It’s back to the grindstone

Collegians' Zahier Abrahams and Ghafoer Luckan challenge for the ball in soccer fashion during Saturday's clash.

It’s back to business for rugby clubs across the city following the mid-season break.

Lansdowne’s Violets RFC’s first team didn’t have an ideal start to the second round of the 2016 Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) Super League B campaign, going down 35-11 to Collegians at Lentegeur, at the weekend.

The players, from both sides, seemed to be a little rusty as they had just returned from a six-week mid-season break. However, Violets coach Mogamat Galant was quick to note that the break was not bad for the players because it gave them time to reflect on the first half of the season.

“It had more of the positive effect because, for instance, it gave the players time to recover from injuries. They were also able to gain clarity in terms of visualising their goals, and that is important because it is easy to lose track of the goals in the weeks you play. So, yes, that time to step back and reflect is important,” he said.

“On the flip side, and I don’t want to say it’s a negative thing, there was room for rustiness because of lack of action. We tried to counter this by allowing the players to go to the gym for few hours a day,” he said.

In Collegians, Violets came up against a side with an impressive home record.

Uunbeaten at Lentegeur in the league, Collegians have won four and playing to a draw in one of their five home matches.

However, Violets would have been aware of that and went to the game with a plan.

Despite the score line, they were certainly not entirely outplayed.

The encounter was evenly matched in the early stages, with the visitors winning most of the lineouts.

However, it was Collegians who broke the ice, recording the first points of the match via a penalty. The visitors kept searching for holes in their opponents’ defence but Collegians stood firm. It was clear, in terms of ball possession, that neither of the sides were able to stamp their authority and dominate the match.

The visitors had an opportunity to dot down just before the break but fell short of the try line. Collegians went on to win 35-17.

Galant said Collegians and Violets have a history and there’s always nostalgia each time Violets returned “home” to Lentegeur.

“Sometimes it is difficult to contain the emotions but, fortunately, the players were able to put their minds firmly in the game,” he said.

He said the difference between the two sides on the day was that his players didn’t capitalise on the ball possession they had.

“We were good in set pieces and the scrum was evenly matched. Our downfall was that our forwards moved the ball wide, which was playing to Collegians strengths. Things could have been different,” he said.

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