Maritzburg U20A maul jaguars

2010-03-31 00:00

THE Maritzburg U20A rugby team had an encouraging 47-17 victory over Jaguars in their KZN U20A Division encounter.

The match began well for PMB when Calvin Channing, who started for the first time at scrumhalf, caught the Jaguars’ defence unawares to nip over the tryline. The prolific boot of Jaco Potgieter made up the seven-pointer.

Silly PMB play let Jaguars come back with a penalty, but one in return by Potgieter and hooker Frikkie Senekal’s converted try from a rolling maul after a lineout saw PMB 17-3 up. Coach Steve Botha’s boys then conceded a soft converted try after a kick was charged down, but Potgieter’s marksmanship from afar plus two more saw PMB 26-10 to the good.

A superbly crafted converted try involving JD Human, Potgieter and Thoko Sokhela took PMB to 33-10 at half-time

The in-form Human then set up Sokhela to score left of the poles after the changeover following a fine run down the touchline, and Potgieter added the rest. Chasing the game and feeding off scraps, the spirited Jaguars fought back with a converted try by pivot Steyn Dube for 40-17.

The PMB pack had the last laugh when neat interplay among the forwards resulted in replacement lock Warren Dixon going over. Potgieter slotted the conversion yet again for a personal tally of 22 points in his first full match of the season.

Sokhela was the standout forward, while Channing was adjudged the best in the backline by a short head from Potgieter.

Empangeni U20A shaded hosts Harlequins 6-0 as the league maintained its open-race position. Like Botha’s Midlands Rugby Academy, which forms the core of the Maritzburg U20A squad, Empangeni are the product of the Zululand Academy. These two sides are on an upward learning curve, although not at the same stage of development.

In other U20A games, Durban Collegians remained unbeaten after accounting for Crusaders 34-7, while Rovers were made to work hard by Old Boys in their 16-10 win.

In KZN U20B Division, Maritzburg are just three points behind log leaders Durban Collegians after their 41-3 defeat of South Coast Warriors, while Maritzburg went down 12-5 to Wentworth in KZN U20C Division.

The opening KZN First Division matches saw Hillcrest 33-7 winners against PMB Elephants (formerly Waratahs), South Coast Warriors beat Kokstad 33-3 and Durban Varsity beat Wentworth 33-7. But the standout result was Ballito Dolphins’ defeat of last season’s South Section winners, Amanzimtoti, 16-10.

Dolphins have stellar KZN names like AJ Venter, Craig Jamieson and coach John Slade behind them — the Sharks stars of old all live in Ballito — and they are a rising force.

After this weekend’s Easter break, clubs return to action on the weekend of April 10, and one of the most keenly anticipated KZN Premier Division clashes sees new-look Maritzburg Varsity squad host the Old Boys club from Riverside in Durban North at the Peter Booysen Sports Park’s Varsity Stadium.

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