FNB UFH Blues looking for a good start

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The University of Fort Hare rugby team is looking to kick start their varsity shield 2017 campaign on a positive note. The Luma ke Blues team as they are known will be playing FNB WSU tonight at 19h00 Davidson Grounds in Alice Campus. The team has played two pre-season games to date against Gardens Rugby Club in Uitenhage and FNB Rhodes in Alice. In their first game in Uitenhage the team struggled against Gardens and lost 15 – 0 against the EP Grand Challenge champions. A week later they returned home at Davidson in Alice to face Rhodes and they were in fine form – the Luma ke Blues beat Rhodes 72 – 6 which made the entire UFH community extremely proud of the boys. Coach Lumumba Currie was very happy with the quality of rugby played by the team and said he is really hoping that the boys can carry this kind of form to the Shield as they really showed class crossing the white line more than ten times. However he was quickly to point out that it was “early days to be carried away as much as the positives signs are there in the team” – he warned that we must not be carried away by one match outcomes and that’s the reality. He pointed out that the memories of 2016 results were still fresh in his mind where the team did not do well at all and in actual fact he thinks it was the worst season ever since the inception of Varsity Shield Tournament. Let me tell you it was bad and very bad “said coach Currie with a very serious look”.


Next to him was the Director of Rugby at University of Fort Hare, Elliot Mntuwekhaya Fana who took Border Bulldogs - the professional team of the province to the semi-finals last year after twelve years they have been finishing rock bottom of the Currie Cup Premier Division. “I share the same sentiments with Lumumba – the 2016 season was not good to us at all and I was always worried about the players as I knew it was knocking them psychologically”. When you lose games like we did last year rugby becomes a punishment and one ends up not looking forward to the next game and the most important element of rugby which is enjoyment fades away. Credit must be given to Coach Lumumba Currie for the quality recruits we have now at University of Fort Hare – these are class players and when they gel we will get good out comes. Secondly the quality of the defensive structures he has in place are really good – the team defends very well and it shows that he is benefitting a great deal from the SARU National Rugby Academy where he is investing five months of his time improving his coaching skills. He really brings an extra dimension to the game and the players respond very well to his ways and means of doing things.


As for the WSU game tonight we really want to do well and have positive results and they will be a big challenge for us. In the playing match 23 tonight there will be a total of 11 new players with 8 of them being on the starting line-up for the UFH Blues outfit. It’s a huge opportunity for these guys and the one they will need to grab with both arms and make use of it. We are under pressure to do well this season there is no doubt about that at all – our fans wants results said Fana. Anything less than a semi-final spot will be deemed a failure by our fans and both the team management and the players are aware of that reality. Pre-main match activities will start at 14h00.