The Lentegeur side lost 42-41 against Hands & Heart in a nailbiting Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) Super League B President’s Cup top eight semi-final encounter, in Kraaifontein, last weekend.
The SLB President’s Cup top eight competition features teams who finished from seventh to 14th place in the league.
Coming into the encounter, both sides knew that the victory would see them face Young Peoples. The Paarl-based side beat Violets and Helderberg 35-24 and 23-21 respectively en route to the final.
Young Peoples went on to beat Hands&Heart 35-24 in the final, at City Park, in Athlone, on Saturday.
In last weekend’s match betwen Collegians and Hands & Heart, the home side recorded the first points of the match when Adrian Booysen scored early in the first half.
The visitors, however, responded, immediately with a converted try to take the score to 7-all. Both teams managed to score a further two tries in the half with Hands&Heart fullback Joseph Jansen’s penalty being the difference. Hands & Heart led 20-17 at the half time break.
The Lentegeur side were first to put points on the board in the second half through the boot of Abubakar Jappie, to make the score 20-all.
They took the lead for the first time in the match with a converted try in the third quarter. The Rainbow boys’ pulled one back when winger Brandon Collins went over for his second try. But Collegians kept on pressing and were rewarded with a try to take the score to 34-27.
Hands & Heart then managed to score a further two tries and a penalty in the space of 15 mintues to make the score 42-34. However, Collegians never-say-die attitude kept them in the game leading to a well-deserved try just before the final whistle. Collegians coach Amien Ariefdien said he would rate the match as one of his sides’ best performances of the season.
“We played brilliantly and executed well.
“However, we did not focus on our restarts as we dropped the ball on a few occasions and the home side put us under pressure that cost us. We certainly came to the party but it was not enough,” he said.
Ariefdien said he was impressed with the way some of his second string players performed in the first team game.
“I gave a few second team players a run and they certainly put up their hand for a regular spot in the first team.”
The boys from Lentegeur had a reasonable SLB season finishing in ninth place with 32 points. They won and lost six games and also played to two draws against Strand and Kraaifontein. Ariefdien said his side stepped up a gear from last season after they were lying on the wrong end of the table.
“We had a great season and could have finished much higher on the table. In our first four consecutive games we were unbeaten but due to injuries to key individuals we lost a few matches,” he said.
Ariefdien believes their pre-season preparations played a great role in the club doing so well with their second team winning the league and third team finishing fifth.
“We came out with a different approach, were disciplined and more composed,” he said.
Collegians will now have their sights set on the WPRFU sevens competition, in Goodwood, next month. This year’s competition will see 36 teams competing, with 25 of them bein Super League sides. The rest play in the City, Southern and Northern leagues. Last year’s tournament saw, Stellenbosch, Durbell, Bellville and False Bay, being crowned cup, plate, shield and bowl champions respectively.