Sasol Digi Mag showed their HEART on Saturday when they beat Whiteriver 65-13 at Sasol Club.
The game was expected to be a very close one with Whiteriver being a strong opponent. Whiteriver fielded a feisty, energetic and young team to take Sasol Digi Mag on.
The first quarter proved to be the most difficult as both teams struggled to find their rhythm. Whiteriver seemed to be able to control the ball a little better than Sasol Digi Mag but just could not really penetrate Sasol Digi Mag’s defences.
The second quarter saw both teams playing better rugby as the ball was passed quickly. Sasol Digi Mag scored the first points of the game when a converted try was scored. Whiteriver scored a penalty thirteen minutes later.
The first half saw two tries by Sasol Digi Mag and one penalty. Whiteriver answered with two penalties.
The second half was a different game altogether with Sasol Digi Mag dominating the game. With 7 tries scored by Sasol Digi Mag. Whiteriver managed to score one converted try in the second half.
The scorecard painted a beautiful picture of a team that made no mistakes or a team that totally dominated their opponents. It is not totally true. The scorecard was a lot more forgiving than what it should have been.
Sasol Digi Mag’s game showed that they trained very hard during the two weeks since their last game.
The defences of Sasol Digi Mag were much improved with a number of excellent cross defence tackles carried out by the forwards. Each time that Whiteriver attacked straight on, they were met with staunch defenders from Sasol. If Whiteriver ran diagonal lines, they managed to break through a few first tackles. Sasol Digi Mag missed a few first tackles but there was always someone to back up and help.
A small concern was that Sasol Digi Mag struggled to contain the balls in the mauls and tackles but a little concentration will surely address that problem.
Line-outs were much improved from last week with Sasol Digi Mag winning 4 of their opponent’s line-outs. There were a few loose throw-ins or catches but were well controlled by the forwards. Sasol Digi Mag should win a lot of line-out balls in future.
The scrums were a pleasure to watch. Although fairly equally matched (on a few occasions the scrums collapsed), Sasol Digi Mag showed their strength and dominance at the scrums. The front row scrummed their opposite numbers up and backward on a regular basis. Whiteriver occasionally managed to put up a good fight but Sasol Digi Mag scrummed as a unit, making them difficult to counter.
Kick-offs proved to be a weak point in the armour of the forwards. Most of the kick-offs were not taken cleanly and it resulted in unnecessary pressure on Sasol Digi Mag. This is one area that should be practiced a lot to improve on.
The backline was eager to run and they swung the ball wide with good results. Whiteriver was under constant pressure when Sasol Digi Mag started running the ball.
A few passes were not on target that caught Sasol Digi Mag on the back foot but it was quickly recovered and turned into attacks. There were a few handling errors as well but not so that it should be a huge concern.
The team looked fitter than the previous game two weeks back and looked like they enjoyed the game. The conversions were on target and very few kicks to the poles were missed.
On a cautionary note, the penalty count was a bit high and should be addressed. In a rare momentary lapse of concentration, Sasol Digi Mag was even sent back a further 10 meters in what appears to be some chatting with the referee.
The team of Whiteriver should not be taken lightly though. It is a young team with eager and very capable players. A number of players proved to be prickly pears when they started to run and it took sheer determination from Sasol Digi Mag to stop the charges.
The Pumas will play against Namibia next Saturday (16 June) at Sasol club. Please come and support our provincial team.