Legend Theo's Back at Item
SCHOOLS PREVIEW: This is the day when Itembelihle meet Ndzondelelo in Port Elizabeth, a day of tension with drum majorettes, singing and rugby tension.
Back at Itembelihle is Theo Pieterse.
He taught history at the school and coached rugby there for 36 years, before having a brief spell at Linksfield. Now, at 64 years of age, he is back where he so much belongs. And with him comes all the help he receives from the Spur and First National Bank.
But let him tell his take on the match at hand.
"I have returned to take over Itembelihle rugby and the rebuilding process is starting.
"Because rugby is dead in the townships, the talented boys from surrounding schools and others from King William’s Town and Grahamstown as well as the Northern Areas (Coloured) of Port Elizabeth are joining me. At the moment I have players from seven different schools.
"The Department of Sport (Desrac) identified us as a school where development is taking place and where the whole community is benefiting. I had Matt Sexton with us in April, conducting a coaching course, and giving us balls and boots. We have been training together since January, and every week a new boy or two will turn up because they heard that we are playing in the league and going on tours!
"Our results haven’t been to good so far this year, as it is a young team, with only three matrics in the side. We played in the Graaff-Reinet festival losing 12-33 to Stirling High and 14-51 to Charlie Hofmeyr. Earlier in the season we lost 0-38 to Los Tilos from Argentina and a week later defeated Club de Remos Azul, also from there, 49-5, we beat Hutt International boys school, New Zealand 21-7, lost to Die Brandwag 8-68. So, it’s a learning curve. We have the Cambridge festival ahead of us in June and the annual Kwa-Zulu Natal development tournament in September.
"On Friday we will clash with old rivals Ndzondelelo, and if it is an Under-19 game (and not open!), we should win it comfortably, as we have come a long way as a team and there are very talented boys in it, but not well conditioned, because they do not get the right nutrition as well as being in a gym.
"Daniel Gqalo is our captain and he is really looking forward to this game. He is 16 years old, and in grade 10 and plays hooker for us. Our one front ranker, Mncedisi Jonas, has made the EP Under-19 squad. Our No.8 Vuyo Tshaka has been man-of-the-match” in almost every game he plays. He is not very big, but very fast off the mark. Flyhalf Lotto Kete has also impressed with his general play, and especially with his accurate goal kicking.
"We are looking at a capacity crowd to attend the game at the Wolfson Stadium in Kwazakhele."
Team vs Ndzondelelo
Itembelihle: 15 Julian Grey, 14 Hlumelo Tola, 13 Sanele Jack, 12 Odwa Shuwana, 11 Kamvelihle Jafta, 10 Phumzi Kete, 9 Xolisile Mnyungula, 8 Vuyo Tshaka, 7 Akhona Sonti, 6 Lubabalo Ndamase, 5 Pumelela du Preez, 4 Tembalethu Khanzi, 3 Mncedisi Yona, 2 Simamkele Gqalo (captain, 1 Siphalele Ntundushe
Replacements: 16 Xabiso Leonard, 17 Siphelele Mkangelwa, 18 Roger Crabb, 19 Tumelo Leeuw, 20 Temba Ntusikazi, 21 Luyolo Ndzimane
Date: Friday, 11 May 2018
Venue: Wolfson Stadium, Port Elizabeth