Shebeen boys beat Kopano 19-7
Last week on the mile, nobody predicted the conditions that were to be experienced by the players on the field and the support on the sideline. The results of the evening bear testament to the strength of character and sheer determination to get on with the game and play, even when things went from mild to New Orleans in the space of hours.
Marquard 17 – 13 Ikhaya
Turtles 0 – 5 Smuts
The likelihood of spectacle-rugby was therefore slim, with many of the games see-sawing both ways without either team rising above the conditions, but a few moments of individual flair was what set teams apart where the conditions nullified a team effort.
Barbarians and Easterns were involoved in a stop-start affair and the frustration showed in the players. Nobody got near the tryline and it was discipline that let both teams down. At 0-0 the most impressive part of the game was the big hits put in from both teams. Level points meant Babaas pipped Easterns for second spot and will take on Ubumbo in the QF’s. Easterns have the prospect of a confident Cobras side to get past to keep their semi-final hopes alive.
Panthers caused the biggest upset of the night, beating a Wildboys side that finished top of the group. Another ill-disciplined game with penalty counts in double figures made the game uneasy on the eye. Whether Panthers can continue in this vein in their quarter final fixture against Nadoes remains to be seen. Wildboys still take top spot in group B and now face ‘wildcard’ Spanners. Wildboys’ consistency has raised their profile in 2008 to title contenders, however their BMT will be tested in this week’s quarter final against possible giant-killers, the EBE Spanners.
On the other side of the competition, Marquard put together some great phases of rugby and finished off what they had been promising to deliver all year. Ikhaya were in it for a while, but could not overcome the 4 point deficit. They will be taking long hard looks in the mirror before their game against Clarendon this week. Final score 17-13.
Smuts and Turtles battled it out to a 1 try affair in what has become somewhat of a derby fixture over the years. Turtles have certainly turned their season around and will make a strong challenge for silverware this year. Their road to the finals begins with a big clash against College and should be a cracker of a game to watch.
The last two games of the night experienced the worst of the conditions, however all teams involved played well enough to keep the crowd entertained. College and Clarendon were heading for a draw when the Knights scored at the death. The College forwards got involved in a handbag swinging match on the near side of the field, whilst the Clarendon backs kicked into gear and scored in the torrential rain to close out a tense game 7-0.
Shebeen Boys’ dry run finally came to an end as they put Kopano to the sword 19-7. The Boys were inspired by the return to fitness and devastating form of fullback-turned-flyhalf, Tyrone Fouche. The man was simply unstoppable with ball in hand, scoring a great individual try from 30 meters out, then breaking the line and offloading to a support runner to go two tries up. And then, he was on hand to slot the conversions to the delight of the Shebeen faithful. A consolation try for Kopano and possibly the best conversion kick I’ve ever seen in those conditions (no tee, flanker teeing the ball up the wrong way, wind + rain) gave them something to talk about in the dining hall after the game. All in all, a soaking wet Wednesday evening that has hopefully come and gone but we’ll just have to see what happens this week. Don’t forget the earlier starting times – the first fixtures this week start at 16h30 !