Hamilton’s get five points for win at the Green Mile

2009 was the last time Hamilton SP-RFC beat UCT at the Green Mile when Alshaun Bock scored the winning try in the far corner in the last move of the game. Eight years has been a long wait for a Hammies victory as the class of 2017 outscored Ikeys by 5 tries to four for a fantastic 33 – 26 away win.

The bonus point win is exactly what Doctor Caroline D’Alton ordered for Niekkie Viljoen’s team. It has been a tough four weeks on the road for Hamilton’s but they can proudly go into a three week break after achieving all their set goals. Twenty league points was the goal and that’s what they got in the Western Province SLA table.

Centre, Kobus Loubser (calf injury) was the only player absent from last weeks away win at UWC and Niekkie Viljoen brought in the very experienced Morgan Newman onto the bench as the only squad change. He moved Neil Clegorn back to eight and Patrick O’Brien to the side of the scrum. Rotational changes were made at Hooker, Lock, Scrumhalf and Fullback.

We were privileged to play on a lush green field for the first time this season but in very difficult NW windy conditions with a soft drizzle at times. Playing against the wind in the first half we found ourselves 7-0 down within three minutes of the game after some very sloppy missed defensive tackles. Two minutes later Hamilton’s showed why they are on top of the SLA when they started attacking from their own 22 meter line before the ball went wide when fullback, Valentino Wellman joined the line and made a terrific run to out sprint the Ikeys cover defence to score an unconverted try.

Twelve minutes later Hammies took the lead for the first time in the game. This lead, Hammies did not relinquish for the rest of the match. Scrumhalf, Louis Nel took a quick tap-penalty just outside his 22 that saw good inter-play between forwards and backs before the ball eventually went wide for winger, Brandon Asher-Wood to turn his electrifying pace to score a brilliant try. Flyhalf, Shane Vallender converted for a 12-7 lead. Another tap penalty by Louis Nel started an attacking move from our 22 meter line five minutes later. Several attacking rucks were fast and furious before the hard working Patrick O’Brien rounded off a very good converted team try. UCT were back in the game a few minutes later when a few missed tackles gave the Ikeys their second converted try of the game.

With a 19-14 half-time lead we were now going to play down wind but had also suffered the loss of speedster Iewan Bartels (groin strain) just before the break. Within minutes of the restart, we picked up our try bonus point when MOTM – Louis Nel scored a converted try from yet another tap penalty. This time it was from 5 meters out. UCT bounced back soon after when we tried to run the ball from within our own 22 meter area instead of just using the wind and punting the ball out into touch. Ikeys turned us over and scored another converted try to decease our lead to 26-21. The next twenty minutes of the game saw relentless pressure been exerted by the visitors. The home team defence stood tall and stopped many attacking moves. Eventually we broke the stubborn Ikeys defence when substitute Centre, Morgan Newman scored a good team try. Shane Vallender converted for a 33-21 lead with six minutes playing time left on the clock. Hamilton’s continued to attack in the last few minutes of the match. From yet another attacking move we lost possession and Ikeys counter-attacked from deep and after a couple of defensive penalties that we gave away in our 22.

These penalties gave UCT front foot ball and the former Hammies – flyhalf, Lohann Lubbe score his teams bonus point try on the stoke of full-time. After eight SLA matches (7 bonus point wins and a draw), Hamilton SP-RFC have 37 league points out of a possible 40 points. False Bay is on 28 points after 7 matches followed by Maties on 25 after 5 and Tygerberg on 24 after 6 games. Six games to go for Hammies and it is all to play for…..

Our next outing is a home game in three weeks’ time against the much improved Tygerberg RFC on Saturday 24 June 2017. Let’s keep a

Blue Head!

Match day squad versus UCT:

1. Jonathan Raphael

2. Robbie Trueman

3. Bomba Bakeni

4. Brendon Groenewald

5. Jade Kriel

6. Ross Beckett

7. Patrick O’Brien

8. Neil Cleghorn

9. Louis Nel

10. Shane Vallender

11. Iewan Bartels

12. Morne Smal

13. Jason Kriel

14. Brandon Asher-Wood

15. Valentino Wellman

16. Grant Muller

17. Albert Loubsher

18. Justin Moberly

19. Gareth Rowe

20. Juwell Samuels

21. Siya Alam

22. Morgan Newman