By CHESLEY DANIELS
Old Collegians (OC) 1st XV ended the unbeaten run of log leaders St Mark’s Alicedale with a narrow, nail-biting 31-30 bonus-point win. The EPRU Sedru Regional League clash was played at the Albany Sports Ground on Saturday.
OC put up a much-improved performance against St Mark’s after losing to Klipfontein the previous Saturday. OC now moved up to second position ahead of Kowie on the log standings after Kowie lost to Rhodes. St Mark’s remains on top.
The game was brutal, hard, physical and went down to the wire. It was a great game of rugby on display and could have gone either way. Both teams came hard at each other and entertained the crowd. In the end, OC held on to their guns and to end 31-30 winners.
Masixole Jonono, the winning captain, took the win but was not entirely happy with his team. “We nearly lost the game out of kick-offs as we conceded two tries from that set-piece. It was a great game of rugby on display, but we need to sort out a few things. St Mark’s came hard at us and put us under pressure,” Jonono said.
St Mark’s coach Edward Botha congratulated OC on their win and is not entirely happy with his players as he believed they should have won the game. “We lost our unbeaten status through kicking too much and didn’t keep the ball in hand. We made crucial mistakes in the lineouts and were not solid in the scrums. Our backline was very dangerous, with inside centre Matthew Daniels causing havoc in the midfield with strong line breaks. He scored a brilliant try from his own half point.
“We have a lot of positives to take out of this game, and we are not going to make any excuses for the loss. We focus now on preparing for Klipfontein, which will be another one we need to grind out. We just need to be more patient and more accurate in our field decision-making. Matthew Daniels was our Man of the Match, although we lost. To OC, well done. We look forward to the return fixture,” he said.
Tries: Vuyelwethu Bam (2), Aviwe Dingane, Siyamthanda Wambi
Conversions: Siyabulela Ngesi (3)
Penalties: Siyabonga Mahapi (2)
Tries: Marcus Goliath, Matthew Daniels, Sive Litje
Conversions: Ettienne Blou (3)
Penalties: Ettienne Blou (3)
Siyabulela Ngesi was the Grocott’s Mail Man of the Match for his all-round performance for OC. He controlled the game throughout, gained good advantage and let the forwards go through that advantage line. He also converted three tries.