maritzburg teams come down to earth with a bump this weekend after highs of recent weeks

2010-08-03 00:00

AFTER the highs of recent weeks, it was down to earth with a bump for the KZN capital’s top sides over the weekend.

But there was some good cheer in the Maritzburg U19 team’s win over the Shark-less College Rovers in the new Starlite Aviation competition.

Varsity were on a high following their back-to-back home victories over Crusaders and Zululand, but didn’t bring their A game to Varsity Stadium last Friday night.

Perhaps an unconscious complacency had something to do with it, and as visibly disappointed Varsity assistant coach Beans Bateman said after the 16-14 defeat to Harlequins, “the guys played as individuals”.

A bristling Varsity head coach, Dylan Campbell, said it was the students’ worst game of the season.

“We just didn’t arrive. A bad day at the office is an understatement and we will have to write it off and come back strongly against Jaguars.”

Varsity flank Kelvin Adam was probably the campus club’s best player, while there were glimpses of form here and there from fellow loose forwards Leon Stevens and Jonno van Rensburg as well as lock Christopher Ndlovu, but it was all too fractured to amount to much.

Campbell was not complimentary about Quins either. “They killed the ball and didn’t allow us to play.”

Varsity visit bottom-placed Jaguars at 8 pm on Friday in the last game of the Moor Cup Premier Division season before the Murray Cup knockout tournament gets under way the following weekend.

Varsity could still end sixth providing they win as expected, and one of Quins or Zululand cancel the other out.

College Rovers’ 31-13 win over nearest challengers Durban Collegians almost certainly makes the successful defence of their title secure.

The other dose of disappointing news was PMB Collegians’ 32-25 defeat at the hands of Vryheid in the final of the KZN First Division at Mick Kelley Park in Empangeni on Saturday after the sides had been locked 13-13 at half-time.

“One try was the difference, but that’s what finals are all about,” Collegians chairman Tony Day told The Witness yesterday.

“I couldn’t say one of the players didn’t give 100%,” Day said of a Collegians side with an average age of just over 21. “I suppose you could put it down to inexperience and a few vital misses here and there, but Vryheid were possibly the better side on the day.”

Day said Vryheid, with three final appearances in four years, knew what was required. “Collegians’ defence was amazing, while our flank Justin Smith is in the form of his life and flyhalf Conal Levine hardly put a foot wrong.”

Day said Collegians have got the goods to beat Varsity in the first round of the Murray Cup at Woodburn on Saturday week.

“We believe we have got the beating of Varsity up front and they are in for a surprise.”

Meanwhile, justice appears to have been served with respect to the abhorrent crowd behaviour during Collegians’ narrow win over home side Hillcrest a couple of weeks ago. The Witness exposed the yobbo behaviour, and two spectators have apparently been suspended from the club.

Maritzburg U19 beat College Rovers 7-2 away last Wednesday evening in the Starlite Aviation competition, a tournament in which penalty goals count for two points in order to encourage running rugby.

“It was very physical and the defence from both teams was something to see,” said PMB head coach Steve Botha, who also manages the successful Midlands Rugby Academy.

Botha singled out Broderick Webster, Jason Fraser and Damien Hoarau for their fine performances.

Maritzburg host round three at Woodburn tomorrow, with Rovers and Harlequins playing at 6.30 pm and Maritzburg meeting Durban Collegians at 8 pm.

“It would be great if Maritzburg supporters come out in numbers to support the boys,” said Botha.


Prem Div: PMB Var 14 Quins 16; Dbn Coll 13 Rovers 31; Old Boys 17 Saders 43; Zululand 30 Jags 10. Reserves: PMB Var 35 Quins 0; Dbn Coll 17 Rovers 19; Old Boys 10 Saders 23; Zululand 24 Jags 0.


Prem Div – Friday (8 pm): Rov vs OB; Saders vs D Coll; Jags vs PMB Var; Quins vs Zululand. Reserves 6.30 pm.

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