UCT are back on the green mile against first time semi finalists Shimlas who held them to a hard fought draw in the opening round of this year’s Varsity Cup.
John Dobson is an excited man, after his team secured the third successive home semi final “Of course we are pleased and it certainly debunks the popular myth that we are a flash in the pan… I am not sure our home is a great advantage, given the conditions, but then again it is not a nice place for people to visit. I think we have shown that we are consistently a top Varsity Cup side (with our third home semifinal), but we really want to be in a final. It means the world to us!”
It is a long hard way to go still before the finals, which, should UCT win will in either case – Maties or Pukke winning the other semi final - be held in Stellenbosch.
The UCT head coach further: “I said before the tournament that this is a strong (best yet) Shimlas side and they have emphatically proved that. I think they have 15 points from their last three games, so have some serious momentum, and unquestionably deserve to be in the semifinals. We know it is going to be a very, very hard game of rugby; they never lie down and play a nice brand of rugby.”
Jaco Swanepoel, the head coach of third placed Shimlas says his team are “We’re very excited and proud – after all, this is a prestigious competition. At the same time, it’s also a great opportunity for the players and the union and, of course, a nice opportunity for us to put out something positive (out there) for the university.”
He knows that UCT are seasoned campaigners in the sharp end of the VC and believes, “It will be a tough one for us – no doubt about it. UCT have enjoyed good consistency in selection this year and since the start of the Varsity Cup. They have played in two semifinals before, and they’re at home, so there is a lot against us. But, at the same time, you have to ‘rock up’ to have a chance and that’s what we will do!”
Monday is a public holiday so consider 16.30 booked for a great clash on the Green Mile!