BAY HOST UCT IN VARSITY CUP FRIENDLY
With less than a fortnight before their opening Varsity Cup encounter, UCT will encounter a stern test of their preparations when they face DirectAxis False Bay RFC at Constantia on Saturday.
Newly-appointed Ikeys Head Coach, former Springbok hooker Hunyangi Shumani is expecting a high quality performance from his squad against tough opposition. “Our execution and accuracy must be spot on”, said the charismatic coach. “It’s a week before the first match and the opening stages of the competition determines your overall campaign”, he continued.
“We need to ensure we put our processes into place and deliver our best performance. False Bay will be tough opposition and will not allow us the room for error, the honesty in analysis we seek”, he said.
This will be the third contact session for the Ikeys in their Varsity Cup preparations. They had a full forty-minute contact session against the Stormers followed by a practice match against Varsity Shield participants, UWC.
Shimangi has been involved with Ikeys rugby over the last number of years, having coached the forwards most recently, making his presence a seamless transition as UCT seek their fourth title. “We have a combination of older and younger players and the only pressure in chasing the title is the pressure that we place upon ourselves”, he says passionately.
“The squad has put in the pre-season effort at great sacrifice. When you do that and back yourself, the results will come”, he said.
“Shimmie” as he is affectionately known is a product of UCT, deeply proud of his Alma Mater, but he is mindful of the threat Saturday’s match presents in terms of the opposition.
By the time DirectAxis False Bay take to the pitch at Constantia, they would only have had six field sessions under the belt. They accounted well for themselves against Maties in front of a surprisingly large crowd last week at Constantia. Coach Jonno van der Walt has cast his net wide by giving a broad base of players the opportunity to stake a claim in his final squad, including three youngsters still available for Under 20 rugby.
The Bay pack again looks quite threatening. They put Maties to the sword in the set pieces. “With only four field sessions completed by time we faced Maties, we were a little underdone”, said van der Walt, “but I was impressed by the talent on display and we can only get better as pre-season preparations progress”.
Last Saturday saw UWC play Victorians and then False Bay face Maties and local supporters were out en force. Considering the distances the visiting teams were expected to travel, their support would have been reluctant to make the journey and it appears that the Bay has certainly caught the attention of the local club rugby enthusiast.
This Saturday will be equally entertaining as the two clubs enjoy a very close relationship and always attract large support. Kick off at Constantia is at 10 am.
Photos Courtesy of Gavin Withers, Action Pics Photography