robdylan

Impi land the first blow


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content on 2 Feb 2016 at 10:35
Tagged with : , , ,

One feels that this season’s Varsity Shield competition (with the winner guaranteed promotion to an expanded Varsity Cup in 2017) was always going to be about UKZN vs Wits. With the Joburgers dominating the competition in its early years, Martizburg’s finest have emerged as worthy challengers in recent times, finally claiming the trophy last year for the first time.

There could have been no fitter opener to this year’s competition, then, than a grudge match between these two sides and it was the home side, the mighty Impi, who took an early lead in the all-important race, securing a late 26-18 victory at the Peter Booysen Stadium yesterday evening.

Michael Horak’s team were forced to work hard for the win, with the visiting pack establishing clear ascendancy for most of the game. Wits drew first blood, via an early unconverted try to wing Thato Marubela, with Impi flyhalf Curwin Bosch narrowing the gap via a penalty. They then pulled ahead as man of the match, wing Thobekani Bhuthelezi set up a try for scrumhalf Jaywinn Juries. Bosch’s conversion saw Impi lead 10-5, before a powerful forward effort saw CJ Conradie score an equalising try for the visitors.

Locked at 10-all as the second half started, it was Wits who seemed about to pull away, scoring again via Constant Beckerling. That 18-10 lead lasted deep into the second half, before a late flurry of tries handed Impi the win. First Michael Meyer – last year’s Sharks under 19 captain – scored under the posts, followed by a try from Tristan Blewett, another who featured regularly in Paul Anthony’s team last year. Bosch’s successful conversions of both tries saw his personal haul extended to 8 points, ultimately the margin of victory with the teams equal on three tries apiece.



35 Comments

  • Rob, do you know where I can find the fixture list for UKZN?

  • Comment 1, posted at 02.02.16 10:56:25 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • Great start, let the rest of the season be the same!

  • Comment 2, posted at 02.02.16 10:56:57 by Seth101 Reply
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    NostrasethTeam captain
     
  • Grand!

  • Comment 3, posted at 02.02.16 10:57:07 by JustPlainSHARK Reply

    JustPlainSHARKCurrie Cup player
     
  • Dont worry I found it.
    http://varsitycup.co.za/varsity-shield-fixtures/

  • Comment 4, posted at 02.02.16 10:59:25 by Uli Boelie Reply
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  • @Uli Boelie (Comment 4) : sorry, was a bit slow :)

  • Comment 5, posted at 02.02.16 11:00:30 by robdylan Reply
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  • The try that Bhuthelezi set up for Juries was a thing of beauty.

  • Comment 6, posted at 02.02.16 12:01:33 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Hoping the Impi can stay consistent as they are known for producing slip ups against the likes of Fort Hare. But def a good start and great to see more contracted guys playing

  • Comment 7, posted at 02.02.16 12:08:00 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @vanmartin (Comment 6) : Man I’m proud! I coached Thobe at high school. He played for my 1st side when he was only 14. One of those first-to-arrive-last-to-leave kind of players. Huge heart!

  • Comment 8, posted at 02.02.16 20:33:28 by the ko Reply

    KarlVodacom Cup player
     
  • @the ko (Comment 8) : any idea what his 100m times was at high school?

  • Comment 9, posted at 02.02.16 20:40:36 by 50shadesofshark Reply

    Team captain
     
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 9) : We didn’t test at all for some reason, but the lad’s quick. I’d guess a 11.5 or so. One thing that struck me was that he always ALWAYS wore these shocking pink ankle weights! Even though pre-season

  • Comment 10, posted at 02.02.16 20:49:53 by the ko Reply

    KarlVodacom Cup player
     
  • Well done, men!!

  • Comment 11, posted at 02.02.16 20:57:12 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @the ko (Comment 10) : thanks.was told he played at no9 in the 2nd half.did he play there at school or always been a wing?

  • Comment 12, posted at 02.02.16 21:00:36 by 50shadesofshark Reply

    Team captain
     
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 12) : Only played left wing for me. In fact, it never even dawned on me that he might be a good 9. Talk about talent identification

  • Comment 13, posted at 02.02.16 21:47:11 by the ko Reply

    KarlVodacom Cup player
     
  • I watched the Impi replay last night…they did well to stay in the game considering their pack got a hiding at scrum and lineout time. Yes the comp may want running rugby but failing at the set pieces is always going to get you into trouble. Bosch looked good on attack but he struggles big time on defense. Not sure why the Impi didnt play a reserve scrummy because that wing that tried was horrible. I liked the look of Tristan Blewitt when he came on…as too Marius Louw. We also have some good loosies. Tight 5 need to shape up though. The Wits pack was very solid and their flyhalf very good at dictating with the boot but they didnt have the attacking intelligence to finish things off.

  • Comment 14, posted at 03.02.16 08:25:47 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 5) : must say what impressed me the most is they never stopped trying and attacking!!!!!!!! Showed guts to score two tries in the last couple of minutes to win the game!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 15, posted at 03.02.16 08:52:38 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 15) : I must say that they do look fitter than the previous years ive watched them. Not sure if thats the benefit of some of their guys having done preseason with the Sharks super rugby squad or not…

  • Comment 16, posted at 03.02.16 09:08:51 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 14) : I’m hoping there are arrangements in place for Horak to call upon specialist coaching assistance in regards to areas like set-piece play when deemed necessary.

  • Comment 17, posted at 03.02.16 09:16:18 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 17) : U bring up an excellent point. The Sharks need a ‘mobi unit’ much like the Boks have that can work through out all the levels on things like set piece play, attacking and defensive techniques etc

  • Comment 18, posted at 03.02.16 09:30:03 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 14) : @vanmartin (Comment 17) : must say set pieces is a real concern. If the Impi want to play Varsity Cup they will need to fix that quickly!!! If they don’t they will be in for a really hard time against sides like Maties, Tuks, Pukke, etc!!!!!!!

  • Comment 19, posted at 03.02.16 10:44:00 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 19) : Yeh agreed. Scrums and lineouts were pretty dreadful. As i said i think if Wits showed more intelligence on attack im not sure Impi would have got the win

  • Comment 20, posted at 03.02.16 10:53:31 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 20) : rikus swart did well contesting the wits line-out at no2 jumper.

  • Comment 21, posted at 03.02.16 11:52:46 by 50shadesofshark Reply

    Team captain
     
  • but the scrum is a concern.not often a team loses its scrumhalf to an injury due to opponents scrum dominance.

  • Comment 22, posted at 03.02.16 11:54:30 by 50shadesofshark Reply

    Team captain
     
  • would like to see impi tight 5 play at higher intensity .

  • Comment 23, posted at 03.02.16 11:59:49 by 50shadesofshark Reply

    Team captain
     
  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 21) : I’m a little bit excited about that kid.

  • Comment 24, posted at 03.02.16 12:12:56 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
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  • @50shadesofshark (Comment 21) : Yeh look i dont think the strong wind helped the lineouts much…but Impi just looked more like individuals than anything. And i dont think the Wits lineout was anything great either…their scrum on the other hand was powerful

  • Comment 25, posted at 03.02.16 12:14:28 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @robdylan (Comment 24) : There were some that impressed but names escape me now but the guys i do remember Michael Meyer, Marius Louw and Tristan Blewitt impressed me. Nkosi looks to have potential but he seeks out contact too often…kinda like Andre Esterhuizen does.

  • Comment 26, posted at 03.02.16 12:16:13 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 26) : Blewitt…. interesting one that. Very under the radar, but seems to have lots of pace and real skill. I don’t know what it is about him, but I get a Jermey Thompson vibe.

  • Comment 27, posted at 03.02.16 12:22:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @SheldonK (Comment 26) : yes seems as if Nkosi really likes to run over people!!!!!! Think he has lots of potential!!!!

  • Comment 28, posted at 03.02.16 12:46:56 by JD Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 27) : yes must agree he just seems to have something about him.

  • Comment 29, posted at 03.02.16 12:48:34 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 28) : Potential yes but if he keeps trying to run into people to show his ‘strength’ he is soon going to be found out a higher levels

  • Comment 30, posted at 03.02.16 14:04:17 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 30) : that’s true just hope he learn when to run over and when to run around an opponent. As a whole the backs of the Impi looked dangerous!!!!

  • Comment 31, posted at 03.02.16 15:42:05 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 31) : They would look good with the 1st half scrummy, Bosch at 10, Louw at 12 with Blewitt at 13 and those same back 3.

  • Comment 32, posted at 03.02.16 16:03:48 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 32) : yes could work, but don’t think backs is the problem the big boys needs to step up and scrum better!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 33, posted at 05.02.16 07:41:56 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 33) : Yeh agree with that. That backline i suggested would be exciting though

  • Comment 34, posted at 05.02.16 08:03:51 by SheldonK Reply

    SheldonKAssistant coach
     
  • @SheldonK (Comment 34) : for sure would be very exciting indeed!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 35, posted at 05.02.16 08:10:52 by JD Reply
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