The 2017 SLA season got off to an exciting start at Stephan Way, the home of the oldest rugby club in South Africa, Hamilton SP – RFC that took place on April’s Fool day….
Hosting the 2016 SLA Champions was always going to be a tough and exciting affair. What happened on a warm Saturday afternoon was one of the most dramatic finishes to be witnessed. A late controversial 84 minute converted try saved the False Bay blushes that claimed a credited 10 – 10 draw.
False Bay winger, Roemark Smith clearly knock-on the ball after his chip-kick in the last move of the game. Even the False Bay players could not believe their luck and were surprised when Referee, Nathan Swartz award the try that was converted by Adri Claasen to level the scores.
Within 10 minutes of the game, Hamilton’s took a deserved 7-0 lead by scoring a fantastic try that started within their own 22 metre area. No fewer than 11 phase’s later winger, Brandon Asher-Wood took a terrific inside pass from MOTM – flanker, Luke van der Smit to cross the False Bay white line. A converted penalty by flyhalf, Shane Vallender on the stroke of halftime gave Hammies a 10 – 0 lead going into the break.
The second half saw what many believe as the best defensive display ever witnessed. False Bay threw everything including the kitchen sink at Hamilton’s, but could not break the brilliant resolute defensive wall of the home team. It was an absolute brilliant tackling display where no inch was given. Centre, Morne Smal led from the front in this department with a few big hits. Hamilton RFC held onto a slender 10 – 3 advantage for the last 32 minutes of the second-half before the possible season changing decision occurred.
Only time will tell if this crucial unfortunate decision could play a major role in the outcome of the 2017 SLA season!
Off to Brackenfell we go for what will be a very tough second SLA fixture of the season for a very determined Hamilton RFC.