Host of Sharks for Premier Division club rugby

2014-06-20 00:00

THERE are a host of Sharks-contracted players available for tonight’s Fidelity Security Premier Division club rugby matches, as well as much-anticipated derbies to look forward to.

The big one in the KZN capital sees Maritzburg Collegians taking a hop, step and jump from their Boshoff Street headquarters up the road to Scottsville and an 8 pm clash with UKZN Impi at Peter Booysen Sports Park off Golf Road.

Impi lost to Collegians in the first round, after many of their first-choice players were rested following the most strenuous of Varsity Shield campaigns. That said, Collegians were up for the challenge.

The start of the second round of premier-division fixtures sees Collegians without their key player, scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer, who is with the Sharks U21 training squad, but head coach Carel Nel’s lads will still have a big weapon in Sharks tighthead Wiehahn Herbst.

The Impi are in the worst possible place right now. Spokesperson Mark Schulze told The Witness yesterday that the team have been decimated by exam commitments, which have disrupted practices and led to numerous players being unavailable.

“A number of players are still writing on Friday [this] evening and Saturday morning, including former KZN Schools’ hooker Mickyle Webster and highly regarded lock Adam Wessels, who is writing supplementary exams after his loan stint with the Pumas.

“Wessels might still make it, although he will have to finish his paper pretty swiftly in order to get to Peter Booysen on time,” said Schulze.

To add to their woes, despite the release of Sharks players to the clubs for tonight’s matches, representative call-ups‎ for Johan Wagenaar and Hanco Venter (Sharks U21 training squad), and Matt Mandioma and Shayne Makombe (Zimbabwe’s World Cup qualifier tournament), have further weakened the team. Pivot Tim Swiel is only available next week and Rico Lategan has been invited to join Griquas on loan, but will have to finish his exams before he departs. “In addition, we can’t pick any of our U20 players, as the KZN Rugby Union has hastily arranged centralised U20 fixtures at King’s Park on Friday [this] evening in order to have another look at the province’s age-group players,” said Schulze.

There is some good news in the Impi camp in that highly rated former Sharks U19 prop Stefan van Schalkwyk is over his injury woes and captain Andre Greyvenstein is also fully fit again and has finished his exams.

“Gravy” will face one of the most testing challenges in a long captaincy career that goes back to Maritzburg College days, in trying to get the best out of what he has available against what will be a pumped-up Collegians outfit.

The derby has added keenness as Impi lie seventh on the eight-team log, just five points behind sixth-placed Collegians.

Second-placed College Rovers entertain arch-rivals across the Umgeni River, third-placed Crusaders, at 8 pm on King’s Park 3. Five points adrift, Rovers need to stay in touch with log-leaders Durban Collegians, who have a five-pointer in the bag when they host bottom-placed Zululand Rhinos just across the way from Rovers, on King’s Park 10.


Prem Div (all 8 pm): College Rovers vs Crusaders (KP3); Varsity College vs Amanzimtoti (Riverside); UKZN Impi vs PMB Collegians (Peter Booysen); DBN Collegians vs Zululand Rhinos (KP10). Reserves 6.30 pm.

First Div South (8 pm): Harlequins vs Westville Old Boys; Hillcrest vs UKZN Durban. Reserves 6.30 pm. U20A Div (6.30 pm unless stated): DBN Collegians vs UKZN Durban; Varsity College vs Crusaders; College Rovers vs South Coast Warriors (7 pm).


DBN Collegians: Francois Kleinhans. Available next week: Fred Zeilinga, Heimar Williams. Unavailable, rehab: Peet Marais.

College Rovers: Kyle Cooper, Keegan Daniel. Unavailable, rehab: Anton Bresler, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Pat Lambie.

Crusaders: Tonderai Chavhanga. Available next week: S.P. Marais, Jean Deysel, Marco Wentzel.

Varsity College: Franco Marais, Odwa Ndungane, Jacques Botes, Khewzi Mona, Khaya Majola. Unavailable, rehab: Sizo Maseko.

Amanzimtoti: Mtembu Lubabalo, Lourens Adriaanse, Tyler Fisher. Available next week: Ryan Kankowski. Unavailable, rehab: Monde Hadebe.

PMB Collegians: Wiehahn Herbst. Unavailable: Stefan Ungerer (Sharks U21 training). Available next week: Dale Chadwick, Jaco van Tonder.

UKZN Impi: Unavailable: Hanco Venter (Sharks U21 training). Available next week: Tim Swiel. Unavailable, rehab: Etienne Oosthuizen.

Zululand Rhinos: Wiehahn Hay, Danie Meinie.

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