Tian Nel comes to the aid of skipper Heinrich Bühr (13) in the match against Wynberg
Gary Player once said that the more you practice, the luckier you get. In that case, Boland Landbou must have been putting in 24-hour shifts on the training ground prior to their 37-27 win over Wynberg out at a warm, cloudless Windmeul on Saturday 20 April 2013.
The visitors looked much slicker out back and took their fair share of ball from line-outs, rucks and mauls, but still ended up effectively being denied a victory only the most one-eyed local supporters would have begrudged them by two very late tries by bustling tighthead Matthys Basson.
Wynberg went straight onto the offensive, but overzealousness prevented their converting their brief territorial advantage into points. In fact, it was home lock Philip Nel who got over under the crossbar for the first try as the Farmers found their feet. Flyhalf Tian Nel added the conversion. (Boland Landbou 7 Wynberg 0 – 8 minutes)
Taking heart from the try the local number 10 tried an unsuccessful snap drop three minutes later and Landbou might well have scored again had not full-back Danrich Visagie slipped when trying to pick up the favourable rebound.
A period of little constructive play was punctuated only by a Nel penalty when the ’Berg were penalized for scrumming inwards. (Boland Landbou 10 Wynberg 0 – 18 minutes)
The home pivot’s lack of pace cost his side another chance to probe the visiting defence, only for Wynberg to respond with one of the moves of the match, lively scrumhalf Nicholas Scott sniping round the side of a maul to send elegant centre Jarred Sage in for the first of his two tries. (Boland Landbou 10 Wynberg 5 – 21 minutes)
The cracks were starting to show in the local defence and it was hardly surprising when right wing Henno Meyer was yellow-carded for a despairing tip-tackle.
The squandered opportunities of the ’Berg’s last visit to Windmeul seemed set to haunt them again when sloppy passing saw another try-scoring opportunity go to waste. However, when they were awarded a free-kick ten yards out, slick handling opened up just enough room for pacy left wing Stefan Botha to dive over at the corner flag. (Boland Landbou 10 Wynberg 10 – 26 minutes)
Frustrated by their inability to make headway against the staunch defence of the southern suburbs lads, the Farmers went back to basics, driving powerfully in the loose. The resultant territorial gain eventually gave Nel the opportunity to put his side ahead just before the break when Wynberg were blown up for side-entry at a ruck. Half-time: Boland Landbou 13 Wynberg 10.
It came as no surprise when the visitors finally got their noses in front early in the second period, lock Mike Pollecutt being on hand to finish off great stepping by flyhalf Siya Alam. Full-back Kyle Martin slotted the conversion. (Boland Landbou 13 Wynberg 17 – 38 minutes).
Once again poor handling in the form of a wild pass, followed by another ruck penalty broke the impetus the visiting pack was starting to build up.
Play moved between the 22 metre lines for a short spell before Nel managed to cross for a try, which he himself goaled, from broken play. (Boland Landbou 20 Wynberg 17-50 minutes)
Both sides were effectively canceling each other out and the respective kickers traded penalties, the home side’s one coming after the Wynberg backline was caught offside, the visitors’, from a moment of petulance by local lock SJ Roux. (Boland Landbou 23 Wynberg 20 – 58 minutes)
A sense of relief and the scent of victory were palpable when Sage flashed through a gap in the home backline following more magical footwork by Scott, whose persistent efforts won him the Man of the Match accolade. Martin extended the lead from the tee. (Boland Landbou 23 Wynberg 27 – 62 minutes)
And that is how it stayed until Basson dashed the Capetonians’ hopes, first with a bullocking run from a tap penalty five metres out and then in similar style from broken play.
Both touchdowns were turned into seven-pointers by Nel, who atoned for a generally indifferent performance by driving Justin van Winkel’s troops back with a raking touchfinder when they transgressed at a ruck in a promising position in between Basson’s endeavours. Final score Boland Landbou 37 Wynberg 27.
It would be heartless for anyone to ascribe Wynberg’s defeat to the differing fortunes of the teams’ respective kickers, even if points from the tee were all that separated the two sides in the end.
Wynberg might not have things their own way at home against Grey High next Saturday, but they can take much confidence from the confident combination of the inside backs as well as their impressive line-out work, especially by lock Brandon Wood and flank Mark Timlin.
Landbou are going to have to brush up all round if they are to avoid being labeled 2013’s out-of-town also-rans. When the pack settled down, they proved the force one has come to expect from them, but the backline was unconvincing both on attack and defence.
At least they have the luxury of an out-weekend coming up in which they can recharge their batteries ahead of the double challenge posed by Glenwood and Noord-Kaap at Wildeklawer in a fortnight’s time.
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