“No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow”
The proverb above could not have been more poignant, 2 years in the winter of SLB and as the sun rose on Saturday to clear blue skies, the possibilities of a spring rebirth into the SLA hung heavy in the air. All the talk was done, it was time for boys to become men and men to become leaders. It was time to make a mark in the annals of Villager history.
The gate bulged with the number of spectators eager to witness the top of the table clash and one could be excused for thinking you were at the wrong fixture as many spectators donned the colours of Macassar and St Georges rugby clubs intermingled with the Sir Lowrian’s faithful. Who ever said that club rugby was dead, that nobody bothered to watch any more. The spirit of community within the SLB has been a phenomenal experience and with the Sir Lowrian spectators singing harmoniously alongside the B field while the U20’s played, displayed a sense of togetherness and pride of community spirit. Young and old were packed around Brookside, deck chairs were set up, cooler boxes alongside and the sandwiches unpacked. As I walked around and welcomed our visitors I was greeted with warm smiles and cheery faces and the anticipation of the afternoon’s event was palpable in the air.
The U20’s fought a hard battle to come out 10-8 victors over their opponents and at the same time the 3rds put in a fantastic season finish, going up 29-5 victors. The 2nd’s were in a game to secure their place as league champions and they didn’t disappoint, playing with their normal flair and indomitable spirit they secured their well deserved spot at the top of their table by beating their opposition 27-6.
16h00. The time everyone had been waiting for. Every nook and cranny around the A field at Brookside crammed to capacity. Scanning around the field and buildings one saw many peoples of interest; Our invited guests, those that had done jersey handovers throughout the season, JP Naude from Cape Rugby TV, I believe Bobby Skinstad was in the house too, some of the Western Province Executive and Armien Brink and his crew from 100.4 FM radio for a live broadcast.
I believe, irrespective of who won, that this has got to be the best SLB game of the season. Club rugby at its finest. It lived up to all that a league decider should be. Two sides trading blows, see sawing between whom had the lead and whom was fighting to regain it. Some incredible rugby was played by some of the players from both sides however I think a special mention must go to Leon Samuel Djeukou for Sir Lowrian’s who put in a fantastic 80 minutes of pure class and to our own Ryan Germishuys, for a tight head prop, on the run at full pace, to put in a deft kick for the backs to chase down and score was unexpected and unbelievable.
It was always going to be a tough affair with the likes of Earl Rose dictating play for Sir Lowrian’s. However a late second half display, unlike anything I have witnessed on the Brookside A field in the last 8 years, by the men in white reinforced and drove home the mantra we have been calling the whole season “playing for the right reasons”. The right reasons are different for each and every Villager man but the commonality in those last few minutes was, the belief in the badge adorned on their chest, the belief in their team mate and most importantly the belief in themselves.
When the final whistle blew with the Dirty Whites victors 25-23, the ghosts of thousands of past Villager players smiled down on Brookside, the Villager faithful exploded in rapture and It’s the quickest I have made it down from the top balcony to the field below in what felt like a heartbeat to celebrate. I would like to thank the Sir Lowrian management, coaches, players and spectators for making the day for all involved a memorable experience and we look forward to continuing our relationship next year.
2015. SLA. We now need to build on what we have set in motion. It’s going to be a hard road but with the spirit being shown in the club right now, the hardships of that road will be paved with a shared vision, a vision, to play rugby for the right reasons.
Forever a family.