HOLLYWOODBETS MURRAY CUP WEDNESDAY CLUB COLUMN

History was made in the quarter-finals of the Hollywoodbets Murray Cup last Saturday when the top First Division club and winners of the Dewar Shield Westville Old Boys beat the students from the Premier Division side FNB UKZN Pietermaritzburg 26-21 at the Pieter Booysen Stadium in the Capital, to find their way into the semi-finals.

Westville Old Boys flanker Tyrone Tarppy was named Man of the Match which saw the sides level pegging at 14 all at the break.

It will be the first time that a First Division side has made it through to the semi finals and who knows, just maybe, they could pull off the nigh near impossibility and make it to the final. Time will tell.

Varsity College and College Rovers have also found their way into the semi’s with victories over South Coast Warriors and Bidvest Insurance Crusaders respectively. For SA Home Loans Durban Collegians, however, they had a sad walkover against Piet Retief who decided to pull out of the competition after beating Standard Bank Richards Bay the weekend before.

The other First Division side in the quarters, South Coast Warriors, by any stretch of the imagination did not disgrace themselves and even with a few key players missing from their squad put up a great showing in going down 59-24.

Leading 43-17 with 20 minutes left on the clock the Warriors didn’t lie down and die they had come to play and play they did scoring four tries of their own and had they had a more accurate kicker the score would have looked a lot closer. Needless to say, Varsity College had some great moments with their fly half Maarten Holtzhausen named Man of the Match after an outstanding game. Holtzhausen was the destroyer in chief crossing for two tries whilst successfully converting the bulk of the tries with lock William Squires and center Simba Kubatebate also scoring two each.

The remaining touch down went to George Kwashie coming off the bench while South Coast Warriors replied with tries from flank Lunga Mdlala, flyhalf Donavan Home, prop Nonga Gede and wing Sam Nkwentsha two conversions coming from fullback Dylan Kroon

Across at Ranleigh Crescent College Rovers had a hard-fought 15-5 win against home side Bidvest Insurance Crusaders with Crusaders lock Gareth Bredenham being named Man of the Match.

For Rovers who led 7-0 at halftime, Alrin Eksteen crossed for two tries with Inny Radeba collecting the other to go a conversion and a penalty.

Crusaders replied with a try from Selwyn White and left with some positives with their second stringers having beaten Rovers 5-0 to find themselves in the semi finals of the Peter Taylor knockout trophy with Varsity College, Durban Collegians and Westville Old Boys.

In the Junior Murray Cup Ethekwini Refractories Amanzimtoti beat the visitors from Volksrust 50-12 while Newcastle beat Drakensberg 62-14

In the semi-final draw, the last in this year’s competition, at the Sharks changeroom at JONSSON KINGS PARK,  Westville Old Boys have drawn College Rovers their biggest challenge in the competition thus far. Win or lose this First Division outfit have achieved what no other First Division side has done before by getting to the last four.  In the other semi final Varsity College meet Durban Collegians at with both semi’s being hosted at the home of Crusaders.

The Junior Murray Cup sees Newcastle drawn to play Richards Bay and Jaguar Land Rover Hillcrest will meet Amanzimtoti.

An additional game that should add interest to the afternoon will be the game between the Rugby World Cup side Namibia and a Cell C  Sharks XV Invitational team.  The games start at 11 am and a festive day of club rugby is on the cards.