A day in Durbs …

Tank Lanning

The Telnet Crusaders came close to causing one of the biggest shocks in Murray Cup history on Saturday, but were eventually edged out 27-21 by Jonsson College Rovers in the final of the Castle Murray Cup knockout competition at Riverside Sports.

Courtesy of the SA Breweries guys, I was invited to join the Ballz Visual Radio team of Darren Scott, Simon Hill, John Walland and Lee-Ann Roberts to be part of the build up to the big game, and then commentate on the final with Hill’s now legendary and gut wrenchingly funny Rugby Panel. What a day!

I am told it has to go down as the best club finals day in living memory. Certainly Roger Gardner and the Varsity College Rugby Club can hold their heads high for hosting a successful and great day of rugby camaraderie and entertainment that will unquestionably be the highlight of the 2012 club season and will remain in the history books as one of the most memorable.

It was a fitting finale to the 2012 club rugby season with international referee Marius Jonker handling the final. Many expected Rovers to completely dominate proceedings , but on a blustery and brutally hot day, Crusaders came out with passion and a huge desire to win. The game was in the balance for a long time and Crusaders can hold their heads high.

It wasn’t pretty but it was enthralling. And Rovers will head to the National Club Championships in Rustenburg knowing that any side, no matter how good, can stumble. They had an up and down kind of outing, but always seemed the side capable of scoring a try when it really mattered, no doubt due to an incredible defence and a strong belief in their winning culture.

Crusaders opened the scoring via an Armand Botha penalty. Rovers levelled matters via points maching Jors Dannhauser. Botha got a second before Rovers fullback Chris Jordaan scored the opening try in the dying minutes of the 1st half to take a 10-6 lead after Dannhauser converted. Dannhauser got another early in the second half ans one got the feeling it could be the end of the Saders challenge but the Durban North club had other ideas, putting in their finest performance of the season only being outscored four tries to three by the victors in the end.

Crusaders tries came from skipper and well travelled prop Ronnie Uys, No 8 Nigel Archer, who would have been my man of the match,  and Hubert de Haas and had they had a more successful kicker it could well have been a different story.

Dannhauser was chosen as Most Valuable player of the series by former Bok and Sharks flanker AJ Venter while Crusaders prop Thulani Ngidi was named the official Man of the Match.

  • Maritzburg Collegians won the Junior Murray Cup beating Newcastle Highlanders 32-14
  • Jaguars edged out Rovers ‘B’ 14-10 taking home the DW Geddie Cup
  • Zululand Rhinos picked up the Findlay Cup beating Westville 13-8 in their final.
  • Rovers beat Crusaders 70-3 to claim the Peter Taylor Trophy,
  • Pongola secured the Keith Parkinson Cup beating UKZN Maritzburg 18-7
  • Hillcrest accounted for Amanzimtoti winning the Chris Edwards Under 21 knockout Cup

A few pics from the day …

One Comment

  1. Tank, I think we are going to witness a very sad event in the history of Western Province club rugby at the end of the season – the relegation of one of South Africa’s greatest rugby clubs – Villigers RFC.

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