High School All Americans beat Durbanville to finish 3-1 on South African Tour
In a fixture that displayed the best of everything about rugby, the High School All Americans finished their tour or South Africa with a 26-16 victory over Durbanville High School, on a beautiful evening just outside of Cape Town.
“It was a great game played in a tremendous spirit.” Said Head Coach Salty Thompson “Both teams showed their class, and Durbanville were wonderful hosts.”
The match was an exciting and even back and forth with both teams taking the first 40 minutes to feel each other out. The home team would draw the first blood with an unconverted try in the 26th minute to jump to a 5-0 lead. The HSAAs applied steady pressure following Durbanville’s score, which resulted in a try by flyhalf Sione Aisea. Aisea would convert the try himself, and give the tourists a 7-5 lead headed into halftime.
The HSAAs would find their rhythm in the second half adding a converted try from center Sione Letoi in the 41st minute. Durbanville would answer right back with a try, but the conversion was pushed wide giving the tourists the 14-10 lead.
Just 5 minutes later Gavin Brown would race down the wing to pad the HSAAs lead, but it didn’t last long as Durbanville would score again quickly to keep the game close at 21-16.
The last minutes of the match were tense, and both teams knew it could go either way, but the HSAA defense held firm, and scrumhalf Alex Taefu would put the game to rest in the final minutes scampering 60 meters for the try to seal the match for the HSAAs. Final score 26-16.
Following the match, the hosts treated the tourists to some first class South African hospitality with a braii and awards ceremony in the school’s auditorium. Boys from both teams mingled and made friends over the dinner, exchanging items they will keep for the rest of their lives as mementos of the tour.
Upon their return to the team Hotel, the HSAAs held their own awards presentations for best play during tour. Lock forward Pierce Dargan took home the prize for Tour MVP for his leadership on and off the field. Coach Thompson expressed his pleasure with the entire tour “As a development tour it has been a tremendous experience for all these boys. They have all made big strides in becoming world class rugby players, and learned what it takes to play in a place where it is essentially a religion.”
Tries: Sione Aisea (26'), Sione Letoi (41'), Gavin Brown (47'), Alex Taefu (70')
Conversions Sione Aisea (2), Zach Miller (1)
1 Titi Lamisotele
2 Cameron Falcon
3 Henry Hall
4 Christian Castro
5 Pierce Dargan
6 Joe Corrado
7 Jeff Calzaretta
8 Michael Bush
9 Alex Taefu
10 Sione Aisea
11 Jesse Milne
12 George Naufau
13 Sione Letoi
14 Gavin Brown
15 Tua Laei