Despatch win first skirmish

[caption id="attachment_70012" align="alignright" width="283"] WELL-TIMED KICK: PE Police's Kevin Plaatjies clears from the base of the scrum during his team's first-round match against Rustenburg Impala Picture: IMAGESA -[/caption]

Ex-champs signal intent at Community Cup clash

THERE were mixed fortunes for Eastern Province’s representatives in the 2015 Cell C Community Cup when Despatch beat Rovers Welkom and PE Police lost to Rustenburg Impala.

Despatch, the 2013 champions, showed their intent with the weekend’s biggest win, a 69-32 away victory over Rovers Welkom, which included a hat-trick to replacement Kalvano King and 24 points to new flyhalf Francois Nel, including nine conversions.

Nel’s efforts see him top the tournament point-scoring charts after Round 1.

In Pool A, Impala had to fight back from a 10-0 halftime deficit to get the better of newcomers Port Elizabeth Police, the Rustenburgers eventually scoring five tries, including a brace to wing Morné Jooste, to run out 36-22 winners to top the group.

Superb goal-kicking in difficult conditions from Evergreens flyhalf Leegan Moos gave his team a 22-15 victory over One Logix United Bulk Villagers Worcester in the televised opening match of the competition on Saturday.

In driving rain and in front of a capacity crowd at the Pacaltsdorp Sports Grounds outside George, Moos’s five penalties and a conversion were the difference between the sides as the SWD champions won the much-anticipated Western Cape derby to go top of Pool C on points difference after the opening round.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Kempston Old Selbornians, Raiders, Pretoria Police, Hamiltons and Wesbank on a weekend characterised by large crowds and come-from-behind victories.

In Pool A, Kempston Old Selbornians, who finished eighth overall last year, also came from behind to edge Western Province qualifiers Durbanville-Bellville 22-14 in front of a 1 000-strong crowd at Kempston Park.

Both PE Police and Durbell have home matches this coming weekend, against Old Selbornians and East Rand Cranes Springs respectively, and will have to register wins to stay in the playoff hunt.

This weekend sees 2013 silver medallists Jonsson College Rovers open their campaign while Crusaders will want to grab a home win against the Pretoria Bobbies.

Last year’s bronze medallists Hamiltons required a rearguard effort in Kathu against Aveng Moolmans Sishen, the Cape Town side escaping with a 25-24 victory thanks to a 63rd-minute converted try by flanker Niel Cleghorn, which sees them second behind Evergreens on points difference.

Scorers in the matches involving EP clubs: Rustenburg Impala 36: Tries: Morné Jooste (2), Leon du Plessis, Wilco de Wet, Willie Kok. Conversions: De Wet (4). Penalty: De Wet.

PE Police 22: Tries: Fabian Juries, Juan Smit, Sebastian Loxsen. Conversions: Smit (2). Penalty: Smit.

Rovers Welkom 32: Tries: Shaun Nieuwenhuyzen (3), Wayne Ludick. Conversions: Tiaan van Wyk (3). Penalty: Van Wyk. Drop goal: Van Wyk.

Despatch 69 Tries: Kalvano King (3), Michael Vermaak (2), Trichardt van Tonder, Elroy Ligman, Elrich Kok, Cameron Jacobs. Conversions: Francois Nel (9). Penalties: Nel (2).

-Sports Reporter