DHL WP U21s unchanged for 2015 finale

Oct 22 • General News • 2975 Views • Comments Off on DHL WP U21s unchanged for 2015 finale

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DHL Western Province Under-21 coach Robbie Fleck has named an unchanged starting line-up for Saturday’s Absa Provincial Under-21 Final against the Free State Cheetahs’ U21s in Johannesburg (kick-off 11h15).

The table-topping DHL WP U21s marched into a fourth successive final at this level courtesy of their 43-20 semifinal win over the Golden Lions’ U21 team in Cape Town last weekend.

Centre EW Viljoen will again lead the team into battle, having done such a great job last week, with lock JD Schickerling serving as vice-captain at Emirates Airline Park. The only change to the match-22 sees Jean-Luc du Plessis come in for Ernst Stapelberg in the No.21 jersey.

Coach Fleck told the www.wprugby.com website: “It’s the first time this season that we’ve been able to field an unchanged starting line-up, which is obviously a big boost to us ahead of the final.

“Ernst has been battling a bit with a sore knee, but it was always our intention to bring back Jean-Luc, who is an experienced and hardened player.”

Having the experience of a player like Du Plessis on the bench is all part of Fleck’s plan against the never-say-die Free Staters, who finished the regular league season in second place behind Province – having lost just three games in 2015 and finishing with a very healthy points’ difference of 210.

“I would say both teams are evenly matched,” said Fleck.

“Free State troubled us the most in the first half of the season and we beat them (the second time) through a penalty goal on the final whistle, so we are aware of how dangerous they are,” he added.

“It’s easy to say we need to build an early lead against them, but they’re even more dangerous then as they love playing when the pressure is off. (For that reason) our bench will play a big role and everyone, from No.1 to No.22, needs to contribute on Saturday should we want to lift the trophy.”

This is Fleck’s first season in charge of the Province Under-21 team, which saw them win ten games, lose one and draw one during the league phase of their campaign. Under current Absa Currie Cup coach John Dobson the U21s played in four finals (between 2010 and 2014), winning twice and losing twice, so Fleck is aware of the expectations being placed on his young charges.

“It’s been an enjoyable season and I think this squad, most of whom are still Under-21 next year, has developed well in a short space of time,” he said.

“It would obviously be great to cap off our season with the title, but top-of-the-log status means nothing in a one-off final match so the job is by no means done… far from it, in fact!

“I would like to think we are heading into this game with some form and confidence after our league performances. However, we need to harness that (form and confidence) and deliver one final match-winning performance if we are to finish on a high and lift the trophy.”

The DHL WP Under-21 team for Saturday’s final (v FS Cheetahs) is as follows:

15. Grant Hermanus
14. Khanyo Ngcukana
13. EW Viljoen (captain)
12. Jarryd Sage
11. Leolin Zas
10. Brandon Thomson
9. Justin Phillips
8. Devon Nash
7. Jacques Vermeulen
6. Luke Stringer
5. JD Schickerling (vice-captain)
4. David Ribbans
3. Kyle Whyte
2. Chad Solomon
1. Wesley Adonis

Replacements:
16. Martin Wipplinger
17. Liam Hendricks
18. Kobus van Dyk
19. Christo van der Merwe
20. SP Ferreira
21. Jean-Luc du Plessis
22. James Verity-Amm

Referee: Cwengile Jadezweni
Assistant referees: Stephan Geldenhuys, Sindile Ngcese Sindile
TMO: Johan Greeff

 

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