Rustenburg Impala captain Justin Wheeler on Tuesday attributed his team’s Gold Cup victory to the team spirit shown by their expanded squad throughout the season and said he was delighted that they could win the title for the people of Rustenburg.
The men from North West won their second Gold Cup title in three years on Saturday as they registered a convincing 48-24 victory over DirectAxis False Bay at the Impala Rugby Club in Rustenburg in front of a 5000 strong crowd.
The victory ensured that they completed the season on a memorable note as they remained unbeaten and scored four tries or more in each of their matches.
“It’s a great feeling to have done this for the people of Rustenburg,” said Wheeler, who was one of three players to score a brace of tries in the match.
“The players put everything into the cause since January, and not only the 22 who played in the final. We had a squad of 32 to 33 guys, many of whom never played a game, but who were vitally important.
“They were the guys who kept coming to practice every week, even though they didn’t have much of a chance to play. But despite this, they contributed so much to the cause.”Rustenburg Impala coach Nico le Roux praised his team for sticking to their game plan in the final and said they peaked at the right time of the season.
“I feel we executed 90% of what we set out to do,” said Le Roux. “There was a bit of pressure knowing that we lost at home in the final last year (against Durbanville-Bellville) but these are the types of big games that you want to play in.
“We did very little on-field training in the week leading up to the final, and focused mainly on video work. But I felt we peaked nicely on the day. Funny enough I actually think we peaked a week early. We’ll never know, but I feel that if we had to play another game this week, the team would have hit their peak.”
Wheeler and Le Roux will feature on TMO and Phaka on SuperSport 1 (Channel 201) on Tuesday to share their experience of winning the Gold Cup.