The qualifying round of the 2019 Hollywoodbets Murray Cup produced two major upsets with three First Division Sides making it through to the quarter-finals after last Fridays openers.
It’s not often expected that the qualifying round will produce the surprise results as has happened this last long weekend with South Coast Warriors edging out Ethekwini Refractories Amanzimtoti 27-26 and up North Piet Retief beating Standard Bank Richards Bay 34-12. The other First Division side to find their way into the quarters is Westville Old Boys after their convincing 40-12 victory march over Jaguar Land Rover Durban Hillcrest.
For the rest of the qualifying round results they were perhaps a little more expected with the biggest score coming out of Winterton with Murray Cup holders College Rovers hammering Drakensberg 145-3 scoring 23 converted tries with wing Tythan Adams making a welcome return to the team, flyhalf Inny Radeba and Alrin Eksteen crossing for three each while fullback Gavin Scott, wing Minehle ‘Bush’ Mthethwa, Sinovuyo ‘Snake’ Nyoka and Darol Brink collected two each.
The remainder of the tries went to center Kyle Theron, No8 Marco Palvie, Man of the Match flanker Ntsike ‘Sampson’ Fisanti ,prop Jonno Deighton, hooker Byron van de Nest and Steevie Booysen coming off the bench with one each. Scott, Radeba and Curtis Jonas shared the kicks.
In the remaining games, FNB UKZN Pietermaritzburg had a walkover against Vryheid while Varsity College traveled to Newcastle to beat the Highlanders 69-43 in a high scoring game. SA Home Loans Durban accounted for Volksrust 57-5 and Bidvest Insurance Crusaders beat UKZN Durban 57-12
On Monday evening, at the quarter-final draw in the Basil Medway Room at JONSSON KINGS PARK, Kaunda Ntunja was in conversation with Sean Everitt and his Sharks coaching team. The draw will see North Section First Division side Piet Retief’s turn to travel to the coast as they prepare to face Durban Collegians. It will now be a lot more difficult for the First Division sides remaining in the competition going forward with Dewar Shield winners Westville Old Boys facing UKZN Pietermaritzburg at the Peter Booysen Stadium in the capital and South Coast Warriors travelling up the coast to meet Varsity College at Riverside Sport.
In the remaining game which holds most of the interest sees the fast-improving Crusaders outfit entertaining the Fidelity ADT Premier Division champions College Rovers at Ranleigh Crescent in Durban North. All the games are scheduled for a 3.30pm kickoff on Saturday.
The Junior Murray Cup draw also took place with Volksrust travelling to Amanzimtoti and Drakensberg will visit Newcastle to meet the Highlanders.
Varsity College picked up their second piece of silverware when they beat Durban Collegians 51-45 in an entertaining curtain raiser to the Currie Cup game between the Cell C Sharks and the Toyota Cheetahs at Kings Park on Saturday to take the Under 20 ‘A’ Division League and so securing the Frank Norris Cup.
In the other game Midlands edged out South Coast Warriors 15-13 and so both ending second and third on the log table respectively after very successful debut seasons in the Under 20 ‘A’ League