SK Walmer RFC’s first team kicked off their 2016 Western Province Rugby Football Union Super League A (WPFRU SLA) season on a losing note after going down to newly promoted Brackenfell RFC 35-26, away at the weekend.
However, coach Ashieq Wise was quick to note that was the wake up call they needed early on in the season. He said he was confident his side will bounce back strongly when they take on Sir Lowrians away, in their second league match on Saturday April 9.
Despite losing to Brackenfell, the Bo-Kaap side was not really out-played in this encounter.
In fact, they out-scored their opponents by four tries to two, but the rookies’ kickers, clearly eager to cause the first upset of the season, had their scoring boots on and were playing with added motivation. Their kicking proved to be the difference between the two sides as SK struggled to find their accuracy.
Also, SK’s discipline levels left a lot to be desired as they conceded too many penalties.
Following a shaky start to the match, which also saw them conceding three penalites, the Bo-Kaap side slowly clawed their way back into the game, with winger Raqib Siljeur crossing the line for the first try of the match. The home side, however, quickly responded with a converted try of their own, taking the score to 16-7 going to the half time break.
Walmer’s discipline issues continued in the second half as they conceded two more penalties before the home side went over for another try. At this point, it seemed like the newcomers were running away with the game.
However, as it was the case late in the first half, the Walmer side was not going to throw in the towel… just yet. With their forwards doing most of the spade work, creating openings and dominating the scrums the visitors started to look dangerous again.
And, in a desperate and dramatic attempt to claw their way back into the game, they scored three second half tries but that was not enough as the damage was already done.
The fact that their lock Madeeg Davids got a yellow card in the second half made things even more difficult for them and the Brackenfell side emerged victorious, at the end of their game.
Wise said they had decent pre-season preparations where they did a lot of power training in anticipation of a long and tough season ahead. They also played two friendly matches against Bellville Tech and Hands&Heart, which they won.
“Maybe we needed this kind of a result early on in the season, to remind us that we have to be on top of our game irrespective of who we are playing against. The loss against Brackenfell enabled us to identify our weaknesses,” he said.
“They were able to take their chances and their kicking was almost faultless. That showed us that out-scoring your opponents, in terms of tries, may just not be enough. You need to be accurate with your kicking too, and that’s what we have learnt from this match,” said Wise.
Wise is also aware they need to recover quickly and rectify those mistakes immediately, as they take on Sir Lowrians away in another tricky fixture. And, Wise said they know what they have to do in that match.
“We will have to take the chances that come our way and not underestimate Sir Lowrians. Also, we have bigger plans for the season which means we want to collect as many points as we can,” he said.