THE call was made and Komani responded in the best possible way as hundreds of fans flocked to the Thobi Kula Indoor Sports Complex to support their neighbourhood teams.
The JJ Motors Old Collegians Rugby 10s and netball tourney was a special occasion for both young and old, with cracking rugby and netball on display.
The opening ceremony was a glittering event, with Old Collegians management handing over a framed jersey to Lofty Tyebileyo’s family as a tribute to the former OC player.
Big business also played a major role in giving the event a carnival-like atmosphere, with teams boasting major sponsors.
It was a tournament of “firsts” for many of the teams. For the first time, defending champions SPN Spartans lost and, in fact, they lost two successive matches in dramatic fashion.
Victoria Park Scorpions inflicted the first blow, beating the Spartans convincingly 17-0 before Samurai inflicted more misery on the champs with a tight 8-7 victory.
It was also to be the first time that a team lost a match or two in the group stages, but then went on to win the title.
Victoria Park Vipers were responsible for the biggest shock of the tourney. After sneaking through the round-robin phase, they defeated City Samurai 14-0 in the semis for the biggest upset in the history of the tournament.
It was also a first semifinal appearance for Vipers, who impressively shot from second-last on the rankings last year to second this year.
Also for the first time there was a draw, with Aloe Ventures and New Rest Red Devils playing to a 5-5 result.
Aloe Ventures improved dramatically to give Vipers a 12-5 beating but unfortunately transgressed rules on their player sheet and points were docked after Vipers lodged a complaint.
Samurai ended the round-robin phase in first position, followed by Scorpions, Spartans and Vipers to make the semifinal list complete.
In the first semi, Spartans had their revenge over Scorpions, defeating them 15-0. Vipers got the better of Samurai by winning 14-0. In the third-place play-off, Samurai beat Scorpions 19-12.
The final was a tense affair. Spartans’ Sean Baartman opened the scoring and the try was converted by Dean Goodman (7-0). Vipers hit back through an unconverted try by Chicken Matshikiza.
Spartans had the final say in the match as Craig Pijoos dotted down for a converted try and Spartans led 14-5 at the break.
After a tight second half with no addition to the score, it took a moment of brilliance from man-of-the-match Craig Pijoos as he dazzled on his way down the length of the field to score a magnificent try from his own 22. Goodman made no mistake with the conversion and Spartans walked off 21-5 victors and defended their trophy.
In the netball section, Old Collegians women defeated Eagles 19-5 to win the inaugural trophy. The reward is that the top four teams, Spartans, Vipers, Samurai and Scorpions, and OC netball, will travel to Grahamstown to play against their top teams.