By: TRISTAN COOKE
The Inter-Sub Union quarter finals saw Thistles beat Old Collegians (OC) 10-3 to advance to the semi-final on Saturday 22 September. The closely fought, low scoring battle took place at the Grahamstown Oval.
Thistles’ forward pack were dominant up front; they had a larger pack and made the most of this advantage. This physicality put OC on the back foot and allowed time and space on the ball for the backline, this resulted in a 7-3 half time lead for the Thistles. OC were only able to get on the board through the boot of flyhalf Siyabonga Mahapi as he converted a penalty.
Even with a dominant pack, Thistles found their defence under pressure in the second half as OC pushed hard for a try. Ill-disciple on attack lead to missed opportunities and the only addition to the scoreboard was a penalty in the second half. Even with the second half points ending 3-0 in favour of the Thistles they were not the dominant team and OC missed opportunities that could have changed the fate of the game.
OC coach, Lungise Memani, said, “I am very disappointed that we could not get a few tries today as we had so many scoring opportunities. Our players panicked at crucial times and there were too many mistakes from our side. I’m also very proud we got this far and happy with our season, although I felt we should have won this game. But I guess we have to wait for next year to see if we can go all the way to reach promotion status.”
With OC looking hard at what they can do to change their fate next season Thistles progress to the semi-final and edge closer to what could be their year.