Interview with Tony Day and Renier Bosman

The featured Fidelity Security Moor Cup match sees the battle of the Collegians between Ricoh Pmb Collegians against Acer Durban Collegians. In view of this much anticipated derby Ismail Adam (IA) caught up with chairman Tony Day (TD) and coach Renier Bosman (RB) of Pmb Collegians.

IA: Firstly, well done to you and the club for getting back into Premier Division rugby. Following an absence of 7 years, Pmb Collegians is now competing for the Fidelity Security Moor Cup again; - are you finding the competition more difficult than expected?
TD: We were under no false illusions when we got promoted. We were expecting a tough competition. We are on a learning curve to improve and we definitely feel we belong in this league after the success of the past season. We need possibly a year to adapt fully to the transition.

IA: Can you pinpoint one single area where there is a big difference to the 1st Division League which Pmb Collegians played in last year compared to the premier division?
RB: Without a doubt it is the pace of the game. Everything is happening that much quicker and the ability to organise your defence is more important, as you could be found wanting when the ball is spread wide. Teams are playing fast running rugby.

IA: Your club has won one out of the five matches played so far. How prepared is the team to add to the number of wins this Saturday against Durban Collegians?
RB: We are realistic. We do respect them and we're preparing well for the game. We want to build on the last 2 weeks, we want to be aggressive and take the game to them. We want to build on our strengths and dominate up front.

IA: Though Durban Collegians may appear to have the stronger team on paper; are you and the players more hopeful for a win seeing that the Durban boys have lost their last two games?
RB: We are taking nothing for granted. A wounded lion is a dangerous lion. We know they are going to make it as difficult as possible.
TD: We heard that there might be a few Sharks 15 players dropping down for them from the Vodacom Cup, that made us very wary. We are going to give them a run for their money. We are not looking too much into those two losses.

IA: I understand there is a long history of the two Collegians team competing against each other over the years. Are you able to tell us a little about that?
TD: We are talking about a rivalry that stretches back to decades. Pmb Collegians was founded in 1903 by Maritburg College Masters. Dbn Collegians formed around 1907. There has been a healthy rivalry since. We can proudly say that we had one of the greatest Springbok captains to have played for us, Phillip Nel. He played in the 20's and 30's and memorably led the Boks to an overseas tour victory in New Zealand in 1937. During the 1960's and 1970's the Collegians teams were producing numerous Springboks. The rivalry had really escalated between the 2 teams with the likes of Derek van den Berg, Ian Mccullum representing us. There were also the likes of Hannes Viljoen, Lawrie Sharp and Ron Wang.

IA: Historically Durban and Maritzburg Collegians share the same red and black colours and jersey design. To avoid a clash on Saturday, what is the arrangement as to the playing kits?
TD: I have made arrangements with Ian Losinsky(Dbn Collegians Chairman). We will be in our home colours and they will be in their away strip and vice versa for the game in Durban.

IA: With Pmb Collegians now joining Maritzburg Varsity as one of two clubs from Pietermaritzburg in KZNRU's Premier Division League do you believe the city has the quality and quantity of players available to sustain this going forward?
RB: There is no doubt about that. There are enough schools and we need to start concentrating on academy development. Support from businessmen would be welcomed. TD: The running of the academy and it's development is critical. The midlands academy set up is grateful to have the company Red Alert as the sponsor for this season and the 2 forthcoming seasons which make it three in total thus far. They have been fantastic in that regard. Making the academy stronger will only benefit the quality of players being produced long term at club level in the midlands region.

IA: One would expect this derby against your Durban counterparts to be a close match - can you give us a score prediction?
TD: Shew!! I would go for a narrow win for our boys in a very bruising encounter. RB: We are not getting ahead of ourselves, it is going to be a battle. We are going to give it all.

IA: News on any injuries?
RB:: Unfortunately we have lost Charl Bezuidenhout permanently through injury. He ruptured 2 discs and sadly his rugby days are over. Apart from that we have had some small niggling injuries in the squad but nothing major.

To give more exposure to Club Rugby and to improve content and information on the KZNRU Club Rugby Website, Ismail Adam has agreed to assist. Ismail is studying journalism at the Durban University of Technology and is keen to help us raise the profile of Premier Division and other Club Rugby.