With the original kickoff being on Friday night, but due to the ‘hurricane like’ conditions the game was postponed until Tuesday night at NNK. Conditions were perfect for rugby on Tuesday night which saw some entertaining rugby from both sides.
The first half begun and the U20’s struggling to get momentum going in the first 10 minutes. NNK were certainly very sharp on defence and played with lots of pressure which forced the U20’s to make numerous errors on attack. NNK then started to employ the kicking game which caused our back three to struggle a bit causing an intercept try by the NNK and their speedy winger. We certainly got a wake up call and struck back immediately through hooker Reinhardt Stears finding himself at a back of a maul and dotted the ball down for the first Hammies try. Our discipline on the field was poor as NNK managed to convert a penalty kick. Soon we worked some good forward ball and were able to cross the try line with seconds to go to the end of the first half.
Half time score was 10 – 8.
After a lengthy discussion in the half time huddle, the team were keen to get back out there and turn around what was in fact a poor first half performance.
The second half begun and both sides were throwing everything they had at each other with neither side managing to break through. Soon the substitutes did what they are there to do which is to make an impact and lift the energy of the team. With about 15 minutes left in the half, the U20’s started to give the ball some width which resulted in both wingers – Marnu Bartels and Andre Manuel crossing over in the corners. With seconds remaining, the U20’s conjured up some magical rugby when numerous offloads and lightening pace created the opportunity for Wynand Maclachlan to cross over the line for the U20’s fifth try.
Full time score was 27 – 8.
The U20’s certainly improved on their performance in the second half by scoring three tries and denying NNK to score a single point. Noticeable performances were by Hugo Swart, Corne Breytenbach and Andre Manuel.
Try Scorers: Andre Manuel, Brendon Strydom, Marnu Bartels, Reinhardt Stears and Wynand Maclachlan
Conversions: Marius Viviers (1)