BLACKIES FEAST ON TYGERBERG
A heavy burden to bear. Tygerberg no.8 Juanro Augustus (centre, in green jersey)
shields the ball from several Hugenote opponents. (photo: Lucia Duvenhage)
The superior goalkicking of full-back Dillon Feast ensured that Hugenote atoned for the heavy defeat dished out to them in Parow last year by deservedly beating visitors Tygerberg 32-22 in Wellington on Saturday 14 March 2015.
Local rugby aficionados who like to regard the date of this fixture as the unofficial beginning of winter were in for a nasty surprise when the temperature reached a sizzling 35 degrees at midday. While neither side is likely to resort to this as an excuse for the distinctly sub-par rugby seen during the early stages of the second half, it certainly didn’t help matters.
Tygerberg advanced steadily in the opening stages, opting to keep the ball close to the forwards, until a penalty enabled Blackies’ hooker Hanré Smith to lead a charge that put the home team on attack.
When that move broke down, scrumhalf Wihan von Wielligh had the vision to snipe to the right around the resultant scrum to score ten metres from the corner flag. Feast converted. (Hugenote 7 Tygerberg 0 – 4 minutes).
The Tygers took play up to their hosts 22 metre line from the restart, but a skew throw-in at a line-out saw them turn over possession. Undeterred, they surged back again with a fine run by their player of the day, right wing Damian West, only to lose the advantage when they were penalized for holding on in a ruck.
Hugenote returned the favour when Smith spearheaded another drive which came to naught when the Blackies were blown up for being offside at a ruck.
The Parow lads resorted to their trademark tactic of running the ball out of defence, almost being made to pay dearly when Feast broke clear on the left, the cover defence just managing to rescue the situation.
After a short break when Smith required treatment for a recurring shin injury, the hosts ran the ball from a penalty. When they were held up short, they recycled possession to right wing Gerhard Nel, who dived over near the corner flag. (Hugenote 12 Tygerberg 0 – 19 minutes)
A missed penalty attempt by Tygerberg saw von Wielligh drive them back with a raking touchfinder. Unfazed, Tygerberg retained possession through several phases from the ensuing lineout and, when flyhalf Marco Stassen was held up just short of the line, burly no. 8 Juanro Augustus was on hand to barge his way over. (Hugenote 12 Tygerberg 5 – 24 minutes)
Encouraged by this breakthrough, the Tygers showed renewed confidence with the forwards moving the ball upfield. Another frustrating breakdown gave von Wielligh the opportunity to pierce the Parow lads’ defence with a dazzling 40 metre break, a wayward final pass proving costly.
From broken play lock Tertius Lamprecht almost found himself in a gap just before the break, but play was called back for an earlier penalty infringement, which gave Feast the chance to stretch his side’s lead from the tee. Half-time: Hugenote 15 Tygerberg 5.
The pattern of attack followed by heartbreak for the Tygers was repeated soon after the restart, captain and hooker Shane Farmer and left wing Luciaan Diergaard exchanging passes, but being driven back by resolute Blackies defence.
The result of a comedy of errors amongst the visiting backs handed the simplest of tries to the home no. 8 Nashwell Marthinus, who merely had to fall unopposed on a loose ball in the in-goal area. Feast added the extras. (Hugenote 22 Tygerberg 5 – 39 minutes)
It was at this juncture that Tygerberg’s most successful weapon – expansive passes among the backs, executed at speed – turned into their biggest drawback as the inexperience of the threequarters (four of whom confess to being more comfortable at scrumhalf) saw several promising situations amount to nothing.
The stifling heat also resulted in the pace of the game slowing to a rather unattractive error-riddled crawl, the only relief coming when West showed a fine turn of speed before being tackled into touch on the corner flag.
The tedium was finally broken when a determined Augustus charged over for his and Tygerberg’s second five-pointer after some sustained pressure. (Hugenote 22 Tygerberg 10 – 49 minutes).
To the patient spectators’ surprise, two more tries followed in quick succession.
First it was Farmer who tricked the Blackies’ cover defence to dot down midway out. Flyhalf Marco Stassen raised the flags – and a cheer of sheer relief – with the conversion and it looked like a thrilling final twenty minutes was on the cards. (Hugenote 22 Tygerberg 17 – 51 minutes)
Evidently shaken by the Tygerberg comeback, Hugenote promptly lifted their game, their riposte being as clinical as it was unexpected, von Wieligh making sure of the Man of the Match accolade with a sublime chip and chase which left the opposition dumbfounded in his wake. Feast was on target yet again. (Hugenote 29 Tygerberg 17 – 53 minutes)
The Blackies seemed content to keep the visitors pinned back with accurate kicking, but left wing Thomas Watson did manage to come agonizingly close to adding his name to the scoresheet on two occasions on either side of a penalty by Feast. (Hugenote 32 Tygerberg 17 – 63 minutes)
Although colossal Tygers tighthead Hanré Jooste found himself held up short of the line after exchanging passes with loosehead Casper Nel, he managed to storm over shortly afterwards for the eighth try of the match. Final score: Hugenote 32 Tygerberg 22.
Despite this being the first match of the season (yatter yatter), the deficiencies out back in the Tygerberg side are going to be the focus of some urgent work before Saturday’s Porterville Day outing against relative unknowns Namaqualand.
Right alongside them on the priority list will be working on their kicking. When all was said and done, both sides scored four tries, so the use of the tee proved the difference.
Hugenote did very nicely with no major weaknesses manifesting themselves. One point of concern was the loss of the ebullient Smith to injury midway through the second period. His all-round play makes him a vital cog in Lance Sendin’s machine.
Hopefully the Wellington lads will be at full strength for Oudtshoorn’s visit next weekend.