The Old Andreans (OAs) participated in the inaugural Old Boys Tens rugby tournament at Diggers Rugby Club in Johannesburg where they claimed the silver medal after losing to Dale College in the final.
Participating Old Boys teams: Dale College, Dale Junior, Grey High, Jeppe, King Edward VII School (KES), Queen’s College, Selborne College & St Andrew’s College.
Click here to view a photo album from the day.
The Old Boys Tens tournament was the brainchild of the Queen’s College Old Boys Association and brought together eight schools’ Old Boys unions for a fun filled day of rugby at the Diggers Rugby Club in Johannesburg on Saturday 01 November. The aim of the event is to bring old mates and rivals together for a big reunion in the name of rugby. It is very much a social event with more emphasis being placed on fines meetings than winning matches. The spirit of the day was fantastic and the camaraderie and banter between the teams made it a truly memorable day. In fact, young schoolboys should have been exposed to the event to actually see what rugby and school rivalry is all about. It has very little to do with a scoreboard, but rather it has a lot to do with friendships on and off the field.
The College side was made up of a vast array of old boys ranging from Ivan Reymond (Matric 1994) to Kent McIntyre (Matric 2008). We also had a few sets of brothers in the side: the Schmidts (Berndt, Christian & Karl), the McIntyres (Rory & Kent) and the Lodge’s (Wesley and Jesse). It was especially nice to have the Lodge brothers in the mix – the sons of the legendary Mr Rob Lodge who taught and coached at College for many years.
The OAs were one of the few fully official old boy teams with 20 players and a rather large band of supporters. Few if any had expectations of playing any decent rugby, however the OAs wound back the clock to show some silky touches.
We were drawn in Pool B alongside Grey High, Jeppe and Dale Junior. Our first match saw us take on Grey early on in the morning. Both sides took a while to adjust to the 10-a-side game and some sloppy handling resulted in a few intercept tries on both sides. In the end the OAs managed to sneak it 38 – 19. The match was played in great spirits with players from both sides constantly seen helping the opposition off the deck. Rugby is a gentleman’s game and the Old Greys and OAs ensured it stayed that way.
Our second match saw us face off against Jeppe after lunch. College implemented a ‘Buddy System’ for the rest of the tournament where players paired up to make substituting easier as the altitude (and Castles) started to take its toll! The match was a very tightly contested affair and the OAs claimed a last gasp win courtesy of a Christian Schmidt intercept to make it 28 – 24.
College’s final pool match came against a Dale Junior/Bobbies Rugby Club (Police) team. Both sides were unbeaten heading into the match, but once again the ethos of both teams was the standout with no on-field malice or niggle. It was a free flowing and entertaining game which saw both sides playing some expansive rugby. The OAs in the end winning it 31 – 7.
Next up was the playoffs, not something we were bargaining for at the start of the day! The hot afternoon sun was baking down as we enviously watched the KES boys get stuck into their fines meeting next to us. We faced the hosts Queen’s in our semi-final and once again it was a hard fought battle in which old friendships were renewed. Guy Simonsz (Matric 1997) turned back the years and displayed the same pace he showed on the famous Five Years of Running Rugby video to score a hat-trick. The OAs winning 24 – 7 to book a spot in the final against Dale College.
The Old Dalians had been the standout team on the day and were deserving of their spot in the final. They had a fantastic team vibe too, singing and dancing their way onto the field. They scored shortly before half time and again after the break to lead 10 – 0. The OAs were too legit to quit and hit back with a Ross Gearing try courtesy of a sniping Banzi Malindi break. The conversion was good, but some solid defence from Dale and poor handling from the OAs saw Dale walk away as deserved champions with a 10 – 7 win. A fantastic game of rugby to end a wonderful day. Full credit to the Old Dalians who thoroughly deserved the win and like all the other teams on the day, they were gracious and humble in victory.
The OAs were great ambassadors for their school and did St Andrew’s College proud. Looking at the team you would have thought they were a bunch of lads who had been together from Sub A to Matric, such was the gees among the side. The results will soon be forgotten by all, but as Grantland Rice once wrote: “when the One Great Scorer comes, To mark against your name, He writes – not that you won or lost – But how you played the Game.” A special moment that will forever standout came at the conclusion of the OA fines meeting when old boys from College, KES, Queen’s, Dale, Grey and Selborne locked arms and belted out the national anthem on the pitch black rugby field!
A special thank you to the Queen’s College Old Boys Association for putting the day together. Long may it continue in the future and we also hope your Headmaster, Mr Brendan Grant, recovers from the knock he took in the Queen’s Barbarians game!
NEC ASPERA TERRENT
Old Andreans Tens team: Benga Akerele (Graham ’04), Warwick Austin (Upper ’07), Dan Avutia (Graham ’05), Guy Brukman (Upper ’07), Jeremy Dobrowsky (Upper ’04), Themba Funde (Armstrong ’06), Ross Gearing (Espin ’07), Jesse Lodge (Merriman), Wesley Lodge (Merriman), Banzi Malindi (Merriman ’07), Jonathan Mallett (Espin ’99), Kent McIntyre (Merriman ’08), Rory McIntyre (Merriman ’07), Yandi Mini (Armstrong ’07), Ivan Reymond (’94), Bernd Schmidt (Armstrong ’03), Christian Schmidt (Armstrong ’06), Karl Schmidt (Armstrong ’04), Guy Simonsz (Upper ’97), Craig Smith (Merriman ’06), Sean Wentzel (Espin ’03).
*A very big thank you to Matthew Cornish and Jonny Mallett for organising the OA side and taking care of all the admin.