Varsity Cup likely to see return of ‘res’ rugby

2010-07-01 00:00

THE acceptance of Maritzburg Varsity Rugby Club into the FNB Varsity Cup fold is already changing the face of campus rugby enormously, harking back to the Whites’ salad days of residence rugby and more.

Varsity rugby administration head Reggie Smith and manager Shane le Breton outlined to The Witness the latest developments, which will likely fall under one UKZN rugby structure.

One astonishing development, considering its sad demise in the eighties, is the re-establishment of residence or “res” rugby, as it is known.

Smith said a key requirement of co-sponsor Steinhoff International is campus leagues. “We will establish 40 to 50 teams fully kitted out by the sponsors across all UKZN campuses to ensure a healthy student-based rugby culture,” Smith said.

Le Breton said a meeting between all UKZN rugby clubs has taken place and a new club structure agreed — one club structure where all campuses fall under one name and can play for any of the teams under that banner.

“This is still to be confirmed and we have a meeting next week Tuesday with KZN Rugby Union CEO Pete Smith,” Le Breton said.

“We are researching the current Varsity Cup sides and how they are working with regard to various components, such as management, recruiting, coaching and so on. When all the information is collated, we can then establish our strategy.”

Smith and Le Breton believe Varsity rugby is going to take off in a big way, with the Varsity Shield beginning early February.

“A healthy number of young, talented KZN Premier Division rugby players have already been inquiring about next year and are interested in studying at UKZN and not Varsity College any more, because they realise they will not only get a good education, but it could help them develop their rugby careers, so watch this space,” Le Breton said.

PMB Varsity won the KZN Premier Division Moor Cup once — 48 years ago — and this massive injection of sponsors’ money, running into hundreds of thousands of rands, could bring that glory back.

Varsity enjoy their centenary next year and are hosting an Old Boys’ dinner on July 24 for former PMB Varsity Rugby Club members, campus league players, sponsors, friends and supporters. Former Varsity captain Craig Jamieson, who led Natal to their first Currie Cup victory in 100 years back in 1990, is guest speaker along with Hugh Farrell. For more information, phone 033 395 8000 and quote “Varsity Rugby”.

Meanwhile, Midlands Marauders came back from a 31-5 deficit to beat Zululand 44-41 in a rousing Ebbo Bastard Inter-Sub Unions Trophy match at Woodburn.

Marauders eighth man Le Breton said outstanding right wing Gareth Borchardt opened the scoring, but three fumbles in Zululand’s 22 saw the Empangeni lads’ fleetfooted backs counter effectively to run in three quick tries.

“They scored two more from scrums in our 22, one with their flyhalf running a line and going over under the posts for 31-5,” Le Breton said.

“Our captain and hooker Charl Bezuidenhout pulled the guys together and we scored twice before half-time for 31-19, but in the second half we dominated totally and I got in, Gareth got his second, as well as outside centre Louis Nondela.”

Marauders’ U21 coach Steve Botha said Midlands bounced back with a good 34-22 win over Zululand after suffering a big defeat against Northern KZN’s Lammergeyers on June 19.

Midlands meet Durban in the fifth and final round at Amanzimtoti on Saturday. A victory could see them finish second to Northern KZN.

 

FIXTURES

Saturday - Inter-Sub Union: Durban vs Midlands (Toti, 3.30 pm); Zululand vs Northern KZN (Empangeni, 3.30 pm). U21: same venues 2 pm.

Inter-Sub Union logs – Senior (played 3 unless stated): 1 Northern KZN 15 pts; 2 Zululand 11 pts; Midlands 9 pts; 3 Durban 7 pts; 4 Southern KZN (played 4) 2 pts.

U21 (played 3 unless stated): 1 Northern KZN 14 pts; 2 Southern KZN (played 4) 11 pts; 3 Zululand 7 pts; 4 Midlands 6 pts; Durban 4 pts.

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