On Thursday, 9th of August, Waterkloof made their way up to Durban to take on the mighty Green Machine. The majority of the team would play their last game in the green jersey for Glenwood.

Both teams had high expectations and to end their respective seasons off well. Glenwood was on the brink of creating history, by becoming the first ever 1st XV team to finish a season unbeaten.

There were a few changes to the starting line-up with Lindokuthle Luthuli moving to lock and Ethan Smit to flank. Ruan Olivier moved to tighthead and Jacque Thysse into the hooker position. Aaron Larue was on the wing with Siyanda Cele running out as fullback.

Waterkloof started the match playing from right to left. Waterkloof won the ball back immediately from the kick off and started their attack. Building up pressure with a couple of phases when Waterkloof’s left winger found some space and ran down the touch line, passing inside to find support and drives over the line to score the first try of the match. I Trollip failed to convert and the score was 0-5 in favour of Waterkloof.

Glenwood stayed calm and stuck to their game plan. With a strong drive up the field, Dylan Pretorius spotted a gap at the back and kicked the ball into space. Conan la Fleur pounced on the ball, collecting it and dotting the ball down behind the whitewash, in the right-hand corner. Dylan Pretorius converted with ease, giving Glenwood an early lead of 7-5.
Both teams made some unwanted and unforced errors early in the half, resulting in ill-discipline and some penalties.

Waterkloof’s I. Trollip and Joe Jonas traded penalties as Glenwood was penalized for an infringement to run ahead at 7-8. Waterkloof was penalized 3 minutes later for being offside at the ruck. The scoreboard ticked over with Glenwood taking the lead again 10-8.

Glenwood had possession just inside Waterkloof’s half when the ball was cleared from the ruck and passed wide. Quick hands and fancy footwork, Conan la Fleur drawing the last two defenders in and passed to left winger Aaron Larue who made his way over the try line. Joe Jonas was successful with the conversion and the score was not 17-8 for Glenwood.

It was not long for Glenwood to be back in Waterkloof’s 22m. The strong Glenwood pack set up a couple of phases. With an overlap on the right Joe Jonas spread the ball wide, Dylan Pretorius with the long pass out wide to Conan la Fleur who dived over for his second try. Dylan Pretorius converted and the score 24-8 for Glenwood.

Another unforced error from Waterkloof two minutes later gave Glenwood an easy opportunity to play the ball wide from just inside Waterkloof’s 22m. Substitute flanker Freddie Slabbert received the pass on the wing, beating defender on the outside to score another Glenwood try just before half time. Glenwood were leading comfortably 29-8 at the half time break.

The second half was pretty much a one-sided affair with Glenwood keeping the ball alive and running at all angles trying to break through Waterkloof’s defence. Their efforts diligently paid off when Conan la Fleur broke through a couple of tackles to score his hat trick, scoring his third try of the match 10 minutes into the second half. The conversion was successful and the score was now 34-8.

Waterkloof tried to claw their way back with some brilliant play. Credit must go to them for not giving up. They managed to sneak in another try after a chip kick into some space and collected by the fullback to score under the poles. The conversion was converted. Score 34-15.

With only a couple of minutes left Glenwood went into third gear. A beautiful build-up of running rugby and short phases brought them right back into Waterkloof’s 22m. A good cleanout and quick ball led to the big no. 4 lock to receive an offload into space about 15 metres from the line. He sprinted and dived over in the corner to finish off what was an exciting period of play.

The match ended with Glenwood coming out on top with 39-15.

Glenwood had a great unbeaten season with 18 matches played, 17 won and 1 draw. Well done Green Machine with some impressive wins, remarkable rugby and making history for Glenwood.

Report by Mr Alex van der Merwe
Photos by Ethan Hayman (Media Club)