Wednesday Club Column
SA Home Loans Durban Collegians have reclaimed the Moor Cup, the trophy that they have won more times than any other club in the province after convincingly beating FNB UKZN Impi 66-21 in the annual Jes Foord match between the two clubs at the Peter Booysen Stadium in Pietermaritburg last Friday evening to take top honours in the Fidelity Security Premier Division. For Collegians who first won the priceless piece of silverware in 1958, the year after it was first won by Durban Varsity, it has been a week of real emotions and joy after having had their name last engraved on the fine trophy back in 2005.
With one round left to play in the competition, Collegians have a six point cushion on the log table over their long time rivals and neighbours Jonsson College Rovers who they meet on their home grounds on Saturday. So, no matter what the outcome, the trophy will be safely housed in their trophy cabinet for a year. Having said that, the 108 year old club will no doubt want to finish with a flourish and remain unbeaten for the season, so an enthralling game can be expected. With the league proceedings now wrapped up, all that remains is an entertaining game of competitive rugby to look forward to.
The students were simply no match for a determined Collegians side that have played the most consistent rugby all season. The students were on the receiving end of a 10 try rout, eight of which were converted by Fred Zeilinga who also crossed the line for a touchdown. The other tries went to wing Kyle Hartley - the top try scorer in the league - Andrew Holland, Gary Collins, Heimar Williams, Ryno Rust, Francois Kleinhans, Dylan Nel, Brendan Groenewald and Dylan Marcus.
Last Saturday, Rovers once again got out of jail after an impressive start to their game against their visitors Varsity College, squeaking home 24-23 with a four try bonus point. Whilst the game was marred with what appeared to be one or two controversial decisions, the last thing that's needed in the game is abusive remarks made at referees. Being abusive to the men in the middle is truly uncalled for, irrespective of emotions. Referees are as important to the game as the players and without them we would be lost. Further to that, the clubs do need to think seriously about their attitudes towards each other as well, as South African rugby does need to become more unified at club level to keep the game strong at grassroots.
Rovers went into an impressive 19-6 lead at half-time with tries going to Kelvin Adam, Chris Jordaan (making a welcome return from a season in Italy) and Dusty Noble. In the second half it was all Varsity College as they had done to Collegians and their hosts in the first half of the season. Try as hard as they did and scoring two well-executed tries through Bart le Roux and Chris Sanders, they just couldn't make that final breach accross the Rovers' line towards the end. Chris Micklewood scored the all-important bonus point try in the second half for Rovers.
A badly-depleted Rovers second side also edged out the Varsity College 26-23 to take the Premier Division Reserve League with a game in hand and one wonders what former Natal Schools flanker Cullen Collopy and utility back Gavin Scott have to do to get the recognition they so deserve. The pair of them were simply outstanding and why Collopy isn't in the mix with the Provincial set up is anyone's guess. Rovers too can thank Scott for their victory and certainly he is a player that wouldn't look out of place in any club First XV line-up.
In the other games, Amanzimtoti beat Ricoh Maritzburg Collegians 18-11 while Thanda Zululand Rhinos were beaten 31-17 by their visitors Nashua Crusaders.
Newcastle Highlanders have won the First Division North Section after beating Vryheid 24-17, while in the South Section, it does look as though Fidelity Security South Coast Warriors have wrapped up matters and will face the Highlanders at Woodburn for the exquisite looking Dewar Shield. Hillcrest have finished their campaign with a flourish sadly leaving it a little late. They beat Ballito Dolphins 36-3 while Richards Bay beat a very disappointed Harlequins outfit 32-22 to end second on the log.
The Castle Murray Cup knock-out competition draw took place on Monday evening with the newly crowned Moor Cup champions Durban Collegians drawn to face Harlequins out on the Bluff with the opening quarter-final rounds between the top eight First Division clubs and Premier Division Clubs scheduled for Saturday 8 August. College Rovers will be entertained by Jaguars, Amanzimtoti will travel to Vryheid while Varsity College will travel to Newcastle to face the Highlanders and Maritzburg Collegians will visit Shongweni to meet Hillcrest. Crusaders travel to Port Shepstone to play South Coast Warriors while it will be an all Zululand affair with Zululand Rhinos taking a short trip to face Richards Bay and UKZN Impi will play Port Retief in the far Northern KZN town.
President of the KZNRU Graham MacKenzie, Harlequins captain Conrad Mostert, Robin Swanepoel Durban Collegians coach and Candice Lewis from Kickdance and Castle Girls