QUAGGAS END THEIR SEASON IN STYLE

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That one moment in time.  There is nothing that can beat the sound of the final whistle
at Interschools !  Paarl Boys’ High won the clash of the titans 24-21 at Faure Street
on Saturday 4 August 2018, in the process providing departing coach
Sean Erasmus with a memorable farewell gift. (photo: supplied)

 

Outeniqua put on an impressive display of counterattacking rugby to convert a 15-10 half-time lead against hosts Durbanville into a comprehensive 47-13 victory on Saturday 4 August 2018.

The visitors must have approached the match with mixed feelings: their annual interschools against Oudtshoorn in a few weeks’ time will, possibly for the first time ever, not include any rugby matches after the Struisies indicated that they could not field full A teams in each age-group.

The George side set out their stall early on, claiming centre Darren Fortuin’s hanging kick-off until Durbanville turned possession over.  The nuggety midfielder gave an indication of what was to come when he fielded a wayward kick and ran the ball back at the Durbeez, with assistance from tall lock Pieter Ferreira, who was to prove very influential later on.

The locals were saved by a penalty from which debutant full-back Hentie van der Merwe gained thirty metres with a well-directed touchfinder.

The Quaggas kept up the early pressure, Fortuin sowing panic in the defence with a jinking run after his forwards had gained turn-over possession from a maul.  When they were awarded a penalty twenty metres out and near the posts, the centre opened the score.  (Outeniqua 3 Durbanville 0 – 7 minutes)

The hosts showed what they were capable of when outside centre Juanré de Klerk surged upfield.  His team retained possession and when right wing Edwardo Ngcenge was tackled just short of the line, they switched play to the left for inside centre Xander van der Westhuizen to dive over. (Outeniqua 3 Durbanville 5 – 10 minutes)

This seemed to fill Durbanville with confidence, scrumhalf and captain Mondrey Titus sniping round a scrum before Van der Westhuizen put in a massive clearance kick.  Unfortunately this brief success seemed to go to their heads and poor handling behind a scrum allowed the Quaggas scrumhalf Abri Minnie to hack the ball through from forty metres out and win the race to the touchdown.  (Outeniqua 8 Durbanville 5 – 15 minutes)

The Durbeez threatened from the restart, but Fortuin defused the situation, only for Van der Westhuizen to set up an attacking penalty from a penalty.  The home forwards put in a concerted shove, enabling no. 8 André Bester to touch down in the left-hand corner.  (Outeniqua 8 Durbanville 10 – 19 minutes)

This set the Quaggas back on their heels and flyhalf Diagho Miggel and De Klerk probed away at their defensive line until Fortuin drove them back with a lengthy touchfinder from a ruck penalty.  The hosts kicked possession away, but were able to steal possession back soon afterwards.

Another great kick from Fortuin put his side onto the attack, powerful driving by lock Corné Struwig and flank Braam van Huyssteen moving play to the hosts’ tryline where inside centre Aylen Schabort was able to reach over and place the ball.  Fortuin converted.  (Outeniqua 15 Durbanville 10 – 28 minutes)

The Beez were penalised for taking the receiver out in the air at the kick-off, allowing Fortuin to wield his trusty boot yet again, his confidence seeming to rub off on his pack, which finally started asserting its dominance.

Fine line-out work by Outeniqua no. 8 Bennett Nortje and a penalty against Durbanville put the home team’s line under threat again, but a penalty for not releasing the ball allowed the hosts to escape unharmed.

A fine drive by hooker Leon Volschenk seemed to have resulted in a Quaggas try, but an earlier offside caused it to be overruled, allowing Van der Westhuizen the chance to clear his lines.

The half ended on a strange note, the assistant referee drawing whistleman Jaco Smith’s attention to an altercation at a maul, which resulted in a Durbanville forward being red-carded.  Half-time : Outeniqua 15 Durbanville 10.

Titus used clean possession from the kick-off to move the ball upfield, but poor handling among the backs handed the initiative back to the visitors, whose progress was only halted by a forward pass.  More little mistakes were creeping into the Durbeez game, the next being a skew line-out throw-in, which almost ended up in the hosts’ hands.

When Outeniqua were blown up for not rolling away, De Klerk finally hit the target from the kicking tee from twenty metres out.  (Outeniqua 15 Durbanville 13 – 43 minutes)

Suddenly the Quaggas’ game-plan seemed to gel, Minnie making excellent ground before feeding Ferreira, who forced his way over.  (Outeniqua 20 Durbanville 13 – 45 minutes) 

The visitors were making optimal use of the enormous amount of possession gleaned from kick-offs and line-outs by lanky flank André Pretorius, the Man of the Match.  At the same time, the home team was looking increasingly hesitant in the face of the counterattacking skills of their opponents.

Ferreira soon looked certain to cross the line again, only to be driven back, but when full-back Matthew Thorne ran through the Durbeez defence, the big man was on hand to notch his second try.  (Outeniqua 25 Durbanville 13 – 50 minutes)

Next to break the defensive line was the Quaggas left wing Ridge Gaffley, who slipped a sublime pass to Fortuin who was running a clever angle at full speed and scored virtually untouched.  (Outeniqua 30 Durbanville 13 – 53 minutes)

A brief Durbanville sortie yielded nothing due to a wild final pass, the Outeniqua response being a thundering run by Van Huyssteen, whose offload unfortunately didn’t go to hand.

Thorne was again prominent on the counterattack, but poor handling caused the move to break down.  Fortunately, Ferreira got hold of possession and stormed over the line for his third try with several despairing opponents hanging onto him.  Fortuin added the extras.  (Outeniqua 37 Durbanville 13 – 65 minutes)

The hosts were lucky not to lose a player for allegedly kicking an opponent, but Outeniqua weren’t in as forgiving a mood, Gaffley catching the defence wrong-footed to score in the right-hand corner.  (Outeniqua 42 Durbanville 13 – 68 minutes)

There was still time for Gaffley to exploit a dispirited defence and sprint down the right wing and calmly feed Thorne when both players had crossed the tryline.  Final score : Outeniqua 47 Durbanville 13.

The score could have been a lot uglier had Fortuin brought his kicking boots with him, but the eight tries were evidence enough of the George side’s superiority.

For Durbanville a tough few weeks lie ahead before they take on Stellenberg.  One can’t help but think that they were, to some extent, their own worst enemies, but they have had long enough to learn that, if you give opponents who are used to life in the top flight enough opportunities, they are going to use at least some of them to punish you.

*****

Just had to incorporate this delightful anecdote into this week’s match report.

Montana of Worcester were down to host Porterville on Wednesday 1 August 2018, but suddenly found themselves obliged to play a fixture against Franschhoek, which had been postponed from last term.

Interschools is just around the bend – Montana go down to play Stellenbosch on Thursday 8 August – so, if their limited playing resources were not to be drained, their playing Porterville, who, needless to say, had already made their transport arrangements, was not going to be an option.

Solution ?  Montana rugby man Jacques Steyn arranged for Breërivier Secondary to play Porterville at Montana in his side’s place ! 

Porterville indicated that they would be more than happy with the arrangement – they won 63-0 – but it was Jacques’s considerate gesture that will remain ingrained in everyone’s memories.

 



 

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