Wednesday Column

Ricoh Maritzburg Collegians will be welcomed back to the Fidelity Security Premier Division this weekend and will be deservedly hosting Bluff SuperSpar Harlequins at Woodburn in the capital. Collegians have been working hard over the last few seasons to eventually find their way back into the big league and have been fortunate in having Ricoh, formerly Gestetner, on board for eight years, by far the longest club sponsorship deal in the province. So for the sponsors it has been indeed a worthwhile investment helping the game at grassroots level.

The Maritzburg side will be facing a much improved outfit from the Bluff that hosted the eighth anniversary of the Ronnie van Rooyen Memorial Club Rugby Tournament at the weekend. Quins disposed of Pukke First XV 25-5 to round off yet another successful club tournament.

2011 Moor Cup champions Jonsson College Rovers, even though not as fluid as expected, nevertheless looked impressive in their 25-5 win over neighbours Acer Durban Collegians. One shouldn’t, however, take too much out of these pre-season results - if we look back to last year’s results at the same event, Quins in fact beat Durban Collegians only to finish their season way behind the runners-up. Collegians will be travelling across the Umgeni to face Telnet Crusaders at the Durban North club's Ranleigh Crescent grounds.

Varsity College Old Boys will travel to Empangeni to face Thanda/Waterstone Zululand Rhinos while FNB Maritzburg Varsity will host Rovers at their Washington Road headquarters in the capital. An under-strength Varsity line up were beaten 15-10 at the Ronnie van Rooyen Day and will find it tough going against a highly proficient Rovers side that even had former Bok and Sharks wing James Small helping out at his old club working with the backs last week. Varsity, who still have to play a promotion-relegation game to stay in the Varsity Shield competition, have a lot of work to do to even stay alive. All the Premier Division games kick off at 3.30pm.

In the under 20 ‘A’ Frank Norris Cup competition, Collegians, who went down 10-5 to Rovers at the weekend, will face a rejuvinated and much-improved Crusaders line up at 2pm, while Rovers will meet their more favoured hosts Harlequins out on the Bluff at 3.30pm. Quins who do look like the side to beat this year in the under 20 ‘A’ Division are yet to win the league, so this could be their year under the watchful eye of Andy Keast.

In the remaining game, ‘Oldies’, coming off a 10-5 loss to ‘Saders’, travel to Pietermatzburg to play Midlands, also at 3.30pm.

In the First Division, Amanzimtoti are at home to Ballito Dolphins, South Coast Warriors host Fidelity Security Jaguars, FNB UKZN Durban are at home to Richards Bay; all the games scheduled for a 3.30pm kick-off.

The picture below shows action between the PMB Varsity side and Jaguars at Ronnie van Rooyen Day at the weekend.

- Jos Robson