Gallery Update Video
SEDGEFIELD RUGBY NEWS - Both Sedgefield Eagle Stars teams progressed to the finals of the 2019 SWD President's League with nail-biting victories over Albertinia Rangers at Grassy Park in Smutsville on Saturday 14 September.
Both Eagle Stars' first and second teams would play against Albertinia Rangers in their semifinals, with Rangers' second team having automatically qualified while their first team made the semifinal after defeating All Blacks the week before.
The second-team game would kick off first, with Eagle Stars arguably playing their toughest game of the season against a strong Rangers outfit. The latter would be the first to get the scoreboard ticking over with two penalties that handed them an early 6-0 lead. Eagle Stars soon kicked into gear, however, with two quick tries putting them eight points ahead of the visitors, and the game went into halftime at 14-6 to the home side.
The second half would be a much tougher half for Eagle Stars as they only managed a further three points, while Rangers were able to cross whitewash to secure their first try of the game. Eagle Stars' defence remained resolute, however, as they managed to keep Rangers at bay to secure a hard-fought 17-11 victory. Eagle Stars will be playing against Seagulls on 21 September at Outeniqua Park in the final of President's League's second-team division.
Watch a video below:
The first teams kicked off shortly after the seconds, with the crowds going crazy when Eagle Stars ran onto the pitch. The start of the first-team game mimicked that of the seconds, with Rangers grabbing the first points of the game yet again. Rangers' first team would keep up with their opponents slightly better than their second team, as the game went into halftime at 21-19 to the home side despite a late Rangers try.
Rangers would start the second half with only 14 men, having lost a player due to a yellow card for repeated infringements at scrum time, with Eagle Stars thoroughly dominating the scrums. The second half would be just as entertaining as the first, with both sides putting on impressive attacking and defensive displays.
The game would go into the final five minutes with Eagle Stars holding a 34-22 lead, and Rangers needing two converted tries to win the game. They would score one with two minutes to go that went unconverted, meaning Rangers needed a converted try to go into extra time. They came oh-so-close, but a knock-on inside Eagle Stars' 22m saw the home side gain possession of the ball.
Eagle Stars gained a penalty advantage from the scrum and decided to have one more go at a try. This was not to be, however, so the referee brought them back for the penalty. Eagle Stars would then end the game from the penalty, winning 34-27 to progress to the finals at Outeniqua Park this weekend where they will face Mossel Bay in a bid to earn promotion to the SWD Premier League.
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