Impi get a taste of their own medicine

2015-02-18 00:00

JUST a week after thumping TUT­ Vikings, UKZN Impi received a taste of their own medicine losing 56-13 to Wits at the Peter Booysen Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Monday night.

A hat-trick of tries to Wits’ fullback Tommy Darnba would have sufficed for the visitors, but they ended up running in six tries to the hosts’ two — much to the dismay of Impi head coach Ryan Strudwick.

“We just didn’t turn up. We lacked intensity, urgency and commitment but it could be a blessing in disguise for us,” Strudwick told The Witness.

Coming off an emphatic 68-5 win against TUT last week, Strudwick said his side went into Monday’s clash flat, expecting the match to take care of itself. “Our defence was poor, our set pieces never got going and they punished our poor execution. That being said, I don’t think they were 50 points better than us.”

The Impi had their backs against the wall from the get go, and the hosts scored their first try two minutes into the clash through eventual hat-trick hero Darnba. UKZN managed to score almost immediately through hooker Chris de Beer, but Wits scored another three tries to take a 32-5 lead at half time. It was downhill from there as Wits right after half time and Darnba completed his hat-trick around the 60-minute mark before they added their sixth try with a little over 10 minutes to play.

The Impi scored a consolation try through flyhalf Spha Dube, who filled in for the concussed, and sorely missed, Innocent Radebe.

“We were definitely complacent and went into the clash with the wrong mindset. You could see that as they scored within two minutes. It didn’t help losing our scrumhalf Rowan Gouws after 17 minutes either,” Strudwick said.

The coach felt hard done by Gouws’s injury. He felt the match officials had missed the tip tackle on the scrumhalf that forced him off the field with a suspected concussion.

Despite the loss, Strudwick hopes his charges can get their Varsity Shield campaign back on track — and the KZN side have a slight advantage going into next Monday’s fixture.

The other four sides play their fourth round fixtures tomorrow evening, while the Impi are the only side with a full week’s break.

“We have an extra couple of days to prepare and we should get a number of injured players back for next week’s clash.”

Radebe is expected to return at flyhalf next week, so too will bulldozing eighthman Adam Wessels while Gouws’s readiness could not be confirmed so soon after his injury.

Strudwick believes his charges will see their own faults after reviewing Monday’s lacklustre performance.

“Once they’ve had a look at the match footage, they will realise they let themselves down.”

However, he conceded that Wits were by far the strongest team in the Shield. “They were a quality side, they’re in a different league. You can see they’ve played in the Varsity Cup.”

The Impi face the University of Fort Hare next Monday in Alice, Eastern Cape. Kick-off is at 5 pm.

Varsity Shield log after three rounds


Wits 2 2 0 0 58 2 10

UKZN 3 2 0 1 31 1 9

TUT 3 1 0 2 -61 1 5

UWC 2 1 0 1 -8 0 4

UFH 2 0 0 2 -20 1 1

Monday night’s results

UKZN Impi 13-56 Wits

TUT 18-21 UWC.

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