By Dries Badenhorst – Wednesday, 4 May 2016, will forever be a special memory for Curro Durbanville’s u/7 rugby boys. I still remember my first rugby match, 36 years ago.
They experienced the camaraderie of rugby first hand when the u/13 rugby team, their rugby heroes, made a special tunnel for them when they ran onto the field. The most beautiful thing about this was that it was not prearranged. It was a spontaneous gesture by their seniors that yet again highlights a proud rugby tradition that is being developed at Curro Durbanville.
The boys were further motivated by two pavilions of proud parents, uncles, aunties, grannies and grandpas who took of work and took the time to come and support their little gladiators. What was further impressive was the amount of high school rugby players who also flocked to the field to support the most junior team in the school.
The boys did not disappoint when it came to providing entertainment. They lined up in front of their parents to proudly sing the national anthem. This was also not rehearsed. They did it before their first practice game against one another and seem to have decided that this is how you do it.
But when the whistle blew, all these festivities seized and it was time to do battle between the four lines. Captain Kieran Langeveldt and his fellow warriors quickly realized that rugby is not for the faint hearted. It was the first time that our boys really had to take contact, and for some this was a painful experience. The physical clashes was however slightly harder, as the opposition had to play with a few older and more experienced boys to put a team onto the field. As coaches, we were only made aware of this after the game, but will in future insure before a game that the opposition is of the same age.
What stood out for me was how the boys grew in those 20 minutes. Trevor Manual scored 4 of their 5 tries in the first half. But these tries were not a true reflection of the game. Our boys mixed it up when it came to the battle for the ball, when it came to attacking and also on defense. The tries conceded was mostly soft tries where their bigger speedsters got the ball and ran around us.
Halftime was a welcome break for both the boys and the coach. Unlike in other rugby matches where the coach speaks during half time, the boys saw it as an opportunity to give me a full injury report and to let me know, in no uncertain terms, how the other team is “cheating”. I had a really good laugh. Luckily they gave me few words and we were set for the second half.
They so nearly scored tries in the second half, but it was not meant to be. Although the result is not the most important thing at this stage, the boys were very disappointed. They wanted to win for themselves, their parents and their fans.
The good news is that most of them pitched up for practice on Thursday, eager to learn and motivated to turn the tide in our next match.
Well done boys, I am very proud of you. My sincere thanks to all the parents for their support and encouragement. You all contributed to a fantastic experience.