THE Land Rover Durban – Hillcrest Villagers’ Rugby Club hosted South Coast Warriers in the Hollywood Bets Murray Cup Knockout qualifying fixture.
This was a grudge match like no other as the outcome would dictate whether the Hillcrest team would play in the Murray cup or not.
The Villagers 1st XV set a record in 2017 for winning the Junior Murray cup three years in a row.
It is the first time Hollywood Bets sponsored the Murray Cup and this led to a few interesting rule changes to speed up the game and make things a little more exciting.
Players are not permitted to kick outside of their own 22 meter for the first 10 minutes in each half.
Tries scored under the poles do not require a conversion. A conversion must be taken within 30 seconds.
There is also one strategic break per half, this quartered the game into 20 minute segments.
The two teams showed that with only a loss to each other during the KZNRU First Division League played earlier the year, that this knockout match would be the ultimate decider.
The game hinged in the balance for most part of the match, but a try in the latter part of the second half sealed Villagers’ fate.
The Warriers won 17 – 7. The Villagers’ dropped into the Junior Murray Cup.
Hollywood Bets Man of the Match was awarded by KZNRU vice president, Schalk Liebenberg, to Brandt Fields from SCW. The Hillcrest Man of the Match went to Jono Deighton (forwards) and Henkie Groenewald (backs).
In the curtain raiser, Envirosan-Hillcrest Villagers 3rd XV powered their way past Ogwini Bafana from Lamontville with a comprehensive 47 – 7 win.
Man of the Match went to Ruben Goosen (forwards) and Brandon Waugh (backs).