By Chesley Daniels
Swallows 1st XV extended its lead at the top of the EPRU SEDRU Regional League log with a commanding and clinical 34-12 bonus point win over hosts Rosebuds United, in Alicedale on Youth Day – June 16.
The Makhanda side were firmly in control at the break and took a healthy 22-0 at halftime. Swallows went into the encounter giving their fringe players a start, and resting their key and seasoned players for this clash. This execution was also to test the depth of the squad, and to try out different combinations.
This bonus point win put Swallows on 28 log points, nine points clear of OC, currently in second place with 19 points. The struggling Rosebuds now remain in the last position and bottom of the log with zero points and five consecutive defeats.
The log leaders made their intentions very clear from the outset and ran hard at the home side. Swallows’ scrum, as expected, was again in devastating mode and demolished the struggling scrum of Buds, resulting in numerous scrum penalties. The visitors threw the ball around and gave it air, with some excellent ball handling, which resulted in three quick tries. The home side found themselves 17-0 down and were already on the back foot and under severe pressure. Swallows continue to pile on the pressure as their forwards displayed bulldozing storming runs from the rucks. Another classical try from Swallows brought the score to 22-0 at halftime.
Rosebuds came with a different mindset in the second half and started playing their favourite game, by running at the opposition and increasing the intensity of the game. This yielded dividends for them as they started putting Swallows under pressure, capitalising on the visitors’ mistakes. Swallows rang in the changes and brought on their substitutes to give everyone game time. The Birds’ dominance continued and tons of chances came their way to score points. However, their game plan resulted in them wasting numerous scoring opportunities. Buds came back with two tries and suddenly the visitors felt the pressure and started making mistakes.
A stern talk again from the coaching staff of Swallows did the trick. Suddenly the visitors regrouped and played more structured rugby. A few more tries from Swallows took the game away from the home side and closed matters off with a convincing 34-12 bonus point win.
POINTS SCORERS FOR SWALLOWS:
TRIES: Jason Henson, Kegan Roberts, Alexius Steyn Walters, Blaine Jeggels, Gershwon Nelson, Penalty
POINTS FOR ROSEBUDS:
TRIES: Reeve Bassadien (2)
CONVERSION: Shaneed Peterson
MAN OF THE MATCH
The recipient of the Grocott’s Mail/Daniels MEDIA Man of the Match went to the evergreen beast, Ethan Slang September. Ethan was again a monster both on attack and defence, and his general all-round play was just outstanding. He was powerful at the back of the scrum and gained metres after metres with the ball in hand, carrying out brilliant offloads in tackle situations and being involved in most of the tries.
EPRU SEDRU REGIONAL LEAGUE LOG AS AT 17 JUNE 2023:
- Swallows – 28 (6)
- Old Collegians – 19 (6)
- Rhodes – 18 (5)
- Klipfontein United – 9 (4)
- Ndlambe Tigers – 9 (6)
- Kowie United – 6 (6)
- Rosebuds – 0 (5)