The final curtain dropped on the local club rugby season with College Rovers adding the Premier Division knockout double to their silverware collection when they won the Murray Cup brought to you by HiTech Ink, Cell C, Castle Lager and Flya and the Premier Division Reserves Peter Taylor Cup beating SA Home Loans 24-13 and 36-27 in each final respectively.
The finals hosted by the Bidvest insurance Crusaders Rugby Club produced some hugely entertaining Club Rugby on the day, which saw the 118 year old club take home the honors in a game that could have gone either way after Rovers only led 12-10 at half time.
Durban Collegians had their fair share of success on the day as well with their Under 20 sides winning their respective finals with their ‘A’ side handsomely beating Rovers 44-24 and securing the Basil Medway Trophy while their ‘B’ side won the DW Geddie Cup after accounting for Varsity College 29-13
It was the Murray Cup however that was clearly the match of the day and like all past finals was a great advert for the club game with Rovers eventually outscoring Durban Collegians four tries to one after a closely contested first half that looked as though the game would swing ether way. With both sides missing key players it was Collegians however who suffered the most but it certainly didn’t deter from a fiercely contested and enthralling game.
The game opened at a rapid pace with both sides testing each other out but it was Collegians who opened the scoring with a well executed try by center Zomuhle Mbona converted by flyhalf Jason Bayford. Rovers clearly looked the more adventurous side but handling errors let them down to start with. Both sides were making unforced errors which led to Rovers flying wing and Man of the Match Tythan Adam going over for the try of the match and what a gem it was.
Rovers prop Byron van de Nest bulldozed over the line for his sides second try, which was converted by Gavin Scott and just before the halftime whistle went Bayford slotted an all important penalty to leave the score at 12-10 at the break.
The second half belonged to Rovers with center Brandon Bailing crossing for a good touch down and Adam going in for his second try of the day so becoming the top try scorer in club rugby this season. Certainly the flying Rovers winger who was voted the Gold Cup Backline Player of the year in last years National Club Championships has lost none of his hunger for scoring tries and surely this fine finisher deserves bigger things in the game in time to come. Scott was successful with one more conversion while Bayford kicked the lone second half penalty for Durban Collegians.
The Deputy Major Fawzia Peer was on hand to hand out the winning cheque to Skipper Chris Jordaan while the President of the KZNRU Francois Louis handed over the 127 year old trophy to the winning side.
The Ladysmith Bulldogs beat Kokstad 31-15 in the Third Division Findlay Cup making it two in a row, while Westville beat Newcastle Highlanders 24-19 in the First Division Reserves Keith Parkinson Cup. Jaguar Land Rover Durban Hillcrest won the Junior Murray Cup for the third year in a row after they beat Vryheid 45-26. It couldn’t have been a better send off for skipper Brian Lewis who hangs up his boots after 16 years service with Villagers. Then being awarded the Man of the Match was certainly the cherry on the top for their faithful stalwart.
Club rugby will continue with College Rovers participating in the National Club Championships and will kick off their campaign in Namibia when the travel to Windhoek to face Western Suburbs a club with a passionate support base and founded in 1979.
The KZNRU would like to extend there condolence’s to the family of Bill Fourie one of the founders of the Richards Bay Rugby Club who also served as Chairman. He was an honorary life member and Honorary President of the club and Vice President of the Zululand Sub Union at the time of his sad passing this past weekend. They also send condolence’s to Craig, Cameron, Hilton, Greg and Doug Mundell of Juiced Media and DNA Print publishers and printers of the Sharks Magazine and all their respective families on the sad passing of their father Doug Mundell Snr who was laid to rest last Friday.