Pivotal crisis hits Shimlas

Tue, 28 Feb 2017 10:54
Large shimlas player carried off 2017 800

VARSITY CUP REACTION: The Shimlas may have solidified their second place on the Varsity Cup log with a morale-boosting 35-23 bonus point victory over NWU-Pukke but it came at a cost. Tauriq Ebrahim reports.

The 2015 champions lost both their starting and replacement flyhalf to injuries as well as a hooker but the extent of the injuries remain unknown.

These injuries could not have come at a worse time for the Bloemfontein-based students as their next two fixtures are against log leaders Maties - only points difference separates them - and UP-Tuks, who trail them by five points but have a game in hand.

"We might be in trouble at flyhalf [for the upcoming fixtures] after losing both of them in the game against Pukke but we will only know for certain later in the week. We also lost a hooker in the same game but I will have to wait on a little bit more information from the medical team before we make any changes.

"Our next two fixtures will definitely be tough as we have Maties [in Bloemfontein] and Tuks [in Bloemfontein] waiting for us.

"I believe we can beat any side on any day but for that to happen, it has to be 23 guys who clicks together on the day. So we need to pitch up and every guy has to be on his game - giving 100 percent," head coach Hendro Scholtz told rugby365.com.

Shimlas will have plenty to work on in the lead up to their next match as Scholtz was not entirely happy with their performance against Pukke.

"I didn't think we played particularly well but maybe for about 15 to 20 minutes we did. However, we are definitely happy with the result. I think we executed our plan well at stages but lapses in concentration and some bad discipline crept into our game.

"When you are under pressure, a couple of bad decisions will be made by the players. If you look at all the games [in the Varsity Cup thus far], the team that is under pressure definitely concedes a few more penalties," he added.

By Tauriq Ebrahim

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Clermont Auvergne v Toulon 15h15 Clermont-Ferrand
Mon, 03 April 2017
Maties v UJ 14h30 Stellenbosch
UP-Tuks v Shimlas 17h00 Pretoria
Pool CUP
Team P W D L Pts
UP-Tuks 8 7 0 1 34
Maties 8 7 0 1 34
UJ 8 5 0 3 25
Shimlas 8 5 0 3 23
Wits 8 4 0 4 21
NWU-Pukke 8 4 0 4 19
NMMU-Madibaz 8 2 0 6 11
UCT-Ikeys 8 2 0 6 9
CUT-Ixias 8 0 0 8 3
Team P W D L Pts
UWC 6 5 0 1 27
Fort Hare 6 4 0 2 20
UKZN-Impi 6 4 0 2 20
WSU 6 3 0 3 14
CPUT 6 2 0 4 10
TUT 6 2 0 4 9
Rhodes 6 1 0 5 6