Historic PMB derby tonight

2012-04-20 00:00

THE long-awaited Derby Cup match between two of the province’s oldest rugby clubs, Maritzburg Collegians and PMB Varsity, takes place tonight at the Peter Booysen Sports Park off Golf Road.

The Derby Cup is a floating trophy contested between the KwaZulu-Natal capital’s two top teams, and the contests between the 109-year-old PMB Collegians and the 101-year-old PMB Varsity go back decades.

The match is also part of the Fidelity Security Premier Division season, which gives the encounter added significance as precious log points are at stake, as well as the prestige of claiming the impressive trophy that goes to the best Pietermaritzburg club team.

Varsity head coach Shawn van Rensburg can’t wait for kick-off.

“We have had good training sessions and go into this big match against our neighbours Maritzburg Collegians looking for nothing less than maximum points,” said the campus-based side’s new mentor.

The Whites have reason to be confident after they thrashed Crusaders last week, while Collegians are back in the premier division for the first time in years.

However, Collegians head coach Rinier Bosman also has reason to be optimistic, as the red, black and whites outplayed the Zululand Rhinos last time out and his pack of forwards are fast developing a reputation as a formidable unit.

There is so much more than just the rugby to savour on this occasion as former Varsity legends Craig Jamieson and Gary Teichmann recall.

Teichmann, the former Sharks and Boks captain, said the atmosphere and crowd participation made the derby a highlight of his Varsity career.

“Aside from that, traditionally we struggled up front against Collegians but had more flair in the backs.

“It will be interesting to see if that is still the case. It was always a bit of an upset when we won, so that’s what made the match so challenging,” said the former number eight.

Jamieson, who captained Natal to their first Currie Cup title in the province’s 100th year back in 1990, said it was always a great day for club rugby in Pietermaritzburg.

“There is so much history in this match,” said the former scrumhalf.

“In my day I think back to Collegians captain Laurie Sharp, Johnny Mullis, Sarel Erwee, and Varsity’s Graham Hefer, Alan Faber, Tony Watson, to name a few.

“I am sure this derby match will live up to the occasion.”

Varsity have laid on special Old Boys’ areas for the clubs’ former players, who are expected to arrive in their numbers, while there is music and much more on offer for the fans.

Entrance is free. The second teams kick off at 6.30 pm with the PMB Derby Cup match starting at 8 pm.

The splendid trophy will be handed to the winning captain after the final whistle.

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