Glenwood extended their unbeaten run by beating Affies 37-34 in a nine-try thriller in Pretoria on Saturday. THEO GARRUN reports.
Affies trailed 22-13 at half-time and looked well beaten, but they produced a second half that was full of flair and passion, which brought them right back into the game, and took them into the lead with 10 minutes to go.
Glenwood refused to lie down, however, and they got the winning try with time just about up to record their fourth win in 11 encounters against Affies and erase the memory of the 63-0 beating they took when the sides last met in 2016.
Affies were first on the board thanks to a penalty by flyhalf Regardt Roets in the 11th minute, but Glenwood struck back straight away with a try by winger Joe Jonas, converted by scrumhalf Jayden Hendrikze, who was on his way to an almost flawless afternoon off the kicking tee.
Two minutes later, Glenwood’s SA Schools centre Conan le Fleur set off on a run in his own half and wove his way through the entire Affies team to score in the opposite corner, with Hendrikze adding the conversion. Affies responded with a second Roets penalty and a try from a lineout maul, touched down by hooker Janco Uys.
On the stroke of half-time, Hendrikze broke clear from a ruck and made a lot of ground before sending prop Thabiso Mdletshe over to make it 22-13 to Glenwood at the break.
Affies came out with all guns blazing in the second half and almost immediately got a try through winger Jason Scheepers, converted by Roets to close the gap to just two points.
From that point on the teams traded touchdowns as the game opened up into an attacking spectacle that had the two sets of supporters roaring non-stop.
First up, Glenwood’s JC Conradie went over for a converted try, followed three minutes later by Affies flyhalf Roets, who added the conversion. Hendrikze created a bit of daylight via a penalty, but Uys struck straight back almost immediately with his second try, converted by Roets, putting Affies in the lead by 34-32.
The home side looked like they were going to sneak a victory that looked unlikely earlier on, but a bit of individual magic by Glenwood flyhalf Dylan Pretorious four minutes from time denied them. He broke on the halfway line, chipped ahead and gathered his own kick. From the ensuing ruck the ball was sent wide and lurking on the wing was prop Jeffrey Mdletshe who crashed over in the corner for his second try.
Affies went all out from the kick-off but they were too eager, going off their feet at a ruck. Glenwood gleefully kicked the ball out to seal a deserved victory in a cracker of a game.
There were a number of heroes in the Glenwood ranks. Both wings, Jonas and Jean Roux, made many yards with ball in hand, as did fullback Ryno Jonker. Le Fleur had a quiet game, but his one run led to a try and that was decisive in the end.
Up front, No 8 George Luzolo was prominent with ball in hand, while captain Renato Brynard led from the front. And Hendrikze’s accurate goal-kicking – he missed two out of seven shots at goal – kept the scoreboard going.
Roets had a big game for Affies. He made several telling linebreaks and his tactical kicking was good. In the end, he contributed 19 points via a try, two penalties and four conversions. The Affies loose forwards – David Jacobz, Adolph Visser and Jan Dagutat – won plenty of ball for their side in the second half and their withering tackling almost saw them home.
Glenwood – Tries: Joe Jonas, Conan Le Fleur, Thabiso Mdletshe (2), JC Conradie. Conversions: Jayden Hendrikze (3). Penalties: Hendrikze (3).
Affies – Tries: Jaco Uys (2), Jason Scheepers, Regardt Roets. Conversions: Roets (4). Penalties: Roets (2).
Photo: Theo Garrun