Hammies gear up for ‘tougher’ SAA National Club Champs quarterfinal

Sep 19 • National • 1279 Views • Comments Off on Hammies gear up for ‘tougher’ SAA National Club Champs quarterfinal

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National Club ChampionshipsTHERE will be no complacency when defending champions Hamilton face Progress in the pick of the quarterfinals at the SAA National Club Champs at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Monday.

Hammies coach Anton Moolman said he was satisfied with his team’s 83-25 first-round win over Limpopo Blue Bulls champions Noordelike on Saturday, but added that he was under no illusions as to what to expect from the Eastern Province giant-killers.

“It was great to get a win under the belt and we can build from here, but I wasn’t happy defensively,” said Moolman. “I’m disappointed with that aspect of our game and I also think that we left a lot of tries on the field.

“But it’s a great start to the tournament and we’re looking forward to Progress on Monday. For now we will recover and get our minds right for that game. But it’s nice to get that monkey off our back. We’re the defending champions and it’s club champs and everyone wants to get one over us. But I think we put in a really solid performance.”

Progress, who shocked Maties at the 2006 Club Champs, required a try after the hooter to beat Border’s Police, and Moolman said he would study the video of the match to figure out the best way of neutralising their off-the-cuff style of play. “I think they will play a typical brand of rugby which we all know,” he said. “We are just going to have to knuckle down and do what works for us, and trying to eliminate what they do.

“They’ve got a big travelling band of spectators so it will be a great challenge for the boys. I think it will be a fantastic occasion.”

Hammies were decimated by injuries during their Western Province Super League campaign, which saw them lose six matches and surrender their title to arch-rivals Maties. But the coach said such concerns were a thing of the past.

“A guy like (centre) Clinton van Rensburg has been out the whole season but he had a good 80 minutes against Noordelike and I think our backs scored some very good tries,” said the coach. “A lot of guys who have come back from injuries got a good run and hopefully we can carry this forward.

“It’s fantastic to have a full-strength squad available and we’ve worked hard over the past two weeks. I’m looking forward to the games as they get tougher.”

Should Hammies overcome Progress, they will face the winner of the Maties-Springs match in Wednesday’s semi-finals. The Stellenbosch students kicked off their campaign for a 13th national title with a clinical 99-12 demolition of Kimberley Police.

Springs did likewise, clocking up 80 points against Mossel Bay Barbarians on a day of largely lopsided results, the only surprise coming from Boland’s Roses United, who eliminated Varsity Cup team Shimlas.

Monday’s main match sees KZN champions College Rovers, who reached the 2006 and 2008 club champs finals at the same venue, up against UJ, whose low-key opening-day victory over Tukkies suggested that the Johannesburg students may just be the dark horses for this year’s title.

Fixtures for Monday 20 September:

Plate quarterfinals:

10h00, F field: Noordelike vs SAPS East London
10h00, G field: Middelburg vs Shimlas
11h45, F field: Mossel Bay Barbarians vs Kimberley Police
13h30, G field: Bethlehem Oud-Skoliere vs Tuks

Cup quarterfinals:

11h45, B field: Springs vs Maties
13h30, B field: Puk vs Roses United
15h15, Stadium: Hamilton vs Progress
17h00, Stadium: College Rovers vs UJ

First-round results:

Springs 80 Mossel Bay Barbarians 12
Progress 44 SAPS East London 38
Roses United 23 Shimlas 22
UJ 33 Tuks 23
College Rovers 52 Bethlehem Oud-Skoliere 24
Pukke 83 Middelburg 17
Maties 99 Kimberley Police 12
Hamilton 83 Noordelike 25

Issued by SARU Communications

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