Sports. Rugby. Hardcore. Junior school. 12- 13 year olds. Pretoria. Hot summer afternoon. Today

Centurion, Pretoria

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Summer afternoon, temp 30’s, wind westerly.
Teams. Wierdapark vs Danie Malan and Elarduspark.
Two meat grinder fields.
Parents, pavilion.
Cheering, look up, try right corner. He lines up for conversion,22m line but too far. Lad is a bit small to kick so far.
Firsts trundle off to warm up. It’s hot but at least the benches are hard.
What a friggin awesome view. Westerly clouds building up, it might rain. Or not.  Ok i dont sports write. But the grass is pretty green and the white lines are linear and neat.
Commentator: “Ref is technical, good catch, headbutt Strijdom. A good headbutt in the beginning of the season will sort you out for the rest of the season”.

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Try and conversion. Number two sets up and then backwards, forwards; dance, dance and then try. Conversion by little red head, number 10, who is apparently brilliant at distance. From halfway line into road. With two metres to clear. A budding Morne Steyn.
Few plays later and back at the try line. Wierdapark dominating this game. Sun hot and ref blowing. Possession dominated by Wierdas. Dominated cool term for this game. Wierdas hovering, charging attacking at the opposition line. Danie Malan het ‘n plan.

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Clouds, i missed the try; taking a photo of the clouds. No replay so no idea who did what. Far kick easily converted. Redhead is a genius. Probably end up an accountant.
Charge down the flank, scrummer runs, tackled, try coming up. Ok not.
Halftime whistle. Parent male shouts something guttural. Move over now to shady side of field.
Quick half time. Wierdas still dominating. Ball out at 22m. Throw in. Always highlight of this game. Centers prepping, hoping for that leather to come out to them, to them, to glory. Driving scrum. Wierdas in charge of a Blue Bull style scrum charge. A terrible thing to happen to you. Especially if you only 40kg, Oom. Ball pops out; but Danie Malan get it away. Parents screaming. But he fumbles ball. Wierdas scrum.
Ball out, Wierdas motor down the left flank. A small collection of bones, number 5,takes the glory and scores. Redhead misses conversion, probably worried about road again. Afrikaans and rugby perfect language combo. Parents serious. Breakaway, kick back down left flank. Ball scooped by fullback, runs then drops to ground as per plan. Scrum at the five. Ball out and Wierdas short run to try again. Redhead second chance but that road again. He seems to hold back and misses.
Kick off, Wierdas play and back down the centre. A charge by number two, drops down and set up for a lightning fast run, by number 12, continuing down the centre. Try under the poles. Redhead no miss.
Kickoff and Wierdas kick out near 22.  Danie Malan throw in but messy. Scramble for ball and ref blows.
Scrum middle 22 meter line.  Ball out, Wierdas get it and ball goes to centre man with silver white hair, number 12 again. He tries, not afraid of small size vs large DM scrummers. Convert ball over bar and into road. Parents discuss merits of rugby ball damage to parked cars.
Scrappy play up and down. A father agitated. His son losing focus.

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Wierdas dominate again. Nice charge. Number 3 front man,like wounded buffalo and grimace to match,smashes through and sets up. Neatly executed backline maneuvre gets ball and slick run and try left flank. Redhead converts. End whistle.
Aggro dad recriminates failure son, clenches teeth, expressing precisely how to tackle.

A great game. Clinical execution by Wierdas, following predetermined game plan. Flawless, achieving happy medium of team plays supporting individual talent. Interview with player 2 revealed the following: Reason for thorough win was their driving,attacking play and their judicial kicking. Ok he didn’t use the big words. Teamwork was another point. They did not have any tricky moves.

Coach instructed them to “Hak die balle as dit hulle balle is, skop vir pale en spanwerk….” (Hook the ball if it is their ball in the scrum, kick for poles and teamwork).Real basic stuff. Amazing how this always wins games. Wish the grownups would do likewise.

Rest of season beckons. Green grass strains towards sun. It rained later on.

Ball out…

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