Selborne College withstood a second-half onslaught to stun hosts Dale College 16-13 in King William’s Town on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Dale have been in sublime form this year with 15 wins from their 16 matches. Before this clash, they were yet to lose against a fellow Eastern Cape side in 2016. By their own standards, Selborne have performed below par this year, but on Saturday they delivered what was by far their best performance to outlast their more fancied opponents.
In a game of two halves, Selborne accumulated all their points in the opening 35 minutes, while Dale threatened to stage a complete comeback with their 13 points after the break. But in the end, Selborne did just enough to hang on for an unlikely triumph.
Flyhalf David Coetzer was the star of the show for the visitors, scoring 11 points with the boot. He nailed two early kicks at goal to put Selborne 6-0 up before teammate Sibahle Kuhlane breached Dale’s line in the 27th minute.
Coetzer continued to fire with the boot, adding the conversion before landing a telling penalty two minutes out from half-time.
Momentum swung in Dale’s favour after the restart and unable to handle the pressure, Selborne conceded 13 unanswered points to make it a three-point game with 12 minutes to go. Dale continued to apply pressure, but the Selbornians regathered focus on defence as they became only the second side to inflict defeat on Dale in 2016.
Dale – TBC
Selborne – Try: Sibahle Kuhlane. Conversion: David Coetzer. Penalties: Coetzer (3).
Photo: Old Selbornian Association