Wednesday Column

Jonsson College Rovers and Acer Durban Collegians will go into their five week recess leading the House of Paint Premier Division race for top honours after winning their second round games against Foton Maritzburg Varsity and ChemSpec Jaguars respectively.

Rovers will remain on top of the log with a four point cushion after their 32-7 victory over the Maritzburg students in front of a big crowd at Washington Road in the capital. Leading 13-0 at the break the visitors from Durban found themselves hard pressed against a young side that now has a lot more to prove after it was announced that they had been accepted to participate in the newly established Varsity Shield inter-varsity rugby competition which kicks off next year.

A lack of discipline and inexperience cost the Varsity side dearly on the night but it has to be said they were competitive up front and sadly as hard as they tried the Rovers outfit complete with Sharks flanker Keegan Daniel and Sharks XV loose forward Michael Rhodes in harness had too much left in their back burners with their tries being scored by Jody Jenniker, Ross Cronje and Roy Godfrey to go with a penalty try, which ultimately gave the log leaders their much needed bonus point to keep their four point cushion at the top of the pile. Fullback Wesley Dunlop kicked the balance for the winners.

What would have been pleasing to Varsity however was the performance of their second stringers in going down 17-3 to the unbeaten log leaders of the Premier Division Reserves and winners of the 2009 Wylie Cup . Certainly if the club is about to embark on a national Varsity Shield rugby competition then depth should be their prime objective and it is looking up for them of that there is no doubt.

Collegians on the other hand looked a vastly improved side in their convincing 69-12 win over Jaguars and to beat the ‘Mighty Cats’ on their home turf in Sydenham as convincingly as they did tells us the story of a side now realizing that each game has to looked at and focused on independently should they want to catch Rovers and secure the coveted Moor Cup.

With Rudi Dames in at flyhalf on the day Collegians looked a lot more fluent while their fast improving wing Quinton Dormehl was also fine fettle with a hatrick of tries and the evergreen prop Robbie Harris doing what he does best up front in the engine room while playing his last game for the club before returning to Europe Collegians never remotely looked threatened.

Goss and Balfe Crusaders and Envirosan Old Boys are definitely not out the race for top honours either after both clubs registered good away wins over the weekend. Crusaders with their Sharks XV flanker Skolly Skoliwe in fine form and finding himself on the scorecard with a fine try in their 32-11 win over Thanda RZA Zululand Rhinos at Mick Kelly Park in Empangeni.

‘Oldies’ traveled to the Bluff to beat hosts Airtron Harlequins 40-20 leaving secure in fourth spot on the log table. Now with the 2010 Soccer World Cup very much the main focus on the local sporting calendar club rugby will take a backseat for five weeks as most people the world over get drawn into the hype and excitement of that global sporting phenomenon we know as football.

Before it all starts however Durban Collegians and College Rovers will meet in the final of the Under 20 ‘A’ Basil Medway knockout competition with Rovers considered very lucky to be there after a highly undisciplined performance in beating Empangeni 24-19 in their semi-final and it has to be said that the Zululand boys can be considered very unlucky not to be in the final. The Empangeni side came so close after an admirable performance.

Collegians beat Old Boys 48-18 in the other semi-final and will start favourites in the game that is scheduled for an 8pm kickoff on KP2 tomorrow evening (Thursday). Rovers will also meet Collegians in the final of the Under 20 ‘B’ DW Geddie Cup knockout competition also to played on KP 2 for a 6.30pm kickoff.