Wednesday Column

Marshall Security Crusaders gave another good account of themselves, sending out warning signs that they are not a side to be taken lightly after their inspiring performance in their Fidelity Security Premier Division game against their hosts SA Home Loans Durban Collegians, which they lost 28-19 on Saturday.

What was even more pleasing for the visitors from Durban North was the performance of their second stringers who narrowly lost 19-17 to Collegians after being given a 70 point hammering by Jonsson College Rovers in their Wylie Cup Premier Division Reserves clash the previous weekend. Certainly for Saders there is now light at the end of the tunnel as they slowly but surely rebuild their club back to its former glory days.

Collegians had an 18-9 advantage at the break after tries from wings Kyle Hartley and Trompie Nontshinga and two penalties and a conversion from flyhalf Duncan Campbell while centre Cameron Dunlop had kept Crusaders in touch with an impeccable display of kicking landing three first half penalties. In the second stanza Saders came back strongly and were only trailing 21-19 for a spell when flank Buzwe Mpotulo went over for a try converted by Dunlop who had also landed a penalty earlier. It was however a penalty by Campbell and a late try by skipper, prop Robbie Harris that put the game out for reach for the brave visitors.

Certainly the coaching staff from Durban Collegians couldnít have been too happy with their charges having not earned the four bonus point and would have been assured to have had some fine-tuning during the week in their build up to their all important away match against Varsity College in Durban North on Friday evening.

Across the way at Reebok Park (KP 3) Rovers were also given another rude awakening, this time against their visitors from Zululand, Thanda Zululand Rhinos, eventually winning the hard fought contest 35-19 after leading 28-5 at the break. Rhinos took full advantage playing with the wind after the break and effectively won the second half 14-7 proving that they too are not going to be a push-over this season.

Rovers wing Jors Dannhauser crossed for two of their five tries with the others going to centre Jean Botha, wing Kyle Wilkinson and utility back Wandile Mjekevu with skipper, flyhalf Chris Micklewood, converting all five tries. Rhinos replied with two tries by wing Johan de Kock and another by centre Allen Khulekani with fullback Corne Els slotting two conversions.

In the other games, Varsity College were run close, getting out of jail after edging out their visitors from the capital Ricoh Maritzburg Collegians 27-23, while UKZN Impi thumped Oxford Harlequins 57- 5 at the Pete Booysen Stadium on the Maritzburg campus in Washington Road. Itís great to see the students on the top of the log in the early stages of the competition.

In the First Division, Ballito Dolphins ran riot against South Coast Warriors giving the side from Port Shepstone a 71-0 drubbing while Hillcrest looked good in their 38-19 victory over UKZN Durban. Amanzimtoti, after a disappointing opening round against Richards Bay last week, thumped Westville 54-8 and Fidelity Security Jaguars beat Richards Bay 19-13.

Durban Collegians made it two in a row in the Under 20 ĎAí Division beating Crusaders 34-10, while Rovers thumped Jaguars 67-7 and Varsity College, who now appear to be the side to beat, comfortably accounted for IKZN Durban with a 62-victory, while Quins beat UKZN Maritzburg 18-13. .

- Jos Robson