UKZN Impi superb in patches in 57-5 win against Harlequins

2013-04-16 00:00

THE University of KZN Impi played brilliant rugby in parts to lead 38-0 at half-time before losing their way somewhat in the second half in winning 57-5 against Harlequins in a KZN Premier Division match at Peter Booysen Sports Park last Friday night.

Nine tries to one is an indication of the mismatch in quality between the two sides and fast, alert Impi flank Lwazi Ngcungama was in irresistible form, his remarkable acceleration bagging a first-half hat-trick of tries before adding another touchdown in the second half.

The lively Impi pack won a number of tightheads and also dominated at the lineout and the breakdown, giving their backs some wonderful ball while enjoying themselves upfront at the same time.

The front-foot ball enabled the Impi to attack down the middle, out wide and around the fringes.

Although very ordinary, Quins did not lack heart, but the high intensity of the Impi in the first half saw them cross the gain line frequently and six tries were the reward, although needless kicking out of hand and careless passing instead of protecting the ball at key moments when in possession and on the attack was a problem at times, despite their success.

The second half saw Impi lose their structure and accuracy, and with it the intensity, which allowed Quins to get their hands on the ball, the disjointed rugby much more to their liking.

This Impi squad has the talent to match the performance of the Maritzburg Varsity team under the then coach Ryno Combrinck that challenged for the title a decade or so ago.

However, much work needs to be done, but there are glimpses that suggest that this is a fine team in the making.

Nevertheless, a maximum 10 log points from two matches puts the Impi on top of the log, marginally ahead of perennial champions College Rovers, as well as Durban Collegians and Varsity College, but the bigger challenges lie ahead.

More immediately, the Impi have another chance at five log points when they take on Zululand Rhinos, UKZN having accepted an invitation to play their home game at King’s Park instead, as the 2.45 pm curtain-raiser to the Sharks/Cheetahs crunch this Saturday.

Meanwhile, Maritzburg Collegians — surely the unluckiest side in the KZN Premier Division over the last two seasons — went down 27-23 to Varsity College in Durban last Saturday, this after an eight-point defeat to UKZN Impi the week before and a string of narrow defeats last year.

At half-time, Collegians were trailing 10-6, the points for the red, black and white consisting of two penalty goals by flyhalf Tiaan Moore.

After the changeover, Collegians tighthead Paulo Ferreira scored a try, which Moore converted.

Then a Moore penalty was followed by lock Grant Stewart’s touchdown, Moore slotting the conversion once again.

Soft tries, wrong options, average execution and a lack of match fitness cost Collegians, but the pack held their own once again and the overall feeling in the camp is positive.

Collegians tackle Crusaders on Woodburn’s number two field at 8 pm this Friday.

SCORERS

UKZN Impi (38) 57 – Tries: Lwazi Ngcungama (4), Chris Ndlovu, Ncegebo Phungula, Leon Mulder, Jandre Small, Brandon Bailey. Conversions: Small (6).

Harlequins (0) 5 – Try: Hardus Terblanche.

RESULTS

Prem Div: DBN Collegians 28 Crusaders 19; Varsity College 27 PMB Collegians 23; College Rovers 35 Zululand Rhinos 19; UKZN Impi 57 Harlequins 5. Reserves: DBN Collegians 19 Crusaders 17; Varsity College 32 PMB Collegians 22; College Rovers 85 Zululand Rhinos 12; UKZN Impi (walkover) Harlequins. 1st Div South: Amanzimtoti 54 Westville 3; Jaguars 29 Richards Bay 17; UKZN Durban 19 Hillcrest 38; Ballito Dolphins vs South Coast Rhinos (no score given). Reserves: Amanzimtoti 69 Westville 3; Jaguars 19 Richards Bay 13; UKZN Durban 17 Hillcrest 19; Ballito Dolphins vs South Coast Warriors (no score given). U20A Div: College Rovers 67 Jaguars 7; Harlequins 18 UKZN Maritzburg 13; Varsity College 62 UKZN Durban 10.

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