College Rovers to meet Despatch in Community Cup final

It will be Jonnson College Rovers and GAP Despatch in the final of Monday’s Cell C Community Cup showpiece after both came through their semi-finals with nail-biting wins at Outeniqua Park in George on Saturday.

Rovers scored in the 80th minute of their match against East Rand Cranes Brakpan to beat the Gauteng side 29-25, while Despatch had to rely on a late dropped goal by Marlon Lewis to edge our Rustenburg Impala 21-10 to set up a rematch of the opening fixture of the inaugural tournament.

Heavy underfoot conditions and strong winds made it a difficult afternoon for all the teams, but did not deter them from fighting for the finals spot till the last seconds of the match. This resulted in two fantastic semi-finals, with two worthy finalists emerging.

Earlier in the day, Durbanville-Bellville and Pretoria Police scored good wins over Evergreens and Roodepoort, the only teams who is yet to win at Outeniqua Park this Easter.

Jonnson College Rovers 29 (17), East Rand Cranes Brakpan 25 (3)

A try on the final hooter by Jors Dannhauser secured Jonnson College Rovers their pass into the Cell C Community Cup final and a 29-25 win.

It was literally the last play of the match and it seemed that Brakpan, who at one stage had a 25-17 lead with less than 20 minutes to play, had done enough to secure the win. They have scored 22 unanswered points at that stage and had the momentum on their side.

Dannhauser also scored a couple of minutes earlier and Greg Goosen’s conversion closed the gap to one point. Brakpan defended with real guts, but credit to Rovers who did refused to give up.

Rovers started off very strong and it looked as if they were going to run away with this.

Converted tries by outside backs Kyle Williamson and Sergio Torrens and a penalty by Goosen justified the strong 17-3 lead at the break.

The second half was a different affair as Brakpan played great rugby. They scored three tries in fifteen minutes and it seemed that Rovers had no answer to stop the onslaught.

Dannhauser’s first stop the rot and the momentum and the second during the last play of the match secured a remarkable win.

Jonnson College Rovers 29 (17). Tries: Jors Dannhauser (2), Kyle Williamson, Sergio Torrens. Conversions: Greg Goosen (2), Dannhauser (1). Penalty: Goosen.
East Rand Cranes Brakpan 25 (3). Tries: Gido Horn, Jaco Lotter, Theo Mynhardt. Conversions: Charl Niewenhuis (2). Penalties: Niewenhuis (2).

GAP Despatch 21 (13) Rustenburg Impala 20 (7).

It was a hard fought affair with both heavy-weight teams determined to make Monday’s final, but in the end Despatch could claim the win and finals berth.

In a match played in atrocious conditions and with two teams so evenly matched, it was always going to be an individual moment of brilliance that was going to split them. Luckily for Despatch, it came in the form of inspirational scrumhalf Marlon Lewis, who dropped a goal nine minutes from time. That score proved decisive.

Despatch had the upper hand early, forcing the North West side into early mistakes. Unfortunately for them, Ryan Brown was off-target with his first two attempts at goal, but a good cross-kick from the flyhalf found Monty Dumond shortly after and the fullback could score the first try of the match.

Two more Brown efforts had better results and helped Despatch into a 13-0 lead.

A great run by winger Berty Visser, converted by Naas Olivier who also kicked a penalty later in the half, closed the gap.

Olivier kicked two more penalties shortly after the restart to draw things level and with playing conditions worsening by the minute, it became clear that scoring would become more and more difficult.

A try by Elroy Ligman has Despatch back in front, but when Visser scored his second and Olivier converted, Impala took the lead for the first time in the match.

It was left to the Lewis drop to force the result.

Despatch 21 (13). Tries: Monty Dumond, Elroy Ligman, Conversion: Ryan Brown. Penalties: Brown (2). Drop Goal: Marlon Lewis.
Impala 20 (10). Tries: Berty Visser (2). Conversion: Naas Olivier (2). Penalties: Olivier (2).

Fixtures for Monday, 1 April are:

08h30: Evergreens vs Roodepoort
10h30: Durbell vs Pretoria Police
12h30: East Rand Cranes Brakpan vs Rustenburg Impala (3rd place)
14h30: Jonnson College Rovers vs GAP Despatch (final)

Issued by SARU Corporate Affairs