Clash of the Collegians

2013-05-10 00:00

FEW rivalries come bigger than the club rugby clash between between Maritzburg and Durban at Woodburn Stadium from 3.30 pm tomorrow.

It is the feature match of the day and is sure to be fought right till the end.

Both clubs can rack up 200 years of existence and in their derby matches Maritzburg Collegians are usually the underdogs. It will be no different in tomorrow’s KZN Premier Division clash.

Durban Collegians still are a powerhouse of KZN club rugby. Former Springbok captain Tommy Bedford as former Natal captain and outgoing Sharks CEO Brian van Zyl are among their standout players of yesteryear.

But PMB Collegians are no slouches in the big-name stakes either and among the Springboks who wore the red, black and white are front-ranker Derek van den Berg, winger Hannes Viljoen and fullback Ian McCullum.

Times have changed though, and modern-day players of that stature seldom play club rugby, yet the game at club level is still fiercely contested.

PMB Collegians chairperson Didier Claite told The Witness yesterday that his first team had had a good week’s training and the players were highly motivated for the encounter against their Durban brother club.

“The guys are up for it, we should be close to full strength, although there are two players who are touch and go,” said Claite.

“Durban Collegians are a massive challenge, but we are comfortable with being the underdogs.”

Claite said PMB Collegians had appointed a technical advisor in last year’s KZN Wildebeest coach Carel Nel to assist head coach Rinier Bosman with the first XV. The new addition to the Collegians management will also be closely involved in working with Collegians’ three other teams.

“Carel is working well with Rinier and he adds extra value,” said Claite.

Durban Collegians have a massive pack of forwards, but this doesn’t faze the PMB Collegians eight, who reportedly dominated against Crusaders — another monster club pack.

“There will be lots of good music and a man-of-the-match presentation on the field in what should be a fun-filled family day for rugby lovers,” Claite added.

Meanwhile, up at the Peter Booysen Sports Park off Golf Road in Scottsville, the UKZN Impi will be looking for log points when they take on log-leaders College Rovers — also at 3.30 pm tomorrow.

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