- Published on Monday, 13 August 2012 09:42
- Written by Gareth Stevens
The second half of the internal rugby season kicked off on Wednesday, July 25th on a crisp, chilly evening conducive to running rugby.
While the crowds were sparse, England Sevens star and former UCT wing, Matt Turner was amongst the supporters who tried to generate an engaging atmosphere on the Green Mile.
The format of the league has transformed this year in order to allow for a more even playing field. In previous seasons, the teams were randomly placed into groups, with the top eight qualifiers progressing to the quarter-finals.
This year, the top eight qualifiers from last season make up the A-League. They play a round-robin scenario with the top four sides qualifying for the semi-finals. The B-League is made up of the remaining eight teams playing in a similar format.
There were a few fixtures which stood out at the beginning of this semester. In the B-League, the Shebeen Boys attracted the largest crowd for the 5.30pm game. A little rusty after the break, they managed to concede their first try of the entire season, but still managed to win comfortably. They are leagues ahead of the other teams and should be competing in the A Section next year.
At the same time the Shebeen Boys were playing, an A-League fixture between the Wildboys and Ubumbo was taking place on the adjacent field. It was a far more competitive match with more than a drop of blood spilt.
The Wildboys showed some real fight, playing the majority of the game a man short (this prevented them from substituting players, as they didn’t have enough able bodies, and really tested their conditioning.) They still managed to win the encounter 19-12. Fly-half Carl Jensen was too exhausted to answer any questions in his post-match interview, indicating the intensity of the game.
The 6.30pm game of the evening was the much-anticipated clash between the two perennial power-houses of the internal league, Nadoes vs. Cobras. This game promised a sneak preview of the final at the end of the season.
The two sides displayed great professionalism, with a remarkable focus on defence. The only try of the match, scored by the Cobras, resulted from an interception 80 metres out. The tussle ended 16-3 to the Cobras, who, as defending champions, are trying to retain their title.
The next round of games on August 1st saw the Cobras win against MOB 15-0, pushing them to second in the table, three points behind Nadoes who have a game in hand. Panthers and Ikhaya prop up the A-League having both lost all their games. Shebeen Boys remain unbeaten in the B-League, with Leo Marquard on course for the wooden spoon after dismal performances this season.