The 2016 Gold Cup backline player of the series Tythan Adam scored a spectacular try in the closing stages of a tense and enthralling match to secure victory for his side leaving College Rovers the only unbeaten side after the First Round of the Fidelity Security Premier Division competition. After leading 14-7 at the break the 2016 Moor Cup champions went on to narrowly win the hard fought match 21-15.
As expected the game produced some really magic moments with Rovers adjusting their game plan to good effect while Collegians will know that perhaps they only have themselves to blame for a few lost opportunities. The game could have gone either way with these two very good sides producing yet another nail bighting but entertaining contest, which eventually saw Rovers coming away scoring three tries to the two from Collegians.
Rovers hooker Chris Kemp opened the scoring early in the first half with another one of his effective bullocking drives for the line which was duly converted by Gavin Scott who had another sound game at fullback. The sides went hammer and tongs at each other producing some wonderful running rugby and it wasn’t long before a quick thinking Matt Reece Edwards went over after taking a quick tap penalty for centre Devon Lailvaux to convert.
Chris Jordaan making a welcome return to the Rovers line up, once again, was an inspirational leader at flyhalf scoring his sides second try under the poles almost on halftime for Scott to convert his second, giving Rovers the lead turning into the second half. Collegians weren’t done however and came back strongly with their talented fullback Morne Joubert crossing for his sides second try.
With Rovers 19-12 up the game was in the balance until from inside the Rovers 25 metre line Grant Rattray took a quick tap penalty to put Adam away for what has to be the try of the season so far. The flying wing weaved his way down the touch line to score under the poles for Scott to convert his third and virtually seal the game. Collegians as expected didn’t lie down and finished with a flourish with centre Lailvaux kicking a penalty bringing the score in reach of a possible late victory charge, but the solid Rovers defence held firm and the victory was secured.
In anther game Bidvest Insurance Crusaders went on the charge beating South Coast Warriors 45-22 at the Douglas Mitchell Park in Uvongo, scoring six tries with Bakkies Janse van Rensburg scoring one of them to go with all six conversions. Their other touchdowns came from Chris van Niekerk, Selwin White, Cadge Sibisi, Chris Cousins and Chris Anka.
In the remaining games eThekwini Refractories Amanzimtoti beat FNB UKZN Impi 35-15, Newcastle edged out Mancosa Zululand Rhinos 44-38 and Varsity College had a good away win in Sydenham beating Jaguars 59-10 leaving College Rovers, Durban Collegians, Amanzimtoti, Crusaders, Varsity College and Richards Bay in the top six.
The Second Round kicks off tomorrow evening (Thursday) and in the Top Six Rovers host Richards Bay, Durban Collegians are at home to Crusaders and Varsity College entertain Amanzimtoti. In the Bottom Five Newcastle will host Jaguars and Impi will have home ground advantage against South Coast Warriors with Zululand Rhinos having the weekend off.
In the First Division Jaguar Land Rover Durban Hillcrest lead the way and had another convincing win beating Ballito Dolphins 42-7 while Harlequins raised a few eyebrows in beating Westville 27-19 leaving their charge a little late.
The College Rovers Under 20 outfit have finished their First Round with a flourish beating Crusaders 48-7 with their B side also taking the honours winning 19-5. Varsity College still heard up the Frank Norris Cup log table in the ‘A’ Division while Durban Collegians top the ‘B’ Division and Saders lead the pack in the Third Division Walker Cup