Boland Landbou ground out a 27-22 victory against rivals Oakdale in their Premier Interschools match in Paarl on Saturday. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Despite their underdogs tag, Oakdale bossed this agricultural derby in the first half and were unfortunate to trail at the break. Boland Landbou, fresh off the back of a superb victory over Paul Roos, weren’t at their level best. But, when needed, they hit an extra gear to nullify Oakdale’s inventiveness before pulling away in the second half.
Boland Landbou were under the cosh early on, but all Oakdale’s good work to get close to the tryline was undone by inaccuracy in the final third. Frustrated that his team’s dominance didn’t yield any points, Pietie Uys fielded one of Boland Landbou’s many clearance kicks and hit a low-trajectory monster drop goal from far out to break the deadlock.
Boland Landbou couldn’t match Oakdale’s physicality up to that point, but changed tact to gain a try and a successful penalty for the lead. However, a try in the 30th minute by right winger NJ Simon put the visitors briefly in front before Boland Landbou rocked Oakdale with a score on the stroke of half-time to sneak the advantage.
The hosts were more decisive in the second half, despite the high penalty count against them. Their backline got the ball at every opportunity and shredded Oakdale’s defence, with scrumhalf Deon Carstens being the chief catalyst in the dominant 20-minute spell.
Right wing Duren Hoffman and strong-running inside centre Henlo Marais crossed in quick succession to drive home the hosts’ advantage at 27-10.
Having found their second wind, however, Oakdale captain and No 8 WP van Heerden powered over from close range, sparking hopes of a comeback, before another converted effort made it a real possibility with mere minutes left.
There would be one final attack from the restart, but it wasn’t to be as the ball was lost forward in contact to halt Oakdale and rescue Boland Landbou.
Boland Landbou – Try: Heinrich Brendell, Durin Nasson, Duren Hoffman, Henlo Marais. Conversions: Janlu Steenkamp (2). Penalty: Steenkamp.
Oakdale Landbou – Try: NJ Simon, WP van Heerden, TBC. Conversion: Pietie Uys (2). Drop goal: Uys.
Photo: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images