In a clash of two of the oldest clubs in South Africa, Young Peoples who celebrate their 119th year of competitive rugby this year take on Villager FC, officially the second oldest club at 138yrs, in their fourth round SLB fixture in Paarl on Saturday 10 May. Kick off 5pm.
Villager, on a run of three consecutive victories, hope to continue their good form on Saturday against a Young Peoples side that have everything to play for after losing two from two so far in 2014. Coming off a bye, Young Peoples are expected to be highly motivated playing in front of their home crowd to claim the scalp of a bruised Villager side after their physical encounter with Milnerton last week.
The physical nature of the Milnerton game has left Villager with more than bruised egos with hooker Scott Pitcher forced to sit out this week as a result of a concussion and lock Brent Wienand is expected to be out of action for a number of weeks due to a severe ankle injury. Other enforced absences this week include last week’s man-of-the-match James Allderman who is in the Eastern Cape, David Radloff who is away on work as well as hooker Troy Lee who is overseas on work.
In a sort of hooker crisis, the Villager 1st XV have lost all three hookers in the squad as a result of the injury to Pitcher, the absence of Lee and this week’s unfortunate training field injury to Ciearan Fitzgerald. Hughes has been forced to call upon 2nd XV member Ziyaad Fredericks and u20 captain Daniel Searle to sit on the bench. “Losing two hookers to injury and having Troy unavailable has really tested our depth but I am confident with our cover there. Ziyaad has been performing well for the 2nds and has been knocking on the door for some time now while Daniel has a sterling reputation with the u20s as a physical player and ball carrier, u20 coach Dave Mallett has raved about Daniels performances and leadership so I am confident he will make the step up should he come off the bench.” Hughes said.
Together with the hooker crisis, Hughes has stuck to his rotational policy by naming a vastly different side that played Milnerton, “We have made a number of enforced changes as well as a few rotational changes for this week against Young Peoples in keeping to our rotational policy with the ultimate aim of building depth in the squad. As any coach will tell you, your side is only as strong as the available depth so we are committed to ensuring all players in the squad get adequate game time.”
Although the rotational policy is expected to bear fruit later in the year, the numerous changes to the squad has thus far not permitted the team to gel as well as one would expect after three games, however Hughes is unconcerned “Changing players will always bring with it a slight instability to the side, but we do have some form of continuity with almost every player, except both hookers, having played for the 1st XV already. They all know our systems and I am not expecting much of a disturbance on Saturday.”
The forwards show the most changes with many straight switches between the bench and the starting team from last week. Only prop Adrian Cleophas, lock Ryan Bezuidenhout and eighthman Ashley Clarke remain in the starting side from Milnerton, although Cleophas moves from loosehead to tighthead to accommodate Ayden Coetzee. The remaining changes include already mentioned hooker Ziyaad Fredericks, lock Eddie Ntaka and loose forwards Brodie Blows and Angelo Peterson. The bench includes many of the starting players from the last few weeks providing Hughes with tactical options for the 2nd half should they be needed. Bench players include Stephen Buerger, Ryan Germishuys, Andrew Wilkinson and Daniel Searle.
With so many changes in the pack, Villager will be looking to the big ball carriers of prop Adrian Cleophas, the physically immense Ryan Bezuidenhout and specialist lock Eddie Ntaka to carry the ball with the aggression required to generate forward momentum for the backs. Captain Ashley Clarke has a huge responsibility this week to ensure the pack fire from start to finish, “With the amount of changes in the side we will have to concentrate on executing our game plan so that our attack does not falter as it did against Milnerton. I have a lot of faith in the players that have come into the pack and expect them all to stand up to everything Young People will throw at us.” Clarke said.
The backline sees only two players remain from last week with Stuart Pattison at outside centre and Donny Venter on the wing. The changes include Christo Terblanche starting at scrumhalf in place of Daniel Anderson, Brent Sanders comes into the side at inside centre in place of David Radloff and in a surprising move Jannie Bester, usually on the flank, moves to the wing in place of Jethro Valentine who moves to fullback in place of James Allderman. The backline contingent on the bench is fulfilled by Jonny Sweetnam and Matthew Rockhill who makes his first appearance in the side after an injury enforced lay off.
Backline coach Kirsten Marshall believes the backs will do well on Saturday, “Although we have made changes to the
backline the guys coming into the side are exceptionally talented. Christo has proved his class by playing fifty caps for the 1st team while Brent Sanders is a physical player and runs exceptional lines on attack, while Jannie Bester has played wing before for the UCT u20A1 side so it won’t be a big shift for him.”
Villager have no doubt they are in for a difficult time on Saturday and will need to be at their very best to beat Young Peoples at their home ground in Paarl, “As a squad we sat down this week and discussed what our goals were moving forward and we all decided our performance against Milnerton was not our best so we will be looking to improve against Young Peoples. We are aware that the changes in the side may not make this possible but we win and lose as a squad not as a team so everyone must raise their game to the level are trying to attain.” Captain Ashley Clarke concluded.
Villager welcomes all supporters, families and friends to travel out to Paarl to enjoy a fantastic day of Rugby hosted by Young Peoples.
1st XV vs Young Peoples:
|Young Peoples 1st XV||Villager 1st XV||Faure A||16:00|
|Young Peoples 2nd XV||Villager 2nd XV||Faure A||14:45|
|Young Peoples 3rd XV||Villager 3rd XV||Faure A||13:35|
|Young Peoples u20||Villager u20||Faure A||12:25|