NIPPY Brandwag flyhalf Malcom Jaer put the finishing touches to a brilliant team try as the Uitenhage side recorded a thrilling 21-19 win over Queen's in the Graeme College Rugby Day in Grahamstown yesterday.
In sweltering conditions which forced the organisers to introduce breaks on the quarter hour as well, Brandwag's effort was arguably the performance of the day.
Credit must also go to Pearson for a courageous effort in pushing St Andrew's to 21-12, while Grey High made too many mistakes but did enough to hold off Durban side Westville 16-10.
In the final match of the day, hosts Graeme went down 8-3 to Selborne. It was a brave effort by the home side and they enjoyed territorial advantage in the second half but could not breach the strong Selborne defence.
Queen's led 9-6 at halftime against Brandwag and extended that to 19-11 after tries by Brandwag prop Erich de Jager and a brilliant run by Queen's left wing Jerry Danquah.
However, Jaer, who is a key player in the Brandwag outfit, kicked a penalty and was then the recipient of a superb outside flip pass to race down the touchline for a try under the posts.
Derek du Toit added the conversion and suddenly Brandwag had a two-point lead with four minutes remaining.
St Andrew's looked in control when left wing Roy Bowles streaked over twice for tries in the first half, the first after a fine run by fellow wing Mbulelo Mama to give them a 14-0 lead at halftime. But the Grahamstown team then got on the wrong side of the referee and Pearson hit back with tries by Jonathon Ford and Nico Burden to put them back in the game at 14-12.
St Andrew's, though, were not done and some good attacking play and passing down the left flank saw flank Matt Andrews cross for a try, with Ryan Horne adding his third conversion to virtually settle matters.
In the early matches, Cambridge proved too strong for Port Alfred High, winning 49-0, Cambridge snatched a 22-21 thriller against Muir and Nathaniel Nyaluza scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to defeat PJ Olivier 24-3.
Marlow had a close tussle with Kingswood, but finally gained control for a 20-8 win.
Cambridge 49 Port Alfred High 0, Hudson Park 22 Muir 21, Dale 16 Nico Malan 28, Queen's 19 Brandwag 21, Grey High 16 Westville 10, St Andrew's 21 Pearson 12, Graeme 3 Selborne 8, Nathaniel Nyaluza 24 PJ Olivier 3.