Tzaneen. 14 September
12 June 2017 Read: 407
Ben Vorster’s First XV reaffirmed their dominance on the rugby fields last weekend when they ended their Limpopo League play-offs as unbeaten. This came after their victory over long-time Polokwane rivals, PHS, in an FNB Classic Clashes match in Tzaneen on Saturday.
The junior teams’ games delivered a mixed bag of results for the hosts with both u/14 teams bowing in defeat to the better prepared visitors. The u/15A-team recovered well from their 10-20 defeat suffered at the hands of Merensky the weekend before, by winning their game 45-0 on the day. Similarly too, their B-team won their match 31-15 while the u/16’s had to settle for a 10-29 loss. Ben Vorster’s Third and Second teams chalked up decent wins with scores of 27-24 and 24-14 respectively to set the table for the main course – the First Team clash.
From the get-go it was clear that neither side would offer the other even a smidgen of breathing room. The teams were mentally and physically matched. PHS capitalized early in the first half with the opening try, but was answered moments later by Vossies centre-half, Heini Ferreira, who returned the favour with a beautiful try to settle the score.
Attacks by both sides were met with equally ferocious counters and airtight defence. Eventually a PHS high-mast kick was intercepted by Vossie-fly half, Erik Meintjies, on the halfway line, who found the gap in their defences and darted over for an exciting try.
Only eight minutes remained in the first half when Ben Vorster formed a ruck on the visitors’ try line and marched Nyiko Ntempo over for a fiver. That try was matched by an equally impressive run six minutes later by the PHS backline to end the first half 15-12 in favour of the mighty reds.
At their return from the locker rooms, the teams seemed even more determined and started the second half in much the same fashion as the first.
Neither one seemed able to gain the upper hand with both teams quickly adding two more tries each to their scores. Ben Vorster converted both while PHS managed only one conversion. With the scores stuck on 29-24 and the time racing towards the final whistle, Ben Vorster turned up the heat sending Melvin Maake over the line for two more tries. Minutes after that, Shima Molepe answered with a third. PHS showed great reserve and fought back hard to score a try in the dying seconds of the game.
It was too little, too late though and Ben Vorster won the game 41-29 to remain unbeaten in their 2017 league season. “We are very proud of what our boys have accomplished through the season,” said headmaster Chris Denysshen. “Well done boys, you have truly made us proud.”
Photos: Pieter Vorster
Tzaneen. 14 September