Derby: Varsity triumph in festive evening

2012-04-25 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg Derby Cup club rugby match between Maritzburg Varsity and PMB Collegians first teams was played in front a large crowd at Peter Booysen Park on the Pietermaritzburg campus on Friday night.

The student-based club prevailed 17-3 after leading 3-0 at half-time to pick up four Fidelity Security Moor Cup points.

Both sides tore into each other from the first whistle in a great spectacle of club rugby, and the student-based team’s huge defensive effort was probably the difference on the night.

A big turnout of old boys from each club added to the festive atmosphere in a match where Varsity captain Leon Stevens and fellow loose forward Zwela Zondi stood out up front, while the Whites’ flyhalf, Wessel Booysen, put in another commanding performance.

Varsity head coach Shawn van Rensburg said: “Our pack was awesome, they played a pick-and-go game close to the fringes.

“The score should have been bigger, but we missed a few penalties and did not finish off every time we made a line break …

“My team is growing with every practice and with every game we play together, they are learning to play my structure and to stick to the game plan.

“We could not finish it off, either a bad pass or the support was too late. But I must say that our defence was really good.

“We just need to keep the momentum going and believe that we will compete against the top Premier Division teams.”

By all accounts the Varsity men played with heart and a hunger to win, and are getting used to Van Rensburg and his coaching style.

“What impressed me about Collegians was that they never gave up playing, they kept on till the end, and they do have a very good side,” said Van Rensburg, who is director of rugby at Voortrekker.

“We still have a long way to go but we’ll get there. Our next match will be on May 4 against Durban Collegians away and that’s going to be a big game for us. I’m looking forward to that challenge.”

Varsity rugby administrator and former first XV forward Shane le Breton said the campus side’s pack dominated proceedings.

“Our defensive effort was massive, on numerous occasions tackling the Collegians attackers into the ground, although it must be said that they had a lot of guts and courage,” said Breton.

If Friday was anything to go by, the return match later in the season at Woodburn Stadium will be another humdinger with the Pietermaritzburg Derby Cup up for the taking once again.

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