Fidelity Security Moor Cup 2013 gets underway

The highly-anticipated Fidelity Security Moor Cup season kicks off this Friday evening with Oxford Wentworth Harlequins hosting Varsity College Rugby Football Club. Players from both clubs will be keen to showcase their talents on the 'big stage' with the game taking place at KINGS PARK. The match is the curtain-raiser to the Vodacom Super Rugby clash between The Sharks and Crusaders with kick off at 16h50.

To a large extent both teams will probably be undergoing transitional periods this season with new coaches at the helm. Dean Younie has stepped into the hot seat at Harlequins and will be up against Sam Vermaak who has been appointed head coach of Varsity College RFC. Younie expressed his delight with their preparations and pre-season.

"I've had good preparations for the new season and we are definitely heading in the right direction," he said. "We are fielding a strong squad for this game but I am concerned that we may be short in numbers as the season progresses."

He added that there is more unity in the camp with the juniors being integrated with the senior squad players. Younie said that he wants loyalty, discipline and respect to form the backbone of the club's culture this season.

His adversary, Sam Vermaak, remained coy on expectations for the season. He said: "We have a young team and are in a rebuilding process. There has been an exodus of about 5 players. After a five- year stint at Rovers, I hope to bring some experience and innovative ideas to the Varsity College set up."

Vermaak added that they have prepared well for the new season and that he hoped to bring an element of mobility to the team. "It is a youngish team and the boys are very excited. I hope that they don't get too nervous playing at Kings Park in front of a huge crowd."

Elsewhere on Saturday, there promises to be an intriguing Pietermaritzburg derby this weekend when arch-rivals Ricoh/ Motswako PMB Collegians and FNB UKZN Impi clash at Woodburn. They will be battling it out for the Lancaster Trophy. The Impis are under the leadership of Shaun van Rensburg this season and he was in a positive mood ahead of the season opener.

"We are looking to have a fantastic season and hope to finish second on the log," said van Rensburg. "We have a good squad and we have been playing good rugby during the past three months. Our rivals have lost some players and I am hoping we can capitalise and come away with the maximum points on offer."

Marshall Security Northwood Crusaders host Jonsson College Rovers on Saturday at Riverside in a repeat of last season's Murray Cup Final where, to everyone's surprise, they gave Rovers a good run. They will want to prove that the performance was no fluke by trying to upset Rovers, who must be still smarting from their narrow defeat in the final of the Cell C Community Cup.

The last fixture is Empangeni against S.A. Home Loans Durban Collegians. All Saturday games kick off at 15h30.

- Ismail Adam