Wednesday Club Column
Jonsson College are on track to find their way into the final of the National Club Championships in Rustenburg after they disposed of Noordelikes with a convincing 61-0 win on Saturday, the opening day, before following it up with a hard-fought 41-30 quarter-final victory over Eastern Province champions and two time winners of the competition, Despatch on Monday.
Rovers, who looked full value for their 22-10 half-time lead, seemed to go to sleep in the second half, becoming a little unstuck and finding themselves floundering somewhat with the help of former Sharks and Kings flyhalf Monty Dumond now playing in the Despatch strip. Rovers were in a quandary being down 30-28 in the last quarter but eventually rallied to the cause with a match-saving try from their scrumhalf Shannon Rick and two penalties from their replacement fullback Kobus de Kock to finish the game strongly to keep their hopes alive.
Despatch's points came from tries by Billy Mentoor, Monty Dumond and Baldwin McBean with Dumond slotting three conversions, two penalties and a drop goal. For Rovers, Rick crossed for two tries with the others going to Kosie Haarhoff and Chris Jordaan. Jors Dannhauser kicked three conversions and two penalties and De Kock another three penalties.
Rovers will face Old Selbornians in their semi-final match today (Wednesday) after the Border champions raised a few eyebrows to surprise Brakpan from the Valke 28-26 with their flyhalf Glen Warner doing the damage with his 20 point haul with his trusty boot after being outscored two tries to one. Certainly Rovers will have to keep a close watch on their dicipline with Warner showing deadly kicking accuracy at poles. Although Rovers might be going into the game as clear cut favourites, the team from East London cannot be taken lightly having coped well against the heavy Bloemfontein Police side in the opening round, beating the more favoured Bobbies 43-33; so for the KZN outfit it will be all to play for.
In the other semi-final, Pretoria Police will face hosts Rustenburg Impala, which many supportes were predicting at the start of the competition would be the two sides in the final, however it didn't quite turn out that way. With this in mind, today's main game between these two heavy-weight sides looks set to be a real humdinger with the hosts really wanting to come away with the win in front of their supportes who have been turning out in their hordes - a true indication that perhaps these competitions should indeed be taken into the country towns in future years.
For the record, Shannon Rick of Rovers is the top try scorer in the competition with four touchdowns, followed by Monty Dumond and team mate Billy Mentoor having crossed for three tries each while Glen Warner from Old Selbornians is the top points' scorer at this stage with 33 competition points. Dumond is the next best on 32 points, then Dillen Laubscher on 29 followed by Kobus de Kock with 28 and Jors Dannhauser on 24 points.
The schedule for today's games is as follows:
College Rovers vs Old Selbornians 11.30 am (Cup Semi-final)
Noordelikes vs Bloemfontein Police 13.00 pm (Plate Semi-final)
Naka Bulls vs Welkom Rovers 14.30 pm (Plate Semi-final)
Rustenburg Impala vs Pretoria Police 16.00 pm (Cup Semi-final)
- Jos Robson