UKZN Impi coach Van Rensburg believes his team are still in with a shout of reaching Varsity Shield final

2013-02-25 00:00

WITH the FNB Varsity Shield having reached the halfway stage, UKZN Impi coach Shawn van Rens­burg believes his team are still in with a shout of reaching the final.

The fourth-placed Impi have enjoyed a well-deserved week’s rest after four bruising matches in 15 days. They return to the fray refreshed for today’s 7 pm muscle-up with fierce rivals the Fort Hare Blues, at the Davidson Field in Alice in the Eastern Cape.

“We are busy preparing to take on Fort Hare tonight and determined to come back from their home base with a win,” Van Rensburg said. “It’s really important to start the second round with a bang, just like we started the first round with two victories in a row.

“We have learned from our two losses in the matches that followed and know we need to step up now because we know we are good enough to win the rest of our games and make it to the final,” he added.

The burly former forward, who had a distinguished playing career before turning to coaching, said the team’s focus was back to where it should be. The players were clear where they wanted the team to go with respect to the Varsity Shield — and for the rest of the season in KZN’s Premier Division. “Training was a bit lighter last week because of the bye, and this week it has picked up nicely again. We are preparing well this week for the game at Fort Hare.

“We are free from injuries, the spirit is growing and the guys are getting excited to get back playing,” said Van Rensburg.

UKZN hooker Richard Mhlongo has withdrawn from the squad to travel to Alice on compassionate grounds. Mhlongo’s mother was struck and killed by a truck which lost control on a rural road in the New Hanover-Wartburg region of the province.

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