Klaasen shows his class in local derby win!

Last year’s SLA top try scorer with 14 tries – Centre, Harlon Klaasen showed why he was signed by WP. Making only his second start of the season after returning from provincial duty, he scored a first half hat-trick of tries and then added a fourth in the second half. His performance sparked off a terrific comeback by Hamilton SP-RFC during the derby victory against local rivals, SK Walmers RFC.

Once again Head Coach, Niekkie Viljoen had to make several changes as several players were out injured and unavailable for this local derby. He gave 1 st team league debuts to the Dale Wilson for the injured Gareth Rowe and brought back Bomba Bakeni (prop) for the injured Albert Loubsher and Roderick Dalton (lock) for Justin Moberly who was writing exams from our Seccies. Christo van der Merwe came in for the injured Neil Cleghorn.

With not even 800 metres separating these two SLA Clubs, SK Walmers took the early initiative when they took a 12-7 lead after 25 minutes play. The visitors two tries were scored after Harlon Klaasen had opened the scoring in the 15 th minute when he broke left and cut inside with sheer pace to beat several defenders for a converted try. Between Klaasen and winger, Iewan Bartels (2 tries) and hooker, Jonathon Raphael, they managed to score all Hammies first half – six tries that gave the home team a 36-12 lead at the interval.

Three minutes after SK Walmers had taken the lead, Iewan Bartels scored in the left hand corner from an attacking 5 meter scrum, and Jonathon Raphael scored from a very good driving maul from 16 meters out a few minutes later. In the last five minutes of the first half, Harlon Klaasen scored his second try and third from a set-piece scrum on our 10 meter line that saw him gather Bartels chip ahead. Iewan Bartels scored his 16 th SLA try of the season in only eight outings when fullback, Valentino Wellman broke the line from a turn over scrum just outside our 22 meter line. Flyhalf, Shane Vallender could only manage a 50% conversion rate in the first half.

Once again it took fifteen minutes for the opening score of the second half as flanker Luke van der Smit scored a converted try. Loose Forward, Dale Wilson scored Hammies – 8 th try on his 1 st team league debut before replacement centre, Jason Kriel scored a converted try with his first touch of the ball in the 60 th minute. Valentino Wellman scored his team’s tenth try playing at right wing for the injured Brandon Asher-Wood. Replacement fullback, Siya Alam scored next and that was followed by MOTM, Harlon Klaasen scoring his fourth try of the match. Shane Vallender added four conversions in the second half. A special mention must also go to Christo van der Merwe who had just returned from international duty with Namibia, for a terrific performance at the base of a dominating pack.

After a two week break, Hamilton SP-RFC emphatic 74 -19 win against their neighbours took them back to the pinnacle of SLA, four points ahead of 2016 champions, False Bay RFC who have a game in hand…. The next outing is a home game in a weeks’ time against the much improved and 2015 Gold Cup Champions, Durbell on Saturday 22 July 2017. Let’s keep a Blue Head!

Match day squad versus SK Walmers:

1. Steven Robbeson

2. Jonathan Raphael

3. Nathan Meilhon

4. Brendon Groenewald

5. Jade Kriel

6. Jacques Oosthuizen

7. Luke van der Smit

8. Christo van der Merwe

9. Johan Herbst

10. Shane Vallender

11. Iewan Bartels

12. Morgan Newman

13. Haarlon Klaasen

14. Brandon Asher-Wood

15. Valentino Wellman

16. Grant Muller

17. Bomba Bakeni

18. Roderick Dalton

19. Dale Wilson

20. Juwell Samuels

21. Siya Alam

22. Jason Kriel