By Chesley Daniels
Grahamstown Brumbies 1st XV was in rampant mode when they ran in 10 tries in their 62-13 bonus point win over Missionvale United in their second round EPRU Grand Challenge Group A Clash at the fortress Oval Sports Ground on 12 August.
The Top three of each of the four groups will now go through to compete in a potential new top-tier format competition that will be reduced to 12 teams. Before the contest, Brumbies needs to win both their remaining two home games with a bonus point in order to finish in third position behind Trying Stars and Progress. Missionvale is hot on Brumbies’ heels and will be hoping that Brumbies lose their remaining two home matches.
The home side were first to put points on the board in the fifth minute via a driving lineout maul that was well orchestrated, as hooker Garin Strydom dived over. Missionvale captain Wattie Peterson narrowed matters with a 15th-minute penalty as Brumbies lead 5-3. The hosts made numerous unforced errors and couldn’t convert the pressure into points, due to over-eagerness and lapses in concentration. The visitors took the lead for the first time in the game with a try by left winger Jonathan Brewer in the left-hand corner, after an intercept from their own 22m area that led to the try. Missionvale led 8-5 in the 30th minute of the first half.
Brumbies replied with a bulldozing try by 8thman Denvon Goliath in the 37th minute to regain the lead 10-8. On the stroke of halftime, Brumbies were rewarded for their consistent pressure inside the visitors’ half when fly-half Pondy Basson neatly broke the line to score underneath the poles. Scrumhalf Shanton Whitebooi slotted the conversion to hand Brumbies a 17-8 at halftime.
Brumbies came out guns blazing in the second half in search of that all-important fourth bonus point try and obviously to seal the win. With the Missionvale front rankers injured and uncontested scrums awarded, this obviously not the ideal situation for the dominant scrum pack of forwards for Brumbies who demolished the visitors in that department. Missionvale didn’t know what struck them as the Stallions kept attacking from all corners. Monray Evans, Declan Muller (x2), Denvon Goliath, Daniel Nkopane, and Lelona Xhaso (X2) scored further second-half tries to seal the game for their side, while Missionvale only managed to score one try in the second half.
In the end, it was a demolition from Brumbies over their counterparts and one-way traffic, resulting in the home side running in 10 tries to secure a huge 62-13 bonus point win over the Gqeberha side.
POINT SCORERS FOR BRUMBIES:
TRIES: DENVON GOLIATH (X2), DECLAN MULLER (X2), LELONA XHASO (X2), MONRAY EVANS, PONDY BASSON, DANIEL NKOPANE, GARIN STRYDOM. CONVERSIONS: SHANTON WHITEBOOI (X3), PONDY BASSON (X3)
MAN OF THE MATCH
The Grocott’s Mail and Daniels MEDIA Man of the Match Award went to PJ Dido of Brumbies. The big outside centre put on a stellar performance and was involved in most of the tries. His strong and powerful ball carriers, sending his backs away, were just phenomenal. Dido was also rock solid in the midfield with his colossal defence, and a constant threat to his opponents from the onset.
Brumbies 1st Reserve beat Missionvale 19-17. Brumbies will face Despatch in their last game of the season at the Oval in a must-win encounter.