Durbanville-Bellville flyhalf Garth April on Monday kicked a late penalty in the dying minutes of a gripping Cell C Community Cup final against hosts and defending champions Rustenburg Impala to secure a hard-fought 31-30 victory and their first national title in the history of the club.
The final day of the competition was a high-scoring affair as all but one of the teams scored 30 points or more in their final matches, which made for exciting rugby at the Impala Rugby Club in Rustenburg.
Mistakes at crucial times and turnovers at the rucks for Durbell came at a high price in the first half, but inspite of this they managed to force the hosts to work hard for their points. With the physicality and intensity high, the half was nail-biting with Impala scoring two tries to Durbell’s one for a narrow 12-10 lead. The second half was equally tense as each team scored two tries, but super kicking by Durbell, which saw Garth April kick a late penalty, secured them the victory.
In the third and fourth-place playoff Hamiltons were the first team to secure a 50-point score in this year’s Easter Playoffs as they thrashed GAP Management Despatch 66-40 thanks to their ability to take advantage of the holes in defence. Despatch looked tired at times and made errors at crucial times, which denied them from making their mark in the match in searing heat in Rustenburg. Despatch, however, showed their fighting spirit as they ran in a total of six tries to take the points tally of the match to 106 points.
Pretoria Police delivered a solid second-half display against Jonsson College Rovers to finish their campaign on a high note and the title as Plate Final winners, while Vaseline Wanderers defeated Wesbank 45-35 in their clash to finish seventh in the competition.
Durbanville-Bellville (10) Rustenburg Impala (12) – Cup final
Rustenburg Impala received an opportunity to score a try in the sixth minute as wing Morne Jooste made his way around the defence, but a knock-forward denied him. However, they continued to apply pressure on Durbell and gathered possession which allowed hooker Gavin Williamson to cross the try-line in the eighth minute. A penalty by Durbell minutes later reduced the gap to 5-3. This appeared to bolster the Cape side’s confidence as they retained possession and applied pressure on attack. They created a fantastic opportunity to score a try, but a crucial error metres from the try-line early in the second quarter cost them again. Adding to this, three of their attempts at goal in the first 25 minutes proved unsuccessful. However, they were able to build on this momentum which resulted in Durbell flyhalf Garth April stepping his way through the defence to score their first try in the 30th minute for a 10-5 lead. But this was cancelled out minutes before the break as Rustenburg Impala flyhalf Cecil Dumond scored a well-worked try after gathering the ball from a nudge off Aubrey McDonald’s leg, leaving Durbell trailing 12-10 at halftime.
The defending champions opened up the scoring in the second half with a penalty by fullback Wilco De Wet, who added another in the 47th minute. But Durbell held on with a try by Angus Cleophas and another by Brendon April to only one unconverted try by Impala’s Mzivukile Duma to hold onto a narrow 25-23 lead with 10 minutes left on the clock. A late tackle by Impala’s De Wet allowed April to take a five-point lead on the scoreboard with nine minutes to play, but they again found themselves trailing as Impala’s Jermaine Apollis touched down for a 30-28 lead. The see-saw battle continued until the final minute as Durbell’s April kicked another penalty with three minutes to go, which proved to be the winning points.
Durbanville-Bellville: Tries – Angus Cleophas, Brendon April, Garth April. Conversions – Garth April (2). Penalties – Garth April (2), Raymond Olivier (2).
Rustenburg Impala: Tries – Cecil Dumond, Dumisani Matyeshana, Gavin Williamson, Jermaine Apollis. Conversions – Wilco de Wet (2). Penalties – Wilco de Wet (2).
Hamiltons 66 (40) Gap Management Despatch 40 (26) – 3rd/4th place play-off
Hamiltons dominated from the outset against GAP Management Despatch as they snuck through the holes in Despatch’s defence to run in an impressive six tries in the first half of the third and fourth-place playoff. Despatch tried hard to counter the Cape side’s solid attack, and their efforts were rewarded with four tries, two of which were scored by wing Baldwin McBean to trail 40-26 at the break.
GAP Management Despatch’s woes continued in the second half as they were reduced to 14 men in the 63rd minute, while they also made mistakes at crucial times. The team, however, bounced back when their full complement of players was restored and scored two tries in the last 16 minutes to increase their points to 40. With Hamiltons scoring four more tries in the second half, however, Despatch had to settle for a disappointing 66-40 defeat.
Hamiltons: Tries – Earl Lewis (2), Jacques Oosthuizen, Janno van Zyl, Jody Burch, Monty Dumond, Pierre Cronje (2), Sebastian Ferreira, Tapiwa Tsomondo. Conversions: Monty Dumond (7), Shane Vallender.
GAP Management Despatch: Tries – Baldwin McBean (2), Basil de Doncker, Dumisani Meslane, Michael Vermaak, Stephan Deyzel. Conversions – Selvyn Davids (5).
Jonsson College Rovers 15 (10) Pretoria Police 37 (11) – Plate final
The first half between Jonsson College Rovers and Pretoria Police was tight as both teams threw everything at each other, which resulted in a physical battle. Such was the close nature of the half each team scored only one try, but two penalties by Pretoria Police to only one by College Rovers nudged them ahead on the scoreboard.
The Durban side, however, were dealt a big blow in the second half as Luciando Santos and Chris Kemp received yellow cards reducing them to 13 men late in the match. A yellow card for Pretoria Police eased the situation for them. But despite this a superior performance by Pretoria Police, who found their rhythm on attack, allowed them to dominate the half. They also capitalised on their point-scoring chances which allowed them four tries to only one by Jonsson College Rovers for the 37-15 victory.
Jonsson College Rovers: Tries – Jongi Nokwe, Roan Dalzell. Conversion – Chris Micklewood. Penalty – Chris Micklewood.
Pretoria Police: Tries – Dillon Laubscher, Ian van Deventer (2), Jerry Sefoko, Ruan van Loo. Conversions – Dillon Laubscher (2), Pieter Strydom. Penalties: Dillon Laubscher (2).
Vaseline Wanderers 45 (12) Wesbank 35 (14) – 7th/8th place-playoff
Vaseline Wanderers staged a strong second-half comeback to secure a seventh place finish in the tournament in their clash against Wesbank as they ran in five well-worked tries after the break to secure the victory. Wesbank’s innovative attack and raw pace gave them the upper hand in the first half and earned them a narrow 14-12 lead. But Wanderers retained possession and used their powerful forwards well to force their way over the advantage line in the second half to take control of the match. In total Wanderers scored seven tries to five by Wesbank.
Vaseline Wanderers: Tries – Johan September, Salmon Coetzee (3), Vincent Fredericks. Conversions – Theodore Marinus (5).
Wesbank: Tries – Carl Gliddon, Craig Kolarik, Darryn Rentzke, Dylan Rutherford, Kyle Dutton, Wesley Flanagan (2). Conversions – Craig Kolarik, Darryn Rentzke (4).