Hamilton’s took the long drive out to Boland Park in Worcester on Saturday to face an extremely motivated One Logix Worcester Villagers in front of a partisan crowd that swelled to more than 3000 spectators before kick off.
With bands blaring , crowds shouting and commentators on the PA system motivating the home team, Villagers could not manage a win as we showed the composure needed to take a full house of 5 points in an epic club rugby nail biter.
The entire game ebbed and flowed as Hamilton’s scored 3 well constructed tries. The first by Pierre Cronje, who enjoyed a great day on attack and defence, after the team had taken the ball through numbers phases which started from a neat Jody Burch break.
The second was a clinical line out move with some neat play between Andy Coetzee and Henk Franken seeing the latter crash over from five meters out.
Jano Van Zyl rounded off the half after a neat grubber kick from Cronje allowed him to chase and gather. Monty Dumond converted all 3 to give us a 21 points.
Our problem was simple, we lacked concentration at vital times with some poor defensive lapses which allowed Villagers to score 3 of their own tries to make it 21 all at the half.
The second half turned out to be a massive challenge as Worcester Villagers took an early lead one that they held until the 78th minute of the game as we chased the elusive win.
Substitutions provided the spark that we were looking for with Flanker Marnus Coetzee sprinting clear from our try line to finally see Jano Van Zyl touch down after Pierre Cronje and Scrumhalf Andy Coetzee worked the blind.
Another neat change in direction form Coetzee and Cronje saw Shane Vallender (replacement 10) burst free to unleash the bullocking Craig Pheiffer over in the corner.
During this spell Villager kept increasing their points tally through some intelligent options which laid the platform for a breathtaking final 5 minutes.
We now had four u21’s in our pack of forwards. The boys were concentrating and fully focused as we showed that we can absorb pressure , crowd atmosphere and niggle as we marched closer to their try line.
Henk Franken who had a massive game along with Francois Hanekom and Greg Van Jaarsveldt pulled the youngsters together as we stripped Villagers of the ball and started to pick and drive. Young Francois Esterhuizen showed enormous strength as he handed off, bumped another and finally reached out to score the final five pointer. Earl Lewis converted to put us in front by 41-35 with a minute remaining.
Sebastian Ferreira took the ensuing kick off with aplomb as he towered above the desperate and fanatical chasers. We set up the breakdown and booted the ball into touch to clinch the victory we needed.
This was another step up from the Wanderers game where the players showed great character to pull off a magnificent win away from home.
The win was made so much sweeter when one looks at the results of the past weekend where many upsets are caused by minnows at home with fanatical crowds and highly motivated teams proving to be too much of a hurdle for the likes of Durban Collegians , Wanderers, College Rovers and Despatch.
With a us having a buy this weekend and the rest of our pool playing we will know exactly what needs to be done in our final fixture against Evergreens at home on the 21st of March as we look to secure our place in Rustenberg over Easter.
One Logix United Bulk Villagers Worcester (21) 35
Tries: Jowayne van Wyk, Ricardo Jones (2), Wayne Wilschut, Yrin Belelie.
Conversions: Nazeem van Sitters (5)
Hamilton Sea Point RFC (21) 41
Tries: Pierre Cronje, Janno van Zyl (2), Henk Franken, Francois Esterhuyzen, Craig Pheiffer.
Conversions: Monty Dumond (3), Earl Lewis.
Penalty: Janno van Zyl
By Head Coach – Anton Moolman