Club rugby returns to the city

2008-03-27 00:00

After much anticipation and behind-the-scenes manoeuvring, club rugby kicks off tonight.

Under the generous, renewed sponsorship of the House of Paint, the Moor Cup Premier Division should again be competitive.

Maritzburg Varsity start against the Sydenham-based Jaguars at Peter Booysen grounds at 8 pm.

Back at his alma mater and coaching Varsity this season, is former London Irish star Richard Bates. In his student days, loose forward Bates gave notice of what was to come with a series of outstanding displays, that saw him play for the KZN Wildebeest and one match for the Sharks, before a contract in the English Premier League took him to London. Watching Bates win a man-of-the-match award against Bath, at London Irish’s Madejski Stadium, it was evident he had lost none of his fire.

If Bates can impart some of that bulldog spirit into the Varsity side, half the battle will be won.

However, the task ahead of this Varsity team is massive as they attempt to keep afloat in a Premier Division that is increasingly becoming the exclusive preserve of the elite Durban clubs alone.

Tonight's fixtures:

House of Paint Moor Cup Premier Division (8 pm): DBN Coll vs Crusaders (KP10); Harlequins vs Coll Rovers (HQ); PMB Varsity vs Jaguars (Varsity); Zululand Rhinos vs Old Boys (Emp). Wylie Cup Premier Reserves Division (6.30 pm, same venues as first teams): DBN Coll vs Crusaders;

Harlequins vs Coll Rovers; PMB Varsity vs Jaguars; Zululand Rhinos vs Old Boys. Frank Norris Trophy U20A Division (6.30 pm unless stated): Harlequins vs Coll Rovers (HQ2); Gestetner Midlands vs Jaguars (Woodburn Stadium); Empangeni vs Old Boys (8 pm Emp2). First Division (South Section): Gestetner PMB Collegians vs Ballito Dolphins (8 pm Woodburn Stadium); South Coast Warriors vs PMB Waratahs (8.30 pm SCW); Hillcrest vs Amanzimtoti (8.30 pm Hill). Reserves (South): PMB Collegians vs Ballito Dolphins (6.30 pm Woodburn 2); SC Warriors vs PMB Waratahs (7 pm SCW); Hillcrest vs Amanzimtoti (7 pm Hill).

KZN Rugby Union Cup U20C Division (6.30 pm): Amanzimtoti vs Queensburgh (Toti); Empangeni B vs Old Boys C (Emp2): Pete Booysen Cup U20D Division: Mangosuthu Tech vs Ogwini Bafana (6.30 pm, MT).

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