Varsity lose narrowly to Old Boys in memorable club game

2010-04-14 00:00

THE Maritzburg Varsity first XV were gutted after their two-point defeat to Old Boys in the opening round of the 2010 Premier Division Moor Cup competition on campus on Saturday.

One of the best crowds at one of the best club games seen at Varsity Stadium in a long time saw the campus-based side 25-20 up going into the last movement in extra time.

But, to borrow loosely from a Neil Diamond lyric, it wasn’t the men from Riverside in Durban North who would be crying in their pretzels at the post-match beer fest.

Old Boys were awarded a hotly disputed penalty, kicked for touch and mauled over from the resultant lineout for Kyle van Deventer to score five metres in from touch.

Having missed four from four, Old Boys’ first-choice goal kicker handed the poisoned chalice to Dale Farnham and the scrumhalf turned it into a pot of gold when he steered the angled, pressured conversion through the uprights for a 27-25 win.

Although a five to one try count and a strong opening quarter is proof of Old Boys’ significant say in a gripping encounter that contained all the ingredients, Varsity had the better of their opponents for much of the match.

The fact that Varsity led by five at the last breath, and were able to lose by only the narrowest margin in the end, is evidence that they did of lot of things right.

Certainly, the performances of loosehead Kurt Schonert and number eight Jonno van Rensburg suggests that there is talent aplenty in the students’ ranks this season.

Varsity were very poor in the first 20 minutes as they struggled to get any semblance of momentum going, but after trailing by two tries the green and whites returned to their senses. Left winger Matt Boylan kicked three penalties and converted what was possibly the try of the match by outstanding right wing Gareth Borchardt, before slotting another three-pointer for the students to go into half-time sitting pretty at 19-10.

However, although they had the better of Old Boys after the change­over, Varsity shot themselves in the foot by taking the wrong options on attack, and they continued to leak tries.

Indeed, one and arguably even two of the five touchdowns the visitors scored in the match were gifts — a fact the Old Boys camp were openly acknowledging at the post-match party.

That said, it doesn’t get any easier for Varsity this Saturday, when they travel to Durban and a 3 pm King’s Park kickoff against the champion College Rovers line-up — who were in formidable mood in their 55-15 thrashing of Harlequins.

Meanwhile, in KZN First Division South, the rugby gods are smiling on PMB Collegians, as the Boshoff Street-based club continue to build the new season into one that could turn out to be one of their most memorable since its reinception in the red, black and white colours of old.

Added to their strong pack, Collegians also have their first creative back line in a number of seasons.

The pack have confidence in the backs, Ross Ashton has adopted his new scrumhalf role, and the youngsters are inspiring the more seasoned campaigners.

The result? More intensity, urgency and sheer enjoyment.

The only other unbeaten side, Hillcrest, are next up and Collegians must take the momentum from two big victories into this one on Woodburn Stadium’s number two field at 3 pm on Saturday.

RESULTS

Prem Div: Zululand 3 DBN Collegians 36; Harlequins 15 College Rovers 55; Jaguars 3 Crusaders 36; PMB Varsity 25 Old Boys 27. Reserves: Zululand 5 DBN Collegians 13; Harlequins 15 Rovers 45; Jaguars 0 Crusaders 69; PMB Varsity 5 Old Boys 22. First Div South: Amanzimtoti 29 South Coast 14; PMB Collegians 85 Kokstad 5; PMB Elephants 7 DBN Varsity 10; Wentworth 0 Ballito 32. Reserves: Toti 37 South Coast 10; PMB Collegians 46 Kokstad 0; PMB Elephants 8 DBN Varsity 10; Wentworth 3 Ballito 31. U20A: Empangeni 24 DBN Collegians 29; Pietermaritzburg 23 Old Boys 31; Harlequins 10 College Rovers 36; Jaguars 21 Crusaders 34. U20B: Harlequins 12 Rovers 45; Pietermaritzburg 5 Old Boys 15. U20C: Empangeni 29 PMB Collegians 8; Ogwini 0 Hillcrest 22.

FIXTURES

Saturday — Prem Div (3 pm): College Rovers vs Maritzburg Varsity (King’s Park 3); Old Boys vs Harlequins (Riverside); Durban Collegians vs Jaguars (KP 10); Crusaders vs Zululand Rhinos (Saders). Reserves 1.30 pm. First Div South (3 pm): South Coast vs PMB Elephants; PMB Collegians vs Hillcrest (Woodburn 2); Durban Varsity vs Amanzimtoti; Kokstad vs Wentworth. Reserves 1.30 pm. First Div North (3.45 pm): Ladysmith vs Piet Retief; Volksrust vs Newcastle. Reserves: 2.30 pm. U20A: College Rovers vs Pietermaritzburg (1.30 pm KP4); D Coll vs Jags; Saders vs Empangeni; Old Boys vs Harlequins. U20B (selected): Rovers B vs Pietermaritzburg B (3 pm KP4). U20C Div (1.30 pm): Hillcrest vs Maritzburg Varsity (1.30 pm). Empangeni B vs Wentworth.

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