Hat trick hero Derick Marshall produced a player of the match performance to help Kearsney record a 36-7 win against visitors St Charles.
Marshall’s performance on the day ticked all the boxes. Standing 1.95m and tipping the scales at around 100kg, there’s no denying his brawn and that was evident in his two first half tries as he brushed off defenders. The crowd however also got to witness a skilful operator who’s rugby brain was in tune to make the right run-kick-pass decisions throughout the game.
Although the score suggests a one-sided contest, it was anything but that. St Charles had a fairly large slice of possession. They made Kearsney’s tacklers work extremely hard at times. There were also a number of occasions where the Saints’ line-speed disrupted the home team’s standing start first receiver attacks and contributed to scrappy and error filled passages of play.
The score-line difference boiled down to two factors.
1. St Charles’ best attacks were mainly one-dimensional.
When St Charles used their one-off forward runners, the game-plan worked to an extent. They made some advantage-line inroads, they recycled fairly well and there were times when their patience and determination lead to retained possession for prolonged periods. Jason Robert (1), Andrew Beyrooti (4) and Sanele Mdingi (8) were amongst their players who caught the eye. However with the exception of a penalty try awarded midway through the second half after sustained pressure, all the other promising attacks during the match were adequately dealt with. There weren’t any threatening variations. This was largely to do with the ineffectiveness of the Saints backline, which not for absence of effort lacked true penetration.
2. Kearsney had two x-factor backs.
While St Charles looked like they had two backs in Nathaniel Sisia (11) and Simiso Ngubane (15) with the ability to reshape their point-scoring fortunes, the designs on the day just didn’t play into the hands of the two speedsters. Kearsney on the other hand were able to build their teamwork and point-scoring around getting the ball to Derick Marshall (15) or Connor de Bruyn (13), who more often than not produced something special that translated on the scoreboard.
|3||3-0||After a hand-off to get on the left outside for a dart, KC’s Connor de Bruyn (13) kicks ahead and chases to help force a 5m scrum, a field position KC does not relinquish. Not long afterwards, place-kicker Jordan Bamber (9) lands the penalty after a not rolling penalty.|
|9||10-0||A well-timed Matt Hind (10) pass puts big KC lock Dean Burrell (5) into a hole and he carries into the SCC 22 before going to deck and producing a top-notch two-handed offload to keep the momentum going towards the right. Soon the ball is worked back to the left where the powerful Derick Marshall (15) gets outside the defender on him, forces the missed tackled and finishes. Bamber(9) converts.|
|23||17-0||There is no quality about the ball KC recycle and it’s passed to Marshall (15) in midfield in what looks more like desperate consolidation mode rather than attack. From this backfoot position about 35m out from the tryline, the fullback uses a combination of pace and strength to navigate his way through the collisions and into the 5-pointer zone. Bamber (9) converts.|
|29||17-0||One of the best plays of the match does not result in points. SCC captain Jason Robert (1) steals a ball at the breakdown with KC pressing deep on attack. Moments later, JJ Foord (9) dinks it over the top on the left, Nathaniel Sisia (11) catches it off the bounce, angles inward, links with Andrew Beyrooti (4) who makes metres before going down in contact. The ball is then channelled wide but on the right wing Garrett Freir (14) is stopped just short of the line. Play continues but the excitement and energy of the move fizzes out.|
|47||22-0||15m out from touch on the right, KC’s Max Immelman (4) and hard grafting captain Ox Carmody (3) come up with big plays via meaningful carries in traffic to generate the go-forward momentum that eventually results in a try for handy Bradley Taylor (1), who had a bit of work to get though before crossing the white chalk.|
|53||22-7||The match is characterised by errors at restarts. SCC get the ball back after KC’s mistake and apply all sorts of ball-in-hand pressure to earn a series of redzone penalties. Finally a penalty try is awarded shortly after a 5m lineout. It’s just reward for the Pietermaritzburg visitors’ sustained offensive.|
|64||29-7||A KC lineout awarded in the SCC 22 after the latter kick the ball directly into touch, does not go to plan but KC retains possession and go wide. In midfield de Bruyn (13) turns playmaker for Marshall (15) to score and Bamber (9) to convert.|
|69||36-7||Pinned back, SCC resort to aimless exits that don’t release any pressure on them. One such kick, sets up de Bruyn (13) for a good line break and pass to Bamber (9) who scores and converts.|
|1||Bradley Taylor||1||J. Robert|
|2||Reid Stuart||2||A. Pattullo|
|3||Oliver Carmody||3||E. Ortmann|
|4||Max Immelman||4||A. Beyrooti|
|5||Dean Burrell||5||K. Reid|
|6||Aaron Smith||6||J. du Plessis|
|7||Aidan Forte||7||J. Queen|
|8||Massimo Fierro||8||S. Mdingi|
|9||Jordan Bamber||9||J. Foord|
|10||Matthew Hind||10||E. Majozi|
|11||Cameron Ferguson||11||N. Sisia|
|12||Luke Wilson||12||Z. Mbuli|
|13||Connor De Bruyn||13||G. Simpson|
|14||Luke Dudley||14||G. Frier|
|15||Derick Marshall||15||S. Ngubane|