A try deep into the second half from centre Morgan Newman enabled Hamilton RFC to pip a highly-motivated Belhar side 22-19 at Stephan Oval on Saturday.
The win enabled Hammies to retain their unbeaten record. The first half belonged to the home side, while the visitors came back strongly in the second spell. From the kickoff, the home side turned on the pressure. Their well-drilled pack saw a lot of ball from loose play. Their eighth man Jody Burch and flank Neil Cleghorn were the main playmakers winning the majority of ball.
Lock Rodrique Dalton jumped superbly in the line-outs taking good clean ball. With the hard-earned ball won up front, Hamilton’s backs opened up at every opportunity, keeping the visitors on the back foot.
Scrumhalf Juwell Samuels gave good service to his line which enabled Newman to break clear time and again. However, the visitors’ defence did well to keep the home side out.
Fullback Junaid Arendse and wing Angelo Nelson shone on defence, putting in some fine tackles close to the line. Costly defensive lapses midway through the game from the visitors’ backline enabled the home side to run in two quick tries. Belhar’s forwards grew stronger as the game progressed.
Prop Carlo Jacobs and hooker Reegan Petersen turned in sterling performances, winning good turnovers. Belhar played themselves back into the game with an excellent long-range try by Christian Ogar against the run of play.
After the interval, the visitors played with more determination. Their forwards, who played second-fiddle in the first half, came to life with a great performance.
Flank Zolani Mafu and lock Ivor van der Merwe played tirelessly and also impressed with their driving play. Belhar squandered several scoring chances in the second half.
Harlon Klassen, Terry Jacobs and Morgan Newman crossed the try-line for Hammies, while Earl Lewis converted two of those tries and added a penalty to his side’ score-line.
* In other action, it was third time lucky for SK Walmer when they beat Durbell 19-12 in a Super League A fixture played at Green Point Track on Friday night.
The Bo-Kaap side had lost their last two matches by the narrowest of margins against False Bay (11-10) and UCT (21-17).
This time, the tide turned as they held onto an 8-0 lead at the interval and kept their noses in front until the final whistle.
They had ample possession, but were up against a Kloof defence that tackled like warriors.
The home side were quicker to the breakdown and secured several turnovers largely through the efforts of flank Mac Gelebe. Kloof opened the scoring in the ninth minute via a penalty by new flyhalf Aqib Siljeur and went further ahead through an unconverted try by their ever-reliable centre Danwill Erasmus.
Durbell had sufficient opportunities to reduce the deficit but lacked a reliable goal-kicker. They were also guilty of unforced errors close to the Kloof line.
Kloof played with much more confidence as their forwards gained the ascendancy in the second half. Prop Eden Adams was particularly prominent in his driving play. It was no surprise that SK Walmers stretched their lead to 14-0 via a penalty by replacement flyhalf Yasfir Davids and a snap drop goal by fullback Ramiz Osman.
In the last quarter, Durbell threw everything into attack and they played with renewed zest. No 8 Conway Pretorius foraged relentlessly and centre Jason Kriel was an elusive runner.
After a period of sustained pressure, flyhalf Jaco Gunter reduced the deficit with anunconverted try (14-5).
Osman restored Kloof ‘s 14-point lead with a try he initiated from his own territory and after a fine solo effort he scored in the opposite corner of the field (19-5).
With time running out, Durbell gained a consolation try through flank Carl Liebenberg, which was converted by Gunter which gave them a well-deserved bonus point.
– Weekend Argus