Toti earn first silverware in a ‘miraculous’ win over Varsity College

2014-09-04 00:00

AFTER 67 years without any top flight rugby trophies, Amazimtoti enjoyed a fairy tale ending to their first year in the Premier division of Durban club rugby.

In a nail-biting finish, the South Coast Terries pulled off a 24-21 victory over Varsity College in the final of the Murray Cup knockout competition. Toti had to claw back from behind — in extra time — to win the match at a packed Crusaders Rugby Club last Saturday.

Amanzimtoti coach Jeff Harper told The Witness the win hasn’t sunk in yet for him and a lot of the team. “The messages on Facebook and the chat between the guys have been overwhelming,” he said.

However, one needs to look back at Toti’s season to fully understand why the victory means so much. Having only been promoted to the Premier Division this year, Toti ended up finishing fifth in the Moor Cup (Premier Division league) and then went on, despite the odds, to win the coveted Murray Cup.

Closely considering the final, Harper believes the game going into extra time did the match justice. “I think it was fair. We both had opportunities we didn’t use during the game,” he said.

Harper believes the experience his charges gained during the season taught them to fight back even when the chips were down. “I did back them to win though, even with just 10 minutes to go. Nobody can say they wouldn’t be nervous in that situation but I believed they could do it,” he said. And do it they did. Harper humorously pointed out their winning move was one they had practiced the whole of last week.

“We had planned a certain move and decided to use it then. Their [Varsity College] players folded around the one side of the field and we sent the ball back and scored the winning points,” the coach said.

Harper said it was not originally their goal to win the Murray Cup. “Once we had won the semi-final, then I think we started to believe,” Harper said. Now that the emotions have settled and the win has been celebrated, Harper has taken stock and is beginning to think about the 2015 season.

“Where do we go from here? From a league point of view, we will be happy to move one place up into fourth or even third,” he said.

One thing the win has brought was a heap load of confidence in the club from players and sponsors alike.

“There are guys that have indicated that they would like to come on board and our current sponsors are happy to keep supporting us,” he said.

On a parting note, Harper hopes some of his players will take the step up into the Sharks set-up and he aims to stand by them if they wish to do so.

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