By staff reporters
Pic: Sean William Messham
The Rhodes University Rugby club began their season last Saturday, 28 February, against local Grahamstown club The Brumbies. Despite a gutsy performance by all, our three purple teams left the Great Field without a win while a stronger and more prepared Brumbies team left as champions.
Crowds of spectators blowing vuvuzelas and chanting to the music could not turn fortune around for the home side. The Rhodes 1st XV team dominated in scrums in the first ten minutes, but the Brumbies resistance seemed just too strong for the 1st team. The best of Rhodes’ defence tried their best to cover the swift backline but, despite their hard efforts, the team lost 7 – 25.
The Rhodes 2nd team was overcome by a dominating Brumbies squad. Despite a yellow card for high tackling from the visitors, the 2nd team could not get the upper hand. Although they were soon outrun by the Brumbies’ rapid backline, the 2nd team did manage to score a try, but lost 10 – 14. The 1st reserves were left trailing by 30 points with the final score being 8 – 38.
Justin Sloane, a feature in both the 1st team and 1st team reserves is optimistic about the upcoming season. “It’s our first game, so we can work on a lot of things. The game today comes down to lack of fitness.”
The remarkable 2008 season, where 12 players represented Provincial sides, will influence all players to work on their weaknesses. With the U/21 A’s promoted to the Eastern Cape Super League, Rhodes Rugby can only get better. 1st team coach, Morne Richardson, sees the potential of new faces in the squad, “Hard work and a push in the right direction is needed on the training ground, but I remain positive that we will improve,” he said confidently.
With that in mind, and the fact that all the stands on the Great Field were completely full, it certainly seems like Rhodes rugby is headed in the right direction.