Quins fight hard for draw

2013-05-21 00:00

HAVING worked incredibly hard to earn a 19-7 lead with 10 minutes to go, what appeared to be a lack of self-belief allowed the red, black and white’s opponents, Harlequins, to come back and snatch a 19-19 draw in an absorbing Fidelity Security Moor Cup Premier Division match at Woodburn on Saturday.

Make no mistake, victory could have gone either way and on balance a draw was probably a fair result, yet Collegians had a grip on the match as the clock ticked down but didn’t seem to believe it.

Self-doubt was not a word the abrasive Quins side understood and they took full advantage of the opening.

The first half belonged to Quins, who dominated a Collegians line-up still missing key players in captain and streetwise lock forward Jean Vosloo, dynamic hooker Dylan Pieterse and outstanding playmaker Conal Levin.

Under considerable pressure, an organised, committed defence can only last for so long and Quins eventually crossed the tryline after 30 minutes through fullback Jean Spies. Collegians came back and an incisive break by scrumhalf Calvin Channing ultimately led to hooker Tholi Khanyile’s top try under the crossbar.

Also in the first half, inside centre Juan Myburgh pulled off a fine cross-cover tackle on Quins left wing Hardus Terblanche and Collegians fullback Brent Kay moved smartly to foil an excellent kick-and-chase by right wing Riaan Nel. Despite Quins’ first-half territory and possession, Kay’s charge-down of flyhalf Dewald Havenga’s clearance kick and number eight Justin Smith’s steal of a Quins lineout could have resulted in points for the home side as well.

Turning around at 7-7 Collegians wrested the initiative away from Quins and in the 50th minute an exhilarating rolling maul saw tighthead Paulo Ferreira emerge with the ball from underneath a heap of players.

The ill-temper coursing through this must-win match for two sides in precarious positions near the bottom of the log intensified. Kay broke away, only to be stopped by Havenga’s try-saving tackle, but with the Collegians pack now dominant, sustained pressure led to a Channing try. Stand-in captain and flyhalf Tiaan Moore’s conversion hit the upright (19-7). From this point a strange uncertainty crept into Collegians’ play and Quins, who never stopped believing, smelt blood. Replacement hooker JJ van der Westhuizen forced his way over before Quins exploited numbers out left with the last move of the match for tighthead Larnelle Maralack to cross at the corner.

Apart from Collegians number 10 Moore hitting the upright, there were other kickable opportunities for the pivot and Quins number 15 Spies that either narrowly missed or were steered to touch for attacking lineouts.

Down in Durban the UKZN Impi suffered their second successive defeat.

RESULTS

Prem Div: College Rovers 34 Varsity College 10; Durban Collegians 33 UKZN Impi 3; Crusaders 63 Zululand Rhinos 3; PMB Collegians 19 Harlequins 19. Reserves: Rovers 19 Varsity College 10; UKZN 30 Dbn Collegians 28; Saders 57 Rhinos 10; PMB Collegians 28 Quins 8.

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