The First Division took centre stage in club rugby at the weekend with UKZN Durban taking the honors and going to the top of the log of the South Section after a fine hard fought 15-9 victory over their closest rivals Teichmann Bell Ballito Dolphins on the Durban Campus.
With former Natal and Springbok skipper Wynand Claassen, who played for and coached the club, on hand to watch the proceedings, it must have clearly lifted the spirits of the students. Like all top of the table clashes, it was a hard grinding game with no quarter given. Top marks must go to the Durban students for standing their ground against a side that gave their all.
Clearly the Dolphins would have left the grounds knowing all too well that the game could well have been theirs for the taking, but their dangerous backs were simply all at sea on the day as the Varsity boys held their opposition at bay. Fortunately for the students, their visitors seemed to lack structure - never seeming to be able to finish what always looked like try-scoring opportunities.
There is of course that old adage “the opposition can only play as well as you allow them to”, and so it was with tries from scrum half JP Rudman and their speedy wing Levi Swartz, back from injury, together with a conversion and penalty from JC Janse van Rensburg saw tenacious Varsity side go to the top of the table in fine style.
For Dolphins, their points came from three penalties from Matt Simpkins and the knowledge that they will meet again in a return game, the next time in Ballito.
In the other games played, Amanzimtoti had a good away win beating Richards Bay 36-10 while South Coast Warriors beat Hillcrest 52-12.
In the Under 20 ‘A’ Division, Jonsson College Rovers remained the only unbeaten side in the league with their 52-14 win over Varsity College Old Boys, while Durban Collegians hammered Midlands 114-0 and Bluff SuperSpar Harlequins beat Telnet Crusaders 52-0.
With the Fidelity Security Premier Durban back in full swing on Friday evening, Durban Collegians will be hosting FNB UKZN Maritzburg in a very special game. The clubs have come together to partner the Jes Foord Foundation and the Rugby against Rape project, which will be launched at the Collegians club on the night.
In the other games, Saders will host Rovers while Ricioh Maritzburg Collegians will travel to Riverside to meet ‘Oldies’ and Thanda Zululand Rhinos entertain Quins at Mick Kelly Park in Empangeni.
- Jos Robson