Grahamstown Brumbies 1st XV and Trying Stars locked horns on Saturday 15 May at the Albany Sports Ground in a friendly match. Trying Stars got the better of the home side and ran out deserving 24-12 winners.
Clubs in the Eastern Province Rugby Union (EPRU) that are complying with Covid-19 return to play regulations are eligible to play friendly matches during this pandemic. No leagues are yet decided for the compliant clubs within the EPRU and therefore, only friendly matches can proceed.
Saturday’s friendly encounter saw no spectators allowed on the ground as it is the rule for all participating sports all over across the country. The game as expected, was fast, physical and was played at a very high tempo. These two top teams never disappointed and it was once again evident on Saturday: running rugby with so much entertainment by the young talented and skillful rugby players of both clubs.
Stars narrowly beat Brumbies 10-5 a fortnight ago in Alexandria and were also the better team on Saturday. Brumbies Firsts lost a lot of scoring opportunities and there were many enforced errors, resulting in Stars taking full advantage in the end.
Fitness was the order of the day and they played to their strength, making the game fast and spreading the ball.
Brumbies’ defence was solid throughout the match and they even looked dangerous with ball in hand. The lineouts were a bit disappointing, as they lost a number of balls in that set piece.
The backline showed some brilliance with the ball possession out wide and made things difficult for their opponents. Senior Brumbies players Monray Evans, Denvon Goliath and Diago Isaacs took charge of matters in the forwards led with solid performances, while youngsters Wonga Wakashe and Keagan Fisher impressed as well.
In the back, Luciano Didloft, Sheldon Nelson and Cullen Williams put up their hands with the limited changes with ball in hand.
Tries: Luciano Didloft and Keagan Fisher
Conversion: Luciano Didloft
Brumbies First Reserve narrowly lost 14-15 to Trying Stars. Mario O’Brien and Raymond Dial scored tries, while Shanton Whitebooi converted both tries.