Christiaan Neethling scored a 57th minute try to hand Steinhoff Huis Marais the league championship title for the first time since 2006,winning 8-7 in Stellenbosch on Friday night.
The Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch played host to the Maties Steinhoff Koshuis Rugby League final on Friday evening. The two teams came into the final with Steinhoff Eendrag holding the bragging rights having edged Steinhoff Huis Marais 13-12 in the group stages. The result mattered little though, as Steinhoff Huis Marais got one back, beating Steinhoff Eendrag 8-7 to win the title.
The boisterous crowd did well to cheer on their respective teams. Steinhoff Eendrag had an opportunity to draw first blood in the second minute, but the penalty attempt by fullback Rudolph Shaefer was wide. From there, Steinhoff Eendrag looked for the first points of the game and the points would soon come as Daniel van Zyl barged over the line from close range. Shaefer made no mistake with the conversion and Steinhoff Eendrag led 7-0.
Steinhoff Huis Marais did well to keep a dominant and ambitious Steinhoff Eendrag at bay. On countless occasions, Steinhoff Eendrag probed Steinhoff Huis Marais’ line but the defence was equally up to the task.
For all their forward dominance and control, inspired by flank Malan Basson and eighth-man Dick Barnard, Steinhoff Eendrag had a solitary try to show for their efforts at the half-time break. Their decision-making at crucial times left a lot to be desired.
Wynand Smit would score Steinhoff Huis Marais’ first points of the game via a penalty in the 33rd minute. The second-half showing, as was the case in the first by both teams, turned into a scrappy, unstructured affair with both teams failing to make an impression with ball in hand.
However, with three minutes to go, Steinhoff Huis Marais snatched victory from the claws of defeat. A wayward clearance from Steinhoff Eendrag was successfully charged down by Christiaan Neethling who chased the charge and scored for his team to give them a 8-7 lead, yet there was more drama to the game, as with time up, Steinhoff Eendrag were awarded a penalty but Shaefer, who had only slotted one attempt at goal the whole game missed the kick which would have given Steinhoff Eendrag the win.
The final whistle blew and Steinhoff Huis Marais lifted the league championship title for the first time in 11 years.
Steinhoff Huis Marais: 8
Tries: Christiaan Neethling
Penalties: Wynand Smit
Steinhoff Eendrag: 7
Tries: Daniel van Zyl
Conversions: Rudolph Shaefer
Steinhoff Huis Marais: 15 Georon Claasen, 14 Maviano Nefdt, 13 Peet Steenkamp, 12 Christiaan Neething, 11 Eduard Reynierse, 10 Wynand Smit, 9 Janco Smit, 8 Nico Snyman, 7 Dehan Teesen, 6 Andreas Van Wyk, 5 Leori, de Wet, 4 Christo Scholtz 3 Billy Viljoen, 2 Attie Redelinghuys, 1 Ernie Walker
Subs: 16 Eddie Hamman, 17 JP van der Merwe, 18 James Brewer, 19 Daniel Smith, 20 Albert van Zyl, 21 Caleb Petersen, 22 Tian Coetzer, 23 JJ van der Spuy
Steinhoff Eendrag: 15 Rudolph Shaefer, 14 Christiaan Luus, 13 Balthazr Kloppers, 12 Francois du Plessis, 11 Theunis du Toit, 10 Max Michaue, 9 Willem Deetlefs, 8 Dick Barnard, 7 Malan Basson, 6 Brandon Jacobus, 5 Stephanus VD Westhuysen, 4 Danie van Zyl, 3 Tiaan Grobbelaar, 2 Cian Wagenaar, 1 Cral Broown
Subs: 16 Derick Hall, 17 Henco Hunters, 18 Francois Marais, 19 Wendall Andrews, 20 Jaques Hanekom, 21 Gerhard Durandt, 22 Clement Wolf, 23 Duo Dureman
By Kamva Somdyala