The 111th playing of the Castle Murray Cup final is sure to be a thriller with the two top Fidelity Security Premier Division sides Jonsson College Rovers and Acer Durban Collegians having won their way through to the big show down at the Crusaders home grounds at Ranleigh Crescent in Durban North on Saturday as the final curtain drops on the local club season.
Neither side can take too much comfort from their semi-final wins with Rovers making heavy weather of their 28-12 win over a tenacious Varsity College Old Boys line up and Collegians also not looking that marvellous in their 28-3 victory march over a brave ZRA Thanda Zululand Rhinos side at the Goss and Balfe Crusaders grounds last Saturday.
For Oldies however they will still be able to look at winning more silverware on Friday evening when their Under 20 ‘B’ side face Hillcrest in the final of the Chris Edwards Cup on KP 2 at 8pm.
Rovers raced into an early lead and looked as though they were going to run away with matters leading 21-0 at the break. It was not to be for the 2010 cup holders however as Oldies showed true fighting spirit ending up winning the second half 12-7. Rovers will know all too well that they cannot afford to be complacent against Collegians in the final and will certainly have to lift their game considerably in Stellenbosch whilst forgetting all the media and hype of having not being beaten in 49 outings.
The Rovers loose trio of Kosie Haarhof, Tim Agaba and Daniel Adonga were outstanding with former Springbok and Sharks flank AJ Venter awarding Adonga the man of the match award. Rovers fullback Jors Dannhauser crossed for the opening try while skipper Chris Micklewood crossed for the other two with flyhalf Guy Cronje kicking the balance. Old Boys replied with tries from flyhalf Calvin Karnezos and replacement Dylon Rutherford and a conversion from Karnezos.
Durban Collegians if anything looked more the part even though coach Ray van Noordwyk wasn’t that enamoured about his side's performance in their four try win over the side from Empangeni. Certainly if you are brave betting man one would have to lean slightly towards Collegians to take the honours in the final on the strength of what we saw in the semi’s. Their tries were scored by fullback Peter Peens, centre Steve Crous, wing Kyle Hartley and the talented 18 year old flanker Chris Bosch son of the legendary former Natal and Collegians lock Rod ‘Tarz’ Bosch. Man of the Match flyhalf Wille du Plessis kicked two penalties and a conversion. Rhinos fullback Corne Else slotted a lone penalty.
Rovers' second stringers will also face Durban Collegians in the final of the Peter Taylor Trophy knockout competition after Collegians beat Old Boys 30-20 in their semi-final match while the Junior Murray Cup final will be contested between Bluff SuperSpar Harlequins and Vryheid. The final of the Keith Parkinson Cup final sees the Quins second stringers up against Amanzimtoti while the Rovers Third XV face Empangeni in the final of the Findlay Cup after beating Kapaailand from Maclear 72-13 in their semi-final clash.
Saturday’s proceedings for finals day at Crusaders kicks off at 10.30am when Harlequins face the winners of tonight’s (Wednesday) final round of the Starlite Under 19 Trophy between Collegians and Rovers scheduled for a 6.30pm start on KP 3.
- Jos Robson