By Chesley Daniels
This past weekend, we witnessed fantastic rugby on display, some upsets, heavy disappointing defeats and some close encounters from the EPRU fixtures, which included the SEDRU and Albany region clubs. Swallows, Klipfontein, Rhodes and Trying Stars were all on the winning side and are proud winners in their respective leagues.
EPRU-SEDRU REGIONAL LEAGUE
Kowie United vs Swallows – Station Hill Sports Ground
The hosts Kowie, suffered their third defeat in a row as they went into the Ndlambe region to clinch a clinical 25-17 win, followed by a conversion.
It was a close affair; matters were eventually even with 10-10 at halftime.
After its defeat, Kowie is now in sixth position and second from last on the overall log standings. They are under immense pressure and still need to register a win in the competition. As their slogan says, “We rise, we move” they will surely need to rise and move up to end on top of the log in pursuit of winning the league, which is very unlikely at this stage.
Swallows are in 2nd position behind Rhodes with a game in hand, and this win away from home was just a confidence booster. Swallows dominated Kowie in almost all facets of the game, especially their dominant forwards, who dominated every scrum from the outset. Kowie took charge of the first half and was in control as the visitors made too many enforced errors, as Swallows came from a 0-10 down to the level matter at 10-10 at the changeover.
The battle continued in the second half of the match; Swallows started owning the half with its dominance, and we witnessed a stop-start affair from both sides. The home side constantly questioned the referee’s decisions, their manager included, as they were penalized for numerous infringements at the breakdowns. The referee eventually changed his decision in favour of Swallows, overturning it in the scrums for the home side. Nevertheless, the game continued, and it was business as usual as the two sides were level at 17-17 halfway through the second half. Kowie’s discipline came into the equation again as Swallows received a penalty that saw them regain the lead 20-17. With less than 10 minutes to go and the game open to any of the sides winning, the Birds’ dominant forwards came to the party and used their weight advantage, especially in the scrums, and put the cherry on the cake when it matters.
Another dominant defending scrum close to the try line of Kowie resulted in a pressure situation that saw the host lose the ball in the in-goal area with the alert Swallows player Ivan Mot Agnew dived on the ball to score to extend the lead 25-17. The conversion gave Swallows a deserved and hard-earned 25-17 win and claimed to bragging rights over their counterparts, who they also beat last year at the Oval.
Tries: Ethan September, Jason Potgieter, Ivan Agnew
Conversions: Jason Henson x2
Penalties: Henson x2
Tries: Mason Brooks, Thando Ntontela
Conversions: Zenovan Denton x2
James May was voted the Grocott’s Mail Sports/Daniels Media Man of the Match for his steady performance at the outside centre. He was a Real threat to his opponents on the attack, unpredictability with the ball in hand, deceptive footwork and jinx, and was excellent on defence.