Rodney Bonaparte, not the Corsican corporal but a referee from the Eastern Province, blew the first whistle and little Lou Rickerts of Dr Lemmer school in Reheboth, kicked off to start the 2011 Craven Week on the patchy field in Kimberley.
From the start the much smaller but much livelier Namibians dominated the match. The Leopards had bigger players at flyhalf and fullback than the Namibians had in their pack.
Lou Rickerts who had kicked off scored the first points at the 2011 Craven Week - an easy penalty in a match of few penalties. 3-0 after 19 minutes. The Leopards counterrucked to good effect but they were far behind in the possession and territory stakes.
There were some good breaks early on - especially by centre Janco Venter of Namibia and Henco Marais of the Leopards - that should have led to tries. Then there was a long run by the powerful Namibian eighthman John Schickerling that should have produced a try but he backed himself and was smashed to earth by the big Leopards fullback Adriaan Esterhuizen.
Namibia scored the first try when good passing put speedy left wing Donovan Kandjii over for a try. 8-0 after 21 minutes. That became 15-0 when centre Divan Visser burst through, ran to the fullback and sent Pieter Cronjé round to the posts. 15-0 after 23 minutes.
At this stage it seemed that Namibia would run away with the match but the big Leopards went upon pick-'n-drive and the captain Wynand Bosman bashed over. 15-7 after 26 minutes.
This did not herald a new dawn for the Leopards. Riekert dropped a goal to make the score 18-7 at the break and then early in the second half the Namibians attacked at speed and Daniël Arries charged down an attempt at clearance and scored. Rickerts kicked a penalty and the Namibians led 28-12 after 49 minutes.
The Leopards were close to the Namibia line when they lost the ball. John Schickerling picked up and hoofed downfield. Pieter Cronjé chased. The ball sat up in kindly fashion and Cronjé streaked away for a try at the posts.
After two penalties in quick succession the Leopards attacked and Esterhuizen burst over. The light-footed Namibians came back on the attack and Arries ended the match with a short plunge over the line.
Subsequent matches will be added to this report.
Tries: Kandjii, Pieter Cronjé 2, Daniël Arries 2
Cons: Lou Rickerts 2, Denver Murorua
Pens: Lou Rickerts 2
DG: Lou Rickerts
For the Leopards:
Tries: Wynand Bosman, Herman Smith, Adriaan Esterhuizen
Cons: Adriaan Esterhuizen 2
Leopards: François Annandale (Rustenburg), Misile Barnes (Potchefstroom Boys High), Wynand Bosman (Volkskool Potchefstroom), Petrus Bredell (Rustenburg), Kyle Brock (Potchefstroom Boys High), Jan de Kock (Klerksdorp), Jonathan de Melim (Lichtenburg), Adriaan Esterhuizen (Klerksdorp), Sias Koen (Klerksdorp), Pakamani Maganga (Potchefstroom Boys High), Hendrik Marais (Volkskool Potchefstroom), Moena Monese (Potchefstroom Boys High), Jacobus Myburgh (Lichtenburg), Ryno Pienaar (Klerksdorp), Gontse Shwabane (Potchefstroom Boys High), Hermanus Smith (Klerksdorp), Lian Stander (Potchefstroom Gimnasium), Reginald Standers (Bloemhof), David Swanepoel (Klerksdorp), Bouke Tack (Volkskool Potchefstroom), Melchior Terblanche (Rustenburg), Claude Tshidibi (Potchefstroom Boys High).
Namibia: Danile Arries (Hoërskool Windhoek), Ethan Beukes (Hoërskool Windhoek), Pieter Cronjé (Tsumeb Gimnasium), Quintin Esterhuizen (Hoërskool Windhoek), Jean-Pierre Grobler (Edugate Academy), Zhivago Groenewald (De Duine), Donavan Kandjii (Hoërskool Windhoek), Brandon Kuzatjike (HTS Windhoek), Gert Lotter (Hoërskool Windhoek), Denver Murorua (Hoërskool Windhoek), Ashton Nash (De Duine), Nicolaas Nortjé (HTS Windhoek), Gert-David Orlam (Hoërskool Windhoek), Lou Rickerts (Dr Lemmer), John Schickerling (Hoërskool Windhoek), Charles Smit (Hoërskool Windhoek), Carel Thomas (Otjiwarongo), Frans van Staden (Hoërskool Windhoek), Janco Venter (Hoërskool Windhoek), Hermanus Vermaak (Edugate Academy), Divan Visser (Otjiwarongo), Dian Wiese (Edugate Academy).
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