Wednesday Column

With the FNB UKZN Impi having had a bye in the Varsity Shield this week all eyes were focused on two very well organized local club rugby tournaments, the Bozas Cup in Eshowe and the inaugural Famous Grouse Tri-angular tournament hosted by Jonsson College Rovers.

The Eshowe Rugby Club got their 90th Anniversary off to a flying start by hosting the 65th anniversary of the playing of the Bozas Cup and with some 18 clubs from all over KwaZulu Natal participating they deserve huge accolades for a hugely successful day of entertaining club rugby.

The cup, which was presented to the Eshowe Rugby Club by local business man Alec Bozas in 1946, was first played for in 1948 and won by Eshowe who went on to retain the silverware in 1949 and 1950 before other Zululand clubs started making their presence felt.

The tournament sponsored by Zulu Blonde the home brewed beer made famous by the Chennells family at the well renowned George Hotel in the town and Zululand Metals. ZRA Zululand Rhinos from Empangeni beat the hosts in the final retaining the famous Bozas Cup from last year and so winning the tournament for the record 19th occasion.

What was most impressive for the club game this last weekend was the fact that two international refs Marius Jonker and Craig Jourbert were refereeing and helping out at club level. Jonker was at the Bozas Cup helping with the junior development programme in Eshowe (pic attached) while Joubert was refereeing the final game at the Tri-angular tournament at Rovers which saw the home side thump Pirates 62-3.

The day before Pirates had been edged out 20-18 by the other visiting club False Bay, so it wasn’t at all surprising that the side from Gauteng were a little short on gas after a hard fought game against the outfit from Constantia in the Cape before facing a superbly well organized home team in the harsh humid conditions of Durban.

Rovers were imperious on the day with flank Brynard Stander named man of the match after an outstanding performance. All in all it was a great weekend of club rugby and for Rovers playing with a lot of new faces in their squad it does look good for the 2010 National Club Champions especially as they only had one junior contracted playing for them-certainly their depth is going to make them a very hard side to beat.

The UKZN Impi will be back in action next week when the travel to Johannesburg to face Wits

The First Division and Under 20 club leagues start this weekend with the Under 20 fixtures scheduled for Friday evening and the First Division games being played on Saturday. Ricoh PMB Collegians play Richards Bay at Woodburn, South Coast Warriors are at home to Kokstad, UKZN Durban host Amanzimtoti, Hillcrest travel to the Bluff to meet Wentworth and the PMB Elephants entertain Ballito Dolphins.

In the Under 20 games College Rovers host Pietermaritzburg, Old Boys are at home to Harlequins and Crusaders travel to Zululand to face Empangeni

- Jos Robson