One Madibaz player makes cut for VC Dream Team to face Junior Boks
Only a solitude Madibaz’ player representative made the cut for the Varsity Cup 2017 Dream Team selected by an independent panel of selectors.
The Dream Team was announced by Varsity Cup Founder and former 1995 Springbok World Cup-winning Captain, Francois Pienaar, on Monday night following the final between FNB Tuks and FNB Maties.
In a hard-fought encounter, Tuks won the gruelling final 28-21, and as a result contributed seven players to the match-23 Dream Team, with finalist Maties lending over six. The NMMU Madibaz’ lone contribution to the squad was eighth-man and Captain, Kevin Kaba.
Reserve flyhalf in the Dream Team, Ernst Stapelberg, was schooled at Hoerskool Framesby in Port Elizabeth in 2014, but took to tertiary studies at the University of Stellenbosch, where he represented Maties since 2015.
Pote Human, who coached Tuks to their VC title, will now lead the coaching duties of the Dream Team in their preparations for their friendly clash against the South African U20 side, before the Junior Boks depart for the Junior World Rugby Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia – beginning at the end of May.
The Junior Boks are currently in their third, month-long training camp, which began on Tuesday in Stellenbosch and will end approximately mid-May when the side must prepare to take flight to Georgia on May the 25th.
The camp will give the players opportunity for some much-needed time to regenerate and inswing their mental and physical attributes ahead of the U20 World Championship, including the highly-anticipated warm-up against the VC Dream Team at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch next Tuesday at 19:00.
“The time off was good for the players because it allowed them to switch off and return to camp fresh and ready to work hard,' said Roux. 'One could see the energy among the players as they arrived in Stellenbosch this morning, so we are excited to get back onto the field and resume our preparations,” commented SA U20 Head Coach, Chean Roux.
“We made good progress as a group at the first two camps, both at training and in our warm-up games, and I believe everyone now knows what is expected of them with six weeks left before our opening match at the U20 Championship against France,” Roux added.
Being their fourth warm-up game ahead of the World Championship, Roux exclaimed that this camp will allow the side to specialise more on set-pieces, which was limited in their previous two camps.
“I thought we did well in the set pieces in the matches against the Griffons, Griquas and Cheetahs at our second camp even though we did not have much time to focus on our set pieces,” Roux said.
“That said, we need to be as well prepared as possible in all areas of our game to compete against the best teams in the world in Georgia, and we plan to leave no stone unturned to achieve that.”
In their previous warm-ups, the SA U20 beat the Griffons 24-20, before losing 31-21 to the Griquas and then easing past a Cheetahs XV 24-5 in their last encounter.
The side will be pooled alongside France, Argentina and hosts Georgia in the World Championship, which they will kick off against the French on May the 31st. On the 4th of June they play Georgia and on the 8th they will face Argentina.
Varsity Cup Dream Team:
15. Craig Barry (Maties, c), 14. Sibahle Maxwane (Tuks), 13. Aphiwe Dyantyi (UJ), 12. Impi Visser (Tuks), 11. Duncan Saal (Maties), 10. Tinus de Beer (Tuks), 9. Andrew Warner (Tuks), 8. Kevin Kaba (Madibaz), 7. Kobus van Dyk (Maties), 6. Daniël Maartens (Shimlas), 5. Loftus Morrison (Pukke), 4. Aston Fortuin (Tuks), 3. Neethling Fouche (Tuks), 2. Wilmar Arnoldi (Pukke), 1. Andrew Beerwinkel (Tuks).
Subs: 16. Johannes Snyman (UJ), 17. Luvuyo Pupuma (Wits), 18. Nico du Plessis (UJ), 19. Johan Momsen (Maties), 20. Phumzile Maqondwana (Shimlas), 21. Herchele Jantjes (UWC), 22. Ernst Stapelberg (Maties), 23. Michal Hazner (Maties).
Image: Kevin Kaba running up against Maties in the FNB Varsity Cup.
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