Close-run defeats for Collegians and Impi

2014-06-12 00:00

PLAYING at home, the KZN capital’s top rugby clubs, Maritzburg Collegians and UKZN Impi, both lost narrowly in Fidelity Security Premier Division action over the weekend.

PMB Collegians were edged out 24-21 by Varsity College of Durban North while Impi were shaded 19-10 by Amanzimtoti.

Carel Nel, head coach of PMB Collegians, told The Witness yesterday that his side started slowly but then got into a rhythm. However, in the second half his side missed a few tackles, picked up two yellow cards and eventually a red card.

“We played really well with 13 players at one stage, but we did not follow our structures and put ourselves under pressure,” said Nel.

“We also made a few crucial handling errors that ended up costing us the game. But the boys did play well under the circumstances.”

There were spells of excellent Collegians forward play mixed with some mediocre stuff while the Red, Black and Whites’ backs — adopting an open, running game — played well when they did not knock the ball on, and generally, their defence was very good.

Flanker Chris Cousins was the pick of the forwards, making some crucial tackles and shining on the loose ball. Scrumhalf Brendan Gray, after coming in for Stefan Ungerer, had a very good game and provided the backs with quick ball.

“If we had only stuck to our structures in the different areas, the score would have been different,” said Nel.

Collegians and Impi have a bye this weekend before their much-anticipated second-round match against Impi, away, where the campus club will be intent on revenge.

Meanwhile, UKZN Impi head coach Matt Reed said the defeat by Toti was a close affair, despite having to go into the match with their fourth-choice tighthead prop.

“We were continuously under pressure in the scrums to the point where we would defend for lengthy periods to force a mistake but then be right back under pressure after losing the scrum. Exams have now affected the availability of our players but I am hopeful that I can get a full-strength side out against PMB Collegians, if I do this it will be the first time this season that I have a full-strength side,” said Reed.

“We dominated at lineout time, winning the majority of our ball and theirs. Rucks were very closely contested,” said Reed.

Impi had a few scoring opportunities in the second half, and the biggest chance was a four-man overlap in the last two minutes where a pass was called forward.

This weekend sees round one of the Ebbo Bastard.


Prem Div: PMB Collegians 21 Varsity College 24; Crusaders 13 DBN Collegians 19; UKZN Impi 10 Amanzimtoti 19; Zululand Rhinos 14 College Rovers 89. First Div South: Westville Old Boys 17 Hillcrest 17; UKZN Durban 7 Harlequins 37; Jaguars 33 Richards Bay 8; Ballito Dolphins 3 South Coast Warriors 31. U20A Div KO Cup final: College Rovers 36 Varsity College 26. U20B Div KO Cup final: DBN Collegians 26 Varsity College 14.

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