Macassar RFC failed to maintain their winning streak, a record they had held since last year March, as they fell short in their opening Super League B encounter against Goodwood at Riverside Park on Saturday 6 April.
It was not a great start to the season for the MC Boys, who aim to bolster their position in the league. They were defeated 30-36, after trailing 13-19 at half-time.
The newly promoted hosts paid the price for poor discipline in defence and too many handling errors. One could argue that this is a new team with new coaches and a new philosophy, but backing the MC Boys at a packed Riverside Park would normally be considered a no-brainer; unfortunately this was not be.
It was a disappointing result and head coach Owen Machelm and his coaching staff will work hard to address the mistakes as a daunting away fixture with Collegians RFC awaits them.
Goodwood, who are mostly known for their dominant forward play, somewhat surprised with their fluency in attack. Led by captain Wayne Prins, the men from the northern suburbs were tactily sublime and were rewarded with three stellar first-half tries by fullback Neil du Toit and wingers Romario Louw and Angus Beukes.
The MC Boys bagged a first-half try through veteran forward La’eeq Bougaardt and flyhalf Garth de Bruin added the extras along with two penalties for a half-time score of 13-19.
The hosts enjoyed long periods of possession in the second stanza with captain Werner Williams and eighthman Clint Stewart leading the charge. The loose forward pair combined well and dominated the gain line with strong ball carries.
Despite early second-half dominance, the MC Boys couldn’t capitalise on their field position, but Stewart was eventually rewarded with his first of two tries when he bulldozed over from close range.
De Bruin added the extras to make the scoreline 20-19.
Both teams looked to assert their dominance and exchanged a penalty each (23-22).
Goodwood fronted up physically heading into the final quarter of the match and pounced on the hosts’ mistakes as they ran in two converted scores through replacements Monré Lingeveld and Lorenzo Cloete (23-36). The latter’s try was a heartsore feat for the “MC Faithful”, as he ran the length of the field to score after a costly mistake by the home side 2 m from the visitors try-line.
Stewart intercepted soon after and scored his second try of the afternoon with two minutes remaining on the clock; De Bruin converted (30-36).
The hosts threw in the kitchen sink, but a last-minute onslaught was to no avail as the Goodwood defence stood firm to secure a bonus-point win.
With the first round of fixtures completed, the MC Boys will now turn their focus on their encounter with Collegians in Lentegeur this Saturday (13 April), as they aim to secure a first win for the season.
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