English tourists Wellington College beat a slightly off-colour Rondebosch team 10-8 on Thursday to register the first victory of their short tour of South Africa.
Five minutes after referee Jonathan Kaplan had started proceedings the home team went ahead with a sweetly-struck penalty from the boot of flyhalf William Keet, whose precise tactical kicking was all that kept his side in the game for much of the early stages of this encounter.
However, on the quarter-hour mark Wellington No.8 Tom Garvey forced his way over in the right-hand corner to put the visitors ahead 5-3, which proved to be the half-time score.
Seven minutes after the resumption the English lads struck again when left wing Robbie Offer crossed the line following slick handling by the tourists’ threequarters, amongst whom right wing Matt Hughes once again excelled (10-3).
Already without talismanic first centre Hilio de Abreu, due to an injury suffered at Cape Schools Week, one might have forgiven the home backs for going seriously off the boil after the departure at half-time of star wing Giovanni Hofmeyr with a bruised left hip, especially when they were facing such wily opponents, so efficiently marshalled by pivot Elliot Markham.
However, Rondebosch finally found some of the rhythm which has been such a hallmark of their play this season and were rewarded when full back Brandon Volbrecht, who was brought on only at the change-over, held off several would-be tacklers to dot down in the right hand corner twenty minutes from time (10-8).
In the latter stages the Rondebosch forwards started to subdue their well-drilled opponents, but to no avail. Keet miscued a penalty in front of the posts from 40 metres and Markham had what appeared to be a fair goal – the linesmen raised their flags – denied by the referee, who ruled that it had passed over an upright.
And so, the touring party heads off to East London for a date with Selborne. Should be an intriguing encounter!
By Tony Stoops
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The Barbarians are one of the top invitational rugby sides with a long history and classic rugby jersey.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Lions get ready for their matches with this green training jersey. It's what the players wear. Get in the Gear!
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The Lions are ready to get their Australia tour underway. They arrive in Perth on Monday.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.