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Hollywoodbets Murray Cup: Finals Day 2018

Rugby player takes lineout

Read about all of the action from Finals Day of the 2018 Hollywoodbets Murray Cup which was hosted by Northwood Crusaders on Sunday 2 September. 

Thousands of rugby fans descended on Northwood Crusaders on Sunday 2 Septemeber for Finals Day of the 2018 Hollywoodbets Murray Cup.

Five matches were played in the glorious Durban sunshine and over 290 points were scored in what was an incredible advert for KwaZulu-Natal Rugby.


Hollywoodbets Murray Cup – Premier Division
College Rovers 17 – 17 SA Home Loans Durban Collegians (After extra time)*
* College Rovers won on superior try count.

Junior Murray Cup – First Division
UKZN Durban 50 – 15 Ladysmith Bulldogs

Peter Taylor Trophy – Premier Division Reserves
SA Home Loans Durban Collegians 54 – 26 College Rovers

Keith Parkinson Cup – First Division Reserves
Durban Land Rover Hillcrest Villagers 29 – 17 Martizburg Collegians

Hollywoodbets Invitational Challenge
Castle Lager Invitational XV 38 – 31 Hollywoodbets Barbarians

All in all, a marvellous day which was capped by the most dramatic of finals. SA Home Loans Durban Collegians held a precarious 17-10 lead heading into the final few seconds of the match and were defending manfully as College Rovers went through phase after phase just metres from the in-goal area.

The pressure would eventually tell, however, with Rovers lock Ryan Carlson crashing over about 10 metres in from the left touchline. That left massive pressure on Gavin Scott to convert in order to send the game into extra time. He duly slotted the conversion much to the delight of the Rovers technical team who were stood behind the dead ball line.

There would be few clear-cut chances in the 20 minutes of extra time that followed, with both sides employing the attritional style of play that we’ve seen in countless major finals across world rugby over the years. Unfortunately for Collegians, no more points were scored in extra time leaving Rovers to be crowned Hollywoodbets Murray Cup Champions by virtue of having scored more tries.

College Rovers players and staff celebrate after winning the 2018 Hollywoodbets Murray Cup.
College Rovers celebrate being crowned 2018 Hollywoodbets Murray Cup Champions.

Of course, there were other matches played on the day. UKZN Durban put in a clinical display, beating Ladysmith Bulldogs 50-15 in the Junior Murray Cup final despite conceding an early lead. UKZN thrilled spectators who got in early with magnificent running rugby as their backs ran riot in the second half.

Rugby players from UKZN Durban celebrate their Junior Murray Cup win.
A jubilant UKZN Durban celebrating after winning the Junior Murray Cup. 

One of the highlights of the day was the Hollywoodbets Invitational Challenge. This match – the first of its kind in KZN club rugby – saw the best players from both Premier Division and First Division take to the pitch in the colours of the Hollywoodbets Barbarians and the Castle Lager Invitational XV. The exhibition match was played as the curtain raiser to the final and certainly did not disappoint. The Castle Lager Invitational XV would eventually claim victory in dramatic fashion, scoring with the last play of the game to win 38-31.

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Hollywoodbets Barbarians and Castle Lager XV Invitational players enjoy a post-match drink. 

Credit must also go to Durban Land Rover Hillcrest Villagers and SA Home Loans Durban Collegians who won the Kieth Parkinson Cup and the Peter Taylor Trophy respectively.

An extra shout-out has to go out to Ray Williams (MotM in the Hollywoodbets Murray Cup Final) and Molotsi Bouwer (Hollywoodbets Murray Cup Player of the Tournament). Williams claimed R4000 for his efforts while Bouwer took home R5000 after stellar displays throughout the competition.


A tournament of this magnitude and success is absolutely nothing without the thousands of people who turned out to support around the province. Estimates indicate that there were just under 5000 people at Northwood Crusaders on Sunday afternoon/evening. Having personally attended matches throughout the tournament, Sunday’s excellent show of support certainly wasn’t an isolated anomaly. From Ladysmith to Shongweni and even further beyond to Mpumalanga; the players, team management, referees, venues as well as from the Team here at Hollywoodbets – thank you for all of the incredible support!

Tera Mtembu in Liverpool shirt.
Sharks loose-forward Tera Mtembu enjoying the action. 

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Hollywoodbets Dolphins and Proteas all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo with the star of YesWena 20:29 Powered by Hollywoodbets, Zama Mdlalose. 

Rugby Referees pose in their purple and yellow Hollywoodbets Kit
Referees throughout the tournament looked fantastic in their Hollywoodbets kit produced by Flya.

Gary Teichmann and friends.
Sharks CEO, Gary Teichmann (left) enjoying the action on Finals Day.

Graham Mackenzie poses with friend.
Former KZN Rugby Union President, Graham Mackenzie (right) enjoying the festivities. 

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Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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