Hmmm, looks like size does matter ! Pionier scrumhalf Marno Crathorne (9) narrowly
fails to sneak past a determined Nico Malan defender during his side’s 17-19 defeat
at the Tony Stoops Rugby Festival on Saturday. (photo courtesy of Axnshots)
The bigger names like Brackenfell, Tygerberg and Nico Malan all maintained their winning form at the Tony Stoops Rugby Festival on Monday 3 April 2017, but the most riveting performances came from some of the largely unheralded Boland schools.
Although Schoonspruit thrashed Robertson 37-14 and Paulus Joubert crushed Knysna 43-15, it was Grabouw’s Groenberg who produced the result of the day by beating Worcester Gym 18-14. With all three schools basing their game virtually exclusively on elusive backline play, you can be sure they kept the spectators wide awake with their sparkling attacking style.
Vredenburg showed signs of a long-overdue resurgence by recording their second straight win, beating Langenhoven High 22-7, while tiny Lutzville were good value for their 20-10 win over Alexander Road.
It was business as usual for the two larger-profile Western Province sides, Brackenfell and Tygerberg, even if the latter didn’t quite hit top form in their 19-8 victory over Humansdorp Secondary.
The Brakke and Limpopo giants Pietersburg produced a thriller in the late game. The hosts might never have trailed their up-country opponents, but the eleven point margin of victory (33-22) gives one a pretty good idea how close the match was. Two tries by Brakkies lock Jean-Louis de Lange laid the foundation for their success.
On Wednesday Sean-D van Binsbergen’s team are going to have their hands full when they take on the exciting Pionier team from Vryheid. The visitors have impressed everyone with their intensity, putting Saturday’s defeat to Nico Malan behind them and outlasting a battle-weary De Kuilen side 26-15.
Nico Malan have long been regarded as fearless journeymen, willing to take on all-comers, but they have had their work cut out for them in the northern suburbs, edging home in both their outings so far, 19-17 against Pionier and 24-22 versus WP third tier grafters Bellville South.
Before moving on to day two at Oakdale, two other results bear mentioning.
Bishops made it three out of three as they avenged last year’s 34-24 ISF defeat against Kingswood with a 16-13 win under floodlights in the Settler City. In Worcester, HTS Drostdy and Transvalia had a titanic confrontation, the final whistle coming with honours even at 26-26.
The White Bulls may have outplayed Kimberley’s Diamantveld 34-6 in part two of this year’s Riversdale spectacular, but several other results saw local sides record impressive wins over powerful opposition.
Four penalties from the accurate boot of Bellville centre Dan Aspeling sank Lichtenburg 12-7 and Overberg showed a welcome return to form by lowering Landboudal’s colours 18-12.
The day’s biggest cliffhangers were Durbanville’s 18-18 draw with Upington and Bredasdorp’s 37-31 triumph over Langenhoven Gym. In the latter game, the two sides shared the ten tries evenly, the ultimate difference between the teams being two penalties from the Fishermen’s flank Thinus du Toit.
Indisputably, the individual performance of the day came from Augsburg Gym flyhalf JP Viviers, who scored all his sides points in their 19-17 win over a tough Rustenburg side.
So to today’s clashes in the heavyweight contest that is the North-South Festival in Tshwane.
The early game saw Stellenberg cruise past Menlopark 33-12 with both wings, Roché Malan and Angelo Davids crossing the whitewash twice. And this was the selfsame Menlo side that put 49 points on the board against Outeniqua on Saturday !
Paarl Gym kept their feet firmly on the accelerator to subdue EG Jansen 39-10 in the lunchtime fixture, with no. 8 Henco Martins registering his third hat-trick of tries in just four games. It’s not an understatement to say that most players would be chuffed with a tally of nine tries over an entire season. Well, this smiling sprinter has only taken four games to get there !
At the time of publication, Garsfontein have just come out on top 43-41 against Boland Landbou in what can only have been a very close affair.
Oh well, I suppose the Western Cape sides can’t win everything !