WP the team to beat as IPT gets under way

2015-04-20 00:00

THE Greenfields South Africa U21 Men’s Interprovincial Tournament (IPT) begins at the AB Jackson Greenfields Turf in Pietermaritzburg today.

Defending champions Western Province are the team to beat, while there is hope among home team fans that KZN Inland will give a good account of themselves.

At the helm of the Inland team is head coach Charlie Pereira, the former SA vice-captain and national men’s team head coach, and he has a useful group of players to work with.

There are nine University of KZN ­Pietermaritzburg campus students in the 18-player (11 starting, seven rolling subs) line-up, plus four apiece from the country’s number one-ranked schoolboy first team, Maritzburg College, four from St Charles College and one from Varsity College.

Le Neal Jackson played for the KZN Coastal Raiders men’s team last year. The balance of the side is made up of promising players in their own right.

First up for Inland is a Pool B clash at 5 pm today against Western Province Peninsula.

The young Inland players’ lack of experience at this level could be a stumbling block, which Pereira and his management will be looking to manage with care.

Inland’s Pool B matches take place at 5 pm today, tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, which enables local fans to support in their numbers.

The pool stage is critical, with every match a make-or-break, as there are no semi-finals or cross-pool playoffs.

The top teams in Pools A and B at the close of Friday’s pool rounds go directly to the final showdown for the title at 1 pm Saturday, so there are no second chances, as is the case at international level where the teams get a second bite at the cherry after the preliminary round.

At the same time as the men’s U21 IPT, the women’s U21 IPT takes place in Bloemfontein.


(AB Jackson Greenfields Turf)

Monday 11 am Wits vs North West; 1 pm Northern Blues vs EP; 3 pm WP vs Southern Gauteng; 5 pm WP Peninsula vs KZN Inland.

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