Maritzburg Collegians reflect on a successful season of club rugby

2013-09-26 00:00

“THE season was a success … we achieved our first target of establishing ourselves as a Fidelity Security Moor Cup Premier Division club,” Maritzburg Collegians Rugby Club chairperson Didier Claite told The Witness yesterday.

“Going into the 2013 season our aim was a top-five finish and while we unfortunately only came sixth, we cemented our place in the top rung of KwaZulu-Natal club rugby.”

Claite said that an undoubted highlight was the PMB Collegians first XV retaining the Junior Murray Cup title. “It was a great way to end the season. We enjoyed a good knock-out tournament as a club, as we managed to have two teams in the KZN cup finals. Our second XV were beaten in the final of their competition.”

Claite said what was most gratifying was how the club grew in maturity and its approach to the game. “Carel Nel, the current KZN Duikers coach, joined us and teamed up superbly with Rinier Bosman. The pair did a fantastic job. It was the perfect match of continuity allied to fresh ideas, while the work ethic of Rinier and Carel was second to none.”

Claite said the club will carry on with their restructuring process. “Carel will handle the first team and Rinier will look after our U20 side, a very important age group in which we have much hope as they graduate to the senior ranks.”

Off-season training begins next month and the club have appointed specialist coaches to help with group and player-specific schedules.

“Club rugby is fast evolving in KZN and we need to stay in touch with the changes,” said Claite. “A great success has been the birth of our junior rugby section. We started with a pilot project at U16 level, headed by Sean Jones, who is incredibly passionate about the project and willing to put in the hard yards to make it succeed.”

Collegians joined the Durban U16 league and came third. Claite said the highlight was the Baby Reds beating College Rovers 47-0 in the third place play-off. “We are now putting plans in place to have junior club rugby from the U8 to U18 age groups next season. It would be an awesome achievement to get that right.”

Seven of Collegians’ U16 players made the Natal Club Rugby U16 side to play in the inter-provincial tournament in Pretoria, while Chris Cousins and Josh Caruth made the KZN Duikers side.

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