Andrew ‘Gunner’ Hughes has named his strongest available team to take on Scottsdene RFC away on Saturday 12 April in their second round SLB fixture. Kick off 4pm.
Coming off a strong win at home last weekend against Macassar, Villager are in a confident frame of mind looking forward to Saturdays game however they are not taking anything for granted. “The SLB is not an easy one, there are a vast array of factors that can either work for you or against you depending on how well you have prepared.” Hughes said.
Villager Captain, Ashley Clarke, concurred with Hughes adding “We have prepared well this week and are fully focussed on improving our performance from last weekend where I thought we played well in some patches but also allowed them into the game for too easily at times.”
Hughes has made a few changes from last weekend’s side with the notable omission being flyhalf Daniel Clark who injured his ankle after an attempted charge down. Jarred Stokes will replace Clarke in the number ten jersey this weekend as talented youngster, James Alderman, has gone home to East London for the weekend.
In the pack the front row has only one change with hard running Adrian Cleophas in for Ayden Coetzee at loosehead. The front row is completed with Troy Lee at hooker and Ryan Germishuys at tighthead. At lock Eddie Ntaka moves to his preferred position at flank, in place of Brodie Blows, clearing the way for the welcomed return of 120kg lock, Ryan Bezuidenhout, who has been out with injury since the Helderberg pre season game. Ryan’s immense strength in the tight phases of the game will be a welcome addition to an already strong pack, while his experience of club rugby will be an additional bonus. Ryan is joined by his 6ft lineout kingpin partner, Stephen Buerger. In the loose forwards, Ntaka is joined by last week’s man of the match, Jannie Bester and Captain Ashley Clarke at 8. It must be noted that Ntaka in particular has done a good job filling in at lock where his physical ball carries added much value to the side’s momentum on attack.
In the backs a change at scrumhalf sees Jonny Sweetnam move into the team as a result of illness to youngster Daniel Anderson. Sweetnam, who attended the prestigious RPC run by Alan Zondagh in 2005, makes a welcomed return to club rugby after a four year hiatus. At ten, Stokes fills in for the injured Clarke while the centre pairing of Stuart Pattison and David Radloff will continue their impressive partnership. At fullback, Jethro Valentine, a livewire of a player comes into the side after sitting out as a result of Hughes rotational policy. Valentine is joined at the back by Reece Gregg and Donny Venter who switches with Emihle Baneti in another rotational switch.
Backline coach, Kirsten Marshall, believes the backs are an exciting combination, “Having so many quality players to choose from makes selecting a difficult task, but it has it benefits when key members are injured. Being able to call upon a quality player like Jarred Stokes and Jethro Valentine ensures our attacking aims each week are never hampered and we can continue improving as a unit. But I’m going to have a serious headache when all the players are back from injury!”
Completing the team the bench has changed considerably from last week as a result of the above mentioned injuries, rotation and the unavailability of last weeks impact players, Andrew Wilkins and Brent Wienandt. However the strength of a club lies in their depth and being able to call upon last years hard working lock, Kwaks Ngwanya, proves looking after the lower teams is always advised. The bench is completed by Ayden Coetzee, Scott Pitcher, Brodie Blows and Emihle Baneti. Special mention must be made of scrumhalf Christo Terblanche who joins the team on 49 caps for the Villager 1st XV.
Looking at this weekend’s team Hughes believes this side can become a formidable force in the SLB if they remain focussed on improving each week, “I believe the team we have selected is a strong one and if they keep focussed on improving their performance each week they will play a great brand of rugby that will bring the crowds back to Brookside. This weekend will not be easy, we will have to work extremely hard to beat a determined Scottsdene side but I believe in the fellas.”
The Villager committee, coaches and players would love to see as many Dirty Whites supporters as possible make the drive out to Scottsdene to support the players in what will be a great afternoons rugby.
1st XV vs Macassar:
|Scottsdene 1st XV||Villager 1st XV||Scottsdene A||16:00|
|Scottsdene 2nd XV||Villager 2nd XV||Scottsdene A||14:30|
|Scottsdene 3rd XV||Villager 3rd XV||Scottsdene A||13:30|
|Scottsdene u20||Villager u20||Scottsdene B||13:30|