By Chesley Daniels
EPRU ADAMS CUP
AFRICAN BOMBERS VS ST MARK’S ALICEDALE – ZWIDE, GQEBERHA
An injury-time drop goal by Ettienne Blou gave St Mark’s a narrow 15-14 away win against hosts African Bombers on 3 June. The win put the Alicedale side in 6th position on the log, while the Bombers are now in 7th position.
It was a very impressive win for the visitors and a very important one, as they needed to get back to winning after a couple of defeats. The Bulls’ powerful forwards laid the foundation perfectly, ensuring a quality ball for their young exciting backline. It was a very physical battle up front, as St Mark’s had the upper hand in the scrums, and their powerful ball carriers came to the party.
Bombers were leading 14-12 in injury time with the time already up on the clock. St Mark’s went on the attack just inside the Bombers’ half about 45m out, when the scrumhalf executed a bullet pass to fly half Ettienne Blou, who neatly collected. Blou slotted a 50m drop goal that sailed high over the crossbar to give St Mark’s a memorable narrow 15-14 win.
MAN OF THE MATCH: ETTIENNE BLOU OF ST MARK’S
EPRU GRAND CHALLENGE GROUP A
LILY WHITE VS DESPATCH – ALBANY SPORTS GROUND
Both teams went into this encounter in desperate need of bonus point wins, being in 6th and 7th position on the overall log. Flyhalf Lukhanyo Sam slotted two first-half penalties to give the Blues a narrow 6-5 lead at the break. Despatch’s bigger forwards dominated matters, especially in the scrums and put their side on the front foot, while their line-out mauls were their strong legal weapon of the day. The visitors’ big, powerful ball carriers gained metres on attack and tested the Blues’ defences.
Big Lock Ruan Botha was instrumental for Despatch and scored two bulldozing tries. Blues’ defences let them down in the second half which saw Despatch take the lead with two unanswered tries within fifteen minutes of the second half to lead 17-6. The home side felt the pressure and started making too many enforced errors. While Blues started to give the ball more air and kept the ball alive, they eventually scored a converted try in the 25th minute of the second half in the form of centre Lukhanyo Mkuzo, who narrowed matters 13-17, in favour of Despatch.
It was game on, with fifteen minutes left in the game as both teams attacked each other with ball in hand with brutal hits and physicality. Despatch used their weight advantage with their big powerful forwards that saw Botha scoring his second try in the 36th minute to hand Despatch a 24-13 bonus point win.
MAN OF THE MATCH: RUAN BOTHA OF DESPATCH