u20 End of Year Report 2014

After our excellent end to the first part of the season, we endured a humbling but constructive match against Hamiltons. We lost 55-13 to the then Super A league log leaders who were at that stage unbeaten, but competed for a good 25 minutes of the match and at times dominated, scoring two tries in a row early in the second half before their fresh legged replacements along with their generally better conditioning allowed them to pull away from us for a decisive victory. A learning curve indeed, but this was a positive experience for us seeing we will be playing at this level next year. Following the Hamiltons game we lost three very good players in Jason Marcus (9), Aswad Reid (10/15) and Joel Murphy(10/14) to provincial duties and these players were instrumental to our backline as they were our specialist players and often the catalyst to many of our victories before the break.

Our first match after the break went really well against a relatively unorganised St Georges team although we had to rely on many players to play out of their preferred positions – many doing really well like Allie Williams who scored a brace, playing at scrumhalf for the first time since school. Leading up to our final matches the practices went well and the ‘VIBE’ and spirit was high amongst the squad but with three key players out injured and the three mentioned before away on provincial duties the proverbial cracks started to show in our key match against a well-organized Hamlets team, where our lesser conditioning, problems with position experience and lack of stable combinations cost us especially on defence. The Hamlets game was certainly a match we could have won but we struggled to find that edge at the end of the game and made so many unforced errors which they capitalised on. The high flying Pniel Villagers were next and in a injuring ridden match that was immensely intense and physical, the team from Pniel wanted it more and absorbed the pressure well in the second half to soundly beat us 10-0. They would later finish fourth in the league.

Going into the final match of the season there was still plenty to play for. To finish with a win over Sir Lowrians on a massive day for the club was more than sufficient motivation to finish on a high, even though we were highly disrupted with plenty injuries and many playing injured or out of position. It showed tremendous commitment and character to pull out a win with a very good final try in the dying moments to seal the win and solidify our second position in the league. This ultimately meant a semi-final President’s Cup match for the SLB u/20 which came a few weeks too late for us as we struggled to get organized and match ready and unfortunately played our worst 1st half of rugby of the whole but redeemed ourselves in the second half against a determined Goodwood side who were considerably more match fit at collision and ruck time. It was a tough pill to swallow but our guys had played their final against Sir Lowrians and done excellently throughout the year. They can be very proud of their achievements and many players can be proud of the effort and commitment they put in especially during the difficult times during the second part of the season. Well done to our brilliant Captain Dan Searle, along with Junaide Christains who were the leaders of the team along with the massive amount of commitment and effort shown by players like Kevin Lock, Allie Williams, Cameron Dallas, Kye Bowerman and Tristan D Gouveia. There is still much talent amongst this team who are still eligible to play for the Vikings next season and we look forward to giving it a good go next year in the SLA.