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Kwaggas had to work hard against Oakdale Landbou

By Hannes Nienaber , in Rugby | News , at 2013-05-28 Tags:

This is the game that was always going to decide the Southern Cape league this year and effectively all the players who have been chosen for the South Western Districts Craven Week side, bar two (Remu Malan (Outeniqua – injured) and Brendon Haas (Langenhoven Gym), were on the field.

Going in to this game there were probably very few people who would have given Oakdale a chance of winning but after sitting through the age group and 2nd and 3rd team games it must be said that a vibe started building. It was a clean sweep for Oakdale in all these games and maybe there was a chance? And how close it was! Outeniqua won 13-7 and they were all too happy to hear that final whistle because Oakdale made them fight every inch of the way.

As a spectacle it was really not a game to be remembered, but as a contest it was nail-biting stuff. It was unfortunately a game riddled with errors and in all honesty the busiest and most consistent man on the field was the referee. All things considered the difference between the two teams was the penalty count and Dian Koen (Outeniqua No.8). Not a single play in the whole game went past three phases and this was largely to do with neither team being able to hold onto the ball in the tackle through knock-ons and offside play. The latter quite clearly portrayed by the penalty count which was 17-6 in favour of Outeniqua.

Part of the reason for this penalty count was hat Oakdale, very cleverly, played the ball tight, close in to the points of breakdown and never really allowed Outeniqua any space to get their backline into any rhythm. This resulted in Oakdale unfortunately being trapped offside and going over the top repeatedly. They did however seem to have the upper hand in the loose with Benjamin Janse van Vuuren (Oak Number 6) being an absolute thorn in Outeniqua’s flesh. He was all over the field and it must be said that he on the day won the battle of the open side flanks, Oakdale’s outstanding player.

Dian Koen for Outeniqua was the other difference between the sides. He is incredibly strong, gets himself into brilliant positions on the field and I think in this game must be Outeniqua’s man of the match and the overall man of the match. Apart from scoring two tries, both great eighth man efforts that saw him carrying two or three opponents over the try line with him, he also tackled tenaciously and again, positionally, was in all the right places all the time.

Onto the line-outs and scrums. The line-outs, had on display, the South Western Districts Craven Week line-out with players from both teams forming the combined unit and it must be said that the quality of the line-outs was not very good. In a game that had an inordinately high number of line-outs (33 by my count) both teams lost numerous throws of their own line-outs. There was a lot of competition in this area but one wonders on the wisdom of a three man line-out in your own twenty-five when there are only 6 points in the game. This area was particularly messy.

The scrums were interesting and Gregory Nel (Outeniqua loosehead) was the only prop on the field not in the South Western Districts team. On today’s performance one has to wonder why not. He comprehensively outscrummed his tighthead opponent Nemo Roelofse and was as mobile as any tight forward on the day. The scrums overall were fairly evenly contested with Outeniqua possibly gaining the upper hand in the beginning of the game and Oakdale coming back strongly toward the end. This might also have had to do with the two yellow cards on the day. Donovan vd Berg (Oakdale lock) and Hendri Storm (Outeniqua lock) being sent off in the first and second halves respectively. Both sides however did give up a few tight heads, a good sign that things were evenly matched.

Behind the scrums Outeniqua was playing Leighton Eksteen (Outeniqua scrumhalf) in his favoured position as Remu Malan the usual incumbent is injured as previously mentioned. Both he and Niven Langdown (Outeniqua Number 22), who came on in the second half, were under pressure to clear from the base, particularly in the loose phases, and did a good job although this pressure did prevent the Outeniqua Backs from getting any rhythm as I have mentioned.

The kicking from hand by both teams was reasonably good but a few points where left on the table by the place kickers. One of the Oakdale players has a prodigious boot on him and on a couple of occasions kicked defensive touch-finders from his own 25 well into the Outeniqua half.

In the rest of the backlines there is not really much to report except to note that Outeniqua continues to use the fullback-flyhalf swap tactic when on defence. One must just comment on Corné de Klerk (Outeniqua right wing) who is not a regular starter for Outeniqua but came in for Eksteen . He moved to fullback later in the game and what a hard working player he is – always looking for work, stands up strongly on defence and is one of those players who you just feel is giving 110% all the time.

After all is said and done, Oakdale manfully stood up to the challenge of coming to George and taking on one of the top teams in the country this year and very nearly caused what would have been one of the biggest upsets of the year. And Outeniqua weathered the storm and will no doubt be ready for next Saturday when they take on the Lions of Langenhoven Gim in Oudtshoorn.


For Outeniqua:
Tries: Dian Koen 2
Pens: Leighton Eksteen

For Oakdale:
Try: Benjamin Janse van Vuuren
Con: JT Jackson

error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.