Queen’s aim high

Queen’s College want to test themselves against the best schools in the country.

Queen’s faded after making a good start to their 2009 season (ultimately winning 10 from 20, with nine losses and a draw), and are searching for more consistency in 2010.

‘Our ultimate goal is to crack the Top 20 [South African schools rankings], and we’re working very hard on building a rugby culture,’ Queen’s 1st XV coach John Duncan told keo.co.za.

Queen’s pre-season preparations went according to plan, which has heightened expectations.

‘There is pressure on us from the community to perform,’ said Duncan. ‘But our team is well rounded, and the players are in good condition thanks to assistant coach and biokineticist Murray Basset.’

Queen’s face their first big test of the season on 27 March, when they play Affies, who were ranked ninth in the country last year.

‘We don’t have the same calibre of raw talent as Affies, but it’s a numbers game – they have 1 200 pupils, we have 500,’ said Duncan. ‘But while we don’t have any superstars, we’re a workman-like team, and we’ll give them our best.

‘Last year we underperformed, so this year our goal is to measure ourselves against the best at every opportunity and do ourselves proud. This is one of those opportunities.

‘I’ve heard Affies are stronger than they were last year. I can’t see a glaring weakness in the Affies outfit, and we’re expecting a tough all round battle. Our forwards will work hard early on to lay a platform and our backs will try to finish.’

By Rory Keohane