14a vs Bishops
Saturday marked the beginning of the league season and the boys faced a stern test against our Southern Suburbs rivals Bishops. We wanted to build on our preceding four games and lay down a marker for the season in our opening fixture. I think to a large extent that was achieved although the team is still playing well in patches and taking their foot off the pedal once a good lead has been established against our opponents.
We started extremely well and made Bishops pay for attempting to play all their rugby in their own half. Our defensive line, while sometimes over-eager, set the tone for a dominant first half performance and we continually caught Bishops behind the advantage line when they were on attack. This ultimately led to our first try scored by the bustling hooker and captain Anathi Kalipa. The rest of the first half followed a similar vein to that of the opening ten minutes with Bishops throwing caution to the wind and continuing to run from everywhere regardless of our solid defence and the intermittent rain. Unfortunately for the SACS side we were unable to add more than a solitary penalty in the first half and comfortably left two more tries on the table with some poor decision making in the red zone.
We scored a try early in the second half after a strong driving maul was halted just short and Declan O’Connor was able to drive over after a few rumbles with the forward pack around the fringes. The rest of the second half was marred by handling errors from our side when in very positive attacking positions – the wet weather did not aid our cause, but we need to improve this aspect of our game prior to Rondebosch this coming weekend.
Ultimately the U14A team was able to saviour a solid and well deserved victory (18 – 5), but there is a long way to go and Rondebosch will present a vastly different challenge. Hard work lies ahead this week and the boys will need to raise the bar even further against our next opponents.
Ross Southgate (coach)