Wednesday Club Column

SA Home Loans Durban Collegians came from behind to beat their Maritzburg counterparts 49-17 in the all-Collegians derby on KP 10 in an entertaining afternoon of running rugby last Saturday. Complete with many old boys from both clubs celebrating the day, it was a memorable afternoon of true rugby camaraderie.

Ricoh Maritzburg Collegians led 17-14 at the break and were full value for their first half performance with with flyhalf Roallan Webb and their speedy wing Howard Noble crossing for early tries. Clearly there was concern shown by the Durban Collegians old boys after the team from the capital charged into the lead in the early stages of the game and were looking threatening to begin with. Certainly the Maritzburg side were competitive and were in the game in a tense first half, which saw the Durban side claw their way back into the game just before the half-time whistle.

Whilst the second half belonged to Durban Collegians, they did take a while to get themselves up and running and ultimately it was the quality that came off the bench that sealed the fate of the of the Maritzburg side. Among the try scorers were Sharks centre Heimar Williams, Brendon Groenewald, Royal Mwale and two from Witness Mandahiza, with Duncan Campbell converting five and adding a few penalties. Needless to say, in the midst of the second half resurgence by Durban Collegians, there was high drama across at the home of Jonsson College Rovers (KP 3) who were being given a torrid time by their visitors Amanzimtoti and with SMS messages going backwards and forwards with everyone waiting with bated breath on the outcome of that all important result. There were visions of the new pretenders to the crown reclaiming the oldest piece of silverware in World Rugby the coveted Moor Cup right there and then, but it wasn't to be with Dusty Noble scoring the winning bonus point try right on time thus remaining in the hunt for ultimate glory.

Rovers, as they did against Maritzburg Collegians a week earlier, came flying out the starting blocks to score two early tries and take a 12-0 lead, but the South Coast Terriers were up for the challenge and soon clipped Rovers wings and held a 17-12 lead at half-time, which they extended to 20-12 early in the second half. Rovers had to really dig deep and that they did, eventually coming out on top 26-20 against a side that deserves huge accolades for the way they have improved this season.

Noble scored two tries for the winners with the others going to young Cullen Collopy and Louis Hazelhurst, two promising Under 21 players. Jors Dannhauser kicked three conversions to conclude his side's scoring, while for Toti, former Rovers hooker Mike Moxley crossed for both tries with flyhalf Wimpie Pretorious kicking two conversions and two penalties.

In the other games, Varsity College caused something of a stir beating their hosts Nashua Crusaders 32-20, complete with a valuable bonus point, while FNB UKZN Impi had an important 26-21 away win against Thanda Zululand Rhinos at Mick Kelly Park in Empangeni.

In the First Division South Section, the other Zululand side, Richards Bay, searching for their first crown, were edged out 25-24 by the other pretenders to the crown, their visitors from Port Shepstone, South Coast Warriors, while Hillcrest caused an upset by beating Harlequins 24-12 out on the Bluff, putting paid to the Mighty Quins' chances of taking the title this year.

In the Third Division, College Rovers' chances of reclaiming the Walker Cup have been made a lot more difficult with Durban Collegians having recently withdrawn their Third side resulting in the remaining clubs all having had points deducted. They did beat Amabhubesi 57-5 however, and with their closest rivals Pinetown having been beaten 15-14 by Durban Mets, they could quite easily lay claim to the 110 year old trophy presented to the Union by a New Zealander J.H, Walker back in 1904.

Former Springbok skipper and CEO of The Sharks, John Smit, has been confirmed as the guest speaker for the tenth Traditional Natal Schools Luncheon on Friday 29 August at the Salt Rock Hotel. Glenwood High School have reclaimed the honours after Kearsney College won the Trophy last year. Call Rob Visak at for further information.

Jos Robson