Club games marred by violence

Mkhululi Ndamase

TWO EP Grand Challenge club rugby matches were stopped early at the weekend following fighting and threats. In Thornhill the physical Despatch side were well on their way to possibly winning by more than 100 points when their game against Orlando Eagles was stopped in the 35th minute.

The referee stopped the game as he was reportedly fearing for his life following alleged threats. At the time Despatch were leading comfortably 50-0.

PE Police showed the whipping boys of the league, St Mark’s, no mercy when they beat them 24-0 at the Adcock Stadium.

The men in blue were in a good mood and were determined not to be the first team to loose to the inexperienced St Mark’s side – scoring all their 24 points in the first 40 minutes.

The hosts came back more organised and managed to contain the visitors in the first 25 minutes of the second half. The game had to be stopped after a fight broke out between the teams with just 15 minutes left.

Second-placed club rugby league side Spring Rose kept up the pressure on log- leaders Despatch with a well-deserved 35-10 win over Suburban in Kleinskool.

Rose, who have only lost to Community Cup champions Despatch, announced their intentions early in the game and went into the break leading 17-10.

While the gusty wind played a major role in the game, the New Brighton outfit changed their strategy and went for tries instead of going for the poles. That proved paid off as they ran in seven unconverted tries.

Gardens humiliated a second-string Park side 43-3 in a one-sided encounter in Rosedale. Park, who have been playing with fringe players in their last two or three games, were clearly outclassed by the hosts. Gardens were leading 17-3 after 40 minutes.

The floodgates were opened in the second half, with the home side crossing the tryline several times. Park tried to dig deep, but to no avail as Gardens convincingly ran away with the game.

Progress narrowly edged Kruisfontein 19-12 when the two sides locked horns in Humansdorp.

Playing in front of their home supporters, Kruisfontein were determined not to disappoint them and went into the break leading 12-6.

After the break, the home side relaxed a bit, allowing the visitors to come back into the game. Progress managed to level matters with 15 minutes left. Not happy with a draw, they went all out and capitalised on Kruisfontein’s mistakes – scoring a converted try to claim the victory.

Harlequins beat Caltex Crusaders 30-15 at St George’s Park.

The first half proved to be a scrappy affair, but the northern areas side managed a slim 8-5 halftime score.

The Eastern Cape Super 12 champions came back more determined and more clinical – scoring three more tries to claim the victory.

NMMU were made to sweat for their hard- fought 28-16 victory over United Barbarians in Patensie.

The varsity men, who can beat any team on any given day, were leading comfortably 21-6 at the break.

The second half did not have that many scoring opportunities, but a further eight points were enough for the visitors to come back to Port Elizabeth with the victory.

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