Graeme 2nds make his­tory

Grocott's Mail - - SPORT - STAFF RE­PORTER

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.

Photo: Sup­plied

The Graeme Col­lege 2nd team af­ter their win against Muir. The boys ended the sea­son un­beaten.

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