Wednesday Club Rugby Column

Varsity College deserve full credit for coming so close to putting an end to College Rovers unbeaten record in a pulsating Fidelity ADT Premier Division game on their home grounds in Durban North last Saturday. If anything Rovers got a rude awakening only managing to hold onto a narrow 29-23 win in the end.

In all fairness Rovers may well have been without a number of key players but certainly this doesn’t deter from the fact that the side appeared to have lacked their normal intensity and commitment, perhaps due to the fact that they have already wrapped up the league and retained the priceless Moor Cup. If anything they would have learnt from this as it matters not how good you are you can be beaten on any given day. Take nothing away from Varsity College they came close to upsetting the Rovers applecart.

Enjoying a narrow 15-10 halftime lead Rovers did go on to score five tries to three. The game itself was played in the windiest of conditions that saw Varsity College scrumhalf Josh Fourie handling the conditions more positively than his Rovers counter parts when it came to kicking for poles.

Rovers tries came from flank Ray Williams, wing Mark Richards, flank Ryan Kankowski, prop Kyle Whytt and fullback Gav Scott who also landed two conversions. Varsity College replied with tries from hooker Ntuthuko Mthembu who crossed for two and centre Phiko Sobahle with Fourie slotting two penalties and a conversion.

Up at Richards Bay the home side beat their visitors from the capital, FNB UKZN Maritzburg, 33-26 and down the coast SA Home Loans Durban Collegians accounted for eThekwini Refractories Amanzimtoti 51-34 in a high scoring game leaving three sides now in with a chance to take second spot on the log table namely Varsity College, Collegians and Toti. All in all it has been a great fight back by Collegians after the worst possible start to their season this year.

This weekend club rugby will be showcased at Jonsson Kings Park as curtain raisers to the Super Rugby game between The Cell C Sharks and The Lions with Durban Collegians taking on UKZN Maritzburg at 1.10pm while at 2.40pm we see log leaders Rovers facing the South Coast Terriers from Toti. In the remaining game it will be the turn of Bidvest Insurance Crusaders to travel to Richards Bay on Friday evening.

There was something of a surprise result in the First Division not so much for the result itself but certainly the score line with South Coast Warriors beating their hosts Land Rover Durban Hillcrest 26-7 in Shongweni. In the other games Durban Mets accounted for 22-19, UKZN Durban had the better of Ballito Dolphins winning 66-30 and Zululand Rhinos beat Maritzburg Collegians 49-10 at Mick Kelly Park in Empangeni.

This weekend Zululand Rhinos travel up the coast to face Ballito Dolphins, Jaguars host South Coast Warriors, Durban Mets are at home to Maritzburg Collegians and Westville entertain UKZN Durban.

Varsity College beat Durban Collegians in the DW Geddie Cup knockout final to win the cup.