The ODs played an incredible game against the Old Saints as the curtain raiser for the final match in the St Stithians' Rugby Festival this last weekend.
In an epic battle between the top dogs and underdogs, the Old Saints' team of 15 chiselled young men in new, matching, spandex, branded, jerseys returned to their home turf - the same field they had fought many triumphant battles on, not so long ago. Like thoroughbred stallions they graced the crowd with their elegant warm-up routines. They were confident. They had been training for this for weeks.
In-stepped our ODs. A smaller team of eight nervous-looking, mismatching oaks, some who unashamedly wore cut-off jean-pants so that their allies could play in shorts. The ODs were untrained and in a new territory, some of whom had not touched green grass since their run-around against Rondebosch all those years ago. They were surrounded by a thirsty apposing crowd of thousands...
After the first whistle blew, the 15 minutes that followed was a true display of valiant bravery and commitment. Not once did the ODs give up. They seemed somewhat surprised by their own lead, which slowly inflated their confidence.
By the end of the first half they had somehow managed to lead 12-5. They were exhausted but their will to carry on was unperturbed.
The final whistle blew. The score was 17-5 to the ODs.
What really kept our guys going was not the smell of victory, or their growing pride. It was not the cheering crowd or even the rain, which they had not felt in months. It was their unity. They played as a team since they left the dry lands of the Cape, right until they returned. It was not 'every man for himself', but a deeper connection, which bonded these allies together - a bond which did not break after the last whistle blew. They will stay connected forever because they are ODs.
To find out what it really means to be an OD, watch the highly entertaining match here
- Matt Rudston (2015S)
- Keba Mothoagae (2004S)
- Finley Knight (2017O)
- Wilson Mathidza (2004G)
- Roland Evans (2006F) – Captain
- Blake Gowar (2005F)
- Brandon Salomo (2015S)
- Harry Makin (2016S)
- Lukhanyo Mntonintshi (2017G)
- Sean Douglass (2015G)
- WP van Zyl (1997K)
Try scorers: Brandon Salomo (2); Matt Rudston. Pro Fida et Patria.