PMB players shine for Duikers

2010-11-25 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Duikers had a productive rugby tour to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, where they played in the KL Cobra 10’s tournament.

The Cobra Club was the venue and first up was the Sri Lanka Army team, newcomers to the tournament, but the Duikers were far too strong, running out 84-0 winners.

The try scorers were fleet-footed Maritzburg Varsity forwards Chris Ndlovu, Jono van Rensburg and TC Khoza (2), quick-breaking PMB Collegians halfback Calvin Channing (2) and Midlands Rugby Academy backline star Jaco Potgieter, the rest going to Scott Brown, Carl Marx, Kyle Hartley (2), Richard Ainsworth and Jors Danhauser (2) with Jacques Venter kicking 14 points.

Next up were Malaysia’s NS Wanderers, a tougher prospect as they have several Fijians in their ranks, but after the Duikers got into a rhythm they walked away 52-0 winners.

The Duikers’ try scorers were Brown, Danhauser, Marx, Khoza (2), former Voortrekker and current College Rovers star threequarter Jerome Pretorius, and PMB Varsity captain Leon­ Stevens (2) with Venter slotting 12 points.

The big test of day one was the crunch match against New Zealand Legends, who had seven NPC (National Provincial Championship, New Zealand’s equivalent of the Currie Cup) players, two New Zealand Sevens, one Tongan Sevens, three provincial Sevens and one Australian University player.

The Duikers defended superbly, with half-time reading 0-0, while they had one clear opportunity to score under the posts if the pass had stuck. The second half saw the Legends score twice, the first following a defensive error and the second in the dying minutes after a dropped ball was kicked through and the footrace won, to make the final score 12-0.

The outcome saw the Duikers placed second in Pool C and they faced the winners of Pool D, the South African Mustangs — a combined Pretoria police and Tuks team — in the quarter-finals.

The Duikers had two opportunities to seal the game in normal time, but an easy penalty conversion was missed and a try knocked on over the tryline. The game went into extra-time and the Duikers clinched victory with a long-range Venter penalty goal.

In the semi-finals the Duikers played against the Penguins, which are usually a United Kingdom-based team, but this time they were a full New Zealand-based line-up with five NPC players. This team had beaten the Springbok Sevens in a Singapore tournament the week before. They were a class outfit and convincing 45-0 winners.

Nonetheless, the strong PMB flavour to this Duikers team acquitted themselves well and they learnt much as they look forward to next season and 15s club rugby once again.

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