FNB Dream maintained their standing as the best rugby outfit at Rhodes University when they saw off the FNB Barbarians 26-10 to win their second title in as many years at the Rhodes Great Field in Grahamstown on Wednesday evening.
In what was the effective “Grand Finale” for the Rhodes Internal League for 2018, a disciplined scrummaging and defensive display laid the platform for the defending champions to earn a comfortable victory in the end.
FNB Dream came out of the blocks firing, as they dominated early territory and possession to heap the pressure on the men in black and white.
Their tight five in particular were a class apart, with their superiority at scrum time giving them an all-important edge in the opening quarter.
Despite their dominance, FNB Dream were made to be patient with some good defensive play from the FNB Baaabaas, led by the irrepressible Harry Robinson in the midfield, holding firm.
The deadlock, though, was eventually broken just before halftime when first Devon Barnard and then Nick Butler crashed over the chalk to give their side a 14-0 advantage heading into the break.
A try to Arnouw Nel extended FNB Dream’s lead before the FNB Barbarians broke their duck with scores through Xander Gower and Cameron Libera.
In spite of some constant attacking waves from the FNB Baabaas, unbelievable FNB Dream commitment on D repelled them time and again.
Chris Roberts was awarded a yellow card after repeated FNB Dream infringements, but it was too little too late for the challengers.
A further Nel score all but ended the contest, with FNB Dream assuming top rank at Rhodes for a second year in succession.
FNB Dream: 1 David Murray, 2 Chris Roberts, 3 Laurence Christie, 4 Greg Van Noordwyk, 5 Mark Brooks, 6 Arnouw Nel, 7 Malcolm Pringle, 8 Devon Barnard, 9 Cameron Amos, 10 Ryan Horne, 11 Simon Amm, 12 Nic Butler, 13 Mark Webber, 14 JC Pittaway, 15 Unathi Kongwana
Subs: 16 Daddy Cool, 17 Chris Whiting, 18 Beef, 19 Tristan Cooke, 20 Daniel Tooley, 21 Fish Kongwana, 22 Keagan Deponselle, 23 Dylan Schneigantz
FNB Barbarians: 1 Chulu Jack, 2 Mijéan Annandale 3 Motheo Moroane 4 Kuda Nhira 5 Joshua Parsons 6 Chris Renwick 7 Angus Butler 8 Jesse Rich 9 Dylan McCann 10 Keith Steunenberg 11 Justin Bendemann 12 Lutho Selem 13 Harry Robinson 14 Cameron Libera 15 Grant Hewitt
Subs: 16 Daniel Goldberg 17 Tino Mudiwa 18 Donovan Brits 19 Chris Maher 20 Bradley Van Heerden 21 Xander Gowar 22 Brett Pringle 23 Nick Erskine
FNB Dream: 26
Tries: Barnard, Butler, Nel (2)
Cons: Horne (3)
Yellow card: Roberts
FNB Barbarians: 10
Tries: Gower, Libera