Wednesday Column

Acer Durban Collegians showed their class scoring seven tries in their rampant 43-3 victory march over a gallant but completely out played Foton Maritzburg Varsity last Friday evening and so taking them to the top of the House of Paint Premier Division Log table ahead of their neighbours Jonsson College Rovers who have a game in hand.

Flanker Jaydon Hill led the try-scoring spree his second a classic with a chip ahead over the oncoming traffic to collect and touch down with a fine piece of individual brilliance. The other tries went to wings Kyle Hartley and Quinton Dormehl, lock Tom Brown, fullback Matthew Gibson and prop Robbie Harris. Quinton Crocker kicked four conversions to conclude the scoring.

Across the way, Rovers will be champing at the bit with frustration after ChemSpec Jaguars postponed for the second week in a row. This could cost Rovers dearly in terms of consistency as they enter into the last quarter of the season in their bid to retain the coveted Moor Cup. Envirosan Old Boys traveled to Empangeni to get beaten 25-13 by Thanda RZA Zululand Rhinos who went away with a bonus point for good measure. What would have been even more concern to Old Boys is the fact that their second stringers were also beaten, which does not auger well for a club that looked to have so much promise at the start of the season.

In Durban North at the home of Goss and Balfe Crusaders in Ranleigh Crescent the home side had the narrowest of escapes getting out of jail with a 7-6 win over the visiting Airtron Harlequins side from the Bluff.

In the First Division Gestetner Maritzburg Collegians are looking like favourites to take the South Section of the competition after beating close rivals Hillcrest 12-6 in a closely contested game while Amanzimtoti edged out the luckless Teichmann Bell Ballito Dolphins 15-14. Vryheid rule the roost in the North Section of the First Division competition

In the Third Division Rovers 73-5 win over Queensburgh has taken them another step closer to retaining the Walker Cup

The Castle Murray Cup draw took place at Hooters in Umhlanga on Monday night and has a completely new look about it with South African Breweries back on board. The First Division clubs have been introduced into the fray in the opening round and so taking and showcasing the top Premier Division sides in the outlying areas, which will be so good for the game at this level.

When one considers that when we travel back in time to the very early years of this famous knockout club competition, itís interesting to note how the history of the Boer War intertwines with the history of the cup presented to the Natal Rugby Union by its first President Sir TK Murray.

In those early years the cup was won on a number of occasions by visiting New Zealand and British regiments fighting in the Boer War and fittingly only last year All Black legend Ian Jones laid a wreath at the New Zealand War Memorial just outside Vrede, paying tribute to the seven Kiwi members of the 7TH New Zealand Mounted Rifles whop lost their lives at the battle of Langverwacht. Those seven soldiers were also members of the New Zealand teams that participated in the early years of the Murray Cup.

Castle Lager, the beer made famous by one Charles Glass, also has a proud history with the competition having first sponsored the Murray Cup in 1958, making it the longest sponsored sporting competition in South Africa and after a few years away they are welcomed back with open arms. After all, it is believed that Sir Murray and Mr. Glass were associates in the early days of our then fledgling colony of Natal.

For the record, 2009 cup holders Rovers have drawn Hillcrest for the opening round and will travel to the Shongweni Polo Club for the start of their campaign to retain the title. Maritzburg Collegians will host Maritzburg Varsity at Woodburn in their local derby, while toti host Durban Collegians. Jaguars travel to Port Shepstone to meet South Coast Warriors, Harlequins travel to either Newcastle or Ladysmith and Old Boys make a long haul to Piet Retief. Finally Vryheid entertain Rhinos and Crusaders take a short trip to Ballito to face the Dolphins,

Gary Teichmann and Wayne Fyvie take over as the adjudicators from Tim Cocks and Gawie Visagie.