Villager FC kicked off the second half of the league, as well as their promotion hopes, in fine style when they beat Hands and Hearts RFC 45 – 10, scoring seven tries to two, at a blustery Brookside on Saturday 01 August. The half time score was 24 – 5.
Going into the rescheduled fixture against the “Rainbows”, Villager were decidedly underdone having not played for four weeks, a fact which quickly became apparent when the visitors scored an early try through blindside winger R.Vd Ross after a concentration lapse by the home side’s winger, Blane Hansen. The try went unconverted ensuring only a five point deficit for the home side.
Villager, through their bigger and stronger ball carriers, hit back almost immediately after a period of pressure had the Rainbows reeling on their own line, barely holding up Ryan Germishuys after another surge looked certain to score. However this only served to delay the inevitable, their determination to keep their line intact proved to be their undoing at the resulting scrum when they were penalised for repeated early shoves. Captain Ashley Clarke needed no second invitation to quick tap and pass to Jannie Bester who crashed over for the home teams opening score. Stand in kicker, Stuart Pattison, missed the conversion tying up the scores at five all.
Villager struck again shortly thereafter when Ashley Clarke crashed over in the corner after a close range scrum laid the perfect platform to launch a series of quick fire attacks. Pattison missed the conversion, but crucially the home side took the lead for the first time.
They were on the scoreboard again after a superbly run attacking movement saw loose head prop Adrian Cleophas offload a peach of a pass to flyhalf Tim Marsh who showed a touch of pace to run in under the sticks untouched. Marsh converted his own try after assuming the kicking duties from Pattison to further his sides lead to 12 points.
The home teams dominance continued throughout the remainder of the half and were rewarded with their bonus point try shortly before half time when a counter shove on the visitors scrum forced the ball loose which Jannie Bester gladly pounced on to send Ashley Clarke on his way to complete his brace for the afternoon. Marsh converted to move his side into a commanding 24 – 5 lead.
Although Hands and Hearts had their opportunities to score throughout the half, their best chance to pull the game back and claim a decisive psychological edge came shortly before half time when they launched a series of desperate attacks in the Villager half that lasted a full eight minutes. Spurred on by their passionate and hugely vocal travelling support the Rainbows threw themselves at the Brooksiders defence forcing numerous penalties which they repeatedly chose to quick tap, but to no avail, the Villager defence remained firm ensuring the home side went into the half with a decided advantage both mentally and on the scoreboard.
If the first half was all Villager, the second half surely belonged to the Rainbows. Even though the Brooksiders scored a further three tries, the plethora of penalties awarded to the visitors by referee Nathan Barry ensured they enjoyed most of the second half possession. Their penchant for quick tapping almost every one of their 24 penalties had the desired effect of speeding the game up, however the predictable nature of the attacks and the fact that the Villager defence was in fine form ensured most failed to cause the home team any real trouble.
However with only 14 men on the park as a result of a yellow card for replacement flyhalf Jarred Stokes, as well as possession and momentum decidedly in the visitors favour in the third quarter, the Rainbows second try was not entirely unexpected. Their quick tapping tactic eventually forced an error in the Villager defence which outside centre G.Manuel happily exploited, crashing over in the corner to give his side and supporters a glimmer of hope.
Although ahead by some distance one could feel that Villager needed to score again to settle matters, which they did so when lineout kingpin Brodie Blows pinched two successive opposition throws which led directly to a try for Ryan Germishuys. The try had the desired effect of changing the momentum of the game somewhat, although the penalties continued unabated, Villager did score two more tries against the run of play through winger Blane Hansen and replacement lock Andrew Wilkins confirming a hard fought 45 – 10 victory.
Captain Ashley Clarke was delighted after the game. “Hands and Hearts really gave us a run for our money in the second half, but I thought the team did really well to score seven tries to secure the bonus point win”. He said. “We could have let the break ruin our momentum but we are hungry to prove to ourselves and our supporters that we can finish on top”.
Head Coach Andrew Hughes agreed with Clarkes sentiments. “I am extremely proud of the fellas for the way they defended today. Their attitude on the line before half time was really something which I believe shows how much this team and club means to them”. He said.
“I was also really impressed with the way we used the ball today as it reminded me of the Villager of old, the pack laid the platform for the backs to thrive in. That’s an exciting balance which I believe we can achieve regularly”. Hughes concluded.
Villager FC is in action again this coming weekend against St Georges on Saturday 14 June at Brookside. Stay tuned for news about the Women’s Day Specials to be held after the game.
Tries: C.Bester, A.Clarke (2), T.Marsh, R.Germishuys, B.Hansen, A.Wilkins
Conv: Stuart Pattison (1), Tim Marsh (2), Jarred Stokes (2)
Hands and Hearts Scorers:
Tries: R.Vd Ross, G.Manuel
1st XV vs Hands and Hearts RFC:
1. A. Cleophas 2. T. Lee 3. R. Germishuys 4. R. Williams 5. R. Bezuidenhout 6. J. Bester 7. B. Blows 8. A. Clarke (cpt) 9. D. Anderson 10. T. Marsh 11. B. Sanders 12. D. Radloff 13. S. Pattison 14. B. Hansen 15. J. Valentine
16. S. Pitcher 17. A. Coetzee s 18. A. Wilkins 19. K. Ngwanya 20. C. Terblanche 21. J. Stokes 22. G. Van ReyneveldtAlbum Not found