By Fleur Rollason & Tshilidzi Mutavhatsindi
Rhodes did not perform well at the historic Tri-Varsity, held at Fort Hare this year. The weather played a big role with cricket being rained out. The rainy conditions also made for poor driving conditions and made the event itself even more challenging. Despite the chill in the air, a number of spectators showed up to watch the matches, although there were very few Rhodes students supporting.
The Absa Rhodes Club which is made up of Cricket, Hockey and Rugby Clubs, did not win many of their games. The ladies third hockey team were the only hockey team to win their match (2 – 0). The hockey games were reduced to 25 minutes a side as the Rhodes teams were late due to poor directions. There was also a big problem with referees.
“After our match the ref turned around to us and said that he had never refereed a game before,” said Joanna Blackbeard, a member of ladies second hockey team, the Rats. She went on to explain that, in order to umpire a match, the umpire needs to write an exam first. Referees were not only a problem for the hockey teams but for other teams as well.
The Absa Rhodes first Rugby team did not play at Tri-Varsity. “Since Fort Hare were the hosts, they could decide the final so we played NMMU in a play-off and lost 21 – 16. So NMMU got to play in the final,” explained Dave Elliot, a member of the Rugby Club. Elliot also said that they wanted the second team to play but they were unable to make up a team.
On the plusside, the Squash Club managed to do quite well with the ladies’ first team winning their match against NMMU 8 – 6. Fort Hare did not have a ladies team and, therefore did not play. The men’s first team drew 9 – 9 against NMMU and lost 9 – 3 to Fort Hare. Ladies’ Captain Sarah Nicholson said, “The facilities could have been great, the floors had been redone but they were not ready in time: There were no service lines on any of the courts. There were also no doors for the glass back courts.”
Overall, there was a general lack of sports facilities available for many of the sports events. Attendance was a sore point with both rugby and hockey teams failing to show up for their matches. Apart from these shortfalls, the security and hospitality were very good with Fort Hare making everyone feel welcome and making sure the security was tight.