Waterkloof beat King Edward 35-23 in an entertaining game in Houghton on Saturday to continue their good recent form. THEO GARRUN reports.
They outscored KES by five tries to two, and showed a willingness to run the ball from all quarters and that resulted in an entertaining spectacle on a cold, blustery day.
Waterkloof flyhalf Ian Trollip was in deadly goal-kicking form. He converted all five tries, two of them from the touchline which ensured that his side was always just out of reach of a game King Edward side, who gave their all right up to the final whistle.
Waterkloof came into the game off a good win over Monument the week before and were expected to win quite comfortably. KES were very competitive, however, they led 9-7 at half-time and bounced each time after Waterkloof scored, closing the gap to 28-23 near the end and were perhaps a bit unlucky to concede once more, resulting in a final score that didn’t really reflect what happened in the game.
KES were first on the scoreboard via two penalties by Reece Botha before Waterkloof prop Jason Hatting got the first of what would be two tries, converted by Trollip. Botha slotted a third penalty and KES changed ends 9-7 up.
Waterkloof came out storming and two tries in the first five minutes after the break effectively sealed the game for them. The first was scored by flank Juandre Jooste, who peeled off of a driving maul to force his way over, and the second by centre Theunis Pretorius, who ran a good line against the grain to cross over untouched.
KES were rocked by the two quick scores, but they regained their composure and scored a good try through centre Keane Morse to come right back into the game.
Hattingh then got his second, and Waterkloof’s fourth, following some good forward interplay, before KES pulled one back through Cayleb McDonoghue. That made it 33-28 and Waterkloof’s impressive captain, Eckhard Boshoff, knocked the final nail in.
Waterkloof’s loose forwards – Boshoff, Jooste, and eighthman Wikus Lindeque – were outstanding, as was scrumhalf Divan Roelofse. Winger Julian Bogner took a lot of stopping and fullback Sean Grobler did a lot of running.
The King Edward tight five definitely had the edge. They outscrummed their opponents, and lock Connor van Buuren was strong with ball in hand.
Waterkloof coach Jan Mollentze was happy that his side was able to keep their feet on the ground following its good win over Monument the week before.
‘We were worried that the boys wouldn’t be able to lift themselves again after last week, but they did well,’ he told SARugbymag.co.za. ‘KES are a good team and they put us under a lot of pressure. It was fantastic to play in the atmosphere that you always get there.’
KES coach, Mzwakhe Nkosi bemoaned the two tries they conceded in the five minutes just after half-time.
‘Those were two soft moments and they took the game away from us,’ he said. ‘We made too many mistakes, and a good side like Waterkloof punished us. There were plenty of positives, however. We are a young team and have to learn to keep our composure.’
Waterkloof – Tries: Jason Hatting (2), Juandre Jooste, Theunis Pretorius, Eckahrdt Boshoff. Conversions: Ian Trollip (5).
KES – Tries: Keane Morse, Kayleb O’Donoghue. Conversions: Reece Botha (2). Penalties: Botha (3).
Photo: Theo Garrun