HOLLYWOODBETS MURRAY CUP CLUB RUGBY WEDNESDAY COLUMN

For College Rovers and SA Home Loans Durban Collegians its a case of ‘play it again Sam’ as they once again have made it through to the final of the Hollywoodbets Murray Cup Final on Sunday after victories over Westville Old Boys and Varsity College respectively last Saturday at the home of Bidvest Insurance Crusaders in Durban North.

In the opening semi final it was one-way traffic as last years champions College Rovers went on the rampage scoring 14 tries to one in their 86-5 win over a brave Westville Old Boys side. Leading 39-5 at the break after Westville had looked as though they would be a lot more competitive in the first 15 minutes. However, once Rovers hit their straps it was always going to be a runaway victory as they ran riot playing some hugely entertaining running rugby for which the never say die Westville Old Boys outfit had no answer. For Rovers the elusive Curtis Jonas led the try scoring spree crossing for three of the best with the others going to Sinovuyo ‘Snake’ Nyoka, who crossed for two, Tythan Adams, Alrin Eksteen, Alcino Isaacs, Inny Radebe, Jabulani Mkhize, Malotsi Bouwer, Zee Makhabela, Sandile Kubeka and Sipho Mkhize

Radebe who was named HOLLYWOODBETS Man of the Match converted three of the tries with one going to Gav Scott and four automatically given with the tries having been scored under the poles. Take nothing away from Westville who replied with a lone try by Matthew Everitt they deserve accolades in having become the first ever First Division side to make it to a Murray Cup semi final.

The second semi final was a lot closer with SA Home Loans Durban Collegians edging out Varsity College 20-17 and out scoring the Durban North side three tries to one. It was the the boot of flyhalf Maarten Holtzhausen with four penalties that had kept Varsity College side in the hunt throughout the 80 minutes with their only try coming from Gadj Sibisi. Durban Collegians historically have always been a great positively determined side that knows how to dig deep remaining always in the game and at you for 80 minutes and it certainly showed on Saturday eventually taking the honors with tries going to Sharks flanker Luke Stringer, Joel Kidgell and Nanto Sibulele with Devon Lailvaux slotting a conversion and a penalty.

The Hollywoodbets Man of the Match went to the Durban Collegians center Andrew Holland, And so Rovers will meet Durban Collegians once again in what looks destined for yet another epic battle of the two top clubs in the province this Sunday at Crusaders in Ranleigh Crescent, Durban North

In the Junior Murray Cup Ethekwini Refractories Amanzimtoti beat Jaguar Land Rover Durban Hillcrest 25-19 and will go through to the final to play Standard Bank Richards Bay after the boys from The Bay disposed of Newcastle 38-14 while the hosts Crusaders will be in the final of the Peter Taylor Cup after hammering Westville Old Boys 78-5. They will meet Varsity College who beat Durban Collegians 25-15 in their semi final.

One of the biggest highlights of last Saturdays semi-finals day was the game that saw the Rugby World Cup side, Namibia, preparing for the biggest rugby event in World Rugby and beating a Cell C Sharks Invitational XV 41-0. For Crusaders skipper who led the Sharks invitational XV, Alex Curry, it was an emotional moment as it was his last game of rugby having decided to hang up his boots after wonderful service to not only his club but indeed the game as a whole

With the Newcastle Highlanders second stringers pulling out of the Keith Parkinson Cup Richards Bay will meet Amanzimtoti in their final on Sunday after Toti beat Hillcrest 22-21 while in the Under 20 Basil Medway Trophy Final  Varsity College will play Midlands after Varsity College beat Durban Collegians and Midlands accounted for South Coast Warriors with an exciting narrowly contested semi-final 15-13.

Proceedings start at 10.40 am with the Basil Medway Trophy final with a big draw card for Sunday’s Club Finals day a featured game that sees a Hollywoodbetss ALL STARS XV comprising of the players chosen from the clubs that haven’t made it through to the finals, up against this years Gold Cup semi-finalists, from Border, Hollywoodbets Swallows, in the main curtain-raiser to the Murray Cup Final, which is scheduled for a 4 pm kickoff.