Queen’s beat Hangklip 17-14 in their much anticipated derby match.
Playing with the wind in their favour in the first half, Queen’s displayed better structure and maintained good continuity and forward momentum for lengthy periods and were the first to score. A clean four-ball from a lineout 30m out, a good carry on the crash by prop Allan Dell, a quick recycle at the breakdown, and an effective transfer of the ball through the hands, enabled fullback Carlisle Jordaan to create the overlap and score a well executed try in the right corner.
Queen’s continued to apply pressure and good driving by Chay Oberholzer and Siya Makaula kept Queen’s on the front foot. A number of 50-50 passes and inexcusable fumbles from Queen’s players at crucial stages prevented the scoreline from being extended.
Hangklip’s tactic of hoofing most of their ball back into Queen’s territory provided relief for them, but took some of the sting out of their own attack. Queen’s probably ought to have used the wind to better effect during this half particularly as a result of the very flat Hangklip defence, which needed to be ‘turned’ more frequently.
Queen’s seemed to have found some of the much needed rhythm that had evaded them during recent games, but the Hangklip forwards made their intentions clear with a number of good carries themselves.
A penalty apiece took the tally to 11-3 at the break – probably a fair reflection of the first-half exchanges.
An early Hangklip try in the opening moments of the second half, following a loose ball chip and chase, and the visitors were just three points adrift of the Queen’s score, with plenty of time still on the clock.
Hangklip played with more determination with No 8 Roelof Roodt putting in a number of good runs to provide the momentum for his side.
The Queen’s backline were guilty of far too many indiscretions and were sloppy with the ball in hand, putting Queen’s under unnecessary pressure as a result. This gave Hangklip a number of soft opportunities that may well have handed them victory.
Two additional penalties by scrumhalf H Stapelberg levelled the scores, leaving the game balanced on a knife edge for the final 10 minutes of play. With time running out, and the quality of play deteriorating, it appeared as though supporters would have to settle for a draw. However, a technical infringement, with only seconds remaining, gave Queen’s the opportunity to secure victory. A deathly silence hovered over the ground as Queen’s flyhalf Athi Gxotiwe showed nerves of steel as he calmly stroked the ball through the uprights, to give Queen’s a 17-14 victory.