UKZN Impi take no prisoners

2013-01-29 00:00

DRIVING rain, a sopping wet rugby ball, a battle against the wind in the first half and a supreme effort after the last strategy break earned 2012 also-rans the University of KwaZulu-Natal Impi an outstanding 19-7 victory over last year’s nemesis, the University of Fort Hare Blues.

It was a gripping battle of brawn and wits at Peter Booysen Sports Park in Pietermaritzburg late yesterday afternoon.

The Impi led 8-7 at half-time after establishing an 8-0 lead. Their five-pointers came from a try by fullback and vice-captain Jeandre Small amid a scrum of outstretched bodies in the first half and a touchdown by replacement lock Gerrit Fourie, who found time to get out on to the right wing after that crucial on-field team strategy session that took place before the action-packed finale.

Impi flyhalf Carl Meyer kicked the initial conversion and it was most impressive how the Impi closed out the game towards the end.

Cool-headed replacement back and place-kicker Jaco Potgieter took advantage of the enormous work his pack of forwards had produced in tiring the Blues out and forcing them into making damaging errors, when he stepped up to steer three penalty-goal chances between the posts.

Each side showed tremendous commitment as both were aware how vital it is to get off to a winning start in this pressure-cooker competition and how difficult it is to recover in what is an intense and unforgiving campaign.

The Impi travel to Pretoria to play Tshwane University of Technology on Thursday before their third bruising match in eight days takes place at the Peter Booysen Sports Park next Monday at 7 pm, this front-up being against Bloemfontein’s Central University of Technology.

The Impi lost both times to the Blues last season, but yesterday saw the lads from UKZN do to others what others had done to them in 2012.

The Pietermaritzburg-based side, under head coach Shawn van Rensburg and captain and number eight Andre Greyvenstein, controlled the match, outmuscled their opponents, played in the areas of the field they wanted to play in, and played the brand of rugby they wanted to play.

Man of the match was Impi scrumhalf Zander Engelbrecht, who initiated some sniping breaks among the effective plays he made for his team.

Also notable was that UKZN were without four hookers, and prop Senzo Ngubane and his substitute, Richard Sakhile, stepped into the breach to do the job remarkably well.

A big challenge for Van Rensburg is going to be how to manage his players over the next seven days and two matches.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.