The 2018 annual Interschools clash between the Union Schools and Laer and Hoër Volkskool will once again be remembered as one where sport and good sportsmanship emerged the winner. From the start on Monday, on the rugby and hockey fields, as well as in the cultural activities spectators were entertained by the exceptional skill and ability of both schools, and the spirit in which the schools played the game.
Most of the junior sport was played on Friday in very wet and cold conditions. The 1st and 2nd Junior hockey teams played excellent hockey and delighted the crowd with their fine performances, with the 2nd team winning their match 2 – 0 and the 1st Juniors losing 0 – 2
With beautiful sunny weather on Saturday, the crowds were once again blessed with a full day of tough matches. The 1st Team Hockey match was a match to remember with both teams playing aggressive and exciting hockey on the Union Astroturf. Union won this match 4 – 0.
At the Botanics Sports Grounds, Union managed to win five of the seven matches. Once again one of the most entertaining matches of the day, the 2nd Team match, which was dominated by Union and they managed to finish their unbeaten season winning that match 18 – 7. All was set for the final match of the day.
Interschools is truly alive and well and we look forward to many more encounters in the future. It’s a week where the entire Graaff-Reinet community benefits. Graaff-Reinet is indeed privileged to have two wonderful schools that compete in this manner.
We would like to thank our main sponsor FNB, as well as Brian Bands Sports, Supa-Quick and Caltex College Motors. We also say thank you to all the parents and Old Unionites for all their hard work. It is much appreciated.
The First XV made themselves, our school, and every single Union supporter immensely proud on Saturday. The performance at Interschools was the culmination of a season throughout which they worked extremely hard at every aspect of their game, chasing perfection and striving to improve each time they got together as a group. The definition of potential is “having or showing the capacity to develop into something in the future”. This year’s First Team frustrated themselves and spectators because all knew they had potential, but it constantly felt as though they were capable of so much more than what they were delivering. Turns out, they were saving it all for when it mattered most.
The first half of Saturday’s Interschools match was a flawless display of rugby. We dominated the set-pieces, won the collisions, attacked space with purpose and conviction, and showed composure when needing to absorb opposition pressure. Matt Harpur kicked a penalty, shortly followed by a try when Cowan Swartz stood up his opposing wing and raced down the touchline before passing inside to Daliwonga Mathiale, who ran in untouched from 30 metres out. It wasn’t long before Luthando Skapu once again showed his class, cutting the line with ease and beating the last defender to score a magnificent solo try. One could say it mirrored his try in 2017. Matt Harpur converted both tries and kicked a second penalty to give us a 20-3 lead at half-time.
Volkskool scored early in the second half to narrow the gap to 20-10, but the Union boys were determined not to defend their lead and bounced back with a try a few phases later.
Daliwonga Mathiale capitalised on a brilliant lineout steal by our forwards and ghosted through three defenders to score his second. Matt Harpur added the extra two, taking the score to 27-10.
Unfortunately, our captain Matthew Broeksma suffered a serious head injury at this point and had to be replaced with just less than half the game remaining. We seemed slightly thrown by the incident, but another well taken penalty by Matt Harpur put us 20 points ahead. Volkskool made a late charge and scored a converted try to bring them within two scores. It stayed this way until the end and we won the match 30-17.
Every player in a White Jersey did his job, was effective, worked hard and put the team ahead of themselves.
The First Team wants to thank every learner, member of staff and spectator who supported them, not only on Saturday but throughout the whole of last week. They also want to congratulate the Second Team on an incredible unbeaten season and the First Hockey girls on their phenomenal victory.
This Interschools was certainly an example of “One Team…One Union!”
We would like to extend out thank to Mr Pierre le Grange and Mr Joggie Vorster of Hyundai Graaff-Reinet for their continued support during the 2018 season.
1st Hockey Team
The Union High School ended off a successful season with a bang. They walked onto the spectator-surrounded turf with a sense of excitement. After an intense warm-up, the girls got off to a slow start. Despite many opportunities and dominance of possession of the ball, they failed to get the ball into the back of the net.
After a short but sweet half-time talk, the ball started rolling. The Union girls scored 3 beautiful, well-executed field goals, and another from a penalty corner. The final score was a well-deserved 4 – 0 victory.
The team would like to thank everybody for their enthusiastic support, not only on Saturday, but during the whole season.
It was an honour to represent Union High School.
Union’s U13A rugby boys faced off against Volkskool in a highly anticipated rugby match. Volkskool put Union under pressure from the kick-off and found themselves defending for most of the first half. The Union boys gained momentum in the second half and kept Volkskool under pressure. Unfortunately it was too little too late and they went down 7-38. The boys played with passion and never gave up; they truly displayed the Union spirit.
Junior 2nd Team
The junior hockey girls took to the astro in bitterly cold and wet conditions on Friday afternoon and met with mixed results.
The 2nd team got off to a slow start and were put under pressure from the start by a determined Volkskool team. Once they recovered their wits though, the girls slowly began to claw back possession and by the end of the 1st half they were firmly in control of the game despite the lack of score.
In the 2nd half, the girls found an extra gear and stepped up the pace and determination, and were rewarded with 2 well deserved goals from Lana Bouwer and Charlize Vorster for their efforts. Well done to this very young team for a great victory under challenging conditions.
Junior 1st Team
The 1st team did not fare as well and unfortunately went down 2 -0 in this tough encounter. Hockey is a game of opportunity as much as it is a game of skill. Union fell short in that they did not capitalise on the opportunities presented. They stood back and waited for passes, while Volkskool swooped in and intercepted these 50 / 50 balls, that could just as easily have been theirs had they had fought for them. The Union girls also had numerous shots on goal, but again lacked the determination to finish off; whereas the opponents were able to slot in 2 soft goals and put themselves in the lead.
Although the girls played well and displayed some lovely skill on the day, in the end, the more committed team won. This was a tough lesson to learn in an even tougher forum and the hope is to grow from these mistakes in the future.
Junior girls’ tennis
The junior girls’ did exceptionally well this year to win their interschools encounter against Volkskool. The 1st team won 6 matches to 3. Special mention has to be made of Anna Pringle and Leah Marais who played as the Union 2nd couple and won all 3 of their matches. They showed much fight and determination having been 0-6 down in a pro-set, to come out 8-6 victorious.
The 2nd team did our school proud with both the first couple, consisting of Musa Zweni and Caitrin Spence, as well as the 2nd couple, consisting of Charlize Vorster and Emma Short, winning all 3 of their matches on the day. They won their encounter 8 matches to 1.
Note that, due to the wet weather conditions on Friday, the Senior tennis matches had been postponed until later this week.