Hooker Nicholas Brimacombe scored a last-gasp try as St Stithians beat Clifton 13-10 on day two of the Independent Schools Rugby Festival at Bishops on Monday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
In a low-scoring, yet absorbing, clash at the Piley Rees field, Clifton and St Stithians slugged it out to the very end, with Saints ultimately prevailing courtesy of Brimacombe’s last-minute pushover try.
The winners were under the cosh during the early stages, but withstood a few Clifton attacks before taking the lead through a monster penalty by flyhalf Keegan Lailvaux.
Clifton eventually made their territorial dominance count when captain and inside centre Massimo Conversano hit a great line to breach St Stithians’ defence for the opening try. Flyhalf Michael Goedeke added the conversion to give the Durban-based school a 7-3 lead at the break.
In an equally entertaining second half, St Stithians wrestled back the lead when flanker William Swart charged over for an unconverted effort, but it wasn’t long before Conversano slotted a long-distance effort to put Clifton 10-8 up.
Both teams kept their discipline in the home stretch of the match, but in sheer desperation to keep possession, Clifton were penalised for holding on to the ball. Saints kicked to the line and found touch inside the 22. And from the resulting lineout, Brimacombe took control at the back of the driving maul to score the winning try.
In the day’s other standout fixtures, Kearsney beat Eton 38-14, Michaelhouse saw off St Alban’s 24-15, Somerset College lost 20-6 to St David’s, St Andrew’s College blanked St Andrew’s School 39-0 and hosts Bishops defeated Hilton 35-31.
Day 2 results:
Eton 2nd XV 12 Excelsior 10
St Charles 39 CBC Boksburg 0
Reddam 12 Uplands 8
St David’s 20 Somerset College 6
Kearsney 38 Eton 1st XV 14
St Andrew’s College 39 St Andrew’s School 0
Kingswood 53 Penryn 24
St Stithians 13 Clifton 10
Michaelhouse 24 St Alban’s 15
Bishops 35 Hilton 31