On a day that celebrated club rugby in the region, it was just fitting that Brendan April, one of the Boland Cavaliers’ most recent graduates from the local club structures, scored his side’s winning try when the Boland beat the Sharks XV by 21-19 in their Vodacom Cup clash in Malmesbury on Saturday.
More or less 7 000 people attended the club friendly between locals Wesbank and Never Despair beforehand, but the majority of those spectators left the rainy Alfa sports field before the break of the main fixture.
The surroundings probably came as a bit of a shock for the Durbanites, but thanks to the boot of their fullback Gouws Prinsloo the Sharks XV led by 16-8 at halftime.
Boland lost fullback Jacquin Jansen with a yellow card for a dangerous tackle early on in the match. But except for sole try by the visiting right winger Sibu Sithole the Sharks didn’t really make use of that advantage in the first half.
Gouws scored his side’s final points from a penalty shortly of play resumed in the second half. The Boland number 10 Ricardo Croy then started picking away at the Sharks’ lead and with three minutes left April scored a brilliant individual try from a turn over. Croy converted, but all was not yet won.
The Sharks progressed into Boland’s 22 from the kick off, but once again gave away possession. The home side was awarded a penalty, kicked the ball down field and ran down the clock until they had a somewhat unexpected victory against a side that has only lost once this season.
Boland Cavaliers 21 (8): Tries: Milroy Isaacs, Brendan April. Conversion: Ricardo Croy. Penalties: Croy (3).
Sharks XV 19 (16): Try: Sibu Sithole. Conversion: Gouws Prinsloo. Penalties: Prinsloo (4).