Club rugby: massive night tomorrow as capital ’s premier sides square off for Pietermaritzburg cup final

2011-08-11 00:00

TWO confident teams, Maritzburg Varsity and Maritzburg Collegians, tackle each other in the Pietermaritzburg Cup final at Peter Booysen Sports Park off Golf Road tomorrow.

It is a massive night for Varsity rugby, with the Centenary Dinner celebrations later in the evening and a huge turnout of old boys coming to PMB. The kick-off is scheduled for about 5.45 pm and with the biggest club rugby crowd expected in years it will be best to get there early. The magnificent York and Lancaster trophy is at stake and the result will answer the question of who is the champion team in the KZN capital.

“To play Collegians for the York and Lancaster trophy is exciting,” said Varsity head coach Beans Bateman yesterday. “To play them in a match prior to our Centenary Dinner will make it a very special occasion.

“There is such history between the two clubs and when I cast my mind back as a Collegians player myself there was tremendous rivalry between us. It looks like those days are fast returning, as Collegians have had an amazing season in convincingly winning the KZN First Division.

“I hope they gain promotion and join Varsity in the KZN Premier Division once again. I have always maintained that Pietermaritzburg must have two Premier Division teams so that rugby in the midlands can once again become a force in KwaZulu-Natal.”

It will be an occasion that harks back to days when KZN’s capital witnessed titanic battles between two clubs that, at over one hundred years old each, have played a major role in the lives of so many of the city’s young men over the decades.

“We have tremendous respect for Collegians and will certainly not underestimate them,” said Bateman. “They are a very well-organised team, well coached and brimming with confidence. Their recent convincing win over Jaguars shows what they are capable of. We are really looking forward to the challenge.”

PMB Collegians president Tony Day, who virtually single-handedly saved the club from a sad death just a few years ago and has built it into a force once again, is confident that the red, black and whites have got the goods to beat Varsity.

“Varsity shaded us in the PMB Cup final last year,” said Day. “We spent much of the time in their 22-metre area, and to their credit they counter-attacked well. But our 39-3 win over Premier Division Jaguars last Saturday, a side that beat Varsity, has proven that we can beat Premier Division teams.”

Collegians are more streetwise and better balanced this year and one fancies that their tight five will prove a major stumbling block for the campus side.

With Varsity having beaten First Division club, Hillcrest, at home 44-0 last weekend and First Division champions Collegians thrashing Premier Division side Jaguars 39-3, the in-form PMB players are raring to and it should be a great occasion.

RESULTS

Murray Cup first round (featuring Premier Division against First Division teams): Old Boys 62 Ballito Dolphins 3; Zululand Rhinos 35 Amanzimtoti 20; College Rovers 45 Vryheid 5; Jaguars 3PMB Collegians 39; DBN Collegians 75 Ladysmith 19; Harlequins 19 Newcastle Highlanders 24; Maritzburg Varsity 44 Hillcrest 0; Crusaders 31 Richards Bay 7.

FIXTURES

Maritzburg Cup final: PMB Varsity vs PMB Collegians (5.45pm at Peter Booysen Sports Park off Golf Road).

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