Round Eight Fidelity Security Moor Cup Wrap

SA Home Loans Durban Collegians showed tremendous defensive determination as they defeated Nashua Durban Crusaders 19-13 in round eight of the Fidelity Security Moor Cup on Friday night. It was Collegian's eighth successive win and could well be a season-defining victory in the race for the title. Flyhalf Calvin Sacks was successful with four penalties and a conversion from a Carl Marks try. The gutsy victory ensured that Collegians maintain their lead at the top of the Moor Cup standings on 37 points.

Collegians were off to a good start and were on the scoreboard after 10 minutes as flanker Carl Marks scored the first try. Flyhalf Calvin Sacks slotted the conversion to give his team an early 7-0 lead. They dominated the possession and territory for the first 25 minutes. Crusaders gradually worked their way into the game as Cameron Dunlop scored a penalty to give them their first points of the evening.

Further penalties from both teams' flyhalves took the score to 10-6 in Collegians' favour heading into the final minutes of the half. Crusaders then struck a mighty blow as lock John Wilsenach barged over for a try after some good work from their forwards. Dunlop converted the try and Collegians went into the break trailing 13-10.

The second half was a tight, absorbing encounter with no further tries. Sacks added three further penalties to take Collegians to a 19-13 lead, one they held on to until the final whistle. However, the game was on a knife's edge heading into the last quarter as Crusaders piled on the pressure in hope of an upset. They nearly did so but couldn't close out three opportunities in the final minutes of the game.

Collegians conceded three late penalties which Crusaders, understandably, kicked into touch to set up the five metre lineouts. Collegians defended the driving mauls resolutely and hung on for a gutsy win.

A relieved Robin Swanepoel said afterwards: "This was a huge victory because we knew leading up to this game that this team is capable of beating any team in the league. They have a very good tight five and we were trying not to play into their hands. I am delighted with the victory but we will just take it one game at a time."

Crusaders coach Ronnie Uys was gracious in defeat.

"All credit to them for showing defensive determination towards the end," he said. "It was a very tough game and I am proud of the boys. We need to regroup and hopefully we will bounce back."

In Empangeni, Jonsson College Rovers recorded an impressive 89-14 victory over the Zululand Rhinos. The win was a welcomed boost for the defending champions following their defeat to Collegians last week. Among their try-scorers were Chris Cloete with a hatrick, a brace from Dusty Noble and Jeandre Small. Fullback Jors Dannhauser kicked 12 conversions. The bonus point win sees Rovers remain second moving onto 32 points, closing the gap on Collegians to five.

Elsewhere, Amanzimtoti defeated FNB UKZN Impi 16-10 and Varsity College edged out Ricoh Motswako Pmb Collegians 24-21 in a tightly-contested affair in Woodburn.

There will be no Fidelity Security Moor Cup matchesthis weekend because of the Springbok's test match in Durban. The competition resumes in a fortnight's time.

Ismail Adam