This past weekend saw a much-anticipated match between Tuks Rugby League and Cape Town Buccaneers. Both teams topped the logs in their respective regions and a match day between the South and the North was arranged.
Before the game both teams paid their respect to Nelson Mandela’s passing with a minutes silence, and both teams wore armbands with the message: lola ngoxolo tatu Mandela” (Rest in peace father Mandela)
The game kicked off at Goodwood Stadium on Saturday at 16hoo and immediately the pace was quite high. Tuks attacked with gusto and the Buccaneers was defending from the beginning. The defense held as Tuks kept on attacking, but the relentless pressure was rewarded when Shaune Bouwer went over for the first try within minutes. Jean Coetzer converted and the game was on.
The continued pressure led to the next try by Ewald Hugget, which was also converted by Jean Coetzer.
The Buccaneers were quick to attack at the restart and some clever passing saw Muhjideen Davids go over in the corner. Brendan Moodie kicked a difficult conversion at an angle, and the Cape Town side was on the board with points. Tuks quickly drew blood at the restart as Steynberg van Zyl and Charles Parsons both went over for converted tries before half time.
The second half saw renewed energy from the Buccaneers and only some clever interlinking play led to Jean Coetzer going over in the far corner for his only try of the match. The game stayed tight, and both sides were running into contact with determination. A mistake by the Buccaneers left an opening in the defenses and Jonothan Soares capitalized and scored a long solo try from his own quarter. Jean Coetzer was succesful with the conversion, and minutes after kick off Sizwe Nthlangothi managed to recover a lose ball and cross the try line again. Just as it seemed that Tuks would run away with the game, the Buccaneers scored with Morne van Niekerk going over in the corner for a converted try. The Bucs kept up the pressure and close to full time a clever kick by Marco Marais was dotted down by Buccaneers skipper Ryan Espin. Once again Brendan Moodie converted for the Cape Town side.
The game ended at 38 to 18 for Tuks, and it was a tremendous showcase for teams and players from the two areas of rugby league. Skippers Deon Kraemer and Ryan Espin was full of praise for their players and the spirit in which this game was played. The challenge is now on the Buccaneers to travel up to Pretoria next year to get the trophy back from Tuks.
Tuks Rugby League:
Shaun Bouwer (1 try), Ewald Hugget (1 try), Steynberg van Zyl (1 try), Charles Parsons (1 try), Jean Coetzer (1 try, 5 conversions), Jonothan Soares (1 try), Sizwe Nthlangothi (1 try)
Tuks Man of the Match: Steynberg van Zyl
Cape Town Buccaneers:
Muhijdeen Davids (1 try), Morne van Niekerk (1 try), Ryan Espin (1 try), Brendan Moodie (3 conversions)
Buccaneers Man of the Match: Marco Mar