As a result of their Semi-Final win against Brackenfell a fortnight ago, Villager FC will once again be playing at the historic Newlands Stadium when they face off against a highly motivated Union-Milnerton RFC in the WP SLB Presidents Cup Final. Kick-off is at 14h00.
Not since the early 2000’s has Villager FC played at the historic Newlands Stadium, a venue that was once synonymous with the Dirty Whites and club rugby in general. Unfortunately with the advent of professionalism club rugby in the Western Cape has seen their participation at the stadium dwindle. In stark contrast however, the Sharks Union has continued in the tradition of having their clubs play curtain raisers for Super Rugby or Currie Cup fixtures ensuring that their clubs receive the recognition their important role in the health of our countries game deserves.
Although club rugby has taken a back seat in the Western Cape for some time, the Presidents Cup is a step in the right direction. With all teams involved in either the top six or the bottom eight, the Cup presents a unique opportunity for the clubs that may have faltered during the league stage to salvage some pride. Added to the fact that play-off games pose unique challenges for the top teams where underdogs seemingly always have a chance in once-off games, the Cup has the potential to become a popular feature in the club rugby calendar.
With Uni-Mil having claimed an unexpected but spectacular penalty shootout win over Sir Lowrians in their Semi-Final, the threat of the underdogs is something that Villager will need to take into consideration going into the final. It is without doubt that Villager are the firm favourites, however Uni-Mil will be desperate to end their season on a high after many a disappointing loss put paid to their SLA ambitions in 2015.
With Head Coach Gunner Hughes away on pressing matters, assistant coach Kirsten Marshall takes over the reins this weekend. Marshall believes that although Uni-Mil is a tough side, the final is theirs to lose this weekend. “Uni-Mil are a great side who are extremely well coached by Ish Dollie, however I truly believe that we are the side to beat this weekend.” He says. “We are near full strength with the return of Alderman, Blows, Germishuys and Marsh and I believe that the guys are desperate to claim the Cup to end off what has already been a fairy-tale season for the club.”
The only changes to the forwards from the Semi-Final include the return of the victorious WP Disas trio of Ryan Germishuys, Brodie Blows and Adrian Cleophas to the starting team and the inclusion of Ayden Coetzee on the bench.
In the backline the return of James Alderman and Tim Marsh from injury enforced layoffs moves Louis Gabriel and Christo Terblanche to the bench, whilst the absence of Stuart Pattison and Blane Hansen has provided the opportunity for Matthew Rockhill and Donny Venter to make their starting appearances.
Villager FC encourages as many of our supporters to join us at Newlands for what will be an action packed Final. There is no doubt seeing the Dirty Whites play on the famous Newlands pitch again will be a fantastic culmination to what has already been an amazing season for the club. Our supporters are encouraged to meet at Brookside at 12 pm to have a drink or three before we proceed to Newlands by foot. Tickets are R10 and can be purchased from Dave Edwards.
Villager FC 1st XV
1. Adrian Cleophas 2. Scott Pitcher 3. Ryan Germishuys 4. Luke Westgarth Taylor 5. Richard Williams 6. Jannie Bester 7. Brodie Blows 8. Ashley Clarke (CPT) 9. Daniel Anderson 10. 11. Neil Du Toit 12. Matthew Rockhill 13. Brent Sanders 14. Christo Terblanche 15. James Alderman