Castle Murray Cup Semis

Jonsson College Rovers and Telnet Crusaders have found themselves through to the final of the Castle Murray knockout competition next Saturday after winning their hard fought semi-final club rugby matches at Riverside on Friday evening.

Rovers, who will be looking for their fourth consecutive double, will clearly start out as favorites after their clinical display against their closest rivals and runners-up in the Fidelity Security Premier Division league, Acer Durban Collegians. The Moor Cup champions, by their own admission, weren't anywhere near at their best with Collegians holding them well in the first half and only a late try by Rovers centre Kobus de Kock separated the two sides at the break with the 2011 title holders holding a narrow 13-6 lead.

The second half belonged to Rovers and a magnificent intercept try by Castle Man of the Match wing Jors Dannhauser really put an end to the brave Collegians' challenge as the holders of the 122 year old trophy slowly but surely ground their way to yet another convincing victory in the end. Dannhauser went on to score 18 points in all with two conversions and three penalties to go with his try while De Kock added another conversion with the hugely-talented utility back Neil de Bruin adding a superb drop goal and centre Nick Jackson scoring the final try in the closing minutes.

Understandably, a frustrated Collegians line-up were bitterly disappointed with the outcome but they were a well beaten side irrespective of some referee decisions that were perhaps a little harsh. their points came from two penalties from flyhalf Ruan Allerton.

In the other semi-final, Crusaders edged out Waterstone Thanda Zululand Rhinos 20-13 in a hard fought match that saw the side from Durban North outscoring the 2008 winners from Empangeni by two tries to one. It was a match that could have gone either way but full marks to Saders who were all but done and dusted at the beginning of the season but came back bravely to survive one of their toughest seasons in living memory.

Their tries came from hooker Zandre Grobelaar and scrumhalf Keegan Sloman with fullback Armand Botha kicking two penalties and two conversions. Rhinos replied with a try from Karli Schulze and two penalties and a conversion from flyhalf Sello Sekhyala.

Rovers beat Collegians 43-12 in the Premier Division Reserve Wylie Cup knockout competition and will face Crusaders in the final after they beat Rhinos 49-38.

Ricoh Maritzburg Collegians had a narrow 20-17 win over FNB UKZN Maritzburg in the Junior Murray Cup knockout and will travel to Durban to face Newcastle Highlanders at finals day at Riverside next Saturday

Jos Robson