Wednesday Column

And The FNB UKZN Impiís are now out of the running after going down 24-15 to the University of the Western Cape in their return Varsity Shield game at the Peter Booysen Stadium in Pietermaritzburg on Monday evening.

The local students who lost their opening round match 33-9 at the start of the competition did look a lot better this time around against the side from Belville but once again let themselves badly in the last quarter after leading for most of the game.

It was another festive evening of student rugby on the Maritzburg campus and with some 1,500 supporters on hand the local side looked as though they could hold it together but sadly faded at the death.

The Impiís led 10-3 at the break but somehow let matters slip allowing the Cape students back into the game. Leading 15-10 with 10 minutes left on the clock the University of the Western Cape finished with a flourish scoring two quick tries before the final whistle.

The UKZN points came from tries from No 8 Leon Stevens and lock Tinashe Bopoto with Jaco Potgieter slotting a penalty and conversion. UWC replied with tries from Charlie van Jaarsveld, Griffith Themba and Lwandile Makibi with Ambrose Steyn kicking three conversions an a penalty.

UKZN Impi have now only one more home game left in the competition that against CUT from Bloemfontein and will be away to Wits and Fort Hare from Alice. In the other Shield game Wits beat Fort Hare 22-13 and now look on track for a berth in the playoffs

Jonnsson College Rovers play False Bay from Cape Town this evening in the opening round of the inaugural Famous Grouse Triangular Club Rugby Tournament. The other club participating, Pirates, from Johannesburg will meet False Bay on Friday evening.

The local First Division season kicks off on 12 March the other Varsity side from the Durban campus also very much part of the centenary celebrations meeting Amanzimtoti in their opening round, while Ricoh Maritzburg Collegians who recently had their sponsorship renewed travel to newly formed club Wentworth Harlequins out on the Bluff.

- Jos Robson