Head Coach Andrew Hughes has announced his side to take on Brackenfell RFC on Saturday 31 May at Brookside in what is expected to be a hugely physical encounter and one that Villager FC will need to be fully prepared for if they are to remain as log leaders. Kick off 4pm.
For the second week in a row Villager FC have home ground advantage and will need to ensure this counts for something when they take on Brackenfell RFC, one of the few teams that posses sizeable forwards with the ability to counter the Villager pack and dominate the collisions. Although Brackenfell sit in eighth on the log as a result of losing two games to title contenders St Georges and Hamlets, they have beaten Collegians at Lentegeur, a result that may cause the Brookside faithful some unease.
Currently sitting at the top of the log on 27 points after six successive victories, Villager are in a healthy position going into this game but cannot rest on their laurels as Milnerton, St Georges and Sir Lowrians (with a game in hand) all sit on 24 points. The fact that Villager failed to win with bonus points in their last three fixtures before last week’s victory over Rangers RFC may ultimately count against them, however Andrew Hughes believes getting the win first is of the utmost importance. “This league is extremely unpredictable” he says. “We have to take each game as it comes and prepare as well as possible to ensure we keep on winning because that is what it will ultimately come down to at the end of the season.”
In keeping with his rotational policy, as well as accounting for the injury to winger Jethro Valentine, Hughes has made six changes and one positional switch to the side that played against Rangers last week. Hughes does not believe the changes will disrupt the team. “All the players understand that this is how we are running this years campaign and have bought into it” he says. “With the exception of new cap Blane Hansen on the wing, every player has already played a significant role in the teams unbeaten run so far.”
Looking to this weekends game Captain Ashley Clarke is confident his side can continue their good form. “I have no doubt we will do the club and the Old Boys proud” he says. “We have become quite a tight knit group and really want to get Villager back into the A League next year and the only way we can do that is to keep winning.”
The vast amount of travelling Rangers supporters caught the home team somewhat off sides last week, but they can look forward to a better support base this week as over 80 Old Boys return to the club for the ‘Renaissance Lunch’ hosted by Dennis Nick for the second time this year. Hughes says having the Old Boys at the club will have a positive effect on his players. “The last lunch was a great occasion and brought home how special Villager is to the new members of the team.” he says. “The amount of Villager blazers and ties around the club was a great boost to the fellas and I believe having them around again this weekend will make a big difference.”
In anticipation of a physical game, forwards coach Riaan Crous has again opted for the front row of Adrian Cleophas, Troy Lee and Ryan Germishuys. This partnership has been developing well over the last few weeks under the guidance of veteran Troy Lee. Cleophas in particular has improved immeasurably this year while Germishuys continues his destructive ball carries on attack. Utility forward Eddie Ntaka comes into the second row in place of Ryan Bezuidenhout and is expected to bring a different dimension to the teams attack with his strong ball carries. Kwaks Ngwanya joins Ntaka at lock after a good performance last week. The try scoring loose forward duo of Jannie Bester and Ashley Clarke continue and will be joined by Brodie Blows who replaces last weeks man of the match, Andrew Wilkins.
The backline has been disrupted the most this week with five changes that sees only flyhalf Daniel Clarke and fullback James Allderman retain their positions from last week. At Scrumhalf Jonny Sweetnam rotates with Daniel Anderson, while the exciting Christo ‘Toes” Terblanche replaces the injured Jethro Valentine at wing. Joining Terblanche on the right wing is the exciting new acquisition at the club, Blane Hansen, whose speed provides the Dirty Whites an exciting new option on attack. The unavailability of Stuart Pattison at training this week has forced a move to outside centre for Brent Sanders enabling the long awaited start for Matthew Rockhill at inside centre. Rockhill will surely have a point to prove after a pre-season injury kept him out of the game for some time, and although he came off the bench in the last two games, he will relish at the chance to prove himself for the entire 80 minutes.
As a result of the rotational policy Ryan Bezuidenhout, Stuart Pattison, Andrew Wilkins, Daniel Anderson and Donny Venter warm the bench this week. The unavailability of Ayden Coetzee sees the welcomed return of prop Jarred Amon to the 1st XV, while hooker Ziyaad Fredericks replaces Scott Pitcher.
We look forward to welcoming the Brackenfell players, coaches, supporters and committee to Brookside on Saturday and encourage as many of our past members to join us as together with the Renaissance Lunch Old Boys for a fantastic day of club rugby played for the right reasons.
1st XV vs Brackenfell RFC:
|Villager 1st XV||Brackenfell 1st XV||Brookside A||16:00|
|Villager u20||Brackenfell u20||Brookside A||14:45|
|Villager 3rd XV||Brackenfell 3rd XV||Brookside A||13:35|
|Villager 2nd XV||Brackenfell 2nd XV||Brookside B||13:35|