Wednesday Club Column

Jonsson College Rovers finished in fourth place at the Cell C Community Cup play-offs in George over the Easter Weekend. Having lost 16 key players at the end of the 2013 season, Rovers were always going to struggle at this year’s National Club Rugby play-offs. Although somewhat disappointed with their showing, there were a lot more positives that came out of their campaign overall and the spirit still remains high.

Fielding the youngest squad and possibly their most inexperienced in recent seasons, they opened with a 32-13 victory over Border champions Old Selbornians from East London but fell short against a powerful Impala outfit that undoubtedly looked the form side in the semi-finals, going down 36-13 against the champions Leopard club from Rustenberg.

Meanwhile, against all odds, Roodepoort disposed of Hamilton Sea Point RFC in their semi-final clash with the Western Province champions, going down 20-18 to the Lions representatives. They say cricket is a funny old game but rugby too can be as funny when one considers that Rovers destroyed Roodepoort in the Pool games and Hammies thumped Impala, so at the end of it all, the two sides who were expected to contest the final ended up playing for third and fourth spot, which saw the Cape Town side come away with a 27-18 victory, so securing third place in the competition with former Sharks coach Hugh Reece-Edwards and his Impala outfit taking the honours in a hard fought 13-11 win in the final.

The local Fidelity Security Premier Division and other leagues get back into full swing tomorrow evening (Thursday 24 April) with Ricoh Maritzburg Collegians hosting FNB Impi at Woodburn in the local derby in the capital, while SA Home Loans Durban Collegians travel to Empangeni to play Thanda Zululand Rhinos at Mick Kelly Park. Amanzimtoti face Varsity College on their home turf with the South Coast Terriers keen to entertain their home grown supporters with their historic first ever Premier Division match played on their home grounds. For Toti, it will be a very special occasion and certainly many of the Old Boys are sure to be there to support their club which was founded in 1921. The game in Zululand will kick off at 8.30pm while the other games are scheduled for an 8pm kick-off.

Nashua Crusaders will host Rovers on Saturday at 3.30pm. Rovers only arrived back in Durban from George yesterday (Tuesday), giving the 2013 champions a chance to recover from their arduous campaign at the Cell C Community Cup play-offs.

Rovers are the only unbeaten side in the Under 20 ‘A’ Division after three rounds having recently beaten Crusaders 15-5, while 2013 champions Varsity College, having lost a game against Crusaders, are in third place behind Saders after edging out Durban Collegians 16-13.

The Fidelity Security First Division games are back underway on Saturday with Harlequins hosting UKZN Durban, Richards Bay at home to Jaguars, South Coast Warriors entertain Ballito Dolphins and at Shongweni, Hillcrest face visitors Westville Old Boys with all games kicking off at 3.30pm.

Jos Robson