Maritzburg club sides trumped by Durban

2015-04-22 00:00

THE local club rugby season kicked off last week as KZN sides battled it out in the opening round of the Moor Cup.

Pietermaritzburg hosted a double-header on Friday night, as UKZN Impi took on Varsity College at the Pieter Booysen Stadium while Maritzburg Collegians hosted Durban Collegians at the Woodburn Stadium.

Sadly both local sides went down to their Durban visitors. Impi were pipped 35-29, while Durban Collegians beat Maritzburg 82-7.

Impi in it until the end

According to Impi coach Dylan Campbell, his charges were in the game for much of the match, but poor execution during the middle stages of the game cost them.

The UKZN boys were 12-0 up after 15 minutes, but Campbell lamented their poor play in the next 40 minutes of the match.

“It was a great game and we got off to a good start, but we just lost our focus in the middle of the game,” Campbell told The Witness yesterday.

However, his side nearly stole the game at the death. Setting up a maul on Varsity College’s five metre line, Campbell’s charges unfortunately knocked the ball on — denying themselves the chance to win the match.

He also said his players were more used to the rules of the Varsity Shield, which awards eight points for a try (three for a conversion).

“The boys let three kickable penalties go begging because they are used to kicking for the corner looking to score tries. So it’s something we will have to keep in mind, kicking points when they’re on offer.”

With a number of Impi players training with the Sharks Vodacom Cup squad, Campbell has had to make do with the players at his disposal.

One of those players, prop Mees Erasmus scored a solid try on Friday night and his coach believes he is one to look out for in next year’s Varsity Shield competition.

“He missed out this year because he was not a registered student yet, but he’s a great player and we’re expecting big things.”

Impi take on Crusaders in Durban this Friday.

PMB Collegians impressed by Durban counterparts

The hosts suffered a massive 82-7 drubbing at the hands of Durban Collegians. Four tries by flank Greg Bauer would have sufficed, but the Durbanites ran in 11 altogether.

Maritzburg coach Carel Nel could only praise the visitors, describing them as the “fittest, best Durban Collegian side” he has seen in all his years as a coach in KZN.

“You could tell they had been in the Community Cup, they were well trained while we were slightly under-prepared if I am honest,” Nel told The Witness.

While he praised his side for some good passages of play, it was their inability to play for the full 80 minutes that cost them.

“Collegians exposed us in a number of places, and we will definitely need to do some work on defence.

“I am taking the positives out of it though, sometimes a good hiding brings perspective,” he added.

Maritzburg Collegians travel to Durban to take on College Rovers on Friday night.

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