SACS RUGBY 2015
As usual the excitement is building already for the rugby season. Athletics Heats, Waterpolo and cricket matches are in full swing but in the back of everyone’s mind is 24 March when the 1stXV kick-off their and the SACS Rugby season.
The various age-group teams have all started training again after a long holiday lay-off. The 1stXV got straight back into action on the first day of term. Their strength results in the gym were solid but the Friday field session was a major disappointment when the Yo-Yo test showed them all up. Conditioning coach Steve McIntyre, who had provided them with a comprehensive holiday programme, rightfully blew his top when virtually all the players dropped out well below the required standard. Clearly the boys had enjoyed their holidays! Much hard work lies ahead.
On top of conditioning the focus has moved to skills with two skills specialists, former 1stXV coach Rian van der Westhuizen and ex-Stormers centre Tiger Bax, joining Mr. Wepener on Sundays, Mondays and Thursday in preparing the squad. The hope is that this focus on skills will allow us to play attacking rugby in 2015.
We only find out who the 1stXV play at Newlands in the WP Schools Rugby Day a week or two before the time but as usual we can expect a tough fixture, probably a Boland School. Wynberg have released their Festival Fixtures for the last weekend of April and we have drawn Hugenote from Wellington and St. John’s from Johannesburg. The junior A-teams all play Oakdale Landbou on the first day and St. John’s on day two, while our 2nd team also have matches against Reddam and Jan van Riebeeck
The U16 squad are also working twice a week with Steve McIntyre while doing skills work with Lelo Kasana on Friday afternoons. This particular year group has been very competitive at Under 14 and 15-level with pleasing depth and competition for places. We are pleased to welcome a number of new players (a prop, hooker, No. 8, scrumhalf and fullback) to the division to hopefully add even more depth. No doubt their coach Mr. Van Selm will be licking his lips at the thought of some very intense trials as the players jockey for positions.
The Under-15’s have been very hard at work under the watchful eye of Mr. Maurer and Mr. O’Connor. They have been out twice a week playing touch since October and from this week they have begun serious fitness work, namely a Yo-Yo test at the end of every session. There has been one notable addition to their squad plus one or two other new boys to help add some much needed depth. One thing you can be sure of with Mr. Maurer at the helm they will be very well prepared come their first game!
The Under-14’s are still acclimatising to high school but Mr. Southgate has met with them already to brief them on expectations and the plans for the term ahead. We are very excited about our Grade 8 intake for 2015 and we are expecting big things from this group if they can gel into a cohesive team. With grunt up front and serious speed out wide in the form of the SA U13 100m and 200m Champs, Junaid Abrahams and Jayson Weber, the team should give a good account of themselves in the tough Western Province league.
All out A-teams are going to Easter Festivals this year which is an exciting development. The 1stXV will be attending the Kearsney Festival for the first time while the other A-teams will all be in Paarl, the U14’s and U16’s at Gimnasium and the Under-15’s at Boishaai.
It promises to be another exciting season of rugby and we hope to see you all on the sidelines come the first home game against Boland Landbou.