Mid-Season Report – June 2014
As I sit down to write this mid-season report there are many thoughts running through my mind. Last year we managed to beat Pirates at their home ground to reclaim the Danford Cup – through some strange twist of fate the fixtures draw put this year’s contest at Pirates again – that match takes place this weekend and the results may be in by the time this newsletter goes to print, but from all of us on the side-lines, best of luck lads, I trust the silverware remains at the Wanderers!
Many members of the Wanderers Club, many of whom were past members of the Rugby Sub-Section, may not know, or have heard all that is going on at Kent Park. So I thought it would be a good idea to write a “mid-season report” to inform the members of the huge strides being made by our sub-section. I hope it gives an insight into the workings of this fantastic rugby club. As with any sphere of life, there are areas to work on, and to improve, but the overall message is one of positivity. I congratulate everyone on their success so far this season and thank all the volunteers and sponsors who help us fulfil our goal to provide a rugby home for as many people as possible regardless of age, gender, race or ability.
Please make an effort to support us at our last home game of the league against Union on the 5th of July. Kick-off times are as follows;
U21 (B-Field) and 3rd team (A-Field) – 1.15pm
U19 (B-Field) and 2nd team (A-Field) – 2.40pm
1st team (A-Field) – 4pm
I look forward to seeing many of you there backing our teams in their endeavour to top the league log and qualify to compete in the Community Cup competition next year.
The Rugby sub-section administrative team and committee have seen huge changes. Mr Fareed Behardien was voted in as chairman of the Rugby Club at the rugby sub-section AGM last year and began his tenure with a relatively young and inexperienced committee backing him up (only 1 member was left from the 2013 season committee). Fareed proved himself up to the challenge put into place the excellent structures and plans with which we continue to operate today. Unfortunately Fareed had to leave the club earlier this year due to career commitments in Cape Town. We were very sad to see him go. I was then elected chairman with Dylan Herwill filling the position of vice-chairman, a position which was previously vacant.
Brendon Cross resigned as the rugby club manager late last year and his position has been ably filled by Gary Joseph.
First off special thanks must go to our sponsors – Vaseline, ‘official skincare sponsors of Wanderers Rugby Club and the Springboks’ for providing our magnificent BLK kit. In addition, their ongoing support of rugby development initiatives provides transport free of charge to lesser privileged members of our rugby community. This makes it possible for us to bus young, u/19 and u/21, players in from surrounding townships to join our club and benefit from the top level coaching and facilities at Wanderers.
The u/19 and u/21 teams, being coached by Clayton Snyman (u/19), and Njabulo Zulu and Sbu Zwane (u/21) have had rather poor results so far this year, having played 5, won 2 and played 5 won 1 respectively. These results can be put down to the fact that our particularly strong u/19 squad having to fill in for the weaker u/21 squad leading to many a boy having to play two full matches on games day in order to ensure that we field a full team and avoid losing log points. These on-field efforts by our ‘colts’ have not gone unnoticed by the rest of the club and are in fact much appreciated. The coaching staff and committee are working hard to fill the u/21 squad up and continuing to nurture young talent.
Our 3rd XV squad, under the astute management of Vic Booyens and Andre Wessels, sometimes numbering up to 40 players, have fared very well playing 5 and winning 4 games to place them 3rd on the log behind Raiders and UJ. The one loss of the season was against a particularly strong UJ team.
The 2nd XV squad, adeptly coached by Gareth Shackleford, has also done well so far this season with a win loss record of 3 and 2 placing them 4th on the log. The losses again coming against very strong university teams.
The competition within the club has been fierce with many of the 2nd XV players being serious contenders for spots in the 1st XV squad. This has led to the coaches, Neil Kalify and Jonny Mallet, being able to field a squad of 23 strong players, week in and week out. Needless to say this has been of great benefit to the team and coupled to the significant increase in depth in key positions has been reflected by the results our premier team has shown this year. We are currently third on the log behind UJ and Raiders with 2 games in hand on both of them. This places us in a position to challenge for the top spot on the log, and automatic qualification for the 2015 Cell C Community Cup Competition, at the end of the league matches.
Application has been made to the main club committee to build a deck onto the rugby clubhouse and we anxiously await the decision on this development. The Rugby sub-section has been raising money to contribute, and enable this addition to be completed before the end of the 2014 season. The proposed development is pictured below (artist’s impression) and will make for a much better and more convivial facility for spectators to view the rugby from whilst also enabling the club to let the facility for functions during the off-season to raise funds.
The club cannot run without volunteers and we pay tribute to everyone who gives their time to help the club achieve its goals.