JADE BRIGADE WIN COMFORTABLY AT BOSCH
Dit Klinck maar lekker ! Oakdale centre Janco Klinck, pictured here in action earlier this year
against HTS Drostdy, was on the scoresheet again during his side's emphatic 47-29 away
win over Paarl Boys’ High on Saturday 21 July 2018. (photo: Marlene Carstens)
Stellenberg made better use of their chances to emerge 31-12 winners over hosts Rondebosch at the latter’s Tinkie Heyns field on Saturday 21 July 2018.
If the small crowd had high expectations fuelled by the thrills of the recent Under 18 youth weeks and the pleasantly warm conditions, they were in for a rather dismal let-down as the game lumbered along without ever really reaching any great heights.
Perhaps the composition of the teams played a part.
While the visitors took the field without influential front rower/flank Josh Muller, who was ruled out with injury, his replacement, Emile Damant, slotted seamlessly into the team.
Rondebosch, on the other hand, had to restore their backline to a format used earlier in the season due to the suspension of a player for a perceived disciplinary transgression in the Bishops match last term. This meant that Jaco Barnard moved from scrumhalf to inside centre, Ross Stone moved into the flyhalf berth and Lehan Botha made his debut in the no.9 jersey.
Had the general public been aware of this situation, they might have felt for the hosts, but nothing could prepare them for the selection of Mihlali Mgolodeli, named in the SA Schools squad the previous day, for the school’s seconds, a regular occurrence following his steadfast refusal to play in the second row.
Stellies flyhalf Nivan Petersen kicked off deep, but the hosts managed to maul the ball back before being awarded a penalty, which Stone put out on the visitors’ ten metre line.
Stellenberg cleared with a lengthy kick, only for Bosch to run it back at the them again at which juncture a loose pass was joyfully intercepted by Jade Brigade right wing Likho Msengana, who cantered in from 40 metres out. Peterson’s conversion was successful. (Rondebosch 0 Stellenberg 7 – 5 minutes)
More poor backline communication put the hosts under pressure again almost immediately before, believe it or not, Msengana latched onto another interception to dot down wide on the right. (Rondebosch 0 Stellenberg 12 – 7 minutes)
Try as they might, the home forwards could make no headway against the tough visiting pack, whose their quaintly nick-named tighthead Vleis Dippenaar put his considerable bulk on the line time and again.
The Bosch backs finally started to fire, full-back Dalvon Blood and left wing Thoubaan Gabriels making headway down the left flank.
Although that move petered out when the hosts couldn’t retain possession from an attacking line-out, Gabriels had the presence of mind to notice a gap in the defence into which he chipped the ball and followed up to gather and score a great individual try. Stone reduced the deficit to five points from the tee. (Rondebosch 7 Stellenberg 12 – 12 minutes)
Prominent work by Bosch skipper flank Justin Reynolds, followed by good continuity by Barnard, put the northern suburbs team under pressure, which Stone reinforced with a raking touchfinder from a penalty, but Petersen was able to clear his lines temporarily.
Bosch hooker Troy Fisher led a charge by the home pack, but a forward pass further on doomed the move to failure, even though Blood put in a trademark jinking run to take play back into the Stellies’ red zone.
The hosts were left to rue what might have been when they conceded a penalty for tackling visiting scrumhalf Keegan Joubert in mid-air on his goal-line.
The Jade Brigade counteroffensive was defused when Blood marked a speculative kick-ahead, but the hosts’ line-out woes continued, a fact which seemed to be playing on their collective confidence when Stellenberg stole yet another put in and attacked down the right flank.
A penetrative break by flank Nahum Johannes saw him offload perfectly to left wing Irwin Meyer, who had a clear thirty metre dash to the line. Petersen’s conversion ended the half. Half-time: Rondebosch 7 Stellenberg 19.
Bosch started the second half with a bang, no.8 Johann Strauss and right wing Jonathan Jollivet de Oliveira taking play down to the right-hand corner. For once the forwards were able to make the vital yards, Fisher being credited with a typical pack try. (Rondebosch 12 Stellenberg 19 – 40 minutes)
As if determined to be their own worst enemies, the Bosch backline fumbled possession so badly that they almost conceded a third intercept try. With the visitors camped on the home team’s line, thanks largely to an overcooked clearance, only a welcome penalty afforded Barnard the chance to clear.
This relief proved to be of short duration as Petersen executed a perfect skip-pass to put full-back Tharquinn Manuel clear from near the halfway line. The flyhalf duly added the extras. (Rondebosch 12 Stellenberg 26 – 51 minutes)
Petersen put his side straight back onto the attack after fielding the kick-off, Bosch’s bumbling backline’s blushes only being spared by a marvellous run out of his in-goal area by Gabriels, Stone building on this platform by establishing an attacking line-out just outside Stellenberg’s 22.
With ten minutes to go, what had at times threatened to be an ill-tempered encounter finally boiled over, with a Stellenberg player being yellow-carded for a close approximation to a spear tackle.
It seemed that the backline confusion was infectious as the visitors squandered an opportunity before the hosts’ situation went from bad to even worse with two of their players being simultaneously yellow-carded over a late tackle and ensuing hostilities.
Thankfully things settled down enough for Petersen to speed in on the corner flag for a try of his own to clinch matters on the whistle for no-time. Final score : Rondebosch 12 Stellenberg 31.
Stellenberg head out to the Farm for what is always a testy meeting with Boland Landbou next Saturday. Rondebosch, on the other hand, have the dubious pleasure of taking on seemingly-unstoppable Paul Roos at the Markotter. A reprise of Saturday’s performance, particularly by the inside backs, will seem them obliterated by the Young Maties.
I was privileged to be afforded a few minutes with the Swartland 1st XV before their match on Thursday.
What the game – against a very slick New Orleans side whose only defeat had been against Brackenfell at TSRF 2018 – illustrated was, firstly, how important it is to adhere to a game-plan based on your strengths and hopefully your opponents’ weaknesses and, secondly – as the WP vs Golden Lions Craven Week nailbiter showed just over a week earlier – you don’t need the scoreboard to display over sixty points for you to feel you have watched a worthwhile contest.
The Rockies played a forward-oriented game, depriving the dangerous NO backs of possession until the closing stages, during which the Paarl side scored their twelve points, which saw them fall two short of the Malmesbury side’s tally.
Engrossing stuff, thoroughly enjoyed by all the spectators.