Ungerer and Noble sheer class for Collegians

2014-05-27 00:00

WHILE it looked like a Stefan Ungerer and Howard Noble show for Maritzburg Collegians during their Fidelity Security Premier Division match against a willing Amanzimtoti at Woodburn on Saturday, all the members of the Red, Black and White pulled their weight — in the first half at least — to ensure a comprehensive 21-17 victory after leading 16-3 at the break.

In shades of his late father Jacques, who died so tragically young, and grandfather Proppie, the Sharks-capped scrumhalf Ungerer knew when to launch attacks open- or blind-side, scored a try, kicked a 50-plus metre penalty goal that went sailing high through the posts, and orchestrated the afternoon’s flow with powerful breaks, knowing when to pass and putting in the tactical kick when it was on.

For Collegians it was great stuff all round until, through no fault of Ungerer, the home club took the foot off the gas.

Collegians’ new signing, the Springbok sevens-capped Noble, was in sublime form and exemplified why the seven-man game is so worthwhile for those whose preference is fifteens. Utilising minimum space, the light-footed Noble was able to step left and right in confined areas to wriggle past clutching defenders, one such moment bringing him Collegians’ third try.

The fullback’s vision, so necessary in sevens, was spot-on and he knew exactly when to run, pass or kick-and-chase; the latter should have garnered Collegians a bonus point fourth try.

Earlier, Noble had sliced through the Toti defensive screen before a perfectly-timed pass led to Ungerer scoring try number one.

The second came when hooker and captain Paulo Ferreira threw a five-metre lineout to Ungerer at the front and the immediate return pass saw the unaware Toti defence flatfooted as the number two went over.

Another major factor in Collegians’ win was the at times overpowering presence of Sharks-capped tighthead Wiehahn Herbst at set-pieces and in the tight-loose exchanges and the Collegians eight had a very good first half, dominating territory and possession to the extent that Toti conceded a slew of penalties, while the Red’s backs were accurate in their play most times. Right winger Khumbulani Molefe has earned his way into the first side and will be difficult to dislodge once Collegians’ 10 injured backs return to play.

Yes, the stats say there were only four points in it, but Toti’s spirited fightback notwithstanding Collegians only have themselves to blame for a lack of killer instinct after establishing a 21-3 lead with plenty of time to spare. Two players in the sin-bin at one point did not help the cause.

The outcome was that coach Carel Nel’s Collegians side squandered a great chance to gain a four-try bonus point, but full marks to Toti mentor Jeff Harper’s boys for keeping their heads up in playing positive rugby to earn a point for finishing within seven.

Chasing a 21-3 deficit, Toti spent long spells on the attack as Collegians lost their way, and scored two very good tries through fullback Jaco de Jager and flanker Pieter Harmse, while bullet-headed loosehead T-Bone Trembath made a couple of rollicking runs. De Jager kicked the rest of Toti’s points and Collegians pivot Roallan Webb slotted a penalty to make up his side’s end-total.

OTHER RESULTS

Prem Div: Durban Collegians 49 UKZN Impi 10; Varsity College 8 College Rovers 27; Crusaders vs Zululand Rhinos (postponed). First Division South: Hillcrest 36 Ballito Dolphins 0. U20A Div KO quarter-finals: College Rovers 39 South Coast Warriors 12; Durban Collegians 48 UKZN Durban 6.

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