It was close, but Oakdale Landbou has the bragging rights as being the top rugby playing agricultural school in South Africa after beating Boland Landbou by 14-12 in a tightly contested Premier Interschools derby just outside Riversdale.
The hosts did just enough in the first half to secure a 14-12 victory over Boland Landbou to finish the season on ‘n high note. Oakdale Landbou led 14-3 at the break thanks to tries by the captain and inside centre, Jay-Cee Nel, and prop Dian Bleuler. Both were converted by Nel.
The victory for Oakdale also ensured that the trend of the home side coming out on top continued. The last side who managed to secure a victory away from home in the Premier Interschools was Oakdale back in 2010 with a score line of 3-0.
Boland Landbou had a lot of opportunities during the match but somehow could not manage to cross the try line.
As expected in a derby between the burly farmers it was a physical encounter. The teams were trading punches in the opening stages of the match without looking to land the knockout punch.
The scoring was opened in the 19th minute by Boland Landbou’s scrumhalf, Gavin Mills, who slotted the first of his four penalty goals. Mills (17th) and Nel (3rd) had shots at goal earlier in the derby but missed.
It was not long afterwards that Nel took a flat pass from a scrum by scrumhalf, Lian du Toit, in a pre-planned move which caught the visitors on the wrong foot. Nel dived over with almost no-one getting a hand on him. Nel and flyhalf, Clyde Lewis, did a switch and this together with the accuracy and timing of the flat pass caught Boland Landbou’s defence off guard.
Du Toit also made the scoring pass to prop Dian Bleuler. This try came shortly after Nel’s and was set-up by a tap-and-go penalty from which Du Toit gave the inside pass to Bleuler from a resulting ruck. Nel converted to bring the score to 14-3 in his side’s favour, which was also the score at the break.
In the second half, all the points were scored via the boot of Mills who slotted three penalties to bring his side within touching distance at 14-12. Mills’ last successful penalty came in the 60th minute, which gave his side ten minutes to grab the victory from Oakdale.
Mills, however, was not on the field when his side was awarded a kickable penalty with time already up on the clock. Flyhalf, Darren Hendricks, stepped up but missed. The final whistle went and Oakdale walked off as victors with 14-12.
Oakdale Landbou 14 (14) – Tries: Jay-Cee Nel, Dian Bleuler. Conversions: Nel (2). Boland Landbou 12 (3) – Penalties: Gavin Mills (4).