Fullback Louw was huge
Steinhoff Vishuis edged Villagers 20-16 to win their third Steinhoff Koshuisrugby Championship title in Stellenbosch on Monday.
The defending champions made the early running after Villagers from NWU-Pukke could not collect off the first kick-off. A penalty early in the game inside the Villagers 22 was taken quickly and another penalty was awarded. Fullback Beyers Louw slotted the resulting penalty from in front and Vishuis lead 2-0 after a couple of minutes.
Villagers only managed to get the ball in the fifth minute but when they got it they maintained possession and their sustained pressure resulted in a try from Adriaan Oosthuizen after he got himself on the outside of a defender to give his side an 8-2 lead.
The Potchefstroom side exerted the pressure on Vishuis after they absorbed the early pressure and that resulted in them creating another highly successful driving maul which allowed No.8 Daniel Bensusan to crash over. Juan Booyens made no mistake with the conversion and Villagers lead 16-2 after 16 minutes.
At the break the Villagers side would have been a lot happier with their 16-2 lead having enjoyed the majority of the ball as well as field position.
The wind played quite a dominant role in the first-half and Vishuis would have felt that they still had a good shot going into the second 35 minutes with the wind at their backs.
Villagers came out exactly how they had finished the first-half and some slick hands lead to them making a promising burst into the Vishuis 22, but it came to nothing when the defence held out and they could clear.
After a fairly quiet first 15 minutes in the second-half Vishuis won a turnover in their own half and they countered beautifully to gain some valuable momentum which resulted in a Leon Du Raan try right between the posts. The conversion from Louw was successful and with 20 minutes to play Villagers led 16-10.
The defending champions showed their class when they scored in the right-hand corner after a good backline move ended up with the ball in the hands of Lourens Jonker, and the conversion from Louw was outstanding from the right-hand touchline.
Vishuis, with 11 minutes to play, went into an 18-16 lead and definitely had the momentum on their side.
Fullback Louw was huge in the game and made a number of telling breaks as well offering his side an educated right boot on defence as well as attack.
The side from Bloemfontein proved far too strong at the death and Louw added a late penalty to give his side their third title as they snuck a gutsy 20-16 win.
For Steinhoff Vishuis:
Tries: Du Raan, Jonker
Cons: Louw 2
Pens: Louw 2
For Steinhoff Villagers:
Tries: Oosthuizen, Bensusan
Cons: Booyens 2
Steinhoff Vishuis: 15 Beyers Louw, 14 Garneth Kock, 13 Adrian Fransman, 12 Stephan Smith, 11 Lourens Jonker, 10 Dian Beukes, 9 Willie Viljoen, 8 Peet Coetzee, 7 Ernst Schoeman, 6 Ricky van Straaten, 5 Willie Barry (captain), 4 Leon du Raan, 3 Schalk Oosthuizen, 2 Christiaan Raubenheimer, 1 Louis Cloete.
Replacements: 16 Wandile Tsabe, 17 Niel Fourie, 18 Henfred Line, 19 Armand de Wet, 20 Riaan du Toit, 21 Barend Bornman, 22 Casper du Plessis, 23 Stefanus Burger.
Steinhoff Villagers: 15 Juan Booyens, 14 Anton Oosthuizen, 13 Adriaan Oosthuizen, 12 Dirk Odendaal, 11 Jacques Smith, 10 Divan Muller, 9 Armand Robbertse, 8 Daniel Bensusan, 7 Marcel Henn, 6 Russouw Wheeler (captain), 5 Divan Steenekamp, 4 Waldo Franken, 3 Antonie Swanepoel, 2 Charl Esterhuysen, 1 DW Reynecke.
Replacements: 16 Dewald Van Schalkwyk, 17 Arno Noordman, 18 Corné Swanepoel, 19 Johan Engelbrecht, 20 Sewes Wolmerans, 21 Quinton van Schalkwyk 22 De La Rey Van Huyssteen, 23 Derek Roos.
Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
TMO: Deon van Blommestein