Rustenburg Impala on Monday held their nerve in a tense Cell C Community Cup final in soaking rain at Outeniqua Park in George to win the second edition of the Easter Playoffs and the historic Gold Cup.
The 13-11 victory marked their third back-to-back win in the 2014 Cell C Community Cup Easter Playoffs, and followed an impressive showing in the pool stages of the competition in which they registered victories in three of their four matches.
In the other matches, tournament debutantes Hamiltons registered a 27-18 victory against 2013 runners up College Rovers in light rain to finish in third place, and in the dry matches GAP Management Despatch thumped Roses United 57-21 for their fifth-place finish and Refreshhh! Centurion defeated Kempston Old Selbornians 42-14.
In the SWD Easter Tournament, the Maori’s claimed the title with a 17-0 victory against Bridgton following an exciting competition hosted on the Outeniqua Park B field on Saturday and Monday respectively.
The All Blacks, meanwhile, finished in third place after defeating Calitzdorp 27-15, while Eagles Stars beat Glen Roses 43-12 and Knysna United outplayed the Jaguars for a 21-16 victory.
Kempston Old Selbornians 14 (11) Refreshhh! Centurion 42 (11)
Refreshhh! Centurion produced their best performance of the tournament against Kempston Old Selbornians in their final match to finish the Cell C Community Cup in seventh place. Kempston Old Selbornians started the clash well with Craig Shone kicking a penalty and No8 Craig Green crossing the tryline within the first 12 minutes to build up an 8-0 lead.
But Refreshhh! Centurion hit back in the second quarter with two penalties by flyhalf Steven Moir, while the team found their rhythm on attack and placed pressure on the Border club, which paid off with a try by centre Stanley Twiname. Shone kicked another penalty for his team before the break to leave the sides locked at 11-11.
But the flood gates opened for the Pretoria team as they continued to find the gaps in Kempston Old Selbornians’ defence in the second half with Twiname scoring back-to-back tries. This was followed by another three five-pointers to take their tally for the match to six. In return the opposition managed to kick only a penalty in the second half, forcing them to settle for a disappointing 42-14 defeat.
Kempston Old Selbornians – Try: Craig Green. Penalties: Craig Shone (2), Warren Rielly.
Refreshhh! Centurion – Tries: Gerhard van der Merwe, Jacques Olivier, Stanley Twiname (3), Yves Bashiya. Conversions: Steven Moir (3). Penalties: Steven Moir (2).
Roses United 21 (7) GAP Management Despatch 57 (36)
Defending Cell C Community Cup champions GAP Management Despatch also finished their Easter Playoff campaign on a high note with an emphatic 57-21 victory against Roses United. The victory marked their second of the tournament.
So dominant were GAP Management Despatch they scored eight tries to only three by Roses United, with wing Elcardo Mintoor earning a hat-trick. Five of the Port Elizabeth club’s tries were scored in the first half, two of which were in the opening 13 minutes, which allowed them to build up an encouraging 36-7 half-time lead.
They continued to exploit the weaknesses in the Roses United defence in the second half despite the Boland team’s determined efforts to step up their game, and crossed the tryline three more times. Unfortunately for Roses United, their costly handling errors aside, scrumhalf Percival Williams received a red card in the 64th minute which dealt a further blow to their hopes of a clawing their back into the match. However, they fought until the end and managed to score their third try of the match seven minutes from time to finish the match with 17 points.
Roses United – Tries: Brendon April, Gareth Cilliers, Reinart Hubert Ellmann. Conversions: Brendon April, Lohan Lubbe, Ryan Julies.
GAP Management Despatch – Tries: Elcardo Mintoor (3), Elroy Ligman, Lesley Luiters, Monty Dumond, Stephan Deyzel, Trichardt van Tonder. Conversions: Monty Dumond (7). Penalties: Monty Dumond.
Jonsson College Rovers 18 (8) Hamiltons 27 (7)
The Cell C Community Cup third and fourth-place playoff between Jonsson College Rovers and Hamiltons was a hard-fought encounter, but Hamiltons’ ability to capitalise on their point-scoring chances in the second half handed them a 27-18 victory.
The first half was a tight affair as the teams threw everything at each other and this showed on the scoreboard with Jonsson College Rovers taking a narrow 8-7 lead. Hamiltons wing Iewan Bartels opened up the scoring with a try in the 15th minute which Shane Vallender converted to hand the team a 7-0 lead. But Jonsson College Rovers captain Christopher Micklewood slotted over a penalty minutes later, which was supported by a try by Warrick Venter. The rest of the second quarter proved to be tight as the teams did well to hold one another out.
Two tries within five minutes by Hamiltons early in the second half, however, put them on the front foot. Despite this, the KwaZulu-Natal club refused to give up and earned an invaluable try by Quinton Crocker on the stroke of the fourth quarter, which Micklewood converted and followed up with a penalty soon after to reduce the deficit to 21-18. Their hopes of a late comeback, however, were dashed by indiscipline, which allowed Hamiltons replacement back Johannes Jacobus van Zyl to kick two penalties in the last 10 minutes for the 27-18 victory.
Jonsson College Rovers – Tries: Quinton Crocker, Warrick Venter. Conversions: Christopher Micklewood. Penalties: Christopher Micklewood (2).
Hamiltons – Tries: Iewan Bartels, Kudu Botha, Terry Jacobs. Conversions: Johannes Jacobus van Zyl (2), Shane Vallender. Penalties: Johannes Jacobus van Zyl (2).
Rustenburg Impala 13 (13) Roodepoort 11 (8)
The final between Rustenburg Impala and Roodepoort was thrilling as the teams put their bodies on the line in a physical battle for the title of Cell C Community Cup champions.
Such was the closeness of the clash, the teams fought until the final whistle, but a successful conversion by Rustenburg Impala proved to be the difference between the sides on the scoreboard.
With the rain pouring down the teams were forced to play tight rugby, rather than an enterprising game, and they both defended well, resulting in the clash coming down to the wire. Both sides scored their only tries in the first half, but two penalties and a conversion by former Griquas and Western Province flyhalf Naas Olivier to add to their try, to only one penalty by Roodepoort, handed Rustenburg Impala a 13-8 lead at the break.
The 13 points, however, proved to be the only points scored by the team, as they battled to breach Roodepoort’s defence in the second half. Roodepoort flyhalf Hendrik Gerhardus Oosthuizen, meanwhile, added a penalty to their tally in the 56th minute to force their way into contention for the title with the score at 13-11 with over 20 minutes to play.
But Rustenburg Impala matched Roodepoort’s the fine defensive effort, and in the end denied the Johannesburg-based club a last-gasp victory despite their desperate attempts to cross the tryline after stringing together several phases on attack.
Rustenburg Impala – Try: Leon Andries du Plessis. Conversion: Naas Olivier. Penalties: Naas Olivier (2).
Roodepoort - Try: Jaun Shaw. Penalty: Hendrik Gerhardus Oosthuizen (2).
SWD Easter Tournament day two results:
Eagles Stars 43 – 12 Glen Roses
Knysna United 21 – 16 Jaguars
All Blacks 27 – 15 Calitzdorp (3rd/4th place-playoff)
Moari’s 17 - 0 Bridgton (final)