Sheppie boys make their mark

FOUR Port Shepstone High School rugby players made a noticeable mark in the Sharks Country Districts side in the U18 Coca-Cola Academy Week, which concluded at Paarl Boys’ High School in the Western Cape on Saturday.

Ross Carter, Tyreek Naicker, Chè Woodenberg and Menzi Nxumalo helped the team win two of their three matches. Sheppie High sports director Andy Ngcobo served as the side’s assistant coach.

The team’s opening clash against the Blue Bulls Country Districts team was hard-fought from the outset, with the Pretoria side grinding out a 27-22 victory after overturning a narrow 15-14 half-time deficit.

Their four tries, with a brace by Ethan Wentzel, who also kicked two conversions and a penalty goal, were vital, proving enough to outdo a hat-trick by Nxumalo.

The Sheppie High star had a phenomenal tournament and won the Man of the Match award in both of the team’s remaining fixtures.

The team registered their first victory of the tournament as they outscored the Leopards five tries to two for a 29-14 win.

The KwaZulu-Natalians led 12-0 at the break and they continued to use their try-scoring chances as the match progressed, with Otto Botha earning a brace. Both the Leopards’ tries, meanwhile, were scored in the second half.

In their final game, they ground out a 10-8 victory in an epic clash against the Thepa Trading Griffons Country Districts, with a successful conversion proving to be the difference on the scoreboard.

Neither team was able to gain ascendancy, which saw both sides only cross the try line once and each kick a penalty goal, but the KwaZulu-Natal’s conversion proved vital in the result.