Big Action Weekend

This weekend promises plenty of exciting Moor Cup action, with the big clash this Friday night between Acer Collegians v Johnson College Rovers, and action in Empangeni where the Fidelity Security Feature match for the weekend is taking place between the Zululand Rhinos v UKZN Pietermaritzburg.

In an unusual but interesting development, Old Boys have moved their home Fidelity Security Moor Cup match against Harlequins to Glenwood High School in Saturday's clash against DHS. One of the aims is obviously to foster their relationship as an Old Boys club with the school. Both teams have played some good rugby this year so followers of schoolboy rugby could be in for a pleasant surprise at the high standard of rugby now being produced at Premier Division club level. Old Boys may be tipped to win the game , but it won't be easy for them.

Ismail Adam chatted with Simon Harvey of Zululand Rhinos ahead of the big clash:

IA: How are things shaping up for the big game against the students this weekend?
SH: everything is going well. There has been a huge improvement against Rovers last week. It was definitely a morale boosting performance.

IA: You guys are hosting the Fidelity Security Featured game for the week, are you expecting a lift from the home crowd?
SH: the supporters have been fantastic. We are expecting a nice big crowd due to all the festivities taking place with the famous school band. There are a few curtain raiser games and we expecting a buzz of family activity.

IA: It has been a difficult season thus far, what are the plans to avoid the bottom of the log scenario come end of the season?
SH: we have had clear the air talks with the players, everyone is fully focused and understands the tasks ahead. There were a few internal issues that have been resolved and we are now on an upward curve. We have higher expectations going into the second half of the season.

IA: your view on the weekend game?
SH: we want to play a fast running game, hit them early and try to knock the wind out of their sails. They are playing really well as a unit. We expect a tough encounter.

Ismail Adam also spoke to Ian Lozinsky (Collegians) and Kevin Carolan (Rovers) ahead of the big match on Friday night.

IA: There have been a number of players released from the Vodacom Cup. How many guys are expected back and their impact on the game?
Loz. We are expecting approx. 8 players back and ready to be drafted into the first team on Friday with the likes of Jeandre Marais and so forth. This could be difficult as we need everyone to gel as a team. The level of the game is certainly going to be intense.
KC: We have approx. 7 players back from the Vodacom Cup action with the likes of: Dale Chadwick, Kyle Cooper, Terra Mthembu, Chris Cloete and so forth.

IA: How have the players reacted to this given they have served you guys well during the season?
Loz: This is a policy that the guys are aware of. There are no issues on that front.
KC: this is something that happens every season and we have to accommodate the players from the Vodacom Cup. We like to have them as part of our club and our regualar guys must understand, it is discussed at the outset of the season. So everyone is aware of the situation.

IA: how is your approach to this huge game given that you are now under pressure in terms of challenging for the title?
Loz: we are taking it one step at a time. Make no mistake, Rovers have set the benchmark and they have a really talented side. It is going to be a battle of epic proportions. We have to win everygame and try to accumulate as many bonus points as possible. The intensity has to be there. It will be difficult. I would like to share an ice cold beer after the game if we win!!

IA: what is the approach for this game?
KC: We are sticking to our game plan and the winning formula. We have a passion and the guys are playing superbly. Hard work makes winning become a habit. We have every respect for our opponents and taking nothing for granted. It will be tough.