Pro-Ed gives Lions sternest test yet

Schools rugby
Despite being behind for a large part of the match, Windhoek Gymnasium's Lions took maximum points.
Andrew Poolman
Heavy favourites King Price Windhoek Gymnasium had to fend off a serious challenge from visiting PSG Pro-Ed Academy before emerging 20-15 winners in their Standard Bank U19 premier league match on Saturday.
Gymnasium, under rare pressure through a string of injuries to key players such as Zack von Wielligh (flank), Rudolph Harmse (prop), Zander le Roux (lock) and Carlo Hawanga (wing), found themselves behind on the scoreboard for much of the match.
Gymnasium head coach Mauritz Thirion had to pick some younger substitutes stepping up such as prop Gert Pretorius and the midfield pairing JD Jankowitz and Hanré Cocklin.
Despite being under pressure in the scrums, the Lions dug deep to win the match and score one more try than the opposition – thus securing the maximum nine log points.
Pro-Ed captain and centre Tayton Saunders struck the first blow with an intercept try after just four minutes, which flyhalf Jandre Robberts converted.
It took 28 minutes before the home team could create the platform of a penalty lineout maul to drive captain and nr. 8 Ruan Agenbag over the line for their first try, which flyhalf Waldré Kotze neatly converted.
Another Robberts penalty put the Swakopmund team ahead once more. Just before halftime, an attack from within Pro-Ed’s own half included a grubber into Gymnasium’s 22-area, with Agenbag forced to scramble backwards for a desperate kick upfield, from which Pro-Ed lock Jivaldo Pienaar was put away on an unstoppable run for a try in the right corner.
Robberts’ conversion attempt sailed wide, but Pro-Ed extended their lead to 15-7 at halftime.
Scrumhalf Janco Bredenhann, who also had a role in the build-up to Gymnasium’s first-half try, broke clear from behind a ruck and beat a number of defenders ons his way to a solo try which went unconverted.
Gymnasium took the lead from another lineout maul close to the goalline, where fullback Janré van Zyl chose an angled run to take a flat pass from Bredenhann and find his way over the line (17-15).
Despite missing his last two conversions, Kotze redeemed himself by adding a drop goal to stretch the lead to the eventual five points margin.
Pro-Ed had more opportunities in the final minutes to add points to their tally, but were unable to convert. Their margin of defeat (less than 11) earned them a losing bonus point which moved them up to fifth spot out of the eight teams.
Based on Saturday’s performance, Pro-Ed’s winless record from three matches could lead to upcoming opponents under-estimating them.

During and after holiday break
Gymnasium versus Pro-Ed was the only match played last weekend, with the league resuming on 20 July after the school holidays.
Meanwhile, the selected Namibia U18 and U16 teams will travel to compete in South African provincial rugby weeks in the coming weeks.
Namibia Secondary Schools Rugby (NSSR) administrator Gert de Waal confirmed that the injured Von Wielligh and Harmse will respectively be replaced for the U18 Academy Week in Johannesburg by OK Moria flank Benjamin Mostert and Pro-Ed prop André Strauss.
The next scheduled Standard Bank NSSR U19 premier league fixtures are (home teams first): Elnatan v Windhoek Gymnasium; Pro-Ed v Autohaus Windhoek Affies; Samsung WHS v Moria.
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