Villager FC fell to their sixth defeat in this years WP SLA after they were comprehensively outplayed by a Sir Lowrians XV by 78 points to 31 at Sir Lowry Park on Friday 29 May. The half time score was 27 – 10 in favour of the home team.
After the rumblings of a challenging week internally at Village the much anticipated Sir Lowrians fixture finally arrived on Saturday. Following from last year’s fairy tale game at Brookside this was always going to be a massive game. With the weather thankfully playing the part, during a particularly cold and at times wet season to date, the scene was set for a bit of a humdinger. Add to this the importance of this fixture from a league perspective and the opportunity to play against the Bok halfback pairing of, Bolla Conradie and Earl Rose, the suspense could not have been more intense.
Almost from kick-off Village got off to a disappointing start as a silly error at the back cost them an easy Sir Lowrian’s try early on. The boys hung in though and muscled their way to a 7-5 lead through a great piece of individual play by winger Damien Rawstorne which led to a try for Kwaks Ngwanya. Sir Lowrian’s hit back soon after with another unconverted try. 10-7. With the game still in anyone hands Daniel Clarke slotted a good penalty to even the score. This took us to the 35th minute after which some individual brilliance by Rose and his backs tore apart the Village defence and the Navy Train steamed to a 27-10 half-time lead through 3 great, albeit softish try’s.
After being shell shocked in the last 5 minutes of the 1st half the Dirty Whites were not able to regain their composure and start an honest fight back as any point they put on the board was almost immediately countered by a Sir Lowrians score. This led to an eventual and literal opening of the flood gates as Sir Lowrians played and impressed the crowd with fantastic flair and champagne rugby led by their efficient halfback pairing and incredible speed and skills on the outside. Whatever Sir Lowrians did turned to gold and when in this mood were just about invincible. It must also be said that the Sir Lowrians pack created an extremely strong base as they dominated in all set plays and at ruck time. The intensity and physicality they showed was something to behold.
Play ended up going from one end to the other, non-stop, and very entertaining not too dissimilar to a 7-a-side game. This openness allowed the Dirty Whites to run in for 3 further good tries which awarded them a much needed bonus point but unfortunately not near enough as the final score ended up on 78-31. From the Village side scrumhalf Zubayr Abrahams was exceptional in all departments as he walked away with the man-of-the-match ball. A great moment for Zub’s playing against his hero, Bolla Conradie.
From the Village perspective it was of course a disappointing afternoon but highlights the need for a good 6 weeks of preparation before the last, what are now, important fixtures to stay alive in the Super League A.
Villager FC would like to congratulate Sir Lowrians on their performance and thank them for their superb hospitality on the day and wish them all the best for the rest of the year. Villager now have a 5 week break after Derby Day was postponed to the end of the year (TBC) and face UWC at Brookside on August 1 in a must win fixture.