Impi enter Shield final with confidence

2014-03-29 00:00

THE University of KwaZulu-Natal Impi are feeling confident ahead of their Varsity Shield Final against the Central University of Technology Ixias in Bloemfontein on Monday.

Making the final is the result of a long season of hard work and should they get a win over the team they beat to qualify for the final, they will be playing in the premier student rugby competition next year, the Varsity Cup.

“The main objective was always to make the final, but the job hasn’t been done yet,” Impi skipper Lwazi Ngcungama told Weekend Witness yesterday.

The Impis beat the reigning Varsity Shield champions Ixias in front of their fervent support at the Peter Booysen Park in Pietermaritzburg on Monday this week, and to make sure that their game in rugby-mad Bloemfontein wasn’t a lonely one, the SRC had organised a number of buses so their fans can travel with them.

“People are excited and they’re getting behind us,” Ngcungama said, speaking about the reception they were getting from fellow students on campus.

He added that they weren’t getting too ahead of themselves and were just focusing on the awaiting challenge of the Varsity Shield table topping Ixias.

Ngcungama also praised the work that had been done by coach John Mitchell. Speaking about the former All Blacks mentor, the captain said, “He’s got a very professional approach and we all believe in him.

“I get asked this a lot, and I always say it’s amazing playing under John Mitchell. His professionalism and his knowledge make playing under him fun. He knows the game. Everyone in the team enjoys playing for him,” he said.

Monday’s game will be the third time the two teams will face each other. Mitchell’s outfit were unfortunate to lose a close game 26-25 in the season opener in Bloemfontein, but they produced a good all-round performance earlier this week that saw them triumph 39-21 in Pietermaritzburg.

Mitchell selected an unchanged match 23 as they look to continue with the run. Sharks coach Jake White presented the team with their match jerseys at the Howard College clubhouse yesterday afternoon.

Monday’s game will kick off at 4.15 pm and will be televised on SuperSport 1.

University of KZN Impi: 15. Henkie Groenewald, 14. Shayne Makombe,

13. Brandon Bailing, 12. Kurt Mavrodaris, 11. Hendrik Lategan, 10. Duncan Campbell, 9. Cameron Wright, 8. Deon Carney, 7. Zwela Zondi, 6. Lwazi Ngcungama (captain), 5. Johan Wagenaar, 4. Adam Wessels, 3. Stefan van Schalkwyk, 2. Dean Muir, 1. Henri Boshoff.

Replacements: 16. Mikyle Webster, 17. Bart le Roux, 18. Gideon Koegelenberg, 19. Sanele Malwane, 20. Nelson Makhaye, 21. Gavin Nyawata, 22. Yandisa Mdolomba, 23. Sizwe Kubekha.

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