Northern Cape women almost cross the line
The SAPS National Championships wrapped over the weekend with the women playing their last matches on Friday and the men bringing proceedings to an end on Saturday.
On Friday, a plucky NC women’s side, who only came together as a squad 10 days before the start of the championships, gave an exceptional account of themselves in their play-off match for third and fourth place against the more fancied Gauteng A side. The two teams were evenly matched in all spheres of the game and neither side was willing to give their opponents an inch. At the end of their 60 minutes, neither team had managed to score and an extra five minutes per half were played to get a result. It was right at the death, in the final two minutes of the second half of extra time that Gauteng scored a try and secured the bronze medal.
The next day the NC men’s side became horribly unstuck in their A2 section game when they were hammered 84-17 by an in-form Western Cape B side. The Western Cape side did all the scoring in the first half, racing to a 42-0 lead at the break, running in six tries in the process.
After the break Western Cape continued their onslaught, scoring three more tries before the NC team suddenly woke up and eventually scored three consolation tries. But Western Cape were not quite finished and dotted down another try right at the final whistle, with the conversion sailing between the uprights.
The A1 final between the defending champions, Western Cape and the Eastern Cape at 3.45pm, was a tough and evenly-matched contest, but the Western Cape team eventually eked out a 33-30 victory after Eastern Cape had been 11-10 ahead at half-time.
The match was generally played in a very good spirit, however, a bit of niggle and one or two “hows-your-father” incidents spiced things up as both province’s supporters sang and cheered their teams on.
The Western Cape victory brought down the curtain on an exciting, highly successful and well-organised championship.
Friday – Women
5th and 6th places: Free State 10-5 Gauteng B
3rd and 4th: Gauteng A 7-0 NC
1st and 2nd: Eastern Cape 43-0 Western Cape
Saturday – Men
3rd and 4th: KwaZulu Natal 91-7 Mpumalanga
1st and 2nd: Head Office 45-12 North West
3rd and 4th: Eastern Cape B 46-12 Limpopo
1st and 2nd: Western Cape B 82-17 NC
3rd and 4th: Free State 66-5 Gauteng
1st and 2nd: Western Cape A 33-30 Eastern Cape A