The Third Round of the Gold Cup National Club Championship produced some great rugby that was certainly a great advert for the club game. However for the two local representatives from the KZNRU it was a weekend of mixed fortunes.
SA Home Loans were effectively knocked out of the competition when they were edged out 36-33 by Siyaya Brakpan in Pool C, which has been best described as the ‘Pool of Death’. Sadly for the home side Brakpan never won the game but rather Collegians lost the contest with some bad mistakes at the death.
The result sees Brakpan head up the Pool with False Bay in second place after the Cape club had started out as one of the favourites to find their way into the final. Having said that they are still in with a chance as they should still make the top eight.
As for Brakpan, they perhaps should have been taken a little more seriously had the sides recalled that Your Communications College Rovers knocked them out in the quarter finals in the dying minutes of that game in 2013 and ended up as the Bronze winners in the Championship competition that year. There can be no doubt that they have improved dramatically since then and are far stronger outfit these days.
With the visitors leading 26-22 just after the break, it was anyone’s game. The lead changed hands at a furious pace and at one point in the game the lead changed three times in a matter of seven minutes such was the pace of the game. Then with Collegians leading 33-29 towards the closing minutes, there was a fluttering of hope for the Durban side. It was entertaining running rugby at its very best but sadly it was only a few silly unforced errors at the end that cost Collegians dearly with Brakpan crossing for the winning try right on time.
Brakpan outscored Collegians five tries to four with wings Marthinus Ueckermann and Hagen Mumba, lock Theodore Becker, Wayne Menezes coming off the bench and Man of the Match, hooker, Adrian Oosthuizen crossing the line. Fullback Gido Horn kicked four conversions and a penalty.
Collegians replied with two tries by wing Jasper Genis and one each from skipper centre Andrew Holland and No 8 Wade Elliott. Flyhalf Ethan Beukes was successful with three penalties and two conversions.
College Rovers went to the top of Pool ‘A’ after another good win beating their hosts Welkom Rovers 48-22 outscoring the Griffons Champions by eight tries to three with their flying wing Tythan Adams leading the charge with four touch downs and so becoming the top try scorer in the competition with five tries out of two games. Their other tries came from skipper Chris Jordaan, Willem Rheeder, Lwazi Ngcungama and Le Roux Viljoen with Gavin Scott kicking four conversions.
The Fidelity Security Moor Cup champions are very much in the mix at the moment among the front runners and have scored the 17 tries with only five having been scored against them thus far. Leading the way with the most tries scored is Pretoria Police on 18 but have had nine scored against them so from here on in its all to play for as the clubs all look at a place in the top eight that will assure them of a place in the quarter finals.
Collegians will travel to Zimbabwe to meet Old Georgians in Harare in their final game while Rovers will host Old Selbornians on their home grounds at KP this Saturday with the kickoff scheduled for a 3.30pm start.
ROUND 3 Results
Welkom Rovers 22-College Rovers 48
Old Selbornians 27-Worcester Villagers 12
SK Evergreens 35-Pirates 51
Windhoek Wanderers 60-Northern Platinum Rhinos 29
Durban Collegians 33-Brakpan 36
Old Georgians 25-False Bay 38
Bloemfontein Police 24-Pretoria Police 36
PE Police 20-East London Police 17