BELLVILLE RALLY TO STUN DURBEEZ
Gotcha, Jordan ! Rondebosch outside centre Jordan Collier (in white) finds himself firmly
in the grip of Bishops full-back Bingô Ivanisevic during the Platinum Blues' 25-20 victory
on the Tinkie Heyns Field on Saturday 9 June 2018. (photo: Robert Gad)
Bellville staged a remarkable comeback against more fancied visitors Durbanville, twice overcoming seventeen point deficits to win their WP Premier B fixture 28-27 on Saturday 9 June 2018.
With the persistent overnight rain having dissipated well before the first of the matches started, the conditions proved surprisingly conducive to running rugby and the small crowd was treated to a several very entertaining games.
The fact that each side squandered a golden opportunity to score a try only added to the excitement, with the hosts scoring a converted try in the dying minutes to seal what had earlier seemed a highly unlikely victory.
The only interesting selection in either team was the exclusion of Durbanville flyhalf Luciano Peterson, in whose absence Diagho Miggel moved from no.15 to flyhalf, which meant that impressive youngster Xander van der Westhuizen slotted in at full-back.
Durbanville looked sharp from the start, scrumhalf Mondrey Titus testing the Bellville defence with a grubber. Shortly afterwards the visitors’ inside centre Len Pelser almost found his way through a half-gap.
The hosts were penalised when the ball was held up on the line and a quick driving maul saw flank Angelo Foloti cross midway out. Outside centre Juanré de Klerk added the conversion. (Bellville 0 Durbanville 7 – 5 minutes)
Bellville’s response was immediate, stocky no.8 JW Loubser breaking around a ruck before feeding right wing Xavier Adams, but the closely-monitored flyer was unceremoniously ushered into touch.
When his side was awarded a penalty at the ensuing line-out, Bellville flyhalf and skipper Deuvajio Solomons took play to within 25 metres of the Durbanville line, but, try as they might, the home team could make no headway against a committed defensive line and eventually found themselves being forced onto the back foot.
The two full-backs came into play at this stage, Bellville’s Steven Bernhardt putting in a threatening run down the right before Durbanville gained possession, enabling Van der Westhuizen to launch a lengthy touchfinder.
Good line-out work by the hosts’ flank James Boyce then came to naught as possession was turned over, giving Durbeez left wing Dennian du Toit room to stretch his legs. Bellville withstood the pressure and Adams made good ground down the right, but the momentum was lost when a touchfinder was slightly overcooked.
Having soaked up some pressure, Durbanville suddenly pierced the home defences, De Klerk bursting clear, only to see his inside pass dropped with an open tryline begging.
Bellville took some heart from this let-off, but slightly-built left wing Ivano Jonkers was bundled into touch. Shortly afterward, the hosts were caught offside at a ruck, presenting De Klerk with a fairly simple opportunity to extend the lead. (Bellville 0 Durbanville 10 – 22 minutes)
The next score wasn’t long in coming as Titus slipped through an exquisite grubber for Miggel to gather and dot down without a hand being laid on him. De Klerk’s conversion was on target. (Bellville 0 Durbanville 17 – 26 minutes)
It may have seemed insignificant at the time, but an uncharacteristic midfield fumble at this stage showed the first signs of uncertainty in the hitherto dominant Durbanville backline.
This allowed the hosts to establish an attacking line-out, pressure they maintained when a Durbies player was yellow-carded.
Such was their growing confidence that Bellville chose to set up an attacking line-out rather than take a relatively simple shot at a penalty goal. Their decision was vindicated as Boyce reached out from the ruck to open his side’s account. Solomons converted. (Bellville 7 Durbanville 17 – 34 minutes).
The half closed with another home team attack seeing them penalised, the kick being put safely into touch. Half-time : Bellville 7 Durbanville 17.
Bellville started the second period as confidently as they had ended the first, Solomons driving the Durbeez back inside their own half with a long touchfinder, which is where they were briefly pinned after conceding another penalty.
This period of superiority for the hosts was, however, soon broken by a trademark Durbanville attacking move, Miggel’s pinpoint skip-pass finding De Klerk in full stride. The centre glided through the home defence to run in from 35 metres. He added the conversion. (Bellville 7 Durbanville 24 – 39 minutes)
A penalty gave Bellville the chance to reply within six minutes.
First Solomons forced the visitors into their 22 metre area and, when Durbanville were penalised at a ruck five metres from their line, the home side opted for a scrum from which Loubser powered his way over, leaving Solomons with a simple conversion. (Bellville 14 Durbanville 24 – 45 minutes)
Durbanville’s confidence was waning and the restart sailed directly into touch. From the scrum, Bellville inside centre Greyling Moolman took a half-gap before setting Adams on a typical 60 metre jinking run down the right touchline.
An exchange of penalties looked certain to have produced a third Bellville try, but the would-be scorer lost the ball over the line to the vociferous frustration of their supporters.
Durbanville duly took the opportunity to move upfield via some clever running by Titus and the scrumhalf had no hesitation in handing the ball to De Klerk when the visitors were awarded a penalty at a ruck short afterwards. The centre made no mistake. (Bellville 14 Durbanville 27 – 51 minutes)
Bellville’s response was immediate, Solomons executing a perfect interception to canter home from thirty metres out for a try which he converted to put his side within striking distance of Durbanville for the first time since the opening minutes. (Bellville 21 Durbanville 27 – 53 minutes)
The action became frenetic, De Klerk getting tackled on the break and an accidental mid-air collision resulting in several minutes’ break as both players received treatment.
A penalty against Durbanville for playing a man in the air saw them forced back into their own half, after which Solomons used another penalty to set up an attacking line-out close to the visitors’ tryline, but poor handling allowed Titus to clear.
A defensive lapse appeared to have cost Durbanville the game, but referee Nathan Swartz ruled that the ball had been fumbled in goal.
Titus was called upon to launch another huge relieving kick, but a similar effort from Solomons returned play to the Durbeez red-zone.
The visitors were being forced to defend for all they were worth, more poor handling in their midfield preventing them from moving play upfield.
The resultant scrum proved crucial, Loubser breaking free to dive over at the posts, making the crucial conversion by Solomons a formality. (Bellville 28 Durbanville 27 – 69 minutes)
The referee’s optional time saw Durbanville desperate to snatch a victory that had for so long seemed a formality, but they couldn’t make the vital yards and the hosts made use of a penalty to clear the ball into touch and unleash scenes of great rejoicing. Final Score: Bellville 28 Durbanville 27.
The fact that the visitors had the frustration of conceding another defeat in the dying minutes of a game can largely be put down to the tigerish efforts, both offensive and defensive, of the Bellville forwards, who rocked Durbanville’s confidence to the extent that their shakiness manifested itself in a raft of silly errors.
The Bellville Lions have roared in triumph after eight of their twelve games this season, losing only one game against WP Premier B opposition to date, 0-13 to Stellenberg last week, so this result should by no means be viewed as an upset.
The problem one can unfortunately see looming is the lack – among quite a few second tier schools – of junior teams of anything like the quality required to compete in this division. Regrettably, heart will only get one so far.
It must be said that the excellent handling of referee Nathan Swartz definitely contributed to a match that will be remembered for a long time.
Please note that, apart from the announcement of the Western Province and Boland Under 18 teams, no new articles are likely to be posted over the next eleven days. However, the 2018 logs should be published some time on Monday 11 June 2018.