IN windy and difficult conditions, Ithembelihle held on for a hard- fought 17-15 win over John Walton in their schools rugby clash at the weekend.
With both sides keen to run the ball, the game was played at a fast pace, while Ithembe took some time to get used to the new scrumming laws.
Playing with the wind, John Walton were first to score when fullback Joain van der Merwe joined the backline and cut through the defence for a fine try next to the uprights. Scrumhalf Llewellyn Lewis added the conversion.
Ithembe hit back immediately and from a scrum on the John Walton tryline, No8 Madlebes Mthi broke past several defenders for a try in the corner. Scrumhalf Ayabonga Mteto did well to kick a difficult conversion.
After missing out on a try due to a forward pass, John Walton were eventually rewarded when Lewis kicked a penalty to make the half- time score 10-7.
Using the wind, Ithembe kept the visitors in their 22 and Mthi scored his second try to make it 12-10.
Ithembe increased their lead after some hard driving by hooker Sbongile Nqweniso, with the ball being recycled for lock Colin Faku to power over near the poles.
John Walton came back strongly and pinned Ithembe back with some long raking kicks as the wind suddenly died down. From a lineout in the Ithembe 22, the visitors attacked strongly and flank Llewellyn Plaatjies went over to close the gap to 17-15.
For the visitors, their fullback Van der Merwe had a fine game, while their backline were always dangerous.
For Ithembe, Mthi, flank Lwando Kleinbooi and fullback Akho Tshoba stood out.