With very little time to prepare, the u20 Villager Vikings put in a spirited display against a well drilled Santa Fe outfit, going down 26 – 19.
Previous encounters against touring sides from the South American continent have shown us what a dominant force their sides can be in the set pieces and especially at maul time. Santa Fe did not disappoint. Conceding an early try from a line out maul, the Vikings were on the back foot and for the most part of the first quarter and were defending like Trojans.
The second quarter brought about a few changes which seemed to do the trick as the players grew in confidence and their youthful exuberance encouraged them to play an open, attacking style of rugby which saw them get back into the game and take a 12 – 7 lead. The advantage was short lived as another driving maul saw the tourist touch down to equal the scores at 12 – 12.
A try mid way through the third quarter saw Villager take the lead and looked good value for a victory going into the final quarter. A loss of concentration saw Villager concede a 5 metre scrum. Resulting set piece saw one of their loosies barrel over for a try to once again level the scores.
With the final whistle only seconds away, the visitors were awarded another attacking scrum, just short of the Villager line. The juggernaut pack from Santa Fe seized the opportunity and managed to score a pushover try, to seal victory. Despite an unfavourable result, there were bucket loads of positives to come out of the fixture and the season ahead looks just that more exciting.
-Lionel Jakes (u20a Manager)