Cats have first call on Kennedy Tsimba

By Liam Del Carme Time of article published Feb 13, 2002

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If the choice were his, Kennedy Tsimba would play for the Stormers.

As things stand, however, the Cats have first option on his services and Frans Ludeke will have a careful look at Tsimba's skills before making a decision on whether he is going to include the former Zimbabwean international in is his squad.

Louis Koen, Andre Pretorius and Conrad Barnard occupy the flyhalf berths in the Cats squad so Tsimba, who was declared eligible to play in the Vodacom Super 12 by the South African Rugby Football Union (Sarfu) two days ago, would have to be convincing when he comes under the Cats' scrutiny.

Should the unthinkable happen and he does not make the grade at the Cats, the Stormers are most likely to lay claim to his services. They lost Chris Rossouw to injury and although their coach Gert Smal raves about the array of skills of stand-in pivot Werner Greeff, Tsimba would be a most welcome acquisition.

Question is, will Tsimba fit into the Cats' pattern-driven style. "I think it will be pretty difficult," Tsimba admitted on Wednesday. "Hopefully it won't be too difficult, however, because we have to be able to play to different styles.

"The Cats tend to kick the ball a lot more than what I'm used to and I would probably not be too comfortable with their game. But if I have a job to do then I'll do it," Tsimba said.

He did not struggle for reasons to play for the Stormers. "They play a far more adventurous game in which they do a lot of off-the-cuff stuff. You must allow players to express themselves that way.

"From my experience playing against Western Province it is clear that they play with style and confidence. The players have to be confident for that style of play to work," he said.

The fleet-footed pivot said it was difficult to gauge the chasm between the Vodacom Cup and the Super 12. "I don't know. When I came here from Zim I did not know how big the step-up was going to be. I expected it to be a lot tougher," he said.

Tsimba lamented the timing of Sarfu's decision. Had Sarfu given him the green light to play in the Super 12 at the end of last year Tsimba would have been absorbed into the Cats squad.

"The competition is just a week away so things will have to fall into place pretty quickly. I'll just have to make the best of the situation," Tsimba said.

  • In other developments, Bok flank Rassie Erasmus finally put pen to paper and will join London Irish for a two-year stint.

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