Depleted Maritzburg Varsity rugby club at a crossroads

2009-07-13 00:00

THESE are dangerous times for 98-year-old rugby club Maritzburg Varsity.

At the last moment on Saturday they couldn’t field a recognised front-row against Durban Collegians at the Varsity Stadium, so their Premier Division opponents were given a walkover.

To their credit, the Varsity players wanted to play anyway, so a friendly match took place with uncontested scrums. The competent, well-organised Durban boys ran riot, clocking up nine tries and 55 points without reply by half-time.

The second half was called off with 20 minutes left in the match. Due to injury, the mid-year university vacation, work commitments and so on, Varsity only had six regular first XV members playing.

However, there is some cheer for the campus-based club. UKZN’s good performances at the University Sport SA tournament have qualified them to meet Tshwane University of Technology in a promotion/relegation match in September. Victory means a berth in the popular televised Varsity Cup, which features the top eight university teams in SA.

The Midlands U20 A and B teams saw action against Old Boys last Wednesday at Gainsborough Drive in Durban, the B team winning 51-10 and the A team suffering a tight 39-33 defeat.

On Saturday, the Midlands U20 teams ended the league season at home against Durban Collegians, the A team going down 55-20 and the B side clinching second place in the King’s Park Challenge Cup division with a 42-25 victory.

Midlands Rugby Academy head Steve Botha told The Witness: “The depth that the Midlands U20s have enjoyed this year proves that the Midlands concept works and that it is a recipe for success that the senior clubs in Maritzburg should consider.”

A major match worth watching on Saturday at Riverside in Durban North pits College Rovers against Old Boys.

And at Woodburn Stadium, the First Division South local derby sees PMB Waratahs keen to turn the tables on Maritzburg Collegians this time after their narrow loss in the first round.

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