Wednesday Column

Varsity College Old Boys might be feeling happy enough about edging out FNB UKZN Pietermaritzburg 18-14 in their bruising stop start Fidelity Security Premier Division clash at their Durban North headquarters last Friday evening but would have been a little frustrated and somewhat disappointed with the 34 penalties and two yellow cards dished out by the referee Norman Toerien. The result leaves them firmly entrenched in third place on the log table but one wonders if the result had gone the other way what they would be feeling.

The game itself played in bitterly cold conditions was entertaining enough when it was allowed to flow but with the students being penalised on 16 occasions and ‘Oldies’ 18 times there really wasn’t going to be that much chance for the game to really get going and in truth it’s really impossible to believe that the 30 players on the pitch didn’t understand the laws . As one spectator quipped “now you know how Northwood beat KZN’s top rugby school Glenwood High School.”

This is not about criticising referees as we do realise the game can’t be played without them-but if we are to be really honest there really should be some sort of formula to look for consistency in the standard of refereeing as clearly the laws of the game need to be consistently interpreted by all who referee the game. As the legendary Springbok Frik du Preez once stated “rugby is supposed to be a simple game but it’s been made complicated by so many unnecessary new laws over the years - some good but most confusing.”

Old Boys had their skipper Brian Shabangu in outstanding form and one has to say if it weren’t for his superb performance his side could well have lost the game. With the side playing with 13 players towards the end of the game after having two of their forwards yellow carded, they bravely held on to take four all important log points. Shabangu deservedly crossed for the all important match winning try with No 8 Calvin Masson crossing for their opening touchdown. Flyhalf Warren Randall kicked two penalties and one conversion. Varsity will be rueing the day having not started with Kirsten Jones to do the kicking. The flyhalf was only brought on to do the kicking after failures from two other members of their team successfully slotting three penalties to go with a try by flank Tyron Leech.

Across the Umgeni out on the Bluff, Jonsson College Rovers beat their hosts Bluff SuperSpar Harlequins 50-17 picking up their bonus point in the first half with their tries going to flank Kosie Haarhof (2), wings Jors Dannhauser and Mark Richards, No 8 Kalvin Adam, replacement prop Grant Scott, hooker Mark Goosen and Flyhalf Chris Mickelwood who also slotted five conversions. Harlequins whose backs showed some nice touches in the game replied with tries from Steve Meyer, Levi Swartz and Chris Nqubuli who also kicked the lone conversion.

In the remaining game, Goss and Balfe Crusaders, with hooker Byron van de Nest in fine form with three tries to his name, edged out their visitors Fidelity Security Jaguars 36-32 in a cliff-hanger at Ranleigh Crescent.

A badly depleted Acer Durban Collegians outfit edged out Thanda ZRA Zululand Rhinos 22-17 in a thrilling Fidelity Security Premier Division game at Mick Kelley Park in Empangeni on Tuesday evening. With the sides level pegging 3-3 at the break it was any ones game but a solid last quarter performance by Collegians secured them their valuable bonus point victory.

In the Ebbo Bastard inter Sub-Union competition Zululand edged out Lammergeyer 19-13 in Empangeni while at Woodburn Maritzburg beat Durban 41-24 and in the Philip Nel under 20 inter Sub-Union competition Zululand were surprisingly beaten 17-13 by the Lammergeyer and Maritzburg beat Durban 20-0

Old Boys next major challenge in the Premier Division will be their meeting against College Rovers at Reebok Park (KP 3) this weekend while Durban Collegians host Harlequins and Crusaders travel to the capital to face UKZN Pietermaritzburg and Jaguars entertain Zululand Rhinos.

There are only 20 tickets available from Game on Sport International Sports Travel and Events for the Tri-Nations test match between the All Blacks and Springboks at the magnificent Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth and club supporters are asked to contact Ryan Hillary at or hould they be interested to joining the group. The price per person is R5450, which includes return flights and all transfers, 2 nights B&B accommodation at the Garden Court in PE, 2011 Canterbury Springbok Supporters jersey, customised travel bag, pre match lunch and of course lower level test match tickets.

- Jos Robson