SWD win thriller
South Western Districts defeated Kwazulu-Natal 18-13 in a gripping match which could have gone either way on the opening day at Craven Week
It was a gripping match. It was so close with an ebb and floe of effort and fortune that kept it ever close and in the end it was late-detected forward ;pass that did much to decide the winner. It could have gone either way.
There was so much about the game that was unpredictable - line-outs surprisingly lost, a tighthead won and a first try that just did not look possible followed immediately by a surprise breakaway. There is nothing like the surprise of unpredictability to give a match life.
For the first try Morné Joubert of KwaZulu-Natal looked lost, wandering indecisively to his left, then turning back to the opposition and suddenly; burst into life going right. The strong fullback burst ahead, beating three opponents for a try under the posts. Tristan Tedder converted and KwaZulu-Natal led 7-0 after 7 minutes.
A minute later the scores were level as Boeta Human kicked off high and Samuel Odendaal of South Western Districts got the ball and burst head down the left. He gave to Shadward Fillies on the left wing and the speedste4r raced over for a try right in the corner, just squeezing in for the try. But from there JT Jackson converted. 7-7.
Domenic Smit, the little South Western Districts scrumhalf broke but when he was brought down powerful Jaco Coetzee won a turnover and KwaZulu-Natal started running.
South Western Districts were penalised at a tackle and Tristan Tedder goaled between the tall blue uprights reaching up into the blue Mpumalanga sky. 10-7 after 16 minutes.
South Western Districts poured onto the attack again and Tristan Tedder saved his side when he brought down Ruan Barnard right at the line. A penalty gave South Western Districts a five-metre line-out. They mauled but KwaZulu-Natal won a turnover.
Then from a line-out on their left, South Western Districts attacked. Big Wynand de Necker charged at the line. Quick ball came back and South Western Districts moved it left where JT Jackson burst over for a try. That gave South Western Districts a 12-10 lead after 24 minutes.
Two minutes later Tristan Tedder again bisected the uprights to give KwaZulu-Natal the lead back at 13-12.
Shadward Fillies raced down the left but a great tackle by Wayne Smith put paid to his ambitions and the half-time score was 13-12.
There were no tries in the second half, only two penalty goals but there was one that looked a winner till technology examined it.
KwaZulu-Natal missed a penalty goal early in the second half and then Ngoni Chidoma was stopped at the line when a try seemed inevitable. KwaZulu-Natal battered at the line but the South Western Districts defence was brave and in the end too good. They survived.
From a line-out on the KwaZulu-Natal right McMillan Muller burst the through off a short pass from Morné Joubert. The flank raced down the field and then gave to Morné Muller on his outside and the burly fullback was over. But the referee asked the TMO to examine two passes. The second one, a long one to Marné Joubert, was found to be in order but then the first pass from Morné Joubert was judged forward and there was no try.
The setback may well have dampened KwaZulu-Natal's ardour or lifted the determination of South Western Districts - or both. But South Western Districts then took over the match. momentum was with them.
JT Jackson broke from a line-out and was close. Jaco Coetzee stopped him and was penalised and sent to the sin bin with just 13 minutes to play. Boeta Human goaled the resultant penalty. 15-13 to South Western Districts.
South Western Districts tapped a five-metre free kick and seemed to score but were brought back and KwaZulu-Natal survived.
JT Jackson was over but the pass to him was judged forward. and the referee went back to an offside penalty which Boeta Human goaled. 18-13 with five minutes to play.
It was a tense five minutes.
Jaco Coetzee came back, KwaZulu-Natal won a tighthead but their fragile handling again let them down and then they were penalised. There were 10 seconds to play when South Western Districts threw into a line-out but KwaZulu-Natal won the line-out. They were awarded a scrum but by then time was up and the final whistle went on an absorbing match.
Man of the Match: There were lots of outstanding players on view - Morné Joubert. Tristan Tedder, Jaco Coetzee (till his yellow card), and Kevin du Randt of KwaZulu-Natal, and on the South Western Districts side Shadward Fillies, Armand Heunis, Vogien Talmaggies and the man who made a difference, JT Jackson
For South Western Districts:
Tries: Shadward Fillies, Ruan Barnard
Con: JT Jackson
Pens: JT Jackson 2
Try: Morné Joubert
Con: Tristan Tedder
Cons: Tristan Tedder.
Yellow card: Jaco Coetzee (KwaZulu-Natal) for a 'cynical' infringement at a tackle near his line.
KwaZulu Natal: 15 Morné Joubert (Glenwood), 14 Xolisa Guma (Maritzburg College), 13 Tristan Blewett (Hilton), 12 Wayne Smith (Westville), 11 Ilunga Mukendi (Glenwood), 10 Tristan Tedder (Kearsney), 9 James Hall (Kearsney), 8 Jaco Coetzee (Glenwood), 7 McMillan Muller (Glenwood), 6 James Venter (Glenwood), 5 Kevin du Randt (Glenwood), 4 Bandisa Ndlovu (Pietermaritzburg Voortrekker), 3 Koos Tredoux (Glenwood), 2 Bradley Roberts (Michaelhouse), 1 Ngoni Chidoma (Northwood)
Replacements: 16 Percy Mngadi (Glenwood), 17 Kenny van Niekerk (Glenwood), 18 Cody Thomas (Westville), 19 Tristan Dixon (Kearsney), 20 Kwazi Khanyile (Glenwood), 21 Curtis Jonas (Glenwood), 22 Spamandla Ngcobo (Glenwood)
South Western Districts: 15 Ruan Barnard (Oakdale), 14 Corné de Klerk (Outeniqua), 13 Curtley Prins (Outeniqua), 12 JT Jackson (Oakdale), 11 Shadward Fillies (Sao Bras), 10 Boeta Hamman (Oakdale), 9 Domenic Smit (Oudtshoorn), 8 Nevada Jacobs (Langenhoven Gimnasium), 7 Armand Heunis (Oakdale), 6 Christopher Roelofse (Outeniqua), 5 Eduan Zandberg (Outeniqua), 4 Anton Smit (Outeniqua), 3 Wynand de Necker (Outeniqua), 2 Le Roux Baard (Outeniqua), 1 SW Odendaal (Outeniqua)
Replacements: 16 Vogien Talmaggies (Oakdale), 17 Andrew Kuhn (Outeniqua), 18 Roux Swart (Outeniqua), 19 André Smith (Oakdale), 20 Levuju Ndevu (Outeniqua), 21 Niven Langdown (Outeniqua), 22 Manie Libbok (Outeniqua).
Referee: Tahla Ntshakaza
Assistant referees: Francois Pretorius, Eduan Nel
Television match official: Jason Jaftha