Northwood Knights tactics disrupt Glenwood’s Green Machine

Glenwood flanker Kane Plasket-Burne going to contact against two Northwood defenders. PICTURE: MARIA BETTS

Glenwood flanker Kane Plasket-Burne going to contact against two Northwood defenders. PICTURE: MARIA BETTS

Published Apr 19, 2023


Durban — Northwood High School first XV emerged 29-22 victors in a tightly contested encounter against Glenwood High School first XV on Glenwood’s home ground during an inter-school rugby clash recently.

Glenwood were coming off an undefeated run in the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival, where they won all three games, and were looking to impress their home faithful.

The visitors kicked off and immediately conceded a penalty for playing the man in the air. The hosts failed to find touch and Northwood re-gathered. They kicked it out on the full and Glenwood launched their first attack and with it, scored a try through scrum-half Tyrique Harnick, racing to a 7-0 lead inside five minutes.

Northwood responded almost immediately through flanker Alu Nte. The conversion was missed and the score was 7-5 to the hosts.

Northwood’s set piece and discipline was strong, as they won penalties and gained field position. Northwood Knights took the lead after winger Kwenzo Dlamini volleyed a loose pass and scored a try. This kick succeeded and the visitors led 12-7 at half-time.

After relentless pressure, Glenwood had a chance to take a shot at goal from right in front of the posts. They opted for a tap-and-go instead. Their decision paid off as, after multiple phases, the Green Machine scored first in the second half. The kick, from right in front, missed and the score was level 12-12. Both teams then exchanged penalties to make it 15-15.

The two teams then exchanged tries, first the hosts, then the visitors, leaving the score locked at 22-22 with a few minutes left.

The visitors were strong in the scrum all game, and that ultimately led them to score their match-winning try through flyhalf Cade Latham.

Glenwood First XV and Northwood First XV engaging in a maul during their encounter. PICTURE: NGCEBOYEZULU MTHEMBU

Northwood first team coach Jeremy McClaren was jubilant and said it was quite a feat to be victorious on Glenwood’s turf. He said it was a very special victory for them.

“If you analyse Glenwood, they’re a team that lives off scraps and can punish you from the smallest of errors. The last side they played during the Kearsney Easter Rugby Festival, Worcester Gymnasium, were torn to pieces because they could not look after the ball. So our intention was to starve them of that,” said McClaren.

He also praised his forward pack because they won numerous scrum penalties, something they usually did not get rewarded for.

“We will take this confidence, but you’re only as good as your last game. We look forward to our next game against DHS, as they are one of the form school sides in the province.”

Glenwood High assistant coach Justin Hollis said they were disappointed in their performance and execution at critical moments, and that unfortunately let the team down.

“Throughout the season, our scrum has usually been good, but today it just wasn’t the case. We will look at the videos and find out what we need to fix before our next game,” said Hollis.

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