Nadoes, Cobras in charge - again
The four top teams in the Steinhoff UCT Internal League came out to do battle for a place in the 2010 final. All teams did exceptionally well but in the end there could only be two.
The Steinhoff Nadoes got things underway against a confident Magic Lions team on Wednesday.
Both teams started off well, with Magic Lions having the advantage with a stronger pack. Magic Lions came out strongly, attacking the Nadoes from every angle but found the Nadoes defence unbreakable.
Magic Lions were awarded an early penalty which they missed. The penalty soon ignited a spark within the Nadoes set-up as they scored twice within 10 minutes to go into the half-time break with a 14-0 lead.
Magic Lions started the second half the same way they started the first, attacking the Nadoes at every opportunity. The Lions, however, played right into the Nadoes hands as they soon started tiring out.
The Nadoes now sensing this, soon set up a few attacking moves that paid dividends and had their hooker cross the line to score in the corner. From here on in, the Nadoes controlled the game using their pace down the flanks and down the centre scoring an impressive eight-tries-to-nil victory.
Scorers for the Steinhoff Nadoes where Graeme Stegeman, Curtis Middleton, Josh Gloak, Stu Hablutzel, Theo von Aspern, Shafieq Nordien, Brad van der Westhuizen and the paceman/hooker Phil Quma.
Magic Lions, the newcomers of this league, can hold their heads up high as they made it this far in their first year. They can only get stronger.
The second semifinal was a tight affair as Steinhoff Ubumbo played the Cobras for the second spot in the final.
The latter started off well and looked the more experienced team as they held possession for most of the first half.
The Cobras were soon rewarded for their positional play when Brendan Raubenheimer split open the Ubumbo defence to score under the posts and captain Warren Butler converted for a 7-0 lead.
Ubumbo started playing a more physical game and producing the gaps just to be smothered by the disciplined Cobras defensive structure with Callan Artus and the flamboyant Ollie Braithwaite putting their bodies on the line. Ollie soon showed why he was once a first team player as he broke on the outside of the Ubumbo defence to score the Cobras’ second try of the match.
In the second half Ubumbo brought on their experienced campaigners Sitembele and Kanya Madaka to steady the ship and see if they could help Ubumbo break down the Cobras defence. The Cobras defended for most of the second half, if not the whole half, as Ubumbo started getting some moves put together at the end but just couldn’t break that defence.
In the end, the Cobras won 15-3.
The finals is sure going to be an interesting show down with two teams possessing two different gameplans.
Other results saw Ikhaya beating Spanners and Wild Boys beating Smuts for the fifth-to-eighth-place play-offs in section A.
By Clement le Roux