By CHESLEY DANIELS
On Saturday, Algoa Park Rugby 1st XV recorded an impressive 19-15 narrow win over host Rosebuds in a friendly rugby clash at the Alicedale Sports Ground. Algoa Park led 12-8 at halftime.
The main game of the day was played in hot weather conditions in front of a large crowd in attendance and in front of a fantastic atmosphere. It was a beautiful day of rugby, and these two sides didn’t disappoint their supporters. The game was played in good spirit and was a competitive affair; both sides came out guns blazing and confronted each other heads on. The visitors’ forwards took charge of matters in front and controlled the game. The young Algoa Park side was up for the task and was the more fitter side on the day, having played a couple of games before this encounter. It was an up and down affair for both sides in the first half as they struggled to find their feet. Cameron Jantjies (8) and Kyle Smith (5) scored for Algoa Park in the first half, while Ezra Davids (4) scored the only try for Buds.
The second half saw a more determined Algoa Park side, and with their exciting young backs, they attacked in all earnest with the ball in hand. Buds forth back hard in the second half, but their fitness let them down as they began to fall out a bit due to their fitness. The visitor’s forwards carried the ball up nicely and provided quality ball possession for their exciting backs. Damian De Laura (13) scored for the visitors as they took a 19-8 lead. Rosebuds Edwin Saterdag hit back with a late try for his side as Marcus De Vos converted. But it was too late in the end, handing Algoa a deserved 19-15 win.
Rendol Dawids, Algoa Park manager, said, “This was not our best game on the day but one of the better ones. We can improve our ball handling and general decision making on the field. The game improved the moment the backs started to implement what they practised; the running lines were mesmerizing, and that gave our forwards just the extra bit of energy. In their first senior game, many guys like Kyle “Frankryk” Smith, Marcus Van Niekerk, and Brian Murphy came through. ”
President of Rosebuds Henry Bruintjies described the day as very successful, despite the hot weather conditions. “We didn’t play in almost two years, and the players were not fit enough. Algoa Park played very well, and all credit to them, especially their youngsters. I am impressed with our performance and happy, but a lot of work lies ahead.”
Algoa Park 1st Reserve won 29-22.