Wednesday Column

Last year’s Castle Murray Cup knockout finalists, Varsity College Old Boys and Jonsson College Rovers, will meet in the first of semi-final matches of the competition at 1.30pm on Saturday at Goss and Balfe Crusaders the club hosting the semis and the finals this year. Acer Durban Collegians will face ZRA Thanda Zululand Rhinos in the other game scheduled for a 3.30pm kickoff.

Rovers, the 2010 winners of the priceless piece of silverware, put Crusaders to the sword last Saturday running riot with a 101-0 victory margin in their quarter-final match and look the side to beat once again. ‘Oldies’ however will undoubtedly be a completely different proposition and will be looking to give the cup holders a real run for their money.

Rovers went on a 15 try scoring spree against a luckless Crusaders line up and had wing Mark Richards on song with three of the best while the other touchdowns went to centre Chris Micklewood (3), flanker Dan Adonga, props Sangoni Mxoli and Sabelo Mhlaopo, flank Johan van Wyk coming off the bench, fullback Chris Jordaan, the ever-present loose forward Kosie Haarhoff and lock Mike Williams with Guy Cronje converting 13 of the tries. In their quarter-final outing, Old Boys were probably a little taken aback by the enthusiastic Newcastle Highlanders First Division outfit to start with and after calmness prevailed they had a comfortable enough 41-14 win over the side from Southern KZN.

In the other quarter-finals, Acer Durban Collegians had another good away win beating FNB UKZN Maritzburg 48-19 to secure their semi-final berth against Rhinos who are still in the frame after just managing to edge out Ricoh Maritzburg Collegians with a home ground 13-12 victory with their hosts from the capital losing out with a last minute missed conversion kick at poles.

The Maritzburg Collegians second stringers have earned a place in the semi-finals of the Peter Taylor Trophy knockout competition after their winning 20-20 draw against Rhinos in Empangeni. They will face Rovers who hammered Crusaders 127-14 in their quarter-final match. Old Boys who thumped Highlanders 97-5 will meet Durban Collegians who beat UKZN Maritzburg 51-23.

Fidelity Security Jaguars beat a depleted Teichmann Bell Ballito Dolphins outfit 22-10 in their Junior Murray Cup quarter-final clash while Bluff SuperSpar Harlequins travelled to Zululand to beat Richards Bay 50-16 and Vryheid thrashed Hillcrest 52-12. Ladysmith withdrew from the competition leaving Amanzimtoti to play Vryheid in the semi-finals. Jaguars will play the ‘Mighty Quins’ in the other semi-final. All these games as well as the Keith Parkinson Trophy semi-final matches will also all be played at Crusaders so families, friends and supporters of the club game alike can expect an incredibly festive day of club rugby at the Durban North club’s headquarters in Ranleigh Crescent with Castle Lager.

The Rovers third stringers will be hosting Kapaailand from Maclear bordering on the Eastern Cape in the semi-final of the Findlay Cup at Reebok Park (KP 3). So who exactly are Kapaailand? As their chairman Gary Bennett explained, the club is an off-shoot of the Maclear Rugby Club that disbanded 12 years ago and reopened as Kapaailand two years ago after Matatiele had encouraged the boys from Maclear to play against them and to join the Southern KZN Sub-Union. Since coming on board, the young enthusiastic club have played 33 games losing only three in the process. With this in mind, the Rovers Third XV will have a lot on their plate to contend with and a good game is certainly on the cards.

Crusaders will host the Starlite under 19 competition tonight (Wednesday) with Rovers up against Harlequins at 6.15pm and Crusaders facing Durban Collegians at 7.30pm.

- Jos Robson