After three losses in as many weeks, Villager FC will need to deliver their best performance of the year tonight at Brookside against the UCT students if they are to have any chance of claiming a major upset in this years WP Super League A season and get their season back on an even keel. Kick off is at 9pm. (Click HERE to see the Match Programme or download the PDF HERE)
It was said last week in the build up to the SK Walmers game that Villager would be desperate to turn around their Hamiltons result and for all money that seemed to be the case in the opening few minutes, however what with more silly errors and a blink of an eye, Village found themselves down by 23 points with a little more than a quarter of the game to go. The question on every Brooksiders lips was “what on earth was happening?”.
For those that were in attendance however saw the Brooksiders fight back with the type of vigour and passion one would expect to see from a side proudly wearing the 2nd Oldest RFC badge in the Country on their chests. Although their fightback was to no avail the 2nd half performance proved what this side is capable of doing when they play with the intensity required of an SLA team.
However make no mistake the visitors were full value for their win, but it was noted by some that Villager lost another game local pundits pencilled in as a “probable win”; however with the Super League A being what it is, a win is never a foregone conclusion.
In taking the recent results of the students into account, it is easily seen that ‘foregone’ wins are anything but in this league. Their strong start saw them claim wins against Tygerberg, Durbell and SK Walmers before coming unstuck on the Green Mile against a Victorians side many had written off this year after their below average start to the season. The shock loss only seemed to further derail the students when they succumbed to Maties, a side they have had the number of for the last two seasons, by 31 points to 12.
Of course the hectic league schedule the students face after the Varsity Cup can be blamed as the major factor in their sudden drop in form, however when one considers the quality of players they have at their disposal it is difficult to say why recent results have not gone in their favour.
With a dip in form, and possibly one eye on the upcoming break, the ‘Ikey Tigers‘ may seem ripe for the picking for a Villager side that will be hungrily searching for a win. Unfortunately with so many first-string Villager players out injured this evening including Ryan Germishuys, Jannie Bester, Brent Sanders, Aidrian Cleophas and Damian Rawstorne, the Brooksiders will have yet another incredibly tough assignment ahead of them.
The other changes in the home team include a new look front front row with Reinart Roode coming in at loose head prop for the injured Nic Vetsos and Jarrod Amon remaining in the tight-head position. Completing the front row sees the live-wire hooker, Sikho Langa, starting his first game of the year. In the second row we see Big Luke Westgarth-Taylor take the place of Kwakhona Ngwanya who moves to flank, and Ryan le Roux who swaps with Brent Wienand who moves to the bench on rotation. The loose-forward contingent is made up by Devin Fester and the ever irrepressible Ashley Clarke at eighth-man.
The backline shows a number of changes, some enforced due to injury and others due to rotation. Changes this week includes Brent Sanders who is injured which is a big blow considering that he has proved to be an important member of the team in the last two seasons., whilst a big change this evening sees David Coombes move into the pivot position in place of Daniel Clarke, who moves to the bench on rotation.
Other changes sees exciting youngster Kelsey Tait move into the scrum half position for the first time this year and Andrew Jones-Davies, the grandson of Villager and Springbok Flyhalf Dave Stewart, makes his début on the wing which should surely make Dave and his family extremely proud.
The backline is completed by long time centre pairing Stuart Pattison and David Radloff as well as Ryan Massyn on the wing and the solid James Alldermann at fullback.
The bench sees the inclusion of Daniel Searle, Brent Wienand, Simon Greenwood, Trent Jenkinson, Daniel Clarke and point scoring machine Reece Gregg.
Villager Head Coach looks to the positives about tonight.
“I realise that as a team we have let ourselves down in recent weeks, but I must stress that we have not given up and we will look to improve from Saturday and not only try to compete with Varsity, but see how we can take them on.” He says.
“We have a good team out there considering all the injuries we have suffered in recent weeks, but we will have no excuses after the game. We have trained hard this week and will look to improve our defence and error rate as we know what Varsity can do on the counter attack.” He says.
Villager looks forward to renewing our rivalry with the Ikey Tigers and welcomes their supporters, especially Digby Webb, to Brookside and the canteen.
Villager FC 1st XV vs UCT RFC 1st XV 21:00 A field
Villager FC 2nd XV vs UCT RFC 2nd XV 19:45 A field
Villager FC 3rd XV vs UCT RFC 3rd XV 18:35 A field
Villager FC u20 XV vs UCT RFC u20 XV 18:35 B field