John Dobson, the DHL Western Province Under-21 coach, has announced his team to take on Border at City Park, in Athlone, on Saturday (kick-off 15h30).
The return of new Absa Currie Cup representative Damian de Allende is the big news for Dobson’s side this week, as the star three-quarter lines up at centre alongside Kobus van Wyk.
David Ambunya and Nick Holton did a great job in the midfield against the Free State Cheetahs last week – as the DHL WP U21 team won 36-31 to stay in the top half of the log ahead of the final week’s action in the first round of the Under-21 provincial competition.
“We’ve been through probably our darkest hour yet in terms of injuries and (senior team) call-ups,” said Dobson, “but I think the team is beginning to settle now.
“David Ambunya did superbly for us last week, but he’s not even in the team this week… so it shows how tough competition for places can be. Nick Holton did well for us against Free State, as did Pat Howard, and they’re both on the bench against Border.”
Dobson is very cautious of the Border team, despite the Men from East London sitting below the DHL WP Under-21 side on the log – the visitors second last on the standings with just two wins this season, with the home side in fourth place.
“People shouldn’t think of the Border senior team when they think of this Border side – this is a very good team; those wins of theirs came against the Bulls and the Leopards in Potch,” warned Dobson.
The DHL WP Under-21s are looking forward to turning out at City Park this weekend, but their coach is hoping that the rain stays away.
“The weather forecast for this weekend isn’t looking great and, as we know, the weather is always a leveller. Also, Border’s win over the Bulls came in the rain in East London – so they know those conditions well.
“But playing at City Park is great, we love the width of the field and the support we get (at City Park) and we’d normally be targeting four tries in a game like this. Of course, the weather is the same for both sides, so we just need to ensure that we stick to our gameplan and, first and foremost, come away with the win,” said Dobson.
The DHL Western Province Under-21 team to take on Border is as follows:
15. Craig Barry
14. Clearance Khumalo
13. Kobus van Wyk
12. Damian de Allende
11. Devon Williams
10. Tim Swiel
9. Ricky Schroeder (captain)
8. Rayn Smid
7. JP Swanepoel
6. Lungelo Chonco
5. Gerbrand Grobler
4. James Kilroe
3. Oliver Kebble
2. Stephan Coetzee
1. Francois van Wyk (vice-captain)
16. Neil Rautenbach
17. Kelvin de Bruyn
18. Jan de Klerk
19. Vince Jobo
20. Andries Truter
21. Patrick Howard
22. Nick Holton
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Directions to City Park in Athlone: Take Jan Smuts drive (off the N2 Highway), at the first robot turn left, next robot turn right, straight down the road after Alexander Sinton High School (on your left) – City Park will be directly thereafter (long face-brick wall). Enter at the second gate.
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