Battling for the ball.  Klein Nederburg (light blue jerseys) and Albert Myburgh forwards contest
a line-out during the Paarl side’s 8-0 win at Porterville on Saturday 9 March 2019.


Running rugby might have been the order of the day at the annual Porterville Bulfees on Saturday 9 March 2019, but few would argue that the majority of the plaudits went to a Paarl Boys’ High team, motivated in no small part by matters that have nothing to do with the sport, who thrashed a rather hapless HTS Drostdy team 64-3 in the late game.

The boys in blue and white stripes were in irrepressible form, running in nine tries, eight of which were converted by elegant flyhalf Jacques Rousseau, who, ironically, wouldn’t even have been on the field were it not for the unavailability of Kian Meadon.  The pivot also nabbed one try and slotted a regulation penalty to record an impressive 24 point haul.

However, this game reflected a brilliant team effort, the team’s grace and cohesion belying the fact that this marked their first official outing of the year.

Captain on the night, Rhynhardt Rijnsburger steered the ship faultlessly, while the backline purred almost from the start with centre Quan Horn and left wing Rikus Jonck, in particular, catching the eye. 

The Donkeys were never allowed enough possession to mount any kind of threat, their scant consolation being that they are highly unlikely to cross paths with anything like this juggernaut during the course of the season.

The opening 1st XV clash saw Klein Nederburg edge out Bredasdorp’s Albert Myburgh 8-0 in a match which didn’t lack expansive play, but proved frustrating as far as turning opportunities into points was concerned, it ultimately being left to fullback Ruthan Valentyn to to notch the sole try of this encounter.

The second match was by far the most keenly contested, the lead changing hands four or five times before Oudtshoorn, late replacements for Riversdale’s Langenhoven High, triumphed 22-19 over a very game Dirkie Uys side for whom flyhalf Jason-Lee Damon caught the eye with some very elusive running.

The third match was particularly eagerly awaited as it marked Hopefield’s only fixture prior to their tour of Ireland.

Superbly marshalled by their sublimely talented number 10 Nathan Engelbrecht, they tormented Caledon’s Overberg, registering an emphatic 48-12 victory.  Engelbrecht scored one try, converted four and added a drop goal to provide the backbone of his side’s scoring.

The penultimate game dished up a bit of a surprise, hosts Porterville managing a well-earned 14-14 draw against Tygerberg.

Playing in front of their faithful never fails to inspire the Bulls and there was great relief when centre Hadley Titus scored the try that enabled them to draw level.

As per usual organizer Heini Redelinghuys was at his irrepressible best, while principal Willem Engelbrecht was able to spread good cheer - when he wasn’t hard at work lending a hand at one or other stall.

At the Brackenfell Sports Day the hosts suffered their second serious drubbing in five days when Outeniqua pummelled them 65-0, scoring eleven five-pointers in the process.  Locks Dean Malherbe and Corné Struwig each crossed the line twice, while flyhalf Matthew Thorne’s fifteen points was the most impressive contribution to the scoresheet.

There were several upsets, which is not surprising when one bears in mind the large number of sides on show, many of whom were playing their first competitive matches.

As it was, tiny Labori’s 17-15 giantkilling act against Strand almost went unnoticed among the raised eyebrows that greeted Stellenberg’s comfortable 21-10 success against Oakdale.

Bellville looked much improved after their 50-15 catastrophe against Boland Landbou a week ago, keeping SACS honest by restricting them to a 19-7 winning margin.

Paarl Gym didn’t overextend themselves, cantering to a 32-0 win over Durbanville, the only potential worry being the fact that they only managed to convert one of their six tries, three of which were scored by flank Pierich Siebert.

Other interesting results saw Fairbairn College edge Bonnievale 10-7, Edgemead beat Montana 10-0, HTS Bellville down Jan van Riebeeck 32-10 and Fairmont dispatch Bredasdorp 7-5.

It seemed a pity that Wynberg chose to send their second stringers to face Milnerton, preferring to cottonwool their senior players ahead of the Newlands evening this week.  They paid the price, Millies giving them a 46-14 drubbing.  Karma, baby, karma !

At Lutzville the hosts had the better of Cederberg Academy 15-12, Vredendal drew 14-14 with Worcester Gym and Augsburg Gym accounted for Monument Park 19-10.

There were also several games that did not form part of these festival days.

Hermanus flyhalf Baldwin Hansen’s 24 points against Punt ensured that his side came out on top 34-28 in a high-scoring encounter against Mossel Bay’s Punt.

DF Malan’s 15-14 win at Swartland must be providing the latter’s coaches with food for thought, given the Bellville team’s recent 14-36 home reversal against Charlie Hofmeyr.

Montagu started their winter impressively coasting past Piketberg 35-14 away from home, while Parel Vallei started their big year with a respectable 12-12 draw, in which the Bulldogs scored the only two tries, and Schoonspruit returned to Malmesbury full of smiles following an opportunistic 17-0 win over Groenberg in Grabouw.

Now everyone takes a deep breath before the many festivals set to grace the coming school holiday.  More about these popular events later this week. 


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