Varsity first XV anticipate a decisive win against Crusaders

2012-04-13 00:00

THE Maritzburg Varsity first XV are anticipating full points against Crusaders in tomorrow’s 3.30 pm KZN Premier Division clash at Peter Booysen Sports Park off Golf Road.

A depleted Varsity were outplayed by reigning champs College Rovers in the opening round and need to get their season back on track.

New head coach Shawn van Rensburg is optimistic.

“One of the challenges is that we need to be in a position to compete against the top clubs. Another challenge for me is to introduce new, exciting structures and game plans, so players are kept motivated and faithful to the club. Another major objective is to reinstate player morale and an eagerness to win,” said the former Harlequins mentor.

A winless Varsity Shield campaign was not ideal. “It has affected the players, but they are looking forward to a fresh start to the Premier Division season, with myself and the other coaching staff to lead them. Like I said, an eagerness to win will be reinstated, which can only result in improved self-belief.”

Van Rensburg has 100% faith in the talent in his squad. “That is a given, and my goal first and foremost is to implement a winning culture, while first prize would be to end up in the top four this season.”

Also the new director of rugby at Voortrekker, Van Rensburg said it would not clash with his Varsity coaching job. “My responsibilities as director of rugby at Voortrekker in no way clash with my Varsity coaching job, if anything they only complement each other.”

Premier Division newcomers PMB Collegians will be looking to build on a promising start to their first season back in the top tier of KZN club rugby when they face Zululand Rhinos in Empangeni.

Collegians went down to Harlequins in a heartening opening match and head coach Rinier Bosman said much of the focus this season will be around making the mental shift in order to compete successfully in the Premier Division.

“The biggest challenge is in our heads, while another is to get used to the pace of Premier Division rugby. There is no time to admire a big hit, you have to get up straight away to make the next one,” said the former flyhalf. “Trusting your instincts is also important.”

Bosman said his forwards are “looking really good” while as a unit the team is physically up for the challenge. “Our goal this year is not to finish in the bottom two, and we’ve targeted certain teams which we know we can beat if we put it together on the day. Everyone in the squad knows what we want to achieve, while depth in the squad is good. We have nine prop forwards in the club and five are good enough to play first team.”

Meanwhile, PMB Waratahs will be looking to get their KZN First Division campaign off to a good start when they tackle Ballito Dolphins at 3.30 pm at Woodburn Stadium, while Midlands face the daunting task of playing College Rovers in Durban.


Saturday - Premier Division (3.30 pm): Maritzburg Varsity vs Crusaders (Varsity); Zululand Rhinos vs PMB Collegians (Mick Kelly Park, Empangeni); College Rovers vs Old Boys (King’s Park 3); DBN Collegians vs Harlequins (KP10). Seconds (2 pm). First Div South (3.30 pm): PMB Waratahs vs Ballito Dolphins (Woodburn Stadium); Jaguars vs DBN Varsity; Richards Bay vs South Coast Warriors; Hillcrest vs Amanzimtoti. First Div North (3.30 pm): Newcastle vs Volksrust. U20A Div (2 pm): College Rovers vs Midlands (KP4); DBN Collegians vs Harlequins (KP6); Crusaders vs Old Boys.

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