UKZN Impi hunting the hare at Varsity

2011-02-14 00:00

ONE can’t help thinking that the University of KwaZulu-Natal Impi will be hunting the hare when the Varsity Shield rugby teams meet at the Peter Booysen Sports Park tonight.

The 7 pm kick-off at the rugby grounds off Golf Road will see the Impi going all out to record their first Varsity Shield victory and thereby get their campaign back on track.

Two defeats in succession has set back on its heels the Impi’s quest to win the Varsity Shield and in so doing, qualify for the Varsity Cup promotion/relegation match at the end of the competition, which makes tonight’s match a must-win situation for UKZN.

And Fort Hare look to be ready for the taking. Winless, too, after two rounds, the men from the town called Alice may be able to draw on the inspiration of iconic alumni in Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Desmond Tutu, but rugby wisdom suggests that the Impi will possess too many guns for the Eastern Cape lads.

UKZN is primarily made up of the Maritzburg Varsity side that took reigning national club rugby champions College Rovers down to the wire in Durban last season. Common sense suggests that head coach Beans Bateman’s Impi are poised to click into gear.

UKZN, now in its 100th year of rugby on campus, have seasoned KZN Premier Division club rugby campaigners in their ranks.

Fort Hare, established in 1916 and the oldest historically black university in Africa, should bear the brunt of the frustration the Impi have felt in remaining try-less in their opening encounters.

Seven Kirsten Jones penalty goals are the only UKZN points that have troubled the scorekeepers. UKZN have been clamouring for inclusion in the Varsity Cup for close on three years, yet Wits, Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein and University of Western Cape have got the jump on them in this inaugural Varsity Shield competition. It’s time to set the record straight.

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