KNYSNA NEWS - Knysna has narrowly kept its playoff hopes alive in the SWD Municipal Rugby Challenge with a convincing victory over Kannaland at Grassy Park in Smutsville on Saturday 26 October.
Knysna has endured a rather topsy-turvy season in the pilot league thus far, losing its first two games but going unbeaten in the three that followed thanks to two wins over Kannaland and a draw against Bitou.
This saw the team lying third in the shield division of the league, behind Central Karoo and Bitou, who were meeting in Prince Albert in the other shield division game of the weekend.
The players knew they had to earn themselves a win in their clash with Kannaland regardless of the outcome in Prince Albert if they still wanted to be within a sniff of the second playoff spot.
Knysna started the encounter rather shakily, with Kannaland dominating the opening exchanges and looking like it could pull off an upset at Grassy Park.
Knysna's defence refused to budge, however, and stood fast. Once Knysna regained possession, momentum quickly shifted back in the home side's favour with Kannaland unable to hold Knysna back once the first try was scored. Knysna would score five tries before the whistle blew for halftime, with the game poised heavily in Knysna's favour at 29-7 going into the break.
Kannaland seemed a much better and far more determined outfit in the second half, dominating the third quarter of the game. But, despite possession and territorial dominance, Kannaland was only able to notch up 10 more points before Knysna would get back in the driving seat and firmly take the game away from the visiting side.
Three tries would come in the second half, with the competition's leading try-scoring forward Michael Kappp bagging his sixth of the season while man-of-the-match Thurswin Phillips dotted down a try with the last play of the game to round out his hat trick for the day. This handed Knysna a 48-17 victory, which nevertheless sees the side with only a slim chance of making playoffs due to Central Karoo upsetting Bitou 33-24 in Prince Albert.
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