WEDNESDAY COLUMN CLUB RUGBY

There were some closely contested Fidelity Security Premier Division games played in Round Three of the Top Six competition with SA Home Loans Durban Collegians dropping a valuable log point in their close encounter at the home of Richards Bay in Zululand on Saturday.

Collegians did come away with a narrow 19-10 victory but in the Reserve Division for the Wylie Cup the Varsity College Second XV kept the Collegians hopes alive to retain the trophy that they won last year with their 21-18 win over the log leaders College Rovers. For the Rovers second stringers it was their first loss of the season and now its all to play for as the league competitions enter the final straight.

College Rovers, never the less, also hold onto a slender three point lead on the Premier Division log table after their emphatic 38-17 win over Varsity College last Thursday. Outscoring their visitors six tries to three against their visitors the home side led 21-10 at the break after Varsity College had managed to contain them in the early stages of the first half.

Once again it was the Rovers flying winger Tythan Adams who led the charge with two superlative tries set up by that man for all seasons Chris Jordaan who had come off the bench. The remaining tries came from flanker Liam O’Connell, centres Ricky Bamber and Brandon Bailing and their other wing Mark Richards. Gav Scott converted four of the tries.

Varsity College replied with tries from Chris de Beer, prop Gabriel Sipapate and Justin Mendelsohn. Skipper Josh Fourie was successful with one conversion

In the remaining game eThekwini Refractories Amanzimtoti edged out a vastly improved Bidvest Insurance Crusaders outfit 17-14, which under the circumstances was not a bad result for them away from home and picking up a valuable log point.

In the Bottom five FNB UKZN Impi had a good 44-34 away win against Jaguars while Mancosa Zululand Rhinos beat Newcastle 24-15. The Top Six of the Premier Division will have the weekend off while in the Bottom Five Zululand Rhinos host Jaguars and South Coast Warriors entertain Newcastle.

Rugby4Jaxon the big rugby day being hosted by Jaguar Land Rover Durban Hillcrest at Kearsney this Saturday is not to be missed and all for a good cause raising funds for Jaxon Bartman a young lad suffering with a severe kidney disorder. The afternoon kicks off at 12 15pm with the Hillcrest Fiery Thirds taking on a Turaco Energy Old School XV followed by the two main games between the Villagers and Westville Old Boys.

Last Wednesday a depleted College Rovers Under 20 ‘A’ side picked up the first trophy of the season beating a possibly even more depleted Varsity College line up to win the Frank Norris Cup, which they last won back in 2009 after an eight year reign from 2002. For coaches Ian Tait , Nicolai Blignaut and Rob Scott it was a very special moment and no doubt one that they will cherish for a long while to come. In the other final league game played UKZN squeaked home 45-40 against Jaguars.

Sadly Crusaders had to withdraw against Durban Collegians as they didn’t have enough players like the other clubs in the ‘B’ League and one has to ask the question over and over again “why oh why does South African Rugby have to have an Under 19 and an Under 21 Provincial Junior Currie Cup competition when the rest of the rugby playing nations stick to just an Under 20 program in accordance with the IRB?”

Club rugby suffers immeasurably because of it, of that their is no doubt, and if they only but realised just how much money the cash strapped Unions could save if they reverted to one simple Under 20 Provincial programme, then surely its the way to go. The Under 20 Division now get ready to play in the Basil Medway knockout competition and how sad it is to see the competition played under strength. In essence to make South African rugby strong you have to start and make club rugby strong again.