Villagers making their mark

2015-05-26 06:00
Photo: Kerrith Howes
Byron Volek in action.

Photo: Kerrith Howes Byron Volek in action.

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THE Land Rover Durban Hillcrest Villagers Rugby Club played host to the Richards Bay Spartans on Saturday - a match which was expected to be a tough encounter. The Richards Bay second side proved why they were top of the table and racked up and early lead of 21 points after the first drinks break.

Hillcrest, however, rallied in the middle half of the game and brought the scores to within a few points by the second half drinks break.

The heat of the day took its toll on both teams but with strength from the bench in the second half from Hillcrest the scores remained close until two late break away tries from the visitors put the game out of reach, with the final score ending 21-40 to Richards Bay.

Russ and#034;Majorand#034; Booth, second XV coach was proud of his charges, saying: “We proved in parts of the game that we are a force to be reckoned with, but we were beaten on the day by a well drilled side.”

The Land Rover Durban Hillcrest Villagers First XV put on a great display of attractive rugby against an equally competitive Spartans First XV. Richards Bay drew first blood with a converted try 20 minutes in, but Hillcrest were kept in touch by the long range reliable boot of Stephan Bothma. The visitors ran into half time 10-6 leaders and the players took full advantage of re hydrating in the sapping heat.

A determined Hillcrest side took to the field in the second half with renewed purpose and although the score rose to 17-9 against them by the 60th minute, they continued to play with passion and determination. After turning possession on their own 22, Hillcrest put together a phenomenal passage of several phases ending in a try for fly half Byron Volek bring the hosts to within a point of Richards Bay.

The outcome of the game was decided in the dying minutes of the game despite a well seasoned visiting side trying to hold in desperately to their narrow lead. A penalty against the visitors again saw Stephan Bothma step up to the kicking tee and despite huge pressure slotted a difficult kick from 40m out to put the hosts ahead 19-17 at the final whistle.

Coach Jeremy McLaren heaped praise on the spirit and determination of his side after a memorable win, one which will go down as a real highlight of the season thus far.

With the Land Rover Durban Hillcrest Villagers First XV looking to continue their winning streak and the Second XV seeking victory, they now look forward to hosting Westville Old Boys on Thursday 28 May at the Durban Shongweni Club in the first game of the second round of the first division league. Follow them on Facebook to find out more about games this week

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