Maroela set up Mopanie rugby final

SIMPHIWE NHLABATHI

On Tuesday 2 September, Maroela’s first XV played Sonop’s first XV in the semi-finals of the Koshuis Rugby League. The game started with both teams observing a minute of silence for Teemus Kauluma, the Maroela resident who died last Monday.

Maroela kicked off the game and the teams were deadlocked as neither defence let up. Maroela strung a few phases together and were playing well but the Sonop defence was able to keep them at bay.

Maroela kept pushing and eventually an incredible chipped ball landed well and bounced in favour of Maroela and they scored a sensational try. The conversion was unsuccessful.

The game started becoming exciting, with Sonop looking for a reply. Sonop’s Jan van der Walt was sin-binned and with the extra man advantage, Maroela took charge and got another try. The try was converted and the score was 12-0. The game continued and poor discipline on the Maroela side led to Sonop earning a penalty. They punted the ball into touch and earned a line out right in front of Maroela’s 22. From the lineout, Sonop mauled into Maroela’s 22 and broke off swiftly to score the try. The conversion was unsuccessful and the score remained 12-5. Just before the break, Sonop scored another penalty and the game went to half time with Sonop trailing.

Sonop kicked off the second half and immediately forced Maroela to make errors as they were awarded a penalty, which they scored. Maroela’s reply was another well worked converted try. Sonop was hungry for the win, and started digging deep for it. Their constant pressure on Maroela led to more mistakes and Sonop scored another unconverted try from a lineout.

After another Sonop player got sin binned, Maroela attacked to try to cement their win, but a brilliant break on the counter from Sonop led to a beautiful try and for the first time in the game, Sonop converted a try and took the lead. The score was 19-23 with just under five minutes to play. Maroela didn’t give up. After falling behind Maroela pressed for the win and got the breakthrough. Their pressing of Sonop paid off as they scored the try in the final minute of the game. The try was converted and Maroela won the game 26-23.

The final will be played this week against Mopanie.

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