Glenwood are on a flexible tour of Argentina, lasting from 10-26 February 2012 starting with a tough match against Atlético del Rosario Rugby Club in Rosario, the Chicago of the South, on the banks of the Paraná. Coach Sean Erasmus writes the report.
We have played our first game and I am writing this e-mail with constant goose bumps as a reminder of the hard fought game our boys played! The last time we were in Rosario in 2007 we lost our first game against this very strong club.
We have made up two teams and the teams are divided as the Gold Team and the Green Team. Most of the youngsters are together and the older players are competing at the higher level.
The Gold team played first last night (Kick off time was 20.30) against a spirited Argentinian outfit that wanted to keep the ball close and rumble it up at every chance. Our boys put in some serious tackles and great runs. The first try was scored by captain Wayne Vermeulen. From about 10 metres out, Wayne powered over the try line to score the first try of the tour! From then on the lead changed several times with half time being a tied at 15-all. Tries in the first half were scored by Wayne Vermeulen, Shalltin Beneke and Ruben Janse van Rensburg with Jacques Dumas converting one try.
The second half was a tightly contested half with the Argentinians scoring the first try and converting it. This try would be the difference at the end of the game and the Gold team scored only once more in the second half after a bull of a run by Kenny van Niekerk to end the game with the Gold team losing 22-29.
As it was our first game the boys know they can do better and want to improve on the result, the heat and the penalty count of 19-6 against us didn't help the cause but these are factors we will be faced with all the time whilst on tour! The boys are ready to be better and to do their bit with the next game. Some of the forwards are running in the backs to help out as we are short of back line players and so we are really proud of the boys!
The Green Team captained by Marné Coetzee also had a very tough game against the main side of the club. The players range from 17-19 years old and most of the backline are provincial players. We defended for threequarters of the game and big hits were the order of the day. I was and am very proud to have seen that display of courage. We had the same referee from the previous game and this time we were at the end of a 23-9 penalty count against us. This frustrated the boys and led to loss of concentration during sections of play.
The first try was scored after Pieter Nice broke loose down the line for a 40 metre dash to make a beautiful offload to youngster Jaco Coetzee who went over for the teams first try. The Argentinians soon answered with a great move down the line and fancy footwork caught us off guard and they went over in the corner.
This all happened in the first 15 minutes of the game. After that we squandered some scoring opportunities and were chased all the way back to our 22m area where we had to defend for up to 16 phases at a time! The boys were off their feet with the temperature at 34 degrees at 21.30 when we kicked off!
In the last minute of the game Nkululeko Mcuma broke the line on the halfway line and sped off on a darting run using fancy footwork to outsmart defence, it was a great run that ended with a great pass to ever present Rupert Kay that crashed over the line with one Argentinian defender dragging behind him!
We won! Warren Potgieter converted the try and the end whistle blew with the Glenwood boys winning 12-5!
All the boys had supper together after the game and hand signals and gestures were the order of the day regarding communications! Everyone left as friends and the boys enjoyed themselves.
We are all super proud of all the boys! They are behaving themselves and are always getting compliments from the locals on their behaviour. We had a swimming and stretching session this morning and then we depart for a 6 hour bus trip to Cordoba where the boys will be billeted for the first time on tour! No serious injuries, lots of sore bodies but mostly a lot of big hearts and proud Glenwood boys on board the bus today!
By Sean Erasmus
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