Rovers emerge winners in close final

2013-09-12 00:00

THE Murray Cup final was such a close-run affair, the winners had to be determined by a superior try count.

Eventually, the 123-year-old knockout cup competition went the way of College Rovers from a willing Durban Collegians in the marquee final at the Riverside Sports ground in a clash that witnessed three quality tries.

The win means Rovers have done the league and cup double.

The match was drawn at full time, this after a match-saving try by the prolific Gavin Scott and conversion from captain Chris Micklewood had drawn Rovers level at 15-15.

Extra-time brought no reward for either side and in the end, the trophy went Rovers’ way due to a better try-count in the competition.

Earlier, Rovers’ Greg Goosen opened the scoring when he pounced on a Durban Collegians error and raced away to touchdown territory.

Kyle Hartley pulled Collegians back into the game with a gem of a try to level proceedings at 5-5.

After three further points were added by Rovers’ arch-rivals, Player of the Match Francois Kleynhans and Jacques Venter added seven more to the tally. At 15-8, Durban Collegians were sitting pretty until the Scott/Micklewood one-two made things all-square in what was ultimately the killer blow that ensured the Rovers victory.

Meanwhile, there was much to cheer about in the KZN capital after Maritzburg Collegians beat a determined Vryheid 27-21 in the final of the Junior Murray Cup, also at Riverside.

The final was unusual in that Collegians led 27-0 at half time thanks to tries by the outstanding scrumhalf Brendon Fourie (2), flanker Chris Cousins, tighthead prop Paulo Ferreira and winger Nhlakanipho Manyoni, with Tim de la Hey converting one.

Yet, the men in red, black and white did not score after the changeover while Vryheid nailed three converted tries to make it a five-point ball game at the final whistle.

“It was a fantastic win and the boys deserve to take a break after concluding a successful year in which we consolidated our position in the Moor Cup Premier Division in our second season back in this competition, while retaining the Junior Murray Cup title is the cherry on the top,” Maritzburg Collegians chairperson Didier Claite told The Witness.

“It’s been a long, arduous season with many ups and downs but the boys have kept their heads up, knew their worth and worked very hard for what they have achieved.

“It was fitting that first team captain Jean Vosloo held the Junior Murray Cup trophy at the end of the day as he has had a long-term injury to contend with and has kept with the boys, supported them 100% from the sidelines this season and made a great comeback from injury.”

It was not to be a double celebration on the day for Maritzburg Collegians as their second team were beaten 36-13 by Sentraal club of Dundee in the Keith Parkinson Cup final.

A poignant memory on the day was the acknowledgement of the recent deaths of Jacques Ungerer, Pietermaritzburg’s ace scrumhalf of the nineties, an under-rated player at provincial level who was a diamond in club rugby, and Durban’s Richard Terry Lloyd.

All the Collegians squad players will be taking a month’s break before getting into gear for next season.

Pre-season preparation was their Achilles heel in early 2013 as the players were underdone at the beginning of the Premier Division campaign and that mistake is sure to be rectified ahead of what will be a fascinating 2014 on the club rugby fields in the province.

The Peter Taylor Trophy saw Varsity College seconds beat Rovers 31-25 and Amabubeshi win the Ashley Bowles U19 Cup with a 22-5 win over Claremont.

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