Wednesday Column

SA Home Loans Durban Collegians got their 2014 season off on a positive note beating their hosts Nashua Crusaders 33-14 in the second Flya Club Rugby Tournament in Durban North last Friday evening. Collegians looked a lot more structured on the night and look destined for a good season. They won the inaugural competition last year and looked the best of the eight sides participating in front of a record crowd for the club game and they certainly would have enjoyed the rugby.

Collegians ran in five tries scored by flank Carl Marks, wings Kyle Hartley and Deon Stow, Gary Collins and Jacques Taylor with Calvin Sacks converting four of the five tries. Collegians will play Jonsson College Rovers in the final tomorrow evening (Thursday 20 March). For Crusaders itís still early days and they wonít be too stressed at the result but will realise that there is a lot of work ahead for them going forward and they face Varsity College tomorrow evening.

Rovers had flank Jason Kankowski in fine form with three tries as they went on a points scoring spree beating Varsity College 41-19. Varsity College will be a little concerned as Rovers only fielded five of their First XV side involved in the Cell C Community Cup off the bench to give them game time, showing that the club is blessed with quality depth. With former Michaelhouse and Maties flyhalf Jeremy Smythe making his debut for the club they certainly showed class even though they made a number of basic errors and have a lot of work to do before the leagues start in April. Rovers other points came from tries by Abonga Nkwelo making a welcome return to the game and another new boy, wing, Graham Iellamo with Gavin Scott scoring 16 points with the boot.

Newcomers to the Premier Division, Amanzimtoti, thumped Hillcrest 64-5 and certainly look as though they are going to be a competitive unit in the league. They ran in 10 tries with Ryno Else, Pieter Harmse and Kevin Buck crossing for two each and the others going to Kyle Lubbe, Levan Killlian, Matt McDonald and Jaco de Jager who also kicked seven conversions. Tomorrow evening Amanzimtoti will play Harlequins for the third place play off after Quins edged out Ricoh Maritzburg Collegians 13-12. The final round matches kick off at 6pm at Crusaders.

Rovers First XV return to the Community Cup this weekend and travel to the Free State to play Bleomfontein Crusaders who only narrowly lost 19-17 Roodepoort who thumped Welkom Rugby Club 75-0 last weekend. With this in mind Rovers are still in no manís land as they are playing very much against unknown quantities and whilst one can never go on scores it is all about sussing out the weaknesses and strengths of the opposition.

FNB UKZN Impi travelled to Pretoria and played TUT on Monday evening and with all to play for to hold on to second spot they triumphed 55-24 and a chance to play in the playoffs. However they still have to beat CUT from Bloemfontein first and with home ground advantage next Monday they have every chance of going through.

Rugby Rush takes place this weekend hosted by Rovers starting on Friday and with the Sharks away in Pretoria against the Blue Bulls the first of the Shark Town series at the Castle Bandstand on KP 5 will add to the rugby festivities on Saturday. The Rugby Rush goes through to Sunday embracing all formats of the game and a fun time has been specially created for the entire family.

Nashua Crusaders recently handed their new strip to their Sharks representatives at a function at the Durban North club. Barry Neville from the jersey sponsors Flya of Time Clothing was on hand together with Leigh-Anne Becker and Ralph Paps of Nashua Durban the clubs main sposors to hand over the jerseys to SP Marais, Bismark and Jannie du Plessis and Jean Deysel.

Jos Robson