IT was not the happiest of Saturdays for Maritzburg Collegians and PMB Varsity in Moor Cup Premier Division action.
Collegians went down 23-5 to their Durban namesakes while Varsity were beaten 30-13 by Old Boys.
Both matches took place in the city so local fans were spoilt for choice.
Varsity held a successful day on behalf of the Jess Foord Foundation in aid of survivors of rape, but on the field there were fewer smiles.
They trailed 20-13 at half time before the Durban side added 10 points without reply in the second half for the Whites’ four-match unbeaten run to come to an end.
They also relinquished second place on the log to Old Boys. College Rovers are the runaway leaders.
Varsity head coach Shawn van Rensburg was doing duty as director of rugby at Voortrekker and the head coach mantle was taken over by his assistant, Dylan Campbell, who was frustrated, as were the knowledgeable folk in the crowd, at several of the referee’s decisions.
While Varsity held the edge in the set scrums, they were beaten in the battle of the breakdown, where Brian Shabangu was outstanding.
His ability as fetcher and Old Boys’ excellent prowess at the maul were the deciding factors.
Collegians were left frustrated by their lack of pace out wide against the fleet-footed Durban Collegians backline and an inability to convert possession into points.
“The score was not a fair reflection,” said PMB Collegians chairperson Tony Day.
“We would be on attack and Durban would break out of our 22 and score. We will have to look for players with pace on the outside, but you can’t fault the guys’ commitment.
“They had six Sharks XV-contracted players, our scrum was again hugely outweighed but held them, and again we left tries on the table.
“It’s a learning curve and the experience is valuable,” Day said.
PMB Varsity have a testing match on Friday against Zululand Rhinos in Empangeni while Collegians travel to Crusaders in Durban North.
PMB Varsity (13) 13 (try, Levi Swartz; conversion, Karl Meyer; penalties, Meyer 2) Old Boys (20) 30 (tries, Troy Chiocchetti 2, Brian Shabangu; conversions, Warren Randall 3; penalties, Randall 3).
Premier Division: College Rovers 47 Zululand Rhinos 25; Harlequins 34 Crusaders 23; PMB Collegians 5 DBN Collegians 23; UKZN Maritzburg 13 Old Boys 30.
Reserves: Rovers 125 Zululand 0; Quins 5 Saders 23; PMB Collegians 12 DBN Collegians 12; UKZN Maritzburg 0 Old Boys 14.
First Division South: UKZN Durban 29 PMB Waratahs 6; Hillcrest 19 Ballito Dolphins 23. Reserves: UKZN Durban 25 PMB Waratahs 19; Hillcrest 45 Ballito 5.
Friday: Prem Div (8 pm unless stated): Durban Collegians vs College Rovers (King’s Park 10); Old Boys vs Harlequins (Riverside Club, Durban North); Crusaders vs PMB Collegians (8.30 pm, Ranleigh Crescent, Durban North); Zululand Rhinos vs UKZN Maritzburg (8.30 pm, Mick Kelly Park, Empangeni). Reserves play curtain-raisers. First Division South (8 pm unless stated): Ballito vs Amanzimtoti; Hillcrest vs PMB Waratahs; Jaguars vs South Coast Warriors (8.30 pm). Reserves play curtain-raisers.