Impi en­ter Shield fi­nal with con­fi­dence

Weekend Witness - - Sport - LUNGA BIYELA

THE Univer­sity of KwaZulu­Natal Impi are feel­ing con­fi­dent ahead of their Var­sity Shield Fi­nal against the Cen­tral Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy Ix­ias in Bloem­fontein on Mon­day.

Mak­ing the fi­nal is the re­sult of a long sea­son of hard work and should they get a win over the team they beat to qual­ify for the fi­nal, they will be play­ing in the pre­mier stu­dent rugby com­pe­ti­tion next year, the Var­sity Cup.

“The main ob­jec­tive was al­ways to make the fi­nal, but the job hasn’t been done yet,” Impi skip­per Lwazi Ng­cungama told Weekend Wit­ness yes­ter­day.

The Impis beat the reign­ing Var­sity Shield cham­pi­ons Ix­ias in front of their fer­vent sup­port at the Peter Booy­sen Park in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg on Mon­day this week, and to make sure that their game in rugby­mad Bloem­fontein wasn’t a lonely one, the SRC had or­gan­ised a num­ber of buses so their fans can travel with them.

“People are ex­cited and they’re get­ting be­hind us,” Ng­cungama said, speak­ing about the re­cep­tion they were get­ting from fel­low stu­dents on cam­pus.

He added that they weren’t get­ting too ahead of them­selves and were just fo­cus­ing on the await­ing chal­lenge of the Var­sity Shield ta­ble top­ping Ix­ias.

Ng­cungama also praised the work that had been done by coach John Mitchell. Speak­ing about the for­mer All Blacks men­tor, the cap­tain said, “He’s got a very pro­fes­sional ap­proach and we all be­lieve in him.

“I get asked this a lot, and I al­ways say it’s amaz­ing play­ing un­der John Mitchell. His pro­fes­sion­al­ism and his knowl­edge make play­ing un­der him fun. He knows the game. Ev­ery­one in the team en­joys play­ing for him,” he said.

Mon­day’s game will be the third time the two teams will face each other. Mitchell’s out­fit were un­for­tu­nate to lose a close game 26­25 in the sea­son opener in Bloem­fontein, but they pro­duced a good all­round per­for­mance ear­lier this week that saw them tri­umph 39­21 in Pi­eter­mar­itzburg.

Mitchell selected an un­changed match 23 as they look to con­tinue with the run. Sharks coach Jake White pre­sented the team with their match jer­seys at the Howard Col­lege club­house yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

Mon­day’s game will kick off at 4.15 pm and will be tele­vised on Su­perS­port 1.

15. Henkie Groe­newald, 14. Shayne Makombe, 13. Bran­don Bail­ing, 12. Kurt Mavro­daris, 11. Hen­drik Late­gan, 10. Dun­can Camp­bell, 9. Cameron Wright, 8. Deon Car­ney, 7. Zwela Zondi, 6. Lwazi Ng­cungama (cap­tain), 5. Jo­han Wa­ge­naar, 4. Adam Wes­sels, 3. Ste­fan van Schalk­wyk, 2. Dean Muir, 1. Henri Boshoff. 16. Mikyle Web­ster, 17. Bart le Roux, 18. Gideon Koege­len­berg, 19. Sanele Mal­wane, 20. Nel­son Makhaye, 21. Gavin Nyawata, 22. Yan­disa Mdolomba, 23. Sizwe Kubekha.

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