A 29-17 bonus point win against Missionvale (PE), saw Makhanda’s top rugby side The Grahamstown Brumbies book their spot in the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) Super League Bottom 12 semifinals. Brumbies were 19-10 in front at halftime.
The all-important last round of games was played out in front of a large crowd at the Oval last Saturday with winning a do-or-die to reach the semi finals.
It was Brumbies who achieved this with a commanding performance that served as a stern warning to their opponents this coming weekend in the semi finals.
The visitors got off to a perfect start, scoring a try in the first minute of the game, when their centre broke through the midfield untouched to score under the poles. Missionvale slotted a penalty minutes later and found themselves 10-0 in front as Brumbies felt the pressure.
Brumbies got off to a nervous start and made unforced errors early on. They regrouped, though, and in the 15th minute, veteran loose forward Antonio Mahapi dived over. Vincent Mains converted to narrow matters to 7-10 in favour of the visitors. Brumbies began their dominance with forwards and backs complementing each other well on attack and defence. The home side enjoyed territorial advantage that saw them score two further tries in the first half – Diago Isaacs and Luciano Steyn Didloft. Brumbies ended the first half with a 19-10 lead.
The locals went in to the second half confident, in search for that all-important bonus-point try. Brumbies dominated in the scrums, but their lineouts were not up to standard. The home side’s forwards provided quality ball for their backs to score good rounded tries. Alvino Williams and Didloft scored further tries in the second half and should have scored more points. Missionvale’s discipline started to falter and they lost focus during the second half: Brumbies took full advantage.
For Brumbies, young Didloft enjoyed a good game at full back, while great support in the backline came from Glenwill Boeta-Bolt Lewis and Mains. In the forwards, veterans Monray Evans, Mahapi and Peter Frans showed their experience both on attack and defence. Ethan September, Allen Loutz and Sylvester Spiers provided good support with their all-round presence on the ground.
Brumbies Head Coach Ricardo Abrahams said, “Our goal was to win with a bonus point and we achieved that. I am very proud of the boys and now looking forward to prepare harder to be ready for the play offs.”
Brumbies Captain Vincent “Massimo” Mains was happy with the win but said his side could have scored more points. “We made a lot of stupid errors and mistakes on attack in front of the try line. We will have to be more disciplined in the semis,” Mains said.
Brumbies 1st Reserves also collected a 29-20 bonus point win. Declan Muller scored two tries while Justin Isaacs, Diago Plaaitjies and Emile Heathcote also dived over.
Brumbies will face Hankey in their semi-final on Saturday.