Western Suburbs started the rugby season on a high note when they beat the defending champions Wanderers 48-38 in the MTC Premier League at their home ground, Suburbs Park on Saturday.
The teams weighed up evenly in the forward exchanges, but Suburbsâ?? fleet-footed backline and the accurate goalkicking by fullback McGrath van Wyk ultimately made the difference.
All of their tries came through their backline, where flyhalf Attie du Plessis had a field day, scoring three tries of his own, while sending his backline away at speed. Van Wyk also had his kicking boots on and only missed one attempt at the posts all afternoon.
Amongst the forwards, lock Wacca Kazombiaze, flanker Desmond Haihambo and eighthman Yoshiro Klaasen worked tirelessly in attack and defence.
Wanderersâ?? forwards won their fare share of the ball, with Wolfie Duvenhage, Faan Horn and Jurgens van Lill prominent, but ultimately they did not have an answer for Suburbsâ?? spirited play.
Three tries for Du Plessis
Suburbs took the lead through tries by Du Plessis and wing Morne du Plessis, both converted by Van Wyk, before centre Jurie Booysen opened Wanderersâ?? account with an unconverted try.
Suburbs took a substantial 28-12 lead through two more tries by flyhalf Du Plessis, both converted by Van Wyk, while Wanderers replied through a converted try by flyhalf Jaco van der Westhuizen.
But Wanderers clawed their way back to reduce the deficit to 28-24 at halftime, after tries by left wing Dawie Koen and a converted try by Booysen.
Wanderers pressurized Suburbsâ?? tryline after the break, but Suburbsâ?? scrumhalf Eugene Jantjies intercepted the ball and ran the length of the field to dive over behind the posts. With Van Wyk adding the conversion Suburbs went up 35-24.
Van Wyk added another penalty, but Wanderers reduced the gap to 38-31 when centre Corne Powell went over from a maul, with Van der Westhuizen adding the conversion.
Suburbs, however, wrapped up the game through another penalty by Van Wyk and a great try by centre Ryan Witbooi, who followed up a kick ahead to touch down in the corner. Van Wyk added the conversion to stretch Suburbsâ?? lead to 48-31.
Wanderers had the final say when fullback Pieter Meeuwesen scored a fine individual try, beating the defence down the wing and then sidestepping inside to score behind the posts. Van der Westhuizen added the conversion to make the final score 48-38 in Suburbsâ?? favour.
Reho Falcon shock United
In Saturdayâ??s other MTC Premier League match, Reho Falcon caused a major upset when they beat United 26-24 at Unitedâ??s home ground in Olympia.
The result sees Reho Falcon going to the top of the log after they had previously beaten Rehoboth 57-7 on March 10. It was Unitedâ??s first defeat of the season, after they beat Wanderers 21-18 in their opening match on March 10.