RUGBY: Engineers disqualified from internal league, Men’s Res back in the game

Engineers in a huddle at the Wednesday night game where they beat Men's Residence, 10 - 5.    Photo: Tendai Dube

DISQUALIFIED: Engineers in a huddle at the Wednesday night game where they beat Men’s Residence, 10 – 5. Photo: Tendai Dube

The Wits Engineers rugby team has been disqualified from the internal rugby league for fielding players in breach of regulations.

The team will not play in the semi-finals tomorrow night after it was found that two of the team members who won 10-5 against Men’s Res last week, belong to other clubs.

The disqualification was confirmed today by the team’s captain, Matthew Peter, and league coordinator Alan Leonard.

The league’s regulations dictate that “a player that has played for any other club during a specific calendar year, whether it was in a friendly or in a league match, will not be allowed to participate in the competition during that specific year.”

According to Leonard, the Engineers’ captain requested permission on the morning of the game to allow a Pirates club member to play that evening but he (Leonard) denied the request. Engineers opted to field the player anyways.

“In our opinion, what would have been more fair is to discuss the terms of a rematch,” said Peter.

“As a whole the internal league has very few Wits students to begin with, there aren’t that many Wits students who are keen to come down and play internal rugby, which is a problem. If that’s the case, you’re forced to bring in outside players.”

Peter also said the issue is more about the handling of the disqualification and how Men’s Res only complained at the end of the match when they knew who the two players were from the beginning.

“Literally, as I walked off the field I was pulled into a meeting, I was standing there in my full kit, sweating off the field, having to explain the two players’ status (sic),” said Peter.

According to Leonard, the Engineers have accepted the ruling and the disqualification from the competition.

As a result of the team’s disqualification, Men’s Res has been granted a second chance to move forward in pursuit of being titled the internal league winners in the final next week Wednesday.

“We are very grateful to be given a second chance and in all honesty we think we deserve it,” said Sbonga Mthalane, Men’s Residence captain.

The semi-final will be an all “M” final, with Masakhane, Medics, Monash and Mens Res, thrashing it out in the hopes of becoming one of the two remaining teams to go head-to-head in the finals the following week.

The lineup sees Masakane playing the first game against the second time lucky Men’s Res, and Medics versus the newcomers to the league, Monash.

The semi-finals are this Wednesday, September 3, from 7 pm on Rugby Field A on East Campus.





The battle of the rugby shield tightens

Wits rugby team Medics “Young Doctors” is currently number one at the university, having lost none of their matches this year from ten teams. Their latest victory was against Monash for the Rugby Internal League play off.

Following Young Doctors is Masakhane with 208 points and the Engineers with 173 points. The SA Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS) which still have not won any games since the league started, managed only 50 points and continue to remain at the bottom this semester.

SAUJS have not played any games this semester and have been troubled since their team had a leadership deficit – their manager only just returned two weeks ago from a two month trip overseas. Alan Leonard, Rugby Internal League coordinator, said, “If SAUJS cannot continue then the scores for SAUJS will be wiped out and it will be as if they had not played. That levels the playing field”.

Meanwhile, Masakhane is determined to take the Medics on in the finale after they lost only one game last semester against the Medics. Katlego Maseko, Masakhane captain said his team had no problems, had “the best defence in the league” and he hoped to see Medics in the final.

Even though the Medics have done extremely well their captain, Donovan Heslop disclosed that “one part of our game that needs work is our defence and kicking, this has always been a problem with us our strongest asset has been our attack, we have very exciting players who are able to create tries when needed.”

TEAM HUG: The Medics rejoice after winning a game. Photo by: Tendai

TEAM HUG: The Medics rejoice after winning a game.        Photo by: Tendai Dube

For the past three years the Medics have only made it to the semi-finals, not winning the cup. Heslop said this time, “Our goal is to make the final and hopefully win the league.”

As for Mens Res, they opened this semester with another loss. Leonard said, “Last week their fitness was not up to scratch and they seem to change their team every week.”

“I think the other teams have got stronger but also with the disruptions the teams have not played the same number of games,” he added.

Monash captain, Tatenda Mtemeri said that one of the reasons for their lack lustre performance well is that they had a lot of new players most of which were under 19. They had only three seniors remaining.

However, it’s not really a Super 6 anymore; this year all teams will play until the semi-finals. This means that all teams on the league, Medics, Masakhane, Engineers, Commerce, Monash, Humanities (Titans), Mens Res (Raiders), South African Hellenic Association (SHA), MGI Tigers and SAUJs will be part of the remaining three rounds of the games.

The Rugby Internal League Final will take place on September 10, with only three rounds left until the play-offs. The last week will see a five game round if SAUJS emerges from its leadership crises and continue to play, according to Leonard.

Close on the Medics’ heels for winner, according to the current standing, looks likely to be Masakhane or the Engineers.