The Riversmead South Coast Warriors are hoping to rebound after enduring a disastrous week.
Unable to practice due to power failures, the Warriors were routed 34-0 by hosts UKZN Durban – their first First Division loss since 2017.
To make matters worse, the club fell victim to what chairman Niko Potgieter slammed as “an unfortunate act of stupidity” as Douglas Mitchell Sports Grounds were vandalised by a joyrider who cut up both fields with donuts.
At Howard Park, the defending First Division champions had a really tough day against a UKZN team who came out all guns blazing and took the undercooked Warriors by surprise.
Letting in a few early tries, the Warriors put themselves on the back foot and they just couldn’t find any rhythm or common ground with the referee, conceding an unheard of 36 penalties.
The second team played really well and managed a 17-all draw, an impressive result away from home. It was a real “dog fight” with no quarter taken and none given.
Try-scorers for the Warriors were Kurtley Jones, Mosa Palesa and Nicolodus Potanas, with one conversion by Westley Neyman. Man of the Match honours went to Jared Keylock (forwards) and Karabo Ndlovo (backline).
The Under-20s, meanwhile, travelled to Pietermaritzburg on Friday night to take on Midlands at Woodburn Stadium.
Midlands were on fire in the first 40 minutes, not allowing the Warriors any ball. They hosts ran in three converted tries and added two penalties for a 27-0 half-time lead.
After a few encouraging words from coach Swannie Swanepoel during the break, the Warriors came out firing on all cylinders. Really taking the opposition to task, the visitors ran in three converted tries before conceding a seven-pointer and then scoring a fourth try of their own, which went unconverted.
A late penalty by Gunther van der Merwe made it 29-34 with a minute left on the clock, putting the Warriors in a position to try and win the game with a late try. It was not to be though, as Midlands held on. Try-scorers for the Warriors were Sfiso Gumede, Curtley Deysel, Oros Ndlovu and Kamvelilhe Vatyel.
The Warriors will host Westville Old Boys at Douglas Mitchell Sports Grounds on Saturday, with the action getting underway at 2pm. The Under-20s, meanwhile, will head back to Pietermaritzburg to take on UKZN.
The Warriors are proudly sponsored by Riversmead Farms, Status Panelbeaters, Maser Security and Kencrete for their support.