Contributed by: Matthew Guthrie
South Africa ran out convincing winners by 71 points against a gallant but understrengthed Spanish side in the final match of Round 4 at City Oval in Wangarratta.
A jubilant Buffalo side finished the last of their Pool games with a strong display of team work and skill to finish overall 5th in the standings.
The Spaniards were always going to be up against it starting with the bare minumum of players and then an injury not helping their cause during the match. Unmarked South Africans were collecting the ball at will and sharing it out amongst their players using their advantage with brilliant precision.
The first quater set the tone of the match for the Buffalo's with Jonker (17) kicking his first of many. Motuba (16) in his return match from a major injury (and so playing his first match of the tournament) got some early touches to get his confidence up and nicely roved a ball and kicked a goal from an angle to declare his return. Jonker then kicked another 3 for the quater before Spain got a badly needed reply through (9) Fernandez to keep them in with some hope. At quarter time South Africa were ahead 5.3 33 to 1.0 6.
The rain came down in the second which slowed up play and a tight contest was on. A rainbow appeared across City oval as Spain kicked their second and a glimmer of hope was in their eyes as they came into the sheds matching the Buffaloes in all departments for the quarter. Scores at the half were 6.4 40 to 2.1 13
Quick hands from the Buffaloes from the middle seemed to inspire the South Africans and when an injury to Spain's Cristobal (7) occurred the frustration seemed to creep into their game - the Spanish defenders' task was made all the more difficult when no replacement was available. The Buffaloes went on a scoring spree booting 5 unanswered goals with Jonker (17) up forward providing the main avenue to goal kicking long and straight on every occasion. A spectacular grab from Malinga (9) in the goal square and the lightning speed and skills of the South African midfield gave the crowd plenty to talk about. The game was well out of reach now for the Bulls with the Buffaloes having a 59 point advantage going into the last change.
Inaccurate kicking in the last kept the score board modest for the Bulls as only one goal was kicked and 6 behinds by the Buffaloes. Van Rensburg (3) directed much of the play for the Buffaloes and Sambo (19) and Malinga (9) were always a threat up front. Llenares played gallantly in defence all day and tried to inspire his charges but not even his tireless work was enough to stop the onslaught. Both sides played out the match to the end and the improvement of the Buffaloes was markedly noticable on a larger ground.
South Africa 12.12.84
World Footy News