Impi coach picks out positives

2015-02-04 00:00

UKZN Impi’s 16-5 win over University of Western Cape on Monday night may not have been pretty but there were plenty of positives for head coach Ryan Strudwick.

In a game that was marred by innumerable handling errors, the KZN outfit came out tops thanks to some dogged defence and a couple of well-taken chances. First-match jitters were obvious as both teams struggled to catch the ball in near perfect conditions. Strudwick echoed these sentiments, but was forgiving of his charges.

“We were definitely rusty but that can be expected in the first match of the season. It was also their first full 80-minute game, so the boys were over-eager and that led to some forced errors,” Strudwick told The Witness.

The Impi looked a more structured and settled side than their Bellville hosts. But handling errors plagued both teams and the Impi coach lamented his sides inability to put together phases.

Strudwick said his side would get better with more game time under the belt and highlighted the positive aspects of the clash. “I thought our scrum was very good. Our lineout was also solid but faltered a bit in the second half when we made some changes.”

With a solid base, the coach is aiming to focus on phase play and structures this week. If the Impi can cut out fundamental errors, they will be a dangerous force on attack which showed at times on Monday night. Another highlight was the commitment of the KZN side’s defence. UWC tried to open the game up and few line-breaks forced the Impi to scramble — which pleased their coach.

“We said before the match we could only allow two tries in and we kept it down to one. You cannot coach commitment and it was there so I was very pleased with that. It’s good that we can coach and rectify where we went wrong in the handling and phase play.”

The next call of duty sees the Impi host TUT Vikings in Pietermaritzburg next Monday.

Monday night’s results

UKZN 16-5 UWC

TUT 21-16 UFH

P W D L PD BP PTS

UKZN 1 1 0 0 11 0 4

TUT 1 1 0 0 5 0 4

UFH 1 0 0 1 -5 1 1

Wits 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

UWC 1 0 0 1 -11 0 0

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