly, Greg Terblanche, Mark Amm, Brad de la Mare, Japhat Du Plessis, Deonito Marthinus, Luyolo Noyila, Athenkosi Memani, Sebastian Amner, Aphiwe Mbenjeni. Anton Annandale was the scrumming / line-out advisor.
The Graeme College 2nd team after their win against Muir. The boys ended the season unbeaten.