Wednesday Club Rugby Column – Featured Durban Blog

Wednesday Club Rugby Column:

The final curtain dropped on the 2019 club rugby season last weekend with Harlequins winning the Findlay Cup out on their home grounds on the Bluff, when they beat Voortrekker from Pietermaritzburg 30- 12 in the final of the 97-year-old knockout competition.

The Findlay Cup was presented to the Union in 1922 in honour of the loyal long-serving rugby administrator and former President HA ‘Archie’ Findlay and won by Harlequins for the first time last Friday evening.

With that the 2019 club rugby season took its final curtain call and what a season it has been. Certainly a season of disappointments, sadness, shock results but also many positives. The one area that needs to be looked at in a serious light, however, is the Under 20 leagues, an area that for many is the most important area which would certainly help encourage the growth of the game at club level

It was quite a remarkable season overall none the less and with the silverware distributed more evenly than seasons past there can be no doubt its a true indication of the competitiveness of the season, which was good for the club game.

The College Rovers First XV ended up once again being unbeaten locally for the third year in a row and claimed the Premier Division double The Fidelity ADT Premier Division League and the Hollywoodbets Murray Cup in yet another thrilling and enthralling final. Derek Heiberg head coach at Rovers deserves huge accolades for his proud record with his club.

Rovers wing Sergio Torrens who made a welcome return to his club after representing  Boland for a few seasons was the top try scorer for the season in the league with their other flyer  Charlie Mayesa not far behind. Flyhalf Inny Radeba was voted  Player of the Hollywoodbets Murray Cup knockout competition.

There can be no doubt that the game of the year was, in fact, the Murray Cup final between Durban Collegians and College Rovers the two top sides in the province that certainly have provided spectators and supporters alike with some classic games this season. For Jacques Deen and his Collegians side, they have truly performed well and came so close to reclaiming the Murry Cup

The Varsity College second stringers won the Wylie Cup Reserve league while Bidvest Insurance Crusaders beat Varsity College in the knockout competition to win the Peter Taylor Cup, while their fourth side won the Foaden Bowl giving them two trophies for the season.

For me, Crusaders with head coach Dusty Noble was unquestionably the most improved Premier Division side in the league

Westville Old Boys with Rob Scott at the helm deservedly won the Dewar Shield after defeating Volksrust to become the top First Division outfit in the province.

Standard Bank Richards Bay beat Ethekwini Refractories Amanzimtoti to take home the Junior Murray Cup for the first time. Toti got one back however winning the Keith Parkinson Cup and Parkinson himself was hand to present the trophy and as always handed over a  check for the side to enjoy a few drinks.

In the Under 20 ‘A’ League Varsity College won the Frank Norris cup and edged out Midlands to also take the Basil Medway Trophy in the knockout competition.

SA Home Loans Durban Collegians won the Under 20 ‘B’ League to collect the Kings Park Challenge Cup while FNB UKZN Durban beat Durban Collegians in the knockout to take the DW Geddie Cup.

Harlequins had already won the Third Division Walker Cup and this last weekend ended up winning the double adding the Findlay Cup to their trophy cabinet.

Jaguars broke Rovers winning run in the Women’s league to take the KZNRU Women’s trophy

All that is left is for the Cell C Shark Club XV to go on tour in October and for their final showdown in Winterton at the home of the Drakensberg Rugby Club

This weekend the SA Rugby Legends will be in Winterton to play the Drakensberg Invitational Legends in their annual match of the year.

For now  until next season its not goodbye but simply au revoir.

The post Wednesday Club Rugby Column appeared first on The Sharks.

Vodacom Super Rugby 2020:

Vodacom Super Rugby kicks off earlier than usual next year when one of the world’s premier rugby tournaments begins on Friday 31 January and continues without the usual June breakthrough 21 weeks of exhilarating action.

There is no change to the 15-team format with each side playing 16 pool matches before the three-week finals’ series. Every side will play home and away matches against the other four teams in their conference as well as matches against four teams in the other two conferences with two byes thrown in during the regular season.

Because each team plays four of the five sides in the two external conferences, the Cell C Sharks are not scheduled to meet the Blues from the New Zealand Conference or the Sunwolves from the Australian Conference.

The Cell C Sharks will start our campaign against the Vodacom Bulls at JONSSON KINGS PARK on Friday 31 January before hitting the road overseas.

Our first stop is Dunedin for the opening clash of the Antipodean tour, taking on the Highlanders (Friday) and then the Hurricanes (Saturday) before heading to Australia where the Rebels await (Saturday 22 February). The four-week tour will close off against the Reds at the end of February.

A week later, the Cell C Sharks are back home to host this year’s losing finalists and South African Conference winners the Jaguares on Saturday 7 March and the following Saturday is our second home derby, against the Stormers.

International flavour returns to JONSSON KINGS PARK on Saturday 21 March when the Chiefs visit from New Zealand and then comes a much-needed bye at the halfway stage following an unbroken run of eight matches.

April heralds the first away match against local opposition when the Cell C Sharks travel to Joburg to take on the Emirates Lions (Saturday 4 April) before we host the Waratahs at home the following Saturday.

The next weekend sees the return leg match against the DHL Stormers in Cape Town with the final match against Australian opposition coming next, the Brumbies visiting Durban a week later.

Saturday 2 May has the Emirates Lions coming to Durban for the second-round match with the second overseas trip following the next Saturday when we travel to Argentina to take on the Jaguares again.

The final two games will be played against the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria with a home game against the champions Crusaders closing out our pool stage commitments on Saturday 23 May. The next weekend has the action continuing for all teams but the Cell C Sharks who enjoy our second bye before the qualifiers on Saturday 6 June.

The semi-finals take place on Saturday 13 June with the final scheduled for Saturday 20 June.

The post Vodacom Super Rugby 2020 appeared first on The Sharks.

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