KZN First Division title back in ’Toti

2013-08-14 00:00

THERE was heartbreak, but also satisfaction in the Piet Retief camp after they ran Amanzimtoti agonisingly close in the KZN First Division final at King’s Park over the weekend.

The defending champions South Coast club won 26-20 after the men from up north had been leading 9-8 at half time.

Piet Retief are the 2013 KZN First Division north section champions. A killer blow came for them when they lost a loose forward seven minutes after half time against the 2013 KZN First Division south section winners. This meant ’Toti had a one-man advantage for much of the match.

“Yes, we ran ’Toti pretty close and I am proud of the guys,” Piet Retief coach Johan Bender told The Witness yesterday.

“The red card was awarded for what was adjudged to be a dangerous tackle, after the assistant referee had consulted with the match referee. We feel that a yellow card would have been a fairer decision,” said Bender.

Before the first whistle, the five-hour drive on wet roads from Piet Retief to Durban had already put the northerners on the back foot, and they can give themselves a pat on the back for a courageous display.

“The guys showed a lot of character playing with 14 men, and if the final had been played at a venue closer to Piet Retief the result might have been different,” said Bender.

The Piet Retief coach said that in general the match was pretty even but the difference was that their opponents had made better use of points-scoring opportunities. He reserved special praise for the very good lines run by ’Toti in the midfield, which enabled the South Coast men to break tackles.

Meanwhile, Southern KZN won both the Inter Sub-Union U21 and senior competitions. The U21 team beat Durban 20-15 and their senior side outlasted Durban 22-20.

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