After an unorganized start and late arrival, the warm up finally got underway and the boys seemed extremely distant, as is with most fixtures out in the northern suburbs. After all the travels and distractions it is very difficult to get a squad ready and focused right up until 5minutes before kick-off, which was exactly the case out in Durbanville.
Looking over to the Durbell side at the start of the game, the Shebeen Boys pack were all just about half the size of the opposition, all the more reason for the boys to step it up come the first whistle. The initial moments of the game saw a very hesitant but persisting Shebeen Boys attack, this was short lived as after the first 5minutes Shebeen were flaring. Our attack dominated that of Durbells in every aspect besides the scrums and our defence stood strong at every break down. With 2 early chances, both guaranteed 7 pointers, being disallowed due to the referees judgement, the boys began to grow extremely frustrated, coupled with passes that were judged to be forward and poor handling resulted in far too many scrums.
Eventually after 28minutes of constant pressure inside the opposition half we managed to draw first blood with some individual brilliance and pure pace of Warren Hill, putting us 7-0 up. With 2minutes you would expect to close out the half, ill-discipline from the Shebeen Boys and somewhat of an American Football pass from Durbell saw them level the scores to 7 all at the break.
One strength of the Shebeen Boys is turnover ball at ruck time, with this aspect of the game being prevented by the referee our focus grew more towards challenging the ref than playing the game…..rookie error. As the result of this we went down 14 – 7. Frustrations continued and momentum was non-existent. One last questionable decision by the referee was the tipping point and resulted in a sending off and 7 pointer, our heads were completely out the game by this stage. An aggressive bit of encouragement from captain Robbie Stemmet ensured we kept fighting and that is exactly what we did. Running the Durbell defence from coast to coast for the last 5minutes saw Troy Cunningham cross the line on full time.
The score ended 21-12 and we failed to pick up any crucial away points. We took a lot out of the match in terms of discipline and building maturity but the kick in the nuts was painful, especially after our opening game the week before. However we still produced entertaining running rugby combined with a gutsy defence, we can hold our heads high for it.
Man of the match: Lee Nicholson