The fourth round of the Gold Cup National Club Rugby Championship produced some of the most exciting and enthralling games played thus far in the competition. Looking at the weekend results it’s clear that a number of closely contested games must have had the respective supporters from the different clubs around the country on the edge of their seats.
Certainly Your Communication College Rovers had their work cut out and were given a rude awakening by Border club champions Old Selbornians on their home grounds KP 2 last Saturday. Leading 26-6 at half time and the bonus point in the bag it looked like Rovers were on their way huge runaway victory. However it was not to be as Old Selbornians bounced back with one of the finest come back stories in recent seasons only for the Fidelity Security Moor Cup champions to bravely hang on for a 34-31 win so securing their place in the quarter-finals.
Rovers outscored their visitors from East London by five tries to three. It was a game Rovers will want to forget but it was also a game that saw their flying wing Tythan Adams crossing for his sixth try so becoming the top try scorer in the inaugural Gold Cup competition so far.
Their other tries came from their captain and flyhalf, Chris Jordaan, who becomes the most capped player in the National Club Championship with two winners medals to his credit, flank Jason Kankowski.
Jacobs and wing Matt Phillips who also added three conversions and a penalty to his tally.
Old Selbornians replied with tries from Rovers Old Boy, No 8, Roy Bursey, flank Craig Green and centre Joshua Bassingthwalghte. Flyhalf Reinhard Gerber was successful with four penalties and two conversions for a 16 point haul.
Rovers now have a huge battle on their hands as they travel down to the Western this Saturday to face last year’s national club champions Durbell RFC who hammered Worcester Villagers in the other Pool ‘A’ game to see who will have a home ground quarter final game.
Sadly the other club representing the KZNRU SA Home Loans Durban Collegians who bowed out the competition last week after being narrowly beaten by Brakpan ended their campaign on a losing note going down 38-22 to Old Georgians in Harare by the Zimbabwean champion club.
Interestingly Rovers and Impala Platinum top the try scoring stats having crossed for 22 touchdowns each with Durbell in second place on 21 tries. Impala however have had 10 tries scored against them and Rovers eight with Durbell having had seven scored against them.
With the All Black test at Growthpoint Kings Park ready to test the critics on Saturday its set for a pretty busy week with functions set to whet the appetites of the most ardent rugby fans in the build up to the big game.
First up (on Wednesday) this evening a full on discussion with Matthew Pearce in conversation with an internationally flavoured panel of coaches including Wayne Smith from the All Blacks, Gary Gold, Allister Coetzee with an important touch from well known referee Mark Lawrence. For R100 join the discussion at 6pm in the Basil Medway Room at Growthpoint Kings Park.
There will also be a very special function at College Rovers on Friday evening at 6.30pm with Michael Charton presenting 1937 Springboks The First World Champions. A wonderful story of the legendary Philip Nel’s unbeatable winning class of 37 who became first ever Springbok side to win a test series against the All Blacks in New Zealand, a side that was referred to as the best team that ever left New Zealand shores.
Charton a Capetonian and ardent lover of history has recently started Inherit South Africa thus embracing his love for his country and its history. With three members of that famous side from KZN, the skipper Nel a sheep farmer from Greytown, Ebbo Bastard from Kokstad and Paddy Lister a product of DHS, this is a story not to be missed. For R500 catch a very interesting and special moment in South African rugby history with the proceeds going to The Barney Army John Smit Foundation the recipient for this special function his special friend Ryan Walker who is busy fighting Motor Neuron Disease.
Then on Saturday before the test a breakfast with John Smit, Dick Muir and Justin Marshall at the Moses Mabida Stadium followed by a lunch starting at 12noon. Cutting it with Blades at the Greyville Convention Centre sees with the voice of South African Rugby, Hugh Baden, in a panel discussion with Butch James, Mark Andrews and Justin Marshall. Contact Ryan Hillary at 082-6223848 for further information.
– Jos Robson