With the country now in a 21 day Shut Down and all rugby on hold because of this deadly coronavirus pandemic, we can take a look back in time at a little bit of club rugby history.
As we prepared for the 2020 club rugby season there can be no doubt that the Premier Division was set to be the most closely contested in the 63 year history of the competition. Interestingly enough the Club Rugby sponsors the Fidelity Services Group will also be celebrating their 63rd Anniversary this year, which will certainly be a year that will be long remembered in the history of our country and the game we cherish.
College Rovers the 2018 and 19 winners of the oldest piece of silverware in World Rugby the priceless 147 year old Moor Cup manufactured in Birmingham in 1873 and first played for in 1875, would have had their work cut out to retain the cup this year, that is for certain. SA Home Loans Durban Collegians, Vox Crusaders and Varsity College all looked like great pretenders to the crown in the opening round of the Flya Competition two weeks ago before the pandemic reared its ugly head.
Durban Collegians still hold the record of having had their name engraved on the famous trophy more times than any other club in the province. The last two decades certainly belonged to Rovers who first won the cup in 1970 and took another 22 years before claiming the cup again in 1992 before taking the cup home again in their Centenary year 1999. Since 2000 Rovers have won the trophy on 15 occasions with their neighbor’s Durban Collegians remaining their biggest rivals.
The Moor Cup although the oldest piece of silverware in World Rugby is played for in one of the youngest Premier Division club competitions in the game for the cup went missing for 81 years to reappear at King Sports fittingly in Pietermaritzburg where the KZNRU was founded and the first 15 man game of rugby was played on the African continent in 1870 on the Market Square between Maritzburg College and Hermansburg. The Moor Cup was first played for in 1957 and won by FNB UKZN Durban.
And so the rivalry continues and long may it last with Crusaders having become the first club in KZN to win the National Club Championships in 1993 and followed up in 1994 to retain the title. Rovers became the second club in the Province to win the national title taking home the Community Cup in 2010 and 2012,
There will be confirmation of the Club Column continuing bearing in mind the Shut Down situation in the county. With Kokstad being the oldest club in the province founded in 1890 and Rovers the second oldest founded in 1899 there is much history we can dwell on.