This year promises to be a great year for the Rhodes U21A side. The team bagged their second straight win against the Crusaders from Port Elizabeth.
The Rhodes U21A side took to the field in their first home game of the season after they displayed a solid performance away from home to beat Gardens in the first match of the season. Rhodes was the first team to put some points on the board when they took 3-0 lead after the Crusaders were penalized for being offside. One may have expected both teams to be a little rusty as the season had just begun but both teams displaying some good passages of rugby.
The Crusaders absorbed pressure for most the half, often being fortunate of the knock-ons Rhodes made resulting in some tries going a begging. However, the pressure Rhodes were putting on the Crusaders became too much, with Rhodes scoring a try before the half time whistle and took a half-time lead of 11-0 going to the second half.
The second half saw the Crusaders claw their way back into the match when the Port Elizabeth side secured 3 points shortly after the second half had started. Rhodes continued to display some good passages of rugby but were unfortunately let down because of their handling skills. The Crusaders capitalized on this and saw them score their first try of the match.
The second half was scrappier than the first half and unfortunately saw foul play and chirping by players to one another. Referee Ngcese believed that “both teams had the potential to play good rugby but they concentrated too much on the chirping”. Ngcese finally blow the whistle to signal the end of a game with the full time score a 19 -16 win for Rhodes..
The U21A coach Mike Pretorious commended his boys on their second win of the season to make it two out of two for the U21A side. Considering the fact that the team are not used to playing with each other, Pretorious believes that the game went well. The team now looks forwards to their next match and continues to build as a team to be at the place Pretorius believes “Rhodes rugby should be”.