Easter festivities for Lily Whites 125

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By: MATTHEW JENNINGS

The Lily Whites have been jubilant in their celebrations of their milestone in 125 years of existence. The Club hosted an Easter Tournament over 20-22 April, with two groups and eight teams in contestation from the surrounding areas.

A textbook handoff from Lily Whites’ right winger allowed the hosts to run over Easterns (PE) in their opening match of the Easter tournament. Photo: Stephen Kisbey-Green

Group A included the Brumbies, Old Collegians, Eastern Grahamstown and Zwide, while Group B saw the hosts, Lily Whites feature in the Group, as well as Winter Rose, Eastern Port Elizabeth and The Wanderers go head-to-head for ultimate glory. Wide, however, failed to show up for the tournament, meaning that they would forfeit their matches throughout the weekend by the maximum 28-0.

Saturday saw Old Collegians take the points from their scheduled encounter with Zwide, while Winter Rose bettered the Wanderers 27-5. Hosts Lily Whites beat Eastern PE 29-8 and the Brumbies won by a smaller, but still large, margin of 27-11.

Winter Rose got a second win against Eastern PE, winning 19-12 in a tight-finishing game with one try separating the teams, while the Brumbies beat Old Collegians 20-13 and hosts Lily White ran away 37-0 victors against a discouraged Wanderers side. Eastern Grahamstown were given their 28-0 victory over Zwide.

A Lily Whites player celebrates scoring for his historic club during the 125th anniversary Easter tournament. Photo: Stephen Kisbey-Green

The Brumbies and Old Collegians remained firm in place to qualify atop Group A, while Lily White with their big win and most points, topped Group B’s day one proceedings with full points, with Winter Rose finishing second behind them.

The beginning of Sunday’s matches saw Eastern PE win 28-0 against the Wanderers, while the Brumbies received the points for their scheduled match against Zwide. Lily Whites won 34-16 against Winter Rose and Old Collegians won what was the tournament’s tightest game so far against Eastern Grahamstown by 24-19.

The semi finals saw the Brumbies, as Group A Winners, take on Winter Rose, as Group B runners up, while Group B’s top finishing Lily White took on Group A’s runner up, Old Collegians.

The Brumbies setpiece dominance helped them secure the victory in the final of the Lily Whites 125 Easter Tournament. Photo: Sue Maclennan

The Brumbies cruised to the biggest winning margin of the tournament, winning 39-0 against an unprepared Winter Rose to book a spot in the Final, while Lily Whites were able to shine on their way to their host tournament final, edging past Old Collegians 11-5 in their semi-final. Winter Rose did not make an appearance on the final day, and so forfeited the third place position to Old Collegians, with a default 28-0 victory.

The final of the Easter Tournament got underway, with the historic Lily Whites side taking on the Grahamstown Brumbies.

Lily Whites fell three points behind early on, before going over the try line to make it 7-3 early in the game. Although Lily Whites conceded a few penalties in the first half which the Brumbies capitalised on, the Lily White side led at the break 20-17. They were only to score again one more time, with the Brumbies scoring two tries to take an extremely tight 27-29 victory in what was an extraordinary final.

The Brumbies celebrate wildly after being awarded the trophy for first place in the Lily Whites 125 Easter Rugby Tournament. Photo: Sue Maclennan

The Lily Whites celebrated their second place in their host tournament, receiving the second place trophy. Photo: Sue Maclennan

The official referees of the Lily Whites 125 Easter Rugby Tournament acknowledge a successful weekend. Photo: Sue Maclennan

The MEC for Sport in the Eastern Cape, Bulelwa Tunyiswa, was present at the Lily Whites 125 Easter Tournament to hand over the trophy to the winning side. Photo: Sue Maclennan

One of the Brumbies players offloads the ball to a support player on one of their strong breaks through the Easterns Grahamstown defense. Photo: Stephen Kisbey-Green

Easterns Grahamstown could not seem to break the solid defense of the Brumbies in their Lily Whites 125 Easter Tournament encounter. Photo: Stephen Kisbey-Green

Another scything run from the Easterns PE wing is tracked down by the Lily Whites cover defense. Photo: Stephen Kisbey-Green

The Wanderers looking to use their speed and skill on attack. Photo: Stephen Kisbey-Green

The cover defense from the Wanderers could not stop the Winter Rose winger from scoring out in the corner. Photo: Stephen Kisbey-Green

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