Quintin van Jaarsveld
The Riversmead South Coast Warriors will kick-off their Murray Cup campaign against a familiar foe on Saturday.
Dating back to 1890, the Murray Cup has a ‘David versus Goliath’ format in which the top eight First Division clubs take on the eight Moor Cup Premier Division clubs.
The draw was made on Monday night and saw the newly-crowned First Division South Section champion Warriors matched up against Hillcrest.
The sides were locked in a fierce battle for First Division South Section supremacy all year, with the Warriors securing the silverware last weekend.
The teams have unfinished business, however, as they’re deadlocked at 1-1. Both teams won their home fixtures, Hillcrest claiming a narrow win before the Warriors exacted revenge in more convincing fashion.
Now the rivals will get an opportunity to settle the score in Hillcrest, with kick-off scheduled for 3.30pm.
“They are the team we wanted,” captain Chris Mitchell told eHowzit.
“We learned a lot from the previous two games against them. We’ll hold our discipline and come with straight physicality.
“There’s no excuse for our loss in the first game, but we’re not coming with the same side. It’s going to be a different story.”
The competition itself will also be ‘a different story’ with the backing of a new title sponsor, Hollywoodbets, and the adoption of several new and exciting rules.
Rules changes confirmed for the tournament are:
- No kicking outside of your own 22m for the first 10 minutes of each half;
- Tries scored under the poles do not require a conversion (automatic 7 points);
- Conversions must be taken within 30 seconds;
- One strategic break per half, meaning there will be four 20 minutes quarters to the game;
- Each squad will comprise of 25 players.
With a winning streak dating back to April, the Warriors aim to make the most of their momentum.
“We’re really looking forward to the competition with the new sponsors and new rules,” said Mitchell, who’s played at scrumhalf, flank and hooker this season.
“We’re on a real high at the moment. Coming off a big win and winning a championship helps with the momentum to push through these next couple of games,” he added.
Hollywoodbets Murray Cup Round One Fixtures (Saturday, 4 August):
– Vryheid vs SA Home Loans Durban Collegians Rugby Club
– Collegians Club PMB vs Varsity College RFC
– Ladysmith Bulldogs vs Ethekwini Refractories Amanzimtoti Rugby Club
– Westville Old Boys Sports Club vs College Rovers Rugby Club
– Volksrust vs Richards Bay
– Hillcrest Villagers Rugby Club vs Riversmead South Coast Warriors Rugby Club
– Piet Retief vs UKZN Pietermaritzburg
– FNB UKZN IMPI vs Northwood Crusaders Sports Club
Watch the draw below