31 January 2018 Photo UFS Archive
Young squad did it for Shimlas
The 11th season of this popular rugby competition started on Monday 29 January, with the scoreboard favouring Shimlas on 19 points versus the 17 points of Tuks.

The head coach of the Shimla rugby team is confident that the skills level of the players will stand them in good stead for the upcoming Varsity Cup.

The 11th season of this popular rugby competition started on Monday 29 January, with the scoreboard favouring Shimlas on 19 points versus the 17 points of Tuks. The Shimlas faced last year’s champions, Tuks, in Pretoria. 

The rest of the 2018 Varsity Cup season will have the Shimlas playing on 5 February against Maties (away); 12 February against Wits (home); 19 February against Ikeys (away); 26 February against UJ (home); 12 March against NWU (away); 19 March against Madibaz (home); and 26 March against CUT (home).

Head coach, Hendro Scholtz, believes his players have the ability to play at a high tempo for 80 minutes.

“We don’t have the biggest boys around, so we rely on our speed and ability to throw the ball around. You can focus on your defence as much as you like, but tries will be scored. You simply have to ensure that you outscore your opponents,” said Hendro.

With up to nine players from last year’s squad not available again in 2018, the Shimlas are entering the competition with a very young and inexperienced team. According to Hendro, the big dropout since last year is due to a number of reasons, such as students who finished their studies.

“We will have to battle this Varsity Cup with a very young team, of which 10 players were still U19 last year. We faced the University of Johannesburg in a warm-up match, and for many of them it was an eye-opener. The speed and intensity is at a higher level than they were used to at U19 level,” said Hendro, a former Shimla himself.

He will be assisted by Melusi Mthetwa and Jaco Swanepoel.

* The Shimla squad:
Backs: Sango Xamlashe, Carel-Jan Coetzee, Kurt Eybers, Dian Badenhorst, Frank van Heerden, Francois Agenbach, Arrie Pretorius, Rewan Kruger, Zinedine Booysen, Nakkie Naudé, Lubabalo Dobela, William Eybers, Francois Pretorius, Aya Oliphant, Charl Pretorius, Ruan Henning, Sechaba Matsoele, Athi Halom, Jarik van der Walt, Tiaan Schutte, Marnus Boshoff. Forwards: Johan Kotze (captain), Louis Cloete, Nardus Erasmus, JC Janse van Vuuren, Ruan Roelofse, Magau Mabokela, Jano Botha, Helgard Meyer, Wentzel Vorster, Hanno Snyman, Marco van der Merwe, Merwyn Roos, Raymond Woest, Sibabalo Qoma, Nathan Jordan, Benji Jan van Vuuren, Menzi Nhlabathi, Janco Cloete, Kobus Lombaard, Bertie de Bod, Rholane Ncubuka, Henk Pretorius.



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