Club rugby: tough weekend out for Pietermaritzburg teams

2009-04-20 00:00

THE going was not easy for Maritzburg Varsity in their House of Paint Premier Division rugby match against champions College Rovers in Durban over the weekend.

And the same could be said of the midlands side competing in the Frank Norris U20 A Division, as their Rovers opponents are also perennial winners in this competition.

The Varsity first side went down 53-3 to Rovers firsts, while Midlands took a 45-10 defeat against the Rovers juniors.

Varsity coach Dave Look said nine changes to the line-up due to injury and illness did not help the Whites’ cause, but their never-say-die spirit was exemplary in a match where they were “outclassed and outplayed, especially at the breakdown”.

“The major flaws were our failure to secure our own lineouts, the inability to secure ball at ruck time and a lack of concentration, focus and poor execution,” Look said.

“Once again we played ourselves into position, but failed to convert opportunities as ball did not go to hand or players panicked. A lack of confidence and failure to execute practice routines in the match, and the obvious lack of depth in the club are other negatives that contributed to the ugly defeat.”

Look did, however, find positives in four areas. The forwards competed well in the scrums, the backs stood up in defence in the 10/12 channel, scoring opportunities were created, and Varsity have improved on receiving kick-offs.

Look said the Varsity players’ commitment, passion and dedication are not in question, but it takes money to attract players who have the ability, physicality and professionalism to be consistently successful at this level.

The Midlands A side defended with courage against Rovers in the U20 clash, but were four tries and 23-0 behind at half-time, to which the champs added three more after the break.

Midlands Rugby Academy and U20 A coach Steve Botha said his side tackled bravely. He singled out Jaco Potgieter, Chris Cousins, Matthew Raw, Jason Graham and Thoko Sokhela for praise, with Raw scoring a good try and Potgieter a penalty and conversion.

RESULTS:

Premier Div: Rovers 53 Pmb Varsity 3; Crusaders 27 Jaguars 7; Old Boys 51 Harlequins 5.

First Div South: South Coast 11 Toti 16; Hillcrest 50 Wentworth 0; Dbn University 26 PMB Waratahs 24. U20 A: Rovers 45 Midlands 10; Old Boys 30 Quins 17; Dbn Collegians 35 Empangeni 18.

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