Rugby: Maritzburg Varsity out to prove Crusaders win was no fluke when they face Rhinos

2011-05-27 00:00

THE Maritzburg Varsity first XV get the chance to build on their emphatic victory away to Crusaders a fortnight ago when they take on Zululand Rhinos at Mick Kelly Park in Empangeni tonight.

On Woodburn’s number two field at 8. 30 pm, log-leading PMB Collegians first XV should have the measure of the Ballito Dolphins as the KZN First Division South competition heads into a top five and bottom five format.

In the bottom five PMB Elephants travel to Port Shepstone to take on the South Coast Warriors.

The 8 pm kick-off in Empangeni will launch a determined Varsity into action as they set out to prove that the success over the Crusaders was the signal that their KZN Premier Division season is going to click into gear.

Having suffered three disappointing losses before the triumph in Durban North, building momentum is now vital for Varsity, considering they meet Jaguars next Tuesday before taking on KZN and SA club champions College Rovers on King’s Park’s number three field next weekend.

However, the Rhinos will be in no mood to help Varsity along and their nail-biting 32-29 loss to third-placed Harlequins last time out — compared to the thumping that the campus-based club received from Quins on the Bluff — suggests they are formidable opponents.

This is especially so when taking into account that they will be on home soil and in front of their partisan supporters.

The Quins/Rhinos clash was the entrée to the Sharks/Bulls Super 15 bust-up at King’s Park last weekend, and a measure of the Zululanders’ fighting spirit was the manner in which they clawed their way back into the game.

Although the Rhinos only got one try through front-ranker Briss van Jaarsveld, they had a potent weapon in goalkicking number 10 Corne Els, who slotted eight penalties, which suggests that the students must maintain their discipline if the action is anywhere in their half.

With both teams having won one match, kicking for position and then forcing Varsity into mistakes could be key to a Rhinos victory, while the campus side must dominate possession if they are to overturn this ploy and edge ahead of the hosts into fifth spot on the log.

In a Premier Division top-table match, the unbeaten Durban Collegians host the unbeaten College Rovers on King’s Park’s number 10 field at 8 pm.

FIXTURES

Today – Premier Division (8 pm): Durban Collegians vs College Rovers (King’s Park 10); Crusaders vs Old Boys; Zululand Rhinos vs UKZN Maritzburg; Jaguars vs Harlequins. Reserves: 6.30 pm. First Division top five: PMB Collegians vs Ballito Dolphins (8.30 pm Woodburn 2). Reserves 7 pm. First Division bottom five: South Coast Warriors vs PMB Elephants (8 pm Port Shepstone). Reserves 6.30 pm. U20A Div: Dbn Coll vs Rovers (6.30 pm KP6); Crusaders vs Old Boys; Empangeni vs Pietermaritzburg (8 pm). U20B: Empangeni B vs Pietermaritzburg B; South Coast vs Quins B; Dbn Coll B vs Rovers B. U20C: Ballito vs Hillcrest; Wentworth vs UKZN Maritzburg.

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