Collegians edge out Crusaders

SA Home Loans Durban Collegians ground out a nervy 28-19 victory over the gutsy Marshall Security Crusaders in the second round of the Fidelity Security Moor Cup over the weekend. It was an error-strewn performance from last season's Moor Cup runners-up, but they had enough in the tank to carry them through to make it two wins in a row.

Crusaders will feel hard done by after putting in a workman-like performance to remain in the game up until the closing stages. In the end it took three tries to give Collegians victory courtesy of Kyle Hartley, Werner Botha and Robbie Harris. Crusaders responded with four penalties from Cameron Dunlop and a try from Buzwe Mpotulo.

Victorious coach, Robin Swanepoel, was not impressed by his team's performance but was happy to come away with the points.

"I don't think we played well," he said. "Considering the effort that was put in during training, I expect more from my players. We will reassess after this game and then prepare for Pmb Collegians next week." Swanepoel added that the team was still a work in progress and that he will just take each game as it comes.

It was a cagey start to the game. Collegians scored two tries in the first half while Crusaders kept themselves in the hunt via three penalties from Cameron Dunlop. After taking an 18-9 half-time lead, Collegians extended their lead in the second half with a penalty from Duncan Campbell.

There was a decisive moment in the game when a yellow card was shown to Collegians centre, Gary Collins. This invigorated Crusaders who responded with a further penalty from Dunlop and a try from Mpotulo to bring them within touching distance at 21-19.

Crusaders applied pressure to set up a tense finale but the yellow card fever hit them in the closing stages as beefy prop, Ronnie Uys, was dismissed for a shoulder barge. It took the steam out of the visitors and Collegians captain, Robbie Harris, crossed over at the death to secure the victory.

Elsewhere, there was drama aplenty. Defending Fidelity Security Moor Cup champions Jonsson College Rovers completed a bonus-point 35-19 victory over the Zululand Rhinos. The victory maintained their 100 percent start to the season.

Varsity College RFC staved off a determined challenge from Ricoh Motswako Pmb Collegians to win a tightly-contested affair 27-23. The hard-fought victory ensured that its two wins on the trot for the Durban North outfit.

On Friday night the UKZN Impi cruised to an impressive 57-5 demolition of Oxford Wentworth Harlequins. The bonus point victory also means that the Maritzburg outfit are right up on the log with the leading teams.

-Ismail Adam