A closely- fought contest was played out on the Collie Koeberg rugby fields last weekend, when Aberdeen arrived in Graaff- Reinet for the return game against Central.
The Aberdeen team arrived full of confidence and well prepared to avoid a repeat of the thrashing of the previous week’s game in Aberdeen, which the visiting Central side won 65 -34.
Central were under pressure from the visitors for most of the game. Aberdeen first tasted blood by scoring the first points against the home team: the visitors scored three tries, catching the Central defence on the wrong foot. Central players were rattled at first by the better Aberdeen team, but kept their composure and fought on.
It was indeed a very competitive game, as neither team was prepared to give up. Aberdeen also punished Central with successful penalty kicks to stay ahead on the score board.
Despite the pressure, the home team kept up attacking the advantage line, and showed belief in their structure systems to dominate with the forwards.
In the last five minutes, the hosts started to get a grip on the game and the score edged to a nail-biting 21-23. Attack after attack from the Central forwards in the last minute of the game saw the Aberdeen forwards pressured into playing the ball on the ground, and the hosts made the most of the penalty awarded, and won the game 24-23. The captain of Central, Juventis Jooste, was nominated as the man of the match.
After the game, both teams conveyed good wishes to their opponents for the forthcoming rugby league season. Central players and management were grateful to the local supporters who showed belief in the team’s capability until the final blow of the whistle.