By CHESLEY DANIELS
Kowie United 1st XV are back to winning ways as they needed to dig deep for a hard-fought 20-10 win over Swallows. The EPRU Sedru Regional League clash was played in front of a large crowd at the Station Hill Sports Ground in Port Alfred on Saturday. The home side also took a narrow 13-10 lead break at the changeover.
Kowie lost their last encounter against log leaders St Mark’s, and with the win over Swallows, they remain in second position, one point behind the log leaders. Swallows still need to register their first win in the competition and suffered their fifth straight defeat over the weekend.
However, it was a much-improved performance by Swallows, who went down to the coast to face a defiant and psyched-up Kowie side who also took this encounter as a Derby. The game was played on a knife’s edge where both teams tried to outwit their opponents.
A confident Swallows side knew what they were up against and took the game to the home side, as they drew first blood from tries through Breyton Plaatjies and later his brother Devante Plaatjies. But the home side started to pick up momentum and find its feet, which saw them score thirteen unanswered points to go into the first half break with a narrow 13-10 lead.
The home side received much-needed local support through its enthusiastic crowd who came alive, cheering them on and getting behind their boys. Swallows, on the other hand, wasted a lot of scoring opportunities. Kowie did not take theirs either. The game tightened and got more physical as both teams smelled victory. A mistake in defence saw Kowie extend their lead with a converted try, which also happens to be the final score in the end.
Kowie 1st Reserve beat Swallows 22-19 in the main curtain-raiser.
Tries: Mason Brooks, Alvin Diedericks, Riaques Roberts
Conversion: Mason Brooks
Penalty: Mason Brooks
Tries: Breyton Plaatjies, Devante Plaatjies
The Grocott’s Mail Sport Man of the Match went to Kowie United’s loose forward Riaques Roberts, who scored a fine try, executed aggressive ball carriers, and was solid behind the scrum with his pickups and cohesive defence. He was just all over the park.
Kowie coach Kirt Wessels agreed that it was a great game from both sides and that Swallows improved immensely from their previous games. “We are obviously happy with the win, but there’s room for improvement and much hard work ahead”.
Swallows coach Weston du Plessis was happy with the improvement but agreed that a lot of hard work lay ahead. “We made numerous mistakes and lost a lot of scoring opportunities. Our prop and captain Nolan Willemse enjoyed a strong, steady game with his partner Keanen Hendriks, while seasoned campaigners like Carl and Carlos had influential games.”
- St Marks Alicedale – 20
- Kowie United – 19
- Old Collegians – 15
- Klipfontein – 14
- Rhodes – 5
- Ndlambe Tigers- 5
- Rosebuds – 2
- Swallows – 2
- Wanderers – 0
FIXTURES FOR THIS WEEKEND:
- Kowie United vs Rhodes
- Rosebuds vs Swallows
- OC vs St Marks
- Klipfontein United vs Wanderers (W/O)