Crushing victory for varsity side

IN a top versus bottom EP Grand Challenge clash, logleaders NMMU did what was expected of them when they taught the inexperienced St Mark's side a rugby lesson, running in 19 tries to claim a 97-5 victory at the Adcock Stadium at the weekend.

The students, who went into the game as clear favourites after only losing one of their games, while St Mark's have lost all of theirs, were in a good mood as they dominated from the onset. They led 50-5 at the break.

The second half was no different as NMMU piled on the pressure and crossed the tryline several times again.

Perhaps the most important game of the week was that between Despatch and Suburban, with the Community Cup champions looking to secure a bonus-point victory to be assured of defending the title they won against Durban's College Rovers earlier this year.

They went to the game placed in second position and qualified for the Community Cup as NMMU, who are in position one and still have to play against Harlequins in their final game, do not play in the cup because they compete in the Varsity Cup.

Despatch ran in 12 tries to claim a well deserved 72-0 win over Suburban in Kleinskool. They proved too much for the hosts and went to the break leading 38-0.

In the second half, they scored a further 34 points to run away with the game.

At the Humansdorp Country Club, Kruisfontein dashed Spring Rose's hopes of finishing second when they beat them 21-12.

Rose, who played beautifully throughout the season, choked when it mattered the most. The score was 7-7 after 40 minutes.

It was a different story in the second half as Kruisfontein, determined to finish in the top 10, did enough to claim the win.

In a physical encounter at Crusaders, home team Caltex Saders narrowly edged African Bombers 11-10.

The evenly matched sides gave their best in what proved to be a hard game, but it was Saders who led 8-5 at half time.

The game could have gone either way but the hosts managed to steal it at the death.

Despite playing with 14 players for about 70 minutes, Harlequins managed to put United Barbarians to the sword with a 26-10 win at Ramaphosa.

The Eastern Cape Super 12 champions made matters difficult for themselves when ill-discipline earned them five yellow cards and a red card.

The northern areas side were leading 18-5 at half time. Barbarians were limited to only an unconverted try in the second half, while the visitors completed their bonus-point victory after scoring a further two tries in the second half.

Park were made to sweat for their hard- fought 30-29 win over Orlando Eagles in Thornhill. On paper, Park were expected to dominate the proceedings, but Eagles gave them a run for their money. The hosts led 12-10 at the break.

Both sides came back more clinical, scoring eight tries in total, four each side.

Eagles probably thought they had won their first game of the season when they led 29-27 with a few minutes left, but a late Park penalty spoiled it for them.

Hosts Brumbies beat PE SAPS 34-26 at the Grahamstown Oval. The home fans came out in numbers and cheered their side on, seeing them take a 19-13 lead after 40 minutes.

The men in blue tried to fight their way back in the last 40 minutes but it was not enough to upset the home outfit.