A last-gasp penalty from veteran flyhalf Monty Dumond gave Hamiltons a 40-40 draw against Wanderers in the Community Cup on Saturday.
The unruffled Dumond, who slotted a post-hooter penalty to win the inaugural Community Cup title in 2013 for his former club, Despatch, nailed the 82nd-minute kick from a narrow angle to give his team a share of the spoils in a highly entertaining match which saw 10 tries and 80 points scored.
In Pool A, flyhalf Juan Smit scored a 67th-minute try to hand PE Police a hard-fought 15-8 win over Old Selbornians at Kemsley Park. In the pool’s other match, Durbanville-Bellville bounced back from their round-one defeat to Old Selbornians in some style, running in 11 tries in front of 800 enthusiastic supporters for a 73-19 victory over Springs.
The results see Durbell top a congested Pool A on points difference ahead of their bye this coming weekend, which sees defending champions Rustenburg Impala travelling to East London and Springs hosting PE Police. A second defeat for Old Selbornians or PE Police at this stage will likely knock them out of contention for the top-eight Easter play-offs, which take place from 2-6 April at the Impala Club in Rustenburg.
In Pool B, two tries in the last two minutes, by lock Imilius Keyser and fullback Ruan van Loo, gave Pretoria Police a remarkable 31-26 win over Bloemfontein Crusaders at the Clive Solomon Stadium in Heidedal – the second heartbreaking loss at home for Crusaders in as many weeks after their 20-16 defeat to Raiders in round one. In the pool’s other match, 2013 silver medallists College Rovers got their campaign off to an enterprising start with a 54-15 win over Noordelikes in Durban.
Police top Pool B with 10 points, but they face their sternest test when they host College Rovers in Groenkloof in round three in a match which may yet decide who finishes top of the group. Raiders, meanwhile, resume their campaign with a difficult away trip to Polokwane to face Noordelikes.
In Pool C, apart from Monty Dumond’s late heroics in Cape Town, there was also drama aplenty at Boland Park in Worcester where a 75th-minute try by replacement flanker Yrin Belelie, converted by centre Nazeem van Sitters, gave Villagers Worcester an 18-13 victory over Sishen.
Pool C is too close to call, with leaders Hamiltons and Villagers Worcester facing each other in a mouthwatering WP vs Boland clash in Worcester this weekend. In the other match, Wanderers, fresh from their tournament debut, face the daunting task of travelling to George to play Evergreens, who return to action after their opening-round victory over Worcester.
And in Pool D, 2013 champions Despatch found themselves 21-0 down after 20 minutes but rallied remarkably to score seven tries and 31 unanswered points in a 43-25 victory over Wesbank in front of 2,000 fans at the WJ de Wet Stadium. In the pool’s other match, Durban Collegians registered a 32-12 bonus-point win over Rovers Welkom in Durban in their first-ever Community Cup match.
Despatch, with a full house of 10 points, are favourites to progress, although they face a difficult away match in Emalahleni this Saturday to play Ferros, while Durban Collegians have an even tougher assignment in Malmesbury against Wesbank who, as they showed against Despatch, are one of the tournament’s most underestimated sides.
PE Police (15) – Tries: Juan Smit, Alwyn Jordaan. Conversion: Smit. Penalty: Smit.
Old Selbornians (8) – Try: Roy Bursey. Penalty: Dale Sabbagh.
Durbanville-Bellville (73) – Tries: Alconray Botha, Ashton Constant (2), Brendon April (2), Garth April, Jason Kriel, Rohan Kitshoff (3), Tiaan Radyn. Conversions: Raymond Olivier (9).
Springs (19) – Tries: Johannes Mattheus Zondagh, Pierre Foord, Strachen Nortje. Conversions: Kazlo Sémone Holtzhausen, Nortje.
Bloemfontein Crusaders (26) – Tries: Algernon Duane Andries (2), Alvin Brandt, Enver Brandt. Conversions: Griffin Colby (3).
Pretoria Police (31) – Tries: Imilius Regnerus Keyser, Ivan Venter, Ruan van Loo, Vince Gwavu. Conversion: Van Loo. Penalties: Van Loo (3).
College Rovers (54) – Tries: Sangoni Mxoli, Matthew Phillips, Jongi Nokwe (2), Christopher Micklewood, Chris Jordaan, Chesney Botha. Conversions: Micklewood (6). Penalties: Micklewood (2).
Noordelikes (15) – Tries: Gert van der Merwe, Christo Pieter Louw. Conversion: Zander Byleveldt. Penalty: Byleveldt.
Villagers Worcester (18) – Tries: Yrin Quift Belelie, Nazeem Nilton van Sitters. Conversion: Van Sitters. Penalties: Van Sitters, Ricardo Jones.
Sishen (13) – Try: Adolf du Plessis. Conversion: Tiaan Le Roux. Penalties: André Roberts (2).
Hamiltons (40) – Tries: Johannes Jacobus van Zyl (2), Francois Hanekom, Niel Cleghorn. Conversions: Monty Dumond (2), Van Zyl, Shane Vallender. Penalties: Vallender, Dumond.
Wanderers (40) – Tries: Kyle John Fraser Dutton (2), Wesley Flanagan, Geoffrey Scott Wood, Dylan Rutherford, Craig Bryan Kolarik. Conversions: Menzi Sikhulile Ngidi (5).
Despatch (43) – Tries: Baldwin McBean, Basil de Doncker, Cameron Jacobs, Elroy Ligman, Jaco Swanepoel, Kalvano King, Siviwe Magaba. Conversions: Morné Labuschagne (4).
Wesbank (25) – Tries: Anvon Davids, Evan Liedeman, Salmon Coetzee. Conversions: Dashton Wellman (2). Penalties: Wellman (2).
Durban Collegians (32) – Tries: Brandon Ridge Backeberg, Brendan Cope, Calvin Michael Sacks, Gregory Bauer. Conversions: Cope (2). Penalties: Cope (2).
Rovers Welkom (12) – Penalties: Tiaan van Wyk (4).
Photo: Roger Sedres/ImageSA/Saru