By Chesley Daniels
Lily White 1st XV recorded their second win of the EPRU Grand Challenge Competition (Group A) with an impressive 30-13 bonus point win over Missionvale United from Gqeberha on 15 July at the Lavender Valley Sports Ground.
A decent local, enthusiastic crowd came out in numbers to support their local rugby team that competed in the highest league competition of the EPRU. A perfect sunny winter’s day in Makhanda and good weather for rugby were the order of the day as hundreds of spectators witnessed some exciting running rugby throughout the game.
Missionvale came to Makhanda as firm favorites and was in 4th position before the contest. Hosts Blues were in last position and under pressure to perform and win, especially in front of their faithful and loyal supporters. But it was Lily White who surprised the visitors and gave the ball lots of air from the onset. As much as it was a physical encounter, both teams were not scared to run the ball from all corners of the ground. Both teams were in desperate need of a bonus point win. In this vital and crucial stage of the competition, this is not negotiable. The crowd got full value for their money and both teams walked off the field in good spirit after the final whistle.
The home side dominated the scrum department and put the visitors under pressure up front. The lineouts were even up as both teams’ line-out jumpers made good inroads in competing well for the ball. Blues took their chances afforded to them and made it count by putting points on the board, while Missionvale lost numerous scoring opportunities out wide with overlaps in sight. The first half ended with the home side in charge with the score at 20-5.
Whilst the visitors continued to miss scoring opportunities, the home side had other ideas. Blues played with more confidence in the second half as their fans cheered them up and got behind their Makhandans. Lock Zolile Braveman Makile of Blues scored his second try of the match in the second half, putting on a Man of the Match performance with his all-round prowess on the park. The home side took the game away from the visitors as they scored the all-important fourth bonus point try.
The visitors were caught off guard and were not expecting the attacking onslaught from Lily White. The final whistle went off as Blues marched off the field with a full bag of points, claiming a comprehensive 30-13 bonus point win.
POINTS FOR LILY WHITE
TRIES: Zolile Makile (x2), Lakhanya Sam, Siya Gebuza.
CONVERSIONS: Sam (x2)
PENALTIES: Athule Rooi (x2)
MAN OF THE MATCH
The versatile and mobile lock forward of Lily White, Zolile Braveman Makile, was voted the Grocott’s Mail Sport and Daniels MEDIA Man of the Match. He not only scored two fine tries but was all over the show and put in some hard yards throughout the game. Makile was outstanding in the lineouts, gained metres on the attack with the ball in hand, and was solid on defence as well. He also ensured numerous turnovers at the breakdowns.
LATEST EPRU GRAND CHALLENGE GROUP A LOG AS AT 15 JULY 2023
- PROGRESS – 51 (11)
- TRYING STARS – 43 (10)
- GRAHAMSTOWN BRUMBIES – 25 (10)
- DESPATCH – 22 (11)
- MISSIONVALE UNITED – 21 (10)
- BORN FIGHTERS – 20 (10)
- LILY WHITE – 11 (9)
- WINDVOGEL UNITED – 8 (9)