The Ballito Dolphins came back to earth somewhat when they took on a powerful Maritzburg University (last seasons champions) at a blustery Umhlali on saturday.
1st Team 35-10 Final Score (Pmb Win)
The 1st XV did not make use of the wind in the first half and going in to the break on even terms meant that an uphill battle was on the cards in the second half. Maritzburg dominated the set pieces and their tight five were superior in most facets of the game. The only time we managed to turn our possession into constructive play we scored under the posts through replacement 8th man Jayden. The conversion was kicked by captain Mark Harris and he added a penalty to make it 10 each at the break. In the second half hard-running Gerhard went close to scoring in the corner after some good phase play by backs and forwards but apart from that there wasn’t much to cheer for the home team.
Maritzburg used the conditions well and kept us pinned in our own half and as a result we were forced to try and run it from our red zone. On one occasion we were turned over and Maritzburg scored under the posts. The final score of 35-10 was probably not a true reflection of the game and if we can sort out our primary phase possession we will fancy ourselves to win the return fixture with our exciting back line. Man of the match in the forwards was Devron and for the backs, winger Corry stood out. We wish centre Jayden a safe recovery from his concussion.
2nd Team 8-5 Final Score (Dolphins Win)
The stand out performance from the second team was our defensive effort. It has been a long time since this coach hasn’t had to worry about coaching defensive patterns as the commitment and structure the seconds executed in defense was nothing short of outstanding. Other than that the game didn’t offer much as a spectacle as strong blustery conditions influenced much of the play.
Going in to half time 8 nil up after a try from Al Brown and a penalty from the same man, was always going to be enough and fly half replacement Brad kept the opposition pinned in their half with some accurate kicking. The only moment of concern was when we unbelievably tried to run out of our own 22m area when we were down to 13 men. The resultant turnover of possession meant a try for Maritzburg but we held on gamely to win 8-5.
Please note that the seconds lost this fixture by 80 points last year so this is a massive turn around for the club and signals some great things to come.Man of the match in the forwards was S’Bu and in the backs Al Brown.
Lastly an appeal to the public. We are short of some players in the tight five. If you would like to join a progressive club and can do some good work in the engine room, please contact Rob on 0792548317.
Dust off the boots and lie to your wife and we’ll see you on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 18:00 at Ashton