Crusaders grind out gutsy victory

A steady kicking display from Marshall Security Crusaders' centre, Cameron Dunlop, ensured a hard fought 16-11 victory for them over the FNB Ukzn Impi in round four of the Fidelity Security Moor Cup. The centre, responsible for the kicking duties, kicked three penalties and a conversion to give the Durban North outfit a hard-fought victory in a closely-contested match.

Crusaders coach, Loedewyk Riekert, was pleased with the victory and is hoping that back- to- back victories are going to provide a good platform for the remainder of the campaign.

"We stood up today to the challenge from a tough Impi side," he said. "We had three big injuries in the game but that didn't deter us. Our forwards were excellent today and the team was really galvanised in the second half."

The match was expected to be a closely-fought affair and so it proved. Both teams were guilty of handling errors early on in the game. Impi were first on the scoreboard with a penalty from their flyhalf Carl Meyer. Incidentally, the Impi flyhalf has a good radar with his boot and may well be longest kicker in the division. Dunlop kicked two penalties for Crusaders to give them a 6-3 lead, however, a try from Impi's Ngcebo Masikane gave the visitors an 8-6 half time lead.

Crusaders' forwards began to dominate in the second half and a further penalty and a well worked try from their centre, Willem Rheeder, gave them a 16-8 lead in the fifty-fifth minute.

A further penalty from the Impis' flyhalf closed the gap to 16-11 and it remained that way until the final whistle. There was almost something outrageous for the fans to talk about in the second half when the Impi flyhalf, Carl Meyer, lined up a 60m penalty from inside his own half. He failed with the attempt as the ball fell agonisingly close to the poles.

Elsewhere, the defending champions Jonsson College Rovers sent out a statement of intent as they were in merciless mood. They hammered the Ricoh Motswako Pmb Collegians 90-0. It was an emphatic display from Rovers as they took control at the top of the log.

It seems as though all the big guns in the division are beginning to fire at once. SA Home Loans Durban Collegians were also involved in an emphatic display as they won 59-6 against Oxford Wentworth Harlequins and Varsity College dismantled the Zululand Rhinos 63-10 in Empangeni.

After four rounds of Fidelity Security Moor Cup action, it is evident that the leading protagonists in this season's championship are beginning to assert their authority and take control of the league standings.

Ismail Adam