The cold weather may have kept spectators away from the field but on the field, it was all systems go!
Sasol Digi Mag (Sasol) played against Witbank Rugby club (Witbank) on Saturday 7 July.
It was quite a one-sided affair as Sasol dominated in all aspects of the game. Sasol scored 10 tries against the 2 of the visiting team. The final score was 74-12. Sasol managed 7 conversions and Witbank 1.
The game was plagued by inconsistent ball skills and sloppy defence at times, only to make way for periods of brilliance.
The bizarre decision to let the teams play on alternate weekends is taking its toll. It is clear that it affects the performance of all the teams. Players struggle to practice and to stay focused.
There are two games left before the quarter-finals and then a long layoff time before the finals. Sasol has enough points to finish at the top of the log. On consistency alone, they should progress to the club championships when they will be playing in the finals on the 8th of September.
Saturday’s game saw a number of regular players receiving a break and younger players given starting time.
It was quite clear that Witbank did not have the scrumming power to stop Sasol putting them on the back foot at every scrum. Pressure was also put on the Witbank scrumhalf resulting in bad balls. The backline was under constant pressure from Sasol.
The biggest frustration would be the “kick-offs” of Sasol. They received the ball 11 times from a kick-off (10 tries and one normal kick-off) and managed to bungle most of them.
Lineouts were under control as well as the rest of the game although it was a very sloppy game.
Thought should be given to the fact that the first real opposition that Sasol will encounter, will most probably only be when they play in the club championships. It may be to their detriment that there was so little strong opposition during the season, but the main determining factor will be how the team handle the lack of continual games and practices.
Let us hope that the determination and discipline that is so prevalent in the Sasol Digi Mag team will realign the team and ensure success in this year’s Mpumalanga final and subsequent club competition.