Brandon Mandivenga carried the day for Peterhouse Boys as they came from behind to post a convincing 36-22 win over St John’s College on Honey Field at St John’s on Thursday afternoon.
It was a friendly encounter, but the two teams not knowing how else to play, entertained the crowds with tough, competitive and fast paced rugby. From the opening moments of the game one could guess the outcomes of both teams’ previous engagements as it showed in their play. Peterhouse lost to St George’s while St John’s won against Prince Edward on Jubilee Field. Peterhouse Boys struggled to find their feet in offense and defence and Gona’s bursts of pace did not make it any better for the visitors. Vickery was first on the score board for St John’s but Gona pulled the conversion wide.
St John’s were guilty of conceding too many penalties at the break-down but it was expected as the Peterhouse pack, lead by skipper Moolman bossed every break-down as well as the line-outs. Fullback, Mandivenga scored Peterhouse’s first points off one of these penalties, going for posts some 35 metres out despite the sun being in his face. Burger’s try brought St John’s up to 10 against Peterhouse’s 3 but it also woke up the boys from Marondera. With 12 minutes to play before the interval, Mandivenga put more points on the board for his team with a converted try between the sticks to even out the scores at 10 all.
With the visitors resurgence also came another well worked try from Maparura off a neatly collected line-out on the opposition five metre line. Missed passes troubled St John’s and they failed to clear their lines, allowing Peterhouse to camp deep in their half. At the death of the first half Mandivenga delivered a cracker of a drop-goal from the 10 metre line to push Peterhouse 10 points up.
After the break St John’s struggled under the high ball in the face of the sun but were wise enough to force play into the shaded half of Honey Field. Gona’s line-breaks paid dividends in the second phase of play setting up speedster Coles and eighth-man Burnett for tries to add-on to their total.
On the other end Mandivenga continued to bring down St John’s College’s defensive line with his sheer pace and great vision but instead of going all the way, he set up tight-head Muringani for a try in the corner but the big man opted to bash his way through – in the try box – to score under the posts.
The hosts continued to concede penalties in the last moments of the game and from three of those Mandivenga went for posts, missing none to bring his team’s final tally up to 36 against St John’s College 22.
From the game’s last movement, Gona broke loose on the left, beating the Peterhouse centre pairing only to be stopped with a diving tackle by Mandivenga five metres away from the try line to the music of the referee’s whistle.
Mandivenga finished the game with 100% success rate off the kicking tee – 3 conversions, 4 penalties and 1 drop-goal.
St John’s College 1st XV: 1. G Rorke 2. R Wilson 3. B Zwart 4. T Parirenyatwa 5. E Synman 6. C Bond 7. C Sinclair 8. N Burnett 9. J Swan 10. B Naude 11. S Coles 12. T Chadwick 13. B Vickery 14. K Burger 15. R Gona
Peterhouse Boys 1st XV: 1. G Phiri 2. H Marufu 3. T Muringani 4. M Moodie 5. P Mudambuki 6. R Werret 7. C Root 8. D Moolman 9. A Dollar 10. M Maberly 11. T Musengezi 12. M Maparura 13. N Mukechi 14. D McRoberts 15. B Mandivenga