Apr 06

Warwick Masi Rugby Club

An article by Ian Kilbride

Masiphumelele from Noordhoek will join Hamediehs and Van der Stel-Evergreens in Super League C next year after beating Violets by 25-20 at City Park on Saturday 8 October.

After the game, People’s Post chatted to the coach, Simon Blakeley, about the season.

“We had a really good start to the pre-season with a win over False Bay 3rds and Retreat. The guys showed a lot of guts and we as coaches could see that we had a special group. We used that momentum and had a decent start to the season with a great unbeaten run and only lost to Violets and Hamediehs,” he says.

Their goal was always to make the Top 9 with the group they had and everything after that would be a bonus.

“Masi was under huge pressure in the Promotional League as we were on a three-game losing streak. The season was about to unravel but we decided to have a team meeting to clear the air and plan the next six games.”

He says they treated every game as a final from then on.

“We started it with our fellow rivals Violets and Hamediehs. Both teams beat us in the league and these were must-wins for Masi. Masi gave Hamediehs their first and only defeat of the season,” says Blakeley.

A big turning point was when Masi got a settled team and coach Justin Fielies and Siya Mkiva (ex-Masi legend) decided to lace up their boots.

“This was to help the team to promotion. Coach Fielies brought a lot of experience and helped guide a young backline. The standout forwards for Masi was hardworking lock and captain Richwen Waries, lock Thandolwethu Vintwembi and 8th man Ayabulela Nodyokwe.

“In the backline, we had the Steele brothers (Kyle and Shane), scrumhalf and vice-captain Malabo Totshini and the huge experience of Anville van Wyk,” he says.

Promotion was a well-deserved end to the season as the amount of effort and time the coaching team of Blakeley and Fielies put paid dividends.

“We as a coaching team came with a plan and made the players, a special bunch of guys, believe that it was possible. Thank you to the committee and spectators for all the support throughout the season.

“Special thanks need to go to Ian Kilbride and his team from Warrick Wealth. Without their support it would not have been possible to achieve what the club did this year,” he says.

Upcoming events for the team are the November touch series run (every Friday night), the end-of-year dinner and the club AGM.

Teams competing in Super League C next year are Macassar, Kraaifontein, Rangers, Hamediehs, Masiphumelele, Van der Stel-Evergreens, Morningstar, Eerste River, Blue Jets, Blue Stars, Albions, Pniel-Villagers, Goodwood, Scottsdene-Central and Busy Bee.

Ian Kilbride is the Chairman and CEO of The Spirit Group and an Honorary Professor at Stellenbosch Business School