College Rovers, winners of this year’s Murray Cup, and Club Champs in 2010, advanced to their fourth final in seven years with a clinical 72-10 victory over Border champions Old Selbornians, who battled manfully but were no match for the streetwise and super-fit KwaZulu-Natalians.
It was Rovers’ 78th win in 82 matches since the start of the 2009 season, an incredible streak made all the more impressive by the fact that it includes four Club Champs campaigns in addition to KZN league and Cup matches.
Pretoria Police will take them on in the 2012 SARU National Club Championship final after an impressive semi-final win at the Impala Club in Rustenburg on Wednesday.
The Plate final will also be contested by Police and Rovers , after Bloemfontein Police and Welkom Rovers won through to an all-Free State province decider after victories over Noordelikes and Naka Bulls respectively.
Both finals will be televised live on SuperSport, with the Plate final kicking off at 13:00 and the Cup final at 15:00.
“We’re very happy to get through and now it’s a case of who’s got the most left in the tank,” said Rovers’ coach Robert du Preez, the former Springbok scrumhalf. “The guys played well today and they know what they need to do now because they’ve been here before. We can’t wait for Friday.”
In the other semi-final, two tries to wing Michael Nienaber, a late score from fellow winger Ruan van Loo and 15 points from the boot of flyhalf Dillon Laubscher allowed Pretoria Police, the 1995 and 1996 national club champions, to advance to the final for the fourth time after a 35-25 win over hosts Rustenburg Impala.
“It was a very tough game but I’m very, very proud of my players,” said Police skipper Nico Luus. “All the hard work has been worth it and now we have one more hurdle left to clear. We’ve had a very successful season but now we have to finish the job.”
Day 4 fixtures (Fri, live on SuperSport):
13:00 Bloemfontein Police vs Welkom Rovers
15:00 College Rovers vs Pretoria Police.
Day 3 results (Wed 19 Sep):
College Rovers 72 – Tries: Kyle Wilkinson, Anton Verster (2), Lubabalo Mtembu (2), Calvin Adam, Conrad Stoltz (2), Rosko Specman, Francois Robbertse. Conversions: Jors Dannhauser (3), Kobus de Kock (5). Penalties: Dannhauser (2).
Old Selbornians 10 – Try: Dylan Rogers. Conversion: Glen Warner. Penalty: Warner.
Rustenburg Impala 25 – Tries: Michael Lubbe, Morne Jooste, Gavin Williamson. Conversions: Willie Kok (2). Penalties: Kok (2).
Pretoria Police 35 – Tries: Ruan van Loo (2), Michael Nienaber (2). Conversions: Dillon Laubscher (3). Penalties: Laubsher (2). Drop goal: Laubscher.
Noordelikes 7 – Try: Mynhardt Smith. Conversion: Zander Byleveldt.
Bloemfontein Police 27 – Tries: Stevie Meyer, Heino Shepperson, Albert Hertzog. Conversions: Andre du Plessis (3). Penalties: Du Plessis (2).
Naka Bulls 24 – Tries: Leon Nel (2). Conversion: Ruan Boshoff. Penalties: Boshoff (2), Phillip Mulder (2).
Eagle Towing Welkom Rovers 35 – Tries: Pieter Cocken, Ivan de Klerk, Donovan Ball, Gerhard Klopper. Conversions: Ricardo Santos (2), Tiaan van Wyk. Penalties: Santos (3).