Home Sport KRC skipper bracing for the SPU invasion

KRC skipper bracing for the SPU invasion

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‘Sol Plaatje University has a very good team, and so far, they are the biggest competition I have had in the four years I have been playing for the club’ – Deon van Niekerk, Kimberley Rugby Club captain.

Deon van Niekerk, the captain of the Kimberley Rugby Club spoke to the DFA regarding their upcoming match against Sol Plaatje University Rugby Club. Picture: Danie van der Lith

RUGBY enthusiasts who find themselves at the Kimberley Rugby Club grounds (Players Pub) on Saturday are in for a treat, as a day full of high-octane matches at the venue promises to keep fans on the edge of their seats.

Starting at 10.30am, the Griquas Women will square off against the Pumas, and this match will be the stage for an action-packed line-up of games through the day.

At noon, the Griquas Under-21 team will face the Van Druten Rugby Under-21s, as the future stars of the sport are showcased. The excitement will build up to the highly-anticipated Kimberley Regional Rugby League final at 4pm, featuring what promises to be a fierce clash between the Kimberley Rugby Club and Sol Plaatje University’s rugby team.

This final, a battle between the league’s top two teams, is shaping up to be nothing short of epic. Both clubs will be playing not only for bragging rights but also for the passion and tradition that is a feature of the Kimberley Regional Rugby League.

The DFA caught up with the captains of both teams to get their take on the upcoming showdown.

Deon van Niekerk, who has been captaining the Kimberley Rugby Club this season, shared his thoughts on the final saying that he’s pleased with the club’s consistency.

“We played in the final last year, and to be able to play again this year to defend our title just proves that all the hard work throughout the year has paid off,” van Niekerk said.

He noted that the team spirit is high despite a recent setback.

“We had a bit of a setback last week when we lost to Sishen Rugby Club 30-19, but that loss just made the players hungrier. We got back on Monday and started working hard again.

“We didn’t like that loss, and I think the boys don’t want to feel that again, so they are excited to get out there and give it their all. We have a couple of senior players from last year on the team, and we want to make it two-for-two on Saturday,” he emphasised.

Van Niekerk detailed their preparation strategy saying, “This week we focused on the game plan to ensure everybody knows what to do. We have worked on movements that we have used against other teams in the past year, and we are hoping that will work this time around as well.

“We have had two hard days of work. We try to do three practices a week, but sometimes it’s tough with everybody working while others stay out on the farms, but it shows me the commitment the boys have when they attend each practice on time.”

Asked about the strength of their opponents and the threat they posed, Van Niekerk told the DFA that SPU are a force to be reckoned with.

“Sol Plaatje University has a very good team, and so far, they are the biggest competition I have had in the four years I have been playing for the club.

“Many of the senior players that played for us last year now play for Sol Plaatje University, so this match is a little bit personal.

“Over weekends, we might spend time together, but come Saturday, we are enemies on the field.”

For Van Niekerk, the game goes beyond the sport; it’s about family and tradition.

“My dad played for the club when it was still Police Rugby Club, and we are playing for the history and the pride of the club. Till today, it remains one of the most successful clubs in the Northern Cape, and I want to get the club back to where we play national tournaments, so it’s about the pride of the badge,” he said.

“The guys who were here before us put in the hard work to start this club, and we are working in difficult conditions of club rugby to keep this club going. We are playing for them, for the father standing next to the field shouting for his son, and for each player who is working his butt off to be in the position he is in today,” he concluded.

Rugby fans, mark your calendars for Saturday; you can be assured that it’s going to be a day filled with excitement, passion, and unforgettable rugby action at the Kimberley Rugby Club grounds.

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