Wednesday Club Column
The Jonsson College Rovers Under 19 side picked up the club's seventh KZNRU trophy when they narrowly beat the 2011 champions Bluff SuperSpar Harlequins 26-20 against all odds in the final of the Starlite Under 19 Trophy competition, which was played as the curtain-raiser to the Absa Currie Cup match between the visiting Cheetahs and Sharks at Mr Price KINGS PARK last Saturday.
It was a game that could have gone either way with the sides scoring four tries each but sadly for Quins their kicking let them down badly even missing a sitter in front of the poles. Rovers on the other hand converted three of their tries giving them the win and the trophy. The unique competition, which incorporates school boys from the rugby playing schools in KZN playing for the different clubs was conceptualised to encourage the youngsters to continue with club rugby, is now into its third year. Durban Collegians who won the inaugural competition in 2010 were eliminated in the penultimate round leaving Rovers with the opportunity of claiming the trophy, which they did in a closely-contested match.
By his own admission, Harlequins coach Andy Keast was first to admit that his side had played well below par while Rovers deserved the win and he was also quick to point out that it was the second time this season that KZN’s top club had done the damage to his charges after their Under 20 side were also beaten by Rovers in the final of the Basil Medway knockout competition, which was also at Mr. Price KINGS PARK earlier in the season. After a brilliant few opening rounds, the talented Quins outfit sadly literally capitulated when it most counted. As he concluded: “It’s all about experience and knowing how to take your chances — certainly playing against a side that understands what the winning culture is all about is not easy.”
Rovers' tries came from lock Louis Hazelhurst who crossed for two, flank and skipper Dan Malan and centre Brad Elise with Donavan O’Grady kicking the three conversions. Harlequins replied with tries from hooker Bertus Linde, utility back Armandt Peens, scrumhalf Bokkie Carstons and fullback Dillon Hooker.
The other trophies safely in the Rovers' cabinet are the Fidelity Security Moor Cup, Wylie Cup, Walker Cup, Basil Medway Trophy, Murray Cup and the Peter Taylor Trophy as they now prepare for National Club Championship for open clubs in Rustenburg later in this month.
Game on Sport and Travel are offering the clubs an opportunity to join them on the Soccer City Tavern Tour extravaganza when the All Blacks meet the Springboks in Soweto. The trip which includes airfare, the test match tickets together with airport transfers, hotel accommodation at the Garden Court in Sandton with breakfast, transfers to and from the stadium, which also includes the Pozi Tavern, pre-match lunch as well as customised tour gear. Priced at R5750 per person one can contact Ryan Hillary at .
- Jos Robson