Wednesday Column

Thanda ZRA Zululand Rhinos might not be doing that well in the Fidelity Security Premier Division but their Empangeni under 20 side have reigned supreme making history in the process on Saturday when their ‘A’ and ‘B’ sides won the Basil Medway and DW Geddie under 20 knockout trophies respectively and so, taking home the double for the first time in their 92 year old history.

Following up on their success in winning the Frank Norris under 20 ‘A’ Division league, they met Jonsson College Rovers in the final of the knockout competition at Riverside and came from behind to snatch a last gasp 26-22 victory in a thrilling match, which saw both sides crossing for four tries a piece. The difference was the two late penalties by skipper, flyhalf, Ryno Olivier who, by his normal high kicking standards, had an off day with the boot on the day.

Empangeni’s flying winger Quinton Norris was the star of the show crossing for Empangeni’s four tries, but what made his fete that more remarkable is the fact that his late great uncle Frank Norris, a Rovers stalwart and past KZNRU administrator of the highest order, played 25 games for Natal between 1919 (the year Empangeni was founded) and 1925 and after who the league trophy was named. With this in mind, it has always been young Quinton’s life long ambition to play for The Sharks and who knows, he could well make that a dream come true.

History aside, the final was a great advert for the club game with both sides deserving huge credit for a truly great spectacle of open running rugby. Rovers replied with tries from wing Mzo Mbona (2), centre Billy van Lill and flanker Dean Mullis with Marco Penessi kicking the lone conversion.

The Empangeni ‘B’ side winners of the under 20 ‘B’ league competition beat Rovers 44-21 in the DW Geddie Cup knockout final with flyhalf Vernon Prinsloo on song with a remarkable haul of 29 points and so stealing the show with an superb all round performance.

In the Premier Division, College Rovers hammered Fidelity Security Jaguars 86-16 with their flying winger Jors Dannhauser crossing for three tries. Ross Cronje, Mark Richards, Cameron Dunlop, Grant Scott, Nick Pearson, Kosie Haarhof, Jody Jenniker and Kobus de Kock also crossed for tries with De Kock kicking six conversions and Sabelo Nhlapo two.

In the other games played, Bluff SuperSpar Harlequins edged out Goss and Balfe Crusaders 27-23 and Varsity College Old Boys beat Zululand Rhinos 23-9 in Empangeni. The Acer Durban Collegians match against FNB Maritzburg Varsity was postponed.

Crusaders host Zululand Rhinos tonight at their Ranleigh Crescent home grounds complete with their newly installed lights.

Ricoh Maritzburg Collegians are on track to take top honours in the First Division with their convincing 46-17 win over Hillcrest at Woodburn in the capital.

- Jos Robson