The day of rugby kicked off with Brakke’s under-20, second and third teams also winning their respective matches.
Brackenfell, who finished SLB runners-up last year and gained automatic promotion to SLA, put the first points on the board after scrum-half Wouter Whitemore slotted his penalty over. SK Walmer’s discipline issues continued as they conceded a further two penalties in a space of 10 minutes with Whitemore adding the extras. The Bo-Kaap-based side then started to dominate the home side late in the first quarter and was rewarded for the efforts when winger Raqib Siljeur scored the first try of the game. However, the boys in blue did not let that get them down as Whitemore scored his side opening try and slotted the conversion over taking the score to 16-7 at the break.
Brackenfell continued where they left off in the first-half as Whitemore and Jean Strydom slotted over two penalties each while Wian Engelbrecht went over to score his side’s second try with Whitemore adding the extras. SK Walmer did score three tries in the second half but it was not enough. Their forwards also played a great game upfront but discipline issues cost them the game. Lock Madeeg Davids’ yellow card in the second half for a high tackle added to their problems.
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Brackenfell assistant coach Jacques Briel said they could not have asked for a better start to the season because they were not given a chance by anyone to win an experience side like SK Walmers.
“When the score was 22-21 at one stage it could have gone any way. It was indeed a physical game but we knew if we win the one on one tackles and stick to our defensive system to make them run out of attacking options, we could pull it through. Although we were under pressure at times, we always felt in control and had the belief that we can win this one. There is still a lot of room for improvement and lots to work on. We are not close to our best but hopefully the best is yet to come,” he said.
Brackenfell got a first taste of how it feels to be in SLA and Briel believes this is a sign of good things to come after the side’s first victory.
“The feeling was one of relief to get the first one out of the way, combined with a lot of pride. We worked hard in the past two seasons to get promoted, this is where we belong and want to compete. Things look bright for the club going forward with all the talent in our town playing their rugby at other clubs,” he said.
It does not get easier for Brackenfell as they will host current Community Cup holders Durbell this coming weekend.
Briel said Durbell will not be giving anything away but believes they can give them a run for their money.
“We will be playing a team that has a lot of experience in their side, but our young team are fearless and give a good account of ourselves. This is totally new to us, but we have to measure ourselves against the best,” he said.
Die Brakke had a good pre-season with wins over Uni-Mil, Helderberg, Ikeys and Kraaifontein but came unstuck against Hamiltons.
“Due to the high number of players in our club we had to play the pre-season games in big squads. We were fortunate to be able to give everybody a good chance to prove themselves and give us as coaches the opportunity to view approximately 50 different players in the first team setup. It also gave us an opportunity to manage the amount of game time each player plays in the pre-season,” he said.
The club’s short-term goals are to be a contender of note on the field in 2016 and to be in the top eight and long term to maintain their SLA status and to become one of the top clubs in the league.
In other SLA action, Tygerberg beat Sir Lowrians 48-17, NNK lost 54-10 to False Bay and Kuils River lost narrowly 17-14 to Belhar. In SLB, Hands&Heart lost 25-20 to Pniel Villagers while Bellville beat Violets 28-16.