Rain welcomes back the Rugby




The new semesters Internal League action got under way last week with several big encounters and some great rugby. The evening was marred only by the usual Green Mile rain and some teams having players unavailable to the squad due to UCT external fixtures being scheduled on the same night and their players having commitments to UCT rugby.

 

One of the surprises of the night was a strong willed Ikhaya side downing the Spanners, last years 4th placed side, 12-5. If truth be told the Ikhaya boys wanted the victory a lot more than the Spanners who seemed flat and deflated, possibly due to the long break in the calendar due to Varsity holidays. Ikhaya played with a lot of determination and didn’t squander the opportunities that arose to them. Part of the reason for this was their ability to retain the ball, something that has previously eluded them this year.

 

Nadoes took on a spirited Smuts side and may have been shocked to only win 17-0 against the spirited res side though the conditions were certainly not conducive to the running Nadoe brand of rugby. The played well though and again looked like strong title challengers this year which would have heartened players and fans alike. Smuts however, again showed that they are one of the toughest res sides this year and will be pleased with certain aspects of their game despite the loss.

 

Clarendon clashed with the Panthers and managed to live up to many of the expectations that they created after last semesters pool stages by downing the strong Panthers outfit 11-5. Panthers certainly started to strongly but were unable to make the most of the gains they produced and eventually through some smart kicking and strong defense the Clarendon Knights managed to prevail.

 

Wildboys took on Ubumbo in a match that many expected Ubumbo to dominate as they had looked the stronger of the two sides in last semester’s group stages. Wildboy’s however, stepped up to the plate and put their bodies on the line for the full 60 minutes of rugby taking the game 7-0. Ubumbo were perhaps guilty of running the ball too much and not securing the ball in the tackle situation, two crucial facets of wet weather rugby. In fact, it was a turnover in this vein that lead to the Wildboys try of the night. One of the Ubumbo lock combination got the ball and attempted to crash it up but a ferocious tackle from the Wildboys flanker folded him and allowed the ball to squirm loose with the resulting counter attack from the turnover leading to the only try of the evening.

 

In what many hoped would be the headline clash of the evening and perhaps the acid test for Baa Baa’s title aspirations, Cobras were expected to take on the Barbarians. It is unfortunate that the fixture never took place as it is certain it would have been a match to remember as the last one 2 years ago was when Baa Baa’s denied Cobra’s in the semi-finals in a penalty shoot-out.

 

Unfortunately too many of the Baa Baa’s players were committed to UCT external rugby and thus could only field 14 men and had to forfeit the match. The quandary however does beg the question as to the wisdom of scheduling matches of the internal league on the same nights as external league as it can lead to a dilemma if the Internal sides do the right thing and release their players for the external sides. With the internal league only ending in September it can reasonably be expected that such fixture clashes, if they result, could be re-organised to another date to allow for the fixtures to take place with full strength sides. Fixture clashes not only hurt those teams that do not have a big enough squad to cope but also the smaller teams who lose some of their best players and the quality of rugby on display. To be honest, a forfeited fixture hurts the reputation and enjoyment of the Internal League and perhaps more care should be taken in the future to ensure such clashes do not happen again and if they do, that they are resolved by means other than just trying to plough through the problem.

However, apart from this one incident, the night in general was a success as a rainy and wet Green Mile welcomed back the players and fans of the internal Legaue. One can only hope that the rest of the games make for just as thrilling enounters as the opening night.

Tonights fixtures;

 

17:30

Shebeen Boys

vs

Spanners

Groote Schuur B
17:30
Turtles
vs
Marquard
Groote Schuur C
18:30

Nadoes

vs

Ubumbo

Groote Schuur B
18:30
University House
vs

College House

Groote Schuur C
19:30

Smuts

vs

Wild Boys

Groote Schuur B
19:30

Ikhaya

vs

Kopano

Groote Schuur C


 

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