Saturday saw the official start of the 2018 club rugby league for the Dolphins. The excitement amongst the players was palpable right through the week. Saturday dawned with the weather literally threatening to rain on our parade. However by game time the sun was out and a great day of rugby beckoned. Pietermaritzburg Collegians arrived in their black and red hooped jerseys reflective of their famous rugby alma mater Maritzburg College.
The seconds game kicked off just after the newly formed hockey ladies entertained the crowd with a lively in-house warm up.
Onto matters rugby…The visitors reserves were beneficiaries of an early penalty try and the resulting yellow card meant things were looking a bit ominous for the home side. However the new found confidence instilled by a hard pre-season and professional coaching culminated in two home tries, seeing our boys heading for the sheds with a well-deserved 12-7 lead. Galvanised by this lead and the confidence of forwards’ domination the second half was one way traffic. Three tries in the second stanza to one from the opposition saw the PMB reserves well and truly vanquished 31-14
Onto the 1st team game lead out by captain Kirsten Block looking resplendent in their new Robson Breweries kit, took the field with the customary Junior Dolphins accompanying them. This time the Dolphins were rampant from the get go! A true team effort, the forwards winning a dominant scrum, slick handling (from a couple of forwards) as well as backs resulting in a score in the corner. From the restart relentless pressure resulted in another try in the first ten minutes. The Dolphins showing an eagerness best likened to a newly wed army recruit returning for his first home leave! But alas (like the now older and less concupiscent recruit) things didn’t remain this hot for the whole game. However some of our older recruits showed they have plenty drive left in them with the forwards really dominating affording our lively backs plenty opportunity to cross the whitewash. All the tries being scored by our backs and some scintillating individual efforts (but really there is no such thing in rugby!). The old rugby adage of, “the forwards win the game the backs determine by how much,” ringing very true! A final score line of 33-7 ensuring a bonus point win for the Dolphins!
Due to the very team nature of our game you will notice the author refrains from mentioning individuals although some might be warranted. The addition of some new talent is evident but the most noticeable change in my view is the camaraderie and team spirit that now exudes from this bunch of young men both on and off the field. Testament to the efforts of coaching staff, club management and players alike!