The Durban University of Technology (DUT) rugby team, DUT Rhinos “Obhejane” will be playing their last match at the FNB Varsity Shield tournament against Rhodes University at Tuks Stadium, tomorrow, Friday, 07 May 2021 at 19h00. This match will broadcast live on SuperSportTV (DStv channel 211).
Despite facing challenges in the tournament, the team is grateful for the opportunity to compete for the first time in the Varsity Shield tournament, which is regarded as South Africa’s greatest varsity rugby tournament. They are expected to head back home after their match as it will be the last of their six confirmed games.
DUT Rugby Director, Matthew Russell who is also representing FAN, one of the team’s sponsors said most of the teams that DUT Rhinos competed against are veterans in the Varsity Shield. He said they have learnt so much from these teams and this helped them to improve over the time.
Furthermore, he said competing with the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), being their home province team was like a derby game but the boys managed to break their mental edge and got into a proper form of play.
Russell said one of the major challenges the team faced at the tournament was the resignation of their coach, after losing their first game against the Walter Sisulu University (WSU).
“We originally did not accept his resignation but due to his disruptive behaviour, we will accept his resignation. We had no incidents within the camp in terms of our players and our administration staff. We have been doing well in coping with the heavy schedule here. The coach’s resignation was our major disruption in this tournament,” explained Russell.
According to Russell, their highlight was their game against Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Vikings, where they managed to get their score margin down and play a very high intensity team. He said the DUT Rhinos performance was very impressive.
“There has been a lot of lessons learnt, both with how we play rugby and how we train rugby. We are also looking at new technology and how we can advance our programmes so that come 2022, we are a better prepared side. This may include even coaching via an electronic format, which we are busy working on,” said Russell.
Commenting on the team’s performance throughout the tournament, Russell said the boys have definitely played through the challenges and have stood up, going into all the games. He said in the second bio-bubble, he saw the team’s resilience and perseverance, which they dug deep for.
Pictured: DUT Rhinos players, ball carrier is Philasande Mgogo and players behind from (left to right): Sechaba Motsapi, Lwazi Bhengu, Amelia Mthwazi and Mpumelelo Hlefane against a player from the Cape Penisula University of Technology (CPUT).