Hard lessons for Midlands U20

2008-04-08 00:00

THE Gestetner Midlands U20A rugby team learnt a hard lesson on Saturday in their 24-3 defeat at the hands of Crusaders, who had been beaten two weeks ago by Jaguars by 40 points while the Midlands team beat Jaguars last week in the opening of the league 49-10.

Maybe it was complacency or just a day where things just went wrong. By no means did Midlands play anywhere close to the level they played last week. They rushed things when patience was required and once or twice try-line fever got the better of individuals when the space was clearly outside.

Coach Steve Botha said the fact that the ref blew the first half five minutes short also didn’t help the Midlands cause as they were on attack at the time. The second half’s 36 minutes running time despite two long injury stoppages was another indictment on the quality of the man in the middle.

“No excuses made or looked for, though, it was a poor performance, and they will have to be on top of their game this weekend against Harlequins,” Botha told The Witness.

“Some lessons cannot be taught, only experienced, and hopefully the Midlands side learnt from that experience,” said Botha.

It is also particularly disappointing in the wake of the generous sponsorship to this new Midlands U20 rugby venture provided by Gestetner Midlands principal Brian Taylor, who is becoming a major benefactor of the game.

Midlands U20B under coach Ralph Cawood were always in the mix against Saders U20B and going into half-time were trailing 5-0. They had their chances on numerous occasions but handling errors let them down.

“The guys got stuck in and tackled manfully,” said Botha. Deon van Dyk scored the only Midlands try in an eventual 12-7 defeat. Tyler Sewell at scrumhalf earned the backline player of the match award and Siya Mdluli again pinched the forward accolades.

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