The Rondebosch 1st XV completed a successful tour of Ireland in March, writes TYRONE ENGEL.
The team won all four of their matches against Suttonians RFC in Dublin, Buccaneers RFC in Clonsbruk, Old Crescent RFC in Limerick and a Munster development team (see scores below).
Coach Mark Lindenberg, in his first season in charge, was pleased with his side’s overall performance.
‘I am happy with what we were able to achieve,’ he told SARugbymag.co.za. ‘Some of the opposition were quite weak, but it gave us a good opportunity to find our feet [before the season],’ Lindenberg said. ‘We improved in every game. We were really tested against the Munster side, but our mixed group of Grade 11s and 12s showed good resolve to come back from 10 points down after just five minutes.
‘We had a good pre-season and were able to translate that preparation into match performances on this tour,’ he added. ‘The skill and structure work we put in was evident on the field, but we still have room for improvement. The conditioning work we’ve been doing since October really paid off on this tour, and it meant we could play the game we wanted. This is the fittest rugby team I’ve seen at the start of a season and the boys have commented that they feel fitter than ever.
‘There were many players who impressed on tour, scrumhalf Robbie Davis, fullback Mike Mavovana, centre DJ Falconer and lock Mathew Grobler, while captain Garth Shenker led well and had a big final game. But the entire squad was really impressive.
‘The boys handled the tour well. They loved the experience in Ireland. The weather was cold throughout, but we didn’t have rain until our last match. The team really bonded and held the Rondebosch name high.
‘The Western Province league is tough and we know we are underdogs this year, and are well aware of the big challenges that await, but so far, so good.‘
Rondebosch play their first match of the regular season against Wynberg at home on 9 April.
Rondebosch tour results:
Beat Suttonians RFC 33-8
Tries: Matthew Grobler (lock), Mike Mavovana (fullback), Dane Stevens (wing), Hugo Minnaar (flyhalf), Van der Bijl Blake (centre). Conversions: Sam Cragg (centre) (4).
Beat Buccaneers RFC 100-5
Tries: Mike Mavovana (fullback) (4), Zaka Sallie (wing) (4), Sam Cragg (flyhalf) (2), Jason Fisher (lock), Van der Bijl Blake (centre), Robbie Davis (scrumhalf), Keegan Collier (wing), Ross Roode (scrumhalf), James van Rensburg (flyhalf). Conversions: Cragg (No 8), Blake (hooker).
Beat Old Crescent RFC 57-7
Tries: Dane Stevens (fullback) (2), Devon Arendse (hooker) (2), Keegan Collier (wing) (2), DJ Falconer (centre), Luca de Giovanni (prop), Mike Mavovana (fullback). Conversions: Hugo Minnaar (flyhalf) (3), Sam Cragg (flyhalf) (3).
Beat Munster development side 31-17
Tries: Mike Mavovana (fullback) (2), Suhaib Ajmoodien (hooker), Zakka Sallie (No 8), Kyle Fredricks (wing). Conversions: Sam Cragg (centre) (3).