It’s now or never for Impi as they prepare to face UWC

2013-03-15 00:00

MONDAY’S Varsity Shield match at the Peter Booysen Sports Park rugby stadium off Golf Road, Scottsville, presents a must-win, full-house five points scenario for head coach Shawn van Rensburg’s University of KwaZulu-Natal Impi.

University of Western Cape, under colourful former Springbok head coach Peter de Villiers, also know that if the Impi win well, it will put paid to their chances of reaching the final against Bloemfontein’s Central University of Technology (CUT) on Easter Monday, April 1.

University of Fort Hare Blues host unbeaten CUT in Alice on Monday. Their chances of winning appear very slim, although the Bloemfontein side’s head coach, Skillie Bester, might experiment, knowing their final berth is already in the bag.

It is the Impi’s last league game. Fort Hare tackle UWC in Bellville Monday week in their remaining league match — a clash that could take on the proportions of a semi-final should UWC prevail in the 7 pm muscle-up on the Pietermaritzburg campus.

Van Rensburg is aware of these permutations and outlined his team’s strategy for UWC to The Witness yesterday.

“We need four tries, five log points, that’s all. I sharpened things up this week, will field my strongest team against UWC, and our approach will be direct, hard,” Van Rensburg added.

“We must keep it tight, control the ball, as UWC like to run, go wide. The Impi are very hungry, up for the challenge and practice has been awesome.”

UWC won their first-round match against the Impi 38-15 in Bellville five weeks ago, running in six tries to two in the process, with four in the first half.

No. 8 Heinrich Marcus dotted down three times with flyhalf Frederick Muller getting two touchdowns.

However, four wins from seven matches compared to UWC’s two from six suggests the Impi know how to close out a match successfully. The holders of the 2012 wooden spoon have made huge progress.

“It’s now or never. We are in or we are out, but irrespective of the result I am very proud of the boys,” Van Rensburg added.

However, UWC boss De Villiers, famous for his “snorisms”, such as “I am going to pull a rat out of the hat”, may well have a few surprises in store for the Impi.

Supporters are urged to get to the stadium on the PMB campus early in order to avoid traffic congestion.

The national anthem will be sung at 6.50 pm with kick-off at 7 pm.

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