With a 10 minute training session on Thursday and from only 12 players that made themselves available, Hamilton SP RFC fielded a team in the Helderberg RFC – Extreme Sevens on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 February 2015.
The team that had only three (3) genuine forwards were –
Ryan Draver (Joined team on Saturday)
Zachary Adams (Joined team on Saturday)
None of the players, including myself new what we were in for – as said before the tournament by the oldest member of the team, Reggie Boonzaaier (age 27) when he stated – “it is either going to be a disastrous experience or a whole lot of fun”!
Well, it turned out be a memorable experience for a fantastic group of Hammies players under the leadership of senior veteran, Dugald Robertson (age 25) who was well assisted by Angelo Nelson (WP 7’s squad player). At least we were a unique outfit when it came to talent as we had both 2014 WP u/19 Currie Cup winner, Lohann Louw and 2014 Boland u/19 Currie Cup “B” section winner, Lohan Lubbe in our team.
We only had ten players available for our Friday evening matches against Raithby RFC and the WP Rugby Academy and did they put up the hands in two dominating wins. Defeated Raithby RFC by 34 – 0 in an emphatic win (our player of the match was new boy – Hooker, Morne Smith). In the last game of the evening in front of the main pavilion, Hammies 7’s destroyed the WP Rugby Academy by 45 -0 in what was a fantastic performance by our boys (our player of the match was the sensational, Reinold Benade)!
Not only did Shorty drop goal to convert tries with both his left and right foot, but he also scored in my opinion the try of the tournament – defending close to our line against the WP Academy from a turn over ruck, he found himself under pressure and demonstrated his talent when he chipped the ball over the oncoming attackers into a strong wind. He chased his kick that bounced behind him because of the wind. Somehow he grasped at the ball several times in the air and it miraculously stuck in his hand on the fourth attempt for him to out sprint the cover defence to score under the poles!
I was not available for Saturday as I had to attend a wedding and missed the drama that was to unfold on day 2. We lost our last Pool game against the very talented sevens specialists, Young Peoples from Paarl. They wore Springbok 7’s jerseys as we went down by 5 tries to 2 after early dominance by Hammies.
This loss meant that we were runners-up in our group and therefore were drawn against Maties in the quarter-final.
Let the drama begin – Maties scored 4 tries and converted 2 during the first half that saw Hammies trail 24 – 0. A couple of changes at the interval by Doogz replacing Ryan Draver and Zackery Adams saw Hammies produce a scintillating come back and score 24 unanswered points in the second half to draw the game 24 -all.
According to the officiating referee, he said that the local competition rule stated that if a knock-out match ends in a tie, the team that scored the most tries in the match goes through to the next round. If the two teams concerned scored the same amount of tries in the match, then the team that scored the first try will be declared the winner.
Our Hammies boys accepted the result and got changed to attend the Community Cup game between Hamilton SP RFC and Wanderers in Green Point. The Tournament Organizer later determined (once some of the players had already left) that the said match should have gone into extra-time.
With all said and done, it was very pleasing to see the young talent that will be available at Hamilton SP RFC for our 2015 campaign. Players to mention that will be our next crop of stars is – Lohann Louw (flank / lock), Reinold Benade (scrumhalf/flyhalf), Lohan Lubbe (flyhalf/fullback), Jason Marcus (scrumhalf) and Morne Smith (hooker).
A big thank you to our seasoned campaigners Dugald Robertson, Angelo Nelson, Reggie Boonzaaier, the hard working Lazz Chisaya, the quiet Shadrohim Scott, Ryan Draver and new boy Zackary Adams for their tremendous efforts and passion!
By Team Manager – Derrick Lichtenstein