Villager FC have announced their side to take on Altius Collegians at Lentegeur for the first time in seven years in their fifth round WP SLB fixture on Saturday 17 May. Kick off 15:30pm.
Ask anyone who has played at Lentegeur before and they will tell you that you do not easily win at the home ground of the Altius Collegians. Not only do you play the home team you play against an entire community united behind their players. It is undeniable that playing Collegians at Lentegeur is a difficult task where, more so than anywhere else, the community rally behind the team and expect an upset against whomever they play no matter if they are Maties, UCT or Villager FC.
Collegians were formed in 1979 after they merged with Silvertree RFC and Rosendales RFC after the despicable decision that District Six be classified as a ‘White Only’ area in 1966 according to the Group Areas Act. As a result of the act many a family were forcefully uprooted to Mitchells Plain, an area demarcated for the ‘Coloured’ community. Although Silvertree RFC eventually split from the alliance, Collegians kept their name and the legacy of Lentegeur was born.
It is against this back drop that Villager FC finds itself this weekend playing their highly spirited rivals which many a top side has come unstuck, ask the Villager team that last played at Lentegeur and lost, they have not earned their reputation for nothing. Although Collegians receives a bad rap for past issues, there can be no argument that they are hard to beat, play for their community and are prepared to go toe to toe to achieve victory no matter the opposition. A team like that is to be respected not maligned as has become the custom.
Villager FC expects no special treatment when they arrive on Saturday and will have to be at their very best both mentally and physically to claim the win. To come away with a victory, no matter how ugly, will be a huge step forward for the Brookside team that believes their ‘Right Reasons’ slogan will get the club back into the Super League A. Head Coach Andrew Hughes believes this weekend could be a turning point, “There is no doubt Collegians at home is extremely tough, they have beat many top sides in the past simply because they were not mentally ready to handle the Lentegeur atmosphere. This weekend is big for us, I expect it to be the toughest game we have faced thus far and will, I believe, be a turning point for this team and the club should we come away with a win.”
To win at Lentegeur a side needs experienced players which is the case for the Villager team this weekend that features, alongside Captain Ashley Clarke, veteran hooker Troy Lee, Richard ‘Oupa’ Williams at lock and Andrew Wilkins at Flank. The hardened edge and experience all four bring to the team cannot be overstated believes Hughes, “Without a doubt having Troy back and Oupa join the side is huge for us, while having Wilko start will give us an extra edge. You simply cannot win this league with inexperienced youngsters, you need guys who’ve been through it before and understand what is required.”
Joining Lee in the front row is the ever improving loose head prop Adrian Cleophas, who has been solid in the scrums thus far, and tight head prop Ryan Germishuys who is expected to play a major role in the tight phases of the game. In the second row Williams will be joined by Ayden Coetzee, usually a prop, but with the unavailability of Ryan Bezuidenhout as well as the injury to Stephen Buerger forwards coach Riaan Crous has little choice but to move Coetzee, “Our injury list has unfortunately continued to grow so we have little choice but to move Ayden, but I expect him to do well there. He can be a very physical player which is what I am expecting from him on Saturday.”
Together with Ashley Clarke at eighth man and Andrew Wilkins at open side flank, Eddie Ntaka, who has made the transition from flank to lock without complaint on numerous occasions, moves back to the blind side as a result of the unavailability of Jannie Bester. Crous believes the loose forwards will have a vital role to play on Saturday, “The game will be won or lost at the breakdown, although it has been poorly officiated so far, we will need to be far more accurate than has been the case. It will all come down to the execution of our loose forwards to lay the platform for our backline to play off.”
The back line shows three changes from last weekend, with Jonny Sweetnam starting at scrum half in place of Christo Terblanche who moves to the wing in place of Donny Venter who in turn drops to the bench. The other change sees the return of James Allderman to the side at fullback in place of Jethro Valentine who moves to wing. The flyhalf berth remains the same with Daniel Clarke continuing to run the side with his sharp kicking and distribution, while the centre pairing of Brent Sanders and Stuart Pattison continues on from last week.
Backline coach Kirsten Marshall believes the back line need to step up their game a notch, “The backs did not do as well as they could have on attack last week, although they were superb on defence, they did not gel as well as they should be considering the available talent on display. There were patches of brilliance from Jethro at the back, but the lack of quality ball, poor option taking and silly errors ensured we did not pose much of a threat to Young Peoples defence line as we should have. I am expecting a far better display this weekend especially from the senior players.”
The bench sees a few changes due to the injuries that have hit the side as well as the rotational policy, however Hughes has the utmost faith in them, “There is no doubt that this team is only doing as well as it has been as a result of the strength in depth we have at this club. Being able to call upon players such as Kwaks Ngwanya, Brodie Blows, Donny Venter and Ziyaad Fredericks who have all played at the club for a few years is a huge bonus, while I am also pleased to reward Payden Viviers for his consistent performances in the seconds.” The bench is completed by Daniel Anderson and Matthew Rockhill; both are expected to make a considerable contribution should they get onto the park.
Villager FC looks forward to reviving this fixture between both clubs, a game that was last played in 2007. We welcome all Villager members and supporters to join us at Lentegeur for an afternoon of club rugby, while we look forward to having Cape Rugby TV in attendance.
1st XV vs Collegians:
|Collegians 1st XV||Villager 1st XV||Lentegeur||15:30|
|Collegians 2nd XV||Villager 2nd XV||Lentegeur||14:15|
|Collegians 3rd XV||Villager 3rd XV||Lentegeur||13:05|
|Collegians u20||Villager u20||Lentegeur||TBC|