Rangers off to a good start

KEAGAN MITCHELL

Surrey Estate’s Rangers RFC had an ideal start to the 2016 Western Province Rugby Football Association (WPRFU) Super League C (SLC) campaign, beating Strand United 18-11, at the weekend, following up on their 37-5 win against Elsies River a week ago.

In their league opener against Elsies, at home, last weekend, the visitors slipped in an early try but as the game progressed, Rangers dominated most aspects of the game such as the set pieces and at the breakdown. Rangers went on to score two tries with fly-half Ismaeel Scott adding the extras giving his side a 14-5 lead at the break. The home side continued where they left off, running in four more tries in the second half, with Scott failing to convert all four and slotting over one penalty. Hooker Abu-bakr Francis produced a man-of-the-match performance, scoring two of Rangers’ eventual six tries on the day.

Coach Ebrahim Moerat said they did not play to their full potential but won convincingly which bodes well for the season. “We wanted to implement our attacking structure that worked well against Vineyards in our last pre-season encounter.

“Our synergy and interplay was good and we penetrated the defence which resulted in few tries and starved Elsies River from position. We need to improve our intensity on attack and defence and to keep opposition under constant pressure. We are pleased to have won with a bonus point. Hopefully this can set the rest of the season up for us,” he said.

Rangers will host Langa on Saturday and Moerat believes their neighbours will bring pace on attack. “We need to start building and keep pressure on opposition and shut them out.

“When we get the opportunity for point we must convert. What is key for us against Langa is to play a structured game and be good on defence,” he said.

Rangers ended their final pre-season fixture on a high after beating Vineyards from Paarl 14-12, at Noll Avenue, in Rylands, last month. Rangers played at an alternative venue due to cricket being played on their home-ground.

The boys in red and white had a mixed bag of results in their pre-season matches as they lost 22-17 to Villagers and 27-17 to Collegians, last month.

Moerat said he was pleased with his side’s performance not just because of the result but the fact that they managed to implement their structures and there were many positive passages of play in the game.

“We created a lot of try-scoring opportunities and with more games we will learn to convert those into points. Our work at the breakdown and set pieces were good and our attacking game showed good signs. We had a tough week and a number of players were unavailable but the guys who stepped in put their hands up and gave good account of themselves,” he said

Moerat said they had a tough pre-season which tested them in areas where they struggled last year.

“We have a good vibe in the group and we have built some depth. We are very confident that we will have a good season and support from the executive and the fans will help us through,” he said

Rangers have been preparing for the SLC season since January and also spent time in Paarl, where they bonded as a group and also worked more on their structures.

Moerat said the club’s main aim is to bounce back to SLB and build a strong rugby culture of discipline and accountability by playing an attractive brand of rugby which will motivate, inspire, attract and retain players and support.

* In other SLC action, Franschhoek United beat Hamedias 33-12; Young Stars beat Lagunya 28-14. In SLB, Collegians thumped Goodwood 49-18 while Villagers went down 31-23 to Pniel Villagers.

In SLA, SK Walmers beat Sir Lowrians 17-15 while Primrose lost 41-32 to Belhar.