Wednesday Column

Jonsson College Rovers were sadly knocked out by the University of Johannesburg in the semi-finals of the National Club Rugby Championships in what has been described by many as one of the most competitive in many years especially for the top four clubs. In the end very little separated the four sides that found their way into the semi's with Rovers a conversion away from finding their way into the final after being edged out 27-26 by the Golden Lions champion club.

In the other quarter - final it was also a close affair with Pukke from Potchefstroom also coming away with a narrow 39-36 win over the Western Province champions and hosts Maties from Stellenbosch setting up an all Varsity final.

For the 2010 champions Rovers hopes of retaining the crown were cruelly dashed after the conversion to the potentially match winning try by Chris Jordaan's in injury time went wide in the semi-final giving the Johannesburg student outfit their chance of claiming the 2011 title but for them it wasn't to be as Pukke squeezed home 19-14 in yet another closely contested match that was the main highlight in the playoffs in this year's tournament.

For Rovers they will be losing a fair amount of their key players to so called greener pastures, which understandably happened to them last season as well. The old adage that success breeds success stands firm in their case as they now prepare to rebuild once again for the 2012 season with the hope of yet another great year to follow. They also say goodbye to Brad McCleod-Henderson who leaves at the end of the year to take up a coaching post at his alma-mate Hilton College and the club are sure to wish him well.

It appears that the competition is being looked at by SA Rugby for improvements, which is good news for the club game nationally. In the meanwhile, the KZNRU will be hosting their annual club prize giving awards evening in The Basil Medway Room at Mr. Price KINGS PARK on Wednesday and so till next season, it's not goodbye but simply au revoir. To all the club rugby members, players, families and supporters have a wonderful break and enjoy the rest of the Rugby World Cup and your Christmas recess - it's hard to believe it's less than three months away.

- Jos Robson