College Rovers once again retained the Hollywoodbets Murray Cup for the third consecutive year edging out SA Home Loans Durban Collegians 44-22 in yet another enthralling and classic final going into extra time. Certainly, the rugby purists couldn’t have asked for anything better in a final at the home of Bidvest Insurance Crusaders.
It was a hugely entertaining afternoon of finals rugby all round last Sunday with the Hollywoodbets All Stars beating Hollywoodbets Swallows 71-39 in an entertaining Barbarians running rugby showpiece. This before ending with another closely contested Murray Cup final, which saw Rovers clinching victory in extra time in an absolute thriller and claiming the Premier Division double after winning the Fidelity ADT Moor Cup for the league earlier.
Leading 17-8 at half time Rovers looked in total control and one wouldn’t have been blamed for thinking that they were going to run away with the game. However, the best rugby writer couldn’t have written a better script as the drama and excitement unfolded in a game in the end that could have gone either way. Durban Collegians have always been renowned for their fighting spirit and simply weren’t prepared to lie down and die for fight their way back they did indeed.
With the scores level 32 all on full time it was all to play for in extra time and Rovers scored first going into a 37-32 lead. However, Collegians bounced back with a converted try and took the lead 39-37 for the first time in the match. They extended the lead with a penalty and for Rovers it wasn’t looking too good with Collegians now 42-
In front 37 and the minutes ticking away. As the time ran down Rovers did the unthinkable scoring a try far out on the for the match winning conversion coming from Man of the Tournament flyhalf Inny Radebe making the final score 44-42.
Collegians had opened the scoring with a try by wing Lwandile Menzi in the opening few minutes but Rovers were quick to respond scoring two tries in the first half to take an early lead. For Collegians Menzi ended up crossing the line twice with their other tries going to flankers Sibulele Nanto and Justin Hollis who also crossed for two each with 12 points coming from the boot of center Devon Lailvaux.
Rovers winning points came by way of two tries each from flank Mesuli Mncwango and Curtis Jonas off the bench
With wings Tythan Adams and Charlie Mayesa together with prop Thinus Volker also crossing the line. Radebe kicked the balance including the winning conversion that got Rovers home for the third consecutive year.
In the other finals the trophies were evenly distributed with Standard Bank Richards Bay beating Ethekwini Refractories Amanzimtoti 35-29 to take the Junior Murray Cup, Crusaders accounted for Varsity College 33-14 in the in the Peter Taylor Cup final while Amanzimtoti beat Richards Bay 49-0 to take the Keith Parkinson Cup.
UKZN Durban beat Durban Collegians 52-43 to take the Under 20 ‘B’ Geddie Cup while Varsity College beat Midlands 31-28 in a thrilling Basil Medway Trophy Under 20 ‘A’ final.
The final curtain will drop on the 2019 club rugby season this weekend with the final of the Findlay Cup which sees home side Harlequins up against Voortrekker Old Boys from Pietermaritzburg.