Men’s & Ladies Weekend Rugby Match Results

February 27, 2014

This past weekend a few rugby matches took place in both the Ladies and Men’s division, with the Mariners, Teachers, Renegades and Police all in action.

Ladies Rugby

Mariners and Teachers played to a competitive 1-1 draw with Gilliam Smith scoring for the Reds and Denika Borden striking back for the Mariners. In the other game League Champions Police outlasted a fired up Renegades team 6-4. With both team looking to play expansive rugby the spectators were treated to a 10 try display of open rugby. Police got three tries from Isabel van der Westhuizen and tries from Joanne Godfry, Joanne Hickley and Jeane Hofmeyer whilst Melissa Franklin, Kacie Birch each scored a try and Rebekah Kasumu scored twice for Renegades.

Men’s Rugby

In the first game of the afternoon Police took on Renegades in a hotly anticipated rematch. In their last encounter ‘Gades demolished Police up front and there were plenty of scores to settle from that affair. Police fielded a veritable hodgepodge side as they were missing several key players who were either off island or injured. Police coach Roedolf van der Westhuizen dusted off his RWC boots and started alongside Police Chairman Sean Field-Lament who came out of retirement for a one off game- underlining the importance of the game but also how bare the cupboards were for the Blues.

Renegades were fielding a strong side with the return of John Quigley in the center bolstering a dangerous looking back line. Both teams set the tone early with some committed tackles underlining the intensity of play. The Police gained early ascendancy and they looked to expose Renegades out wide. Set piece ball by Adam Richards and Ben Beasley being quickly shifted to their danger men on the wings. The strategy paid dividends as Tommy Edwards open the account with a strong finish. Dan Cole knocked over the conversion for a 7-0 lead. From the restart Police forwards set up a good platform and the ball was recycled out to the speedster Neville Zuille who fought his way over for an unconverted try. Police were in control and looked to close down the first half with a 12 point lead however Renegades showed the character and ground their way into the Police 22.

Recycled ball saw Alex Donkervoet power through some weak tackling for a converted try deep into injury time. The 12-7 half time score did not reflect the Police dominance and they were left to ruminate on their last minute loss of concentration. The second half saw Renegades belief grow as their gnarly set of forwards began to make in roads and some massive runs by a invigorated Quigley in the center ensured the Gades were on the front foot. Early on Renegades hit the post with a kickable penalty but began to exert sustained pressure on Police. The Black and Whites pounded away with surging runs by Jahan Cedano, Mike Williams and Connor McGlynn being repulsed by an increasingly desperate defensive stand by the beleaguered Police team. Renegades had the try line in sight- and with the Police reeling on the ropes like a punch drunk heavy weight prize fighter- National team scrum half Tom Healy displayed immense sportsmanship and told the referee to stop play as a Police player had a bloody head injury.

The game was stopped and Tom Edwards was carried off for treatment to a nasty cut to the top of his head. From the scrum restart Renegades continued to knock away and with the front door barred by stout tackling , Healy shifted the ball down the blind side and let winger Angus Warnich glide over way out wide to score in the corner. Rich Cumbers sliced the difficult conversion and things were tied up at 12-12. Police maintained their composure and stuck with their game plan. A surging run by Patrick Graham brought the boys in blue down to the Gades five meter line. A cynical killing of the ball saw referee John Weale award a kickable penalty however a quick tap was taken by van der Westhuizen who plowed over several ‘Gades to score in the corner. The difficult sideline conversion was missed but Police had regained the lead 17-12- arguably against the flow of play. Renegade’s confidence was growing and with Peter Dunkerly controlling lineouts the ‘Gades soon worked their way back into scoring position.

Some quick recycling saw them expose the blind side again and Donkervoet scored his second out wide on a three on two overlap from ten yards out. The conversion was agonizingly missed by Cumbers who was having an unlucky time with the boot. The see-saw battle continued and both teams traded blows in an increasingly passionate encounter. A strong run down the middle by Quigley sucked in the defence and when recycled quickly Renegades bounced it outside. Warnich scored again to take the lead for the first time of the game and secure a bonus point for scoring four tries.

The conversion was once again missed but with less than twelve minutes left Renegades had a tenuous 22-17 lead. Police responded well and spurred on with visions of their title aspirations evaporating they began to up the pace and intensity. Renegades increasingly looked fatigued, tackles began to be missed and space was being created by the resurgent Police pack. A series of controlled recycling saw Police forwards lead by Nick West make valuable yards. A surging run by Cobus Vermaak produced quick ball and blue scrum half John Stathakis capitalized on the subsequent gap to dart over from twenty five yards out- tying the score again at 22 -22. Police full back Dan Cole stepped up to kick the conversion but it sneaked excruciatingly wide right by inches to deny Police a deserved win in a fantastic game of rugby. Both teams shared honors in a bonus point tie. Police had temporally regained the lead in league standings and they held out hope that a Mariners victory over chasing Teachers would give them the league title.

In the second match a fired up Teachers took on the much improved Mariners side in a game that was worth double points to both sides as a way of making up for a previously cancelled game. Teachers knew that an emphatic bonus point win would ensure that they took a two point lead in the league standings heading into the last round and an unimaginable loss would hand the league title to Police. Mariners were looking to build on their improving form as a way of preparing for the approaching Nichol Shield knock out competition.

The game started off well and both teams looked to impose their will on the other. Neither team could gain the ascendancy and a battle of attrition slowly evolved up front. The crucial breakthrough came when Mariners talisman Tony Ward went off with a suspected shoulder injury. The burly back rowers absence was immediately felt as the Reds gained dominance in the forwards with strong runs by Taeshon Desilva and the noisy Anthony “Church” Cupidore. Elder states man Derek “Bobby” Hurdle controlled the lineouts despite a suspected charley horse. The first try came from series of strong forward drives with Peter Otin crossing over after 20 minutes. The conversion was knocked over by Shauntino “Puppy” Simmons for a slender 7-0 lead. Both teams looked to spin the ball wide and the dangerous combination of Chatoke Wainwright, Rory Dublin and Jamel Easton bodes well for the Mariner’s long term future.

However it was a surging run by the ageless Harry Andrews from the Teacher full back position which extended the Reds lead to 12-0 at the half time. Some worried looks were exchanged by the vociferous Teachers supporters who were unaccustomed to the stiff resistance encounter by a proud Mariners side. However their team answered the clarion call and scored four unanswered tries in the final 20 minutes of an intense game. Patrick Richardson’s solo effort gave the Reds a commanding 17-0 lead and then a sniping run by feisty scrum half David Porter ensured the bonus point for the Reds. Up 22-0 the Reds began to get the bit between their teeth.

Mariners played on gamely but their collective will was sapped when a powerful run by the versatile Aldo Campbell saw the big man take the score to 27-0. In the dying embers of a fiery game, the try of the day came from Teacher speedster Corey Boyce who collected a probing kick deep in his own 22 meter area. A scintillating weaving run of nearly 90 meters show cased the National team winger’s pace and vision. He touched down near the posts and Simmons converted to put an exclamation mark to a fine 34-0 Teachers victory. The bonus point win lifted Teachers two point above a hurting Police side with a mouthwatering winner takes all encounter next weekend in the last round of the Men’s league.

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