By CHESLEY DANIELS
Old Collegians travelled to Alicedale last Saturday to take on Rosebuds in their EPRU Sedru Regional League fixture. OC 1st fought extremely hard for their 17-12 win.
OC recorded its second win in the competition while Rosebuds suffered its third consecutive defeat and still need to register a win. Rosebuds went into the encounter without several key players, including their inspirational captain Nico Kock. They started with uncontested scrums for the first 20 mins but went back to normal as the game went down to its full 80 minutes.
It was, however, not a one-sided affair as the clash was described as a great game. OC made a few mistakes as they were too impatient and over-eager at times. While a bit scrappy in general play, they pulled things together and recommitted in the second half.
Rosebuds full-back Diyano Kock scored the first try of the match from a line out with the ball going out wide. Fly-half CJ Saterdag converted to gave his side an early 7-0 lead. OC immediately fought back in the form of powerful eighth man Siyamthanda Wambi, who crossed over to take the halftime score to 7-5 in favour of Rosebuds.
The second half saw both teams taking the ball up nicely and throwing the ball around, taking the game to each other and physically confronting each other.
OC took the lead for the first time in the game with an unconverted try by full-back Andile Nqapi to lead 10-7. Rosebuds’ faithful supporters cheered them up and injected new life into the park that saw a fine try by Dillon Bruintjies in the right-hand corner to regain the lead 12-10 with ten minutes left in the second half.
Vuyolethu Bam’s try was disallowed when a knock-on occurred, but OC kept attacking. They were rewarded as winger Bam was eventually rewarded with a brilliant try after a kick through that saw him outsprinting the opposition to score under the poles. Siya Ngesi converted to give OC a 17-12 lead with less than five minutes remaining.
Rosebuds attacked the last three minutes of the game in search of the winner, but OC’s cohesive defence prevented them from scoring. It was a very intense finish as both teams entertained the crowd with their attacking prowess. In the end, OC grasped their opportunities and showed composure that enabled them to come out 17-12 winners.
For Rosebuds, Charl Barthers and Alwyn Jacobs put in some solid performances as senior and experienced players. OC locks were a handful and put in the hard yards, while Wambi again showed why he is highly rated. But it was the speedster Vuyelwethu Bam who earned the Grocott’s Mail Man of the Match Award. He was outstanding on attack, scoring the winning try and his speed out wide caused headaches for the opponents.
OC 1st Reserve won 34-5.
THIS WEEKEND’S FIXTURES:
Swallows vs Ndlambe Tigers
Rhodes vs Rosebuds
St Marks vs Kowie United