The 2019 Aloe Cup started with the defending champions playing Outeniqua and from the start, it was apparent that the boys from George would mount a serious challenge this year. Their pack with a sturdy performance at tighthead, good set pieces and a brilliant performance from their eight-man laid the foundation for a comprehensive 28-12 victory. For Gene Louw, their tighthead flank and outside centre played well, but the Outeniqua victory was well deserved.
The second match proved a match of two halves and for most of the first half, the Handhaaf team matched Durbanville in intensity. This effort took its toll after halftime and Durbanville won 29-0.
Sunridge, fresh from a narrow 18-17 victory over Grey Bloem during the week, proved too strong for a gallant Knysna side and won 33-7.
Jeffreys Bay played Beaumont, the 2018 surprise package that ended 3rd. The local boys played a well-rounded match with contributions from both the forwards and back and ended up winning 25-3.
Next up an opportunity for Gene Louw to get the defence of their title back on track with a challenging fixture against Aloe Cup debutants Eikestad. The match lived up to expectations with the lead changing hands numerous times and the match tied 19-19 with Eikestad on the attack and time running out. An unfortunate grubber turned over possession and Gene Louw managed to score the winning try as time ran out for a 26-19 win.
The next match featured Grey Bloem, a team trying to atone for the challenges of 2018 when they ended last in their group, playing against Handhaaf. After some early butterflies, the Grey boys started playing with pace and precision, their impressive 10 dictating play with his decision-making and skills. This effort proved too much for Handhaaf and Grey won 50-0.
Sunridge overcame a gallant Stulting side 19-12, winning both their matches and ensuring they top their pool.
Beaumont beat Graslaagte 19-7.
The next match provided the Outeniqua team with another opportunity to prove their pedigree as they played against Eikestad. The match was surprisingly one-sided as Outeniqua proved they will be the team to beat with a comfortable 47-0 win.
The final Cup pool match between Grey and Durbanville proved to be a humdinger. Both teams initially scored twice and Grey converted both theirs for a 14-10 lead. The Durbanville boys did not lie down and after great interplay between forwards and backs scored a converted try for a 17-14 lead. With time running out Grey marched down the field, but great Durbanville defence kept them at bay. A final penalty with time up on the scoreboard gave Grey an opportunity to draw level, which they duly did. This led to the first penalty kick “shoot-out” in Aloe Cup history and a nail-biting victory for Grey.
Stulting beat Knysna 22-5 in the penultimate match of the day and the hosts Jeffreys Bay closed the day with a comprehensive 41-0 win over Graslaagte.