BOSCH FLAY THE FARMERS
“This bloke must weigh a blooming ton !” Bishops full-back Matt Lennett tries unsuccessfully to
bring down a Bellville opponent during his side’s 48-20 away win on Saturday 13 April 2019.
Moving in to offer his support is team-mate Luca Liebenberg. (photo: Youlanda Beley)
In what must rank as their finest display in several years, hosts Rondebosch recorded a resounding 36-26 victory over Boland Landbou on their Tinkie Heyns field on Saturday 13 April 2019.
And this was no flash-in-the-pan result: Bosch dominated virtually every facet of play, from the rucking, where the likes of Josh King and Matt Gray performed the seemingly impossible, all the way to decision-making, where captain Jordan Collier chose just right moments at which to accumulate points via the boot of uncannily accurate no.15 Conor van Eden.
Toss in the fact that the visitors actually took the lead (19-16) in the crucial minutes before half-time, causing a few flutters in the chests of the local supporters, and their triumph was all the more well-deserved.
Not even the drizzle, which fell briefly during the middle part of the match on what was otherwise a perfect day for rugby, could dampen the Bosch supporters’ spirits or disrupt the flow of their heroes’ play.
The game started inauspiciously with Bosch knocking on Landbou flyhalf CJ Snyman’s kick-off, but a great tackle after the ensuing scrum saw the hosts steal possession and find immediate relief via Van Eden’s seemingly impeccable boot. King rose high to take the line-out ball, but fierce tackling by the visitors cost his side possession.
From the scrum Snyman managed to relieve the pressure and then gain further territory when the Bosch defence hesitated. However, when the Farmers tried to run the ball, their handling was found wanting after a half-break by full-back Tarique Pietersen had taken the game up to the hosts’ 10 metre line.
The locals came back strongly, Gray taking a great line-out ball, as the Bosch pack put their opponents under huge pressure, before the backs spread the ball wide to the left. They could make no headway, but referee Jonathan Kaplan enforced a penalty advantage, from which Van Eden raised the flags. (Rondebosch 3 Boland Landbou 0 - 10 minutes)
The home forwards took the kick-off cleanly this time, allowing Van Eden to find touch 35 metres from the visitors’ line. Despite Collier spoiling a gilt-edged opportunity, Bosch took a tighthead and moved the ball left where the nuggety centre immediately atoned for his error, running a perfect line to dive over under the crossbar. Van Eden added the conversion. (Rondebosch 10 Boland Landbou 0 - 15 minutes)
Landbou’s response was a fine grubber by Snyman which bounced unfavourably for Pietersen. Nevertheless, the Farmers utilised a penalty advantage to drive the ball over the line for a try claimed by hooker Tehan du Plessis. Snyman’s conversion narrowed the gap to just three points. (Rondebosch 10 Boland Landbou 7 - 19 minutes)
Lovely Bosch interpassing was again marred by a dropped pass with an open tryline begging, but a penalty advantage allowed Van Eden to stretch the lead. (Rondebosch 13 Boland Landbou 7 - 21 minutes)
Landbou left wing Keanan Wentzel threatened briefly, but the hosts countered effectively. The full-backs traded kicks for almost half a minute before Rondebosch launched an attack through outside centre Dalvon Blood.
Just after home loosehead Lukhanyo Vokozela had to leave the field to be replaced by Jason Johnson, Van Eden saw an optimistic clearance fail to find touch.
Bosch made a meal of Snyman’s return, giving the visitors the chance to move the ball quickly to the right, where outside centre Canan Moodie was given a clear run-in to dot down midway out. Snyman’s conversion gave Landbou the lead. (Rondebosch 13 Boland Landbou 14 - 27 minutes)
Hardly had play resumed when Van Eden was bending down to place the kicking tee once again to slot his third penalty when Landbou were trapped offside and the hosts were back in front. (Rondebosch 16 Boland Landbou 14 - 29 minutes)
No sooner had Snyman’s kick-off been taken on the touchline than his forwards turned over possession. Bosch went on the attack via a neat grubber that took them into Landbou’s 22 metre area, but two successive penalties defused the threat, with Snyman taking play back to the halfway line.
The visitors mounted a determined attack as the interval loomed large and, when Bosch were forced to carry over a clever chip ahead by Wentzel, the Farmers put together several phases before creating the overlap for Pietersen to score in the corner. Half-time : Rondebosch 16 Boland Landbou 19.
It didn’t take long for the hosts to set out their stall in the second half, Blood launching a counterattack after fielding Wentzel’s clearance, but Snyman cleared the danger. A speculative drop by Van Eden then culminated in a Bosch line-out on the Landbou ten metre line.
Superb, clean line-out takes by Gray in this and another line-out immediately afterwards saw Bosch drive Landbou back over their own tryline - which one local supporter aptly described as “a thing of beauty” - for hooker Troy Fisher to reclaim the lead - one which they were not to relinquish again. Conor van Eden converted. (Rondebosch 23 Boland Landbou 19 - 41 minutes)
Despite Snyman’s cool clearances, Bosch were retaining the majority of the possession and blood almost released left-wing Connor Kotze. Unfazed, the hosts maintained the pressure for scrum-half Ishma-eel Safodien to send his half-back partner, Kian Davis, in for a classic backline try. Van Eden maintained his kicking form. (Rondebosch 30 Boland Landbou 19 - 47 minutes)
It was interesting to see a southern suburbs side wielding the cosh over a winelands team with such aplomb and it was a switch to the left that almost paid dividends next. Unfortunately Bosch had to be content with a Van Eden penalty, awarded for a high tackle, for their efforts. (Rondebosch 33 Boland Landbou 19 - 52 minutes)
Landbou weren’t about to give up without a fight and threw everything into a concerted onslaught, only to find their hosts up to the challenge. A penalty allowed Snyman to set up an attacking line-out from which Bosch stole the ball. Landbou regrouped, but could make no headway, finding themselves being tackled backwards by the tigerish defence. Penalties to either side saw play swing accordingly.
Having weathered the storm, Bosch went a long way to breaking their visitors’ hearts when Van Eden successfully slotted a huge penalty from just inside the Landbou half. (Rondebosch 36 Boland Landbou 19 - 64 minutes)
The hosts were still up for more, taking the kick-off upfield before being adjudged offside in a ruck. Landbou took play to within striking distance of the home line, but, smelling blood, the Canigou Carnivores raised the roof by stealing possession yet again.
The pressure ultimately had to tell and it was Moodie who crossed the Bosch line for a try which Snyman converted in the last minute. (Rondebosch 36 Boland Landbou 26 - 69 minutes)
Even with victory assured, the spectators were kept engrossed in the fierce duel right up until the final whistle released scenes of rapture. Final score : Rondebosch 36 Boland Landbou 26.
To say that Landbou came expecting a gentle canter would be doing them a great injustice. They gave their all, but it just wasn’t enough against an inspired Bosch team. The only area in which they looked superior was in the backline play, but ruthless tackling shut down this option for a large part of the game, restricting Snyman’s role to little more than that of touch kicker.
Bosch will remember the day for a very long time. They didn’t do anything unusual: they just did what was required, but with a fiery resolve they would do well to emulate against St Andrews (Grahamstown), Grey High and Northcliff at the St Stithian’s Easter Festival this weekend.
Suffice it to say that somewhere up there Prof Tinkie is smiling broadly.