Boland Kavaliers will not be easy
Well rested from an off-weekend, the local team will look to finish strong in their second-last match of the competition.Allister Coetzee expects the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias to step up to another tough challenge tomorrow when they face the Boland Kavaliers at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek.
The Namibians have close to a fully fit squad to choose from for the Mzansi Challenge clash, with flank Peter Diergaardt having recovered from a contusion in the rib area following their match two weekends ago against the Kenya Simbas.
The Welwitschias dramatically won the match 35-27 with an excellent winning try, after they had squandered a 21-0 lead to be level at 27-27 with ten minutes to go.
Coetzee, the national team coach who has the role of defence coach for the current provincial series, has been mostly impressed with the performance against the Kenyans.
“The Boland Kavaliers are having a good season and just come off a solid 29-15 win against (front-runners) SWD Eagles, which is quite an impressive margin.
“The real test – as it usually is against South African teams – will be in how we counter their physicality. Besides our wins in this tournament against Zimbabwe Goshawks and Kenya Simbas, we have two remaining opportunities to add the scalp of a South African team.
“The Kavaliers have a big pack of forwards and big ball carriers, and a number of quick steppers among the backs.
“The first 30 minutes against Kenya was probably the best I’ve seen from us in this competition. We know that we will need to extend this duration for longer periods, retaining accuracy and playing with the same focus. We had good periods where we committed no unforced errors and produced some excellent tries.”
Coetzee says prop Nelius Theron and fly-half Henrique Olivier are not available for personal reasons this week. Two extra props, Herman Coetzee and Carl-William Freygang, have joined the training, while wing Warren Ludwig is also fit again and back on the training field.
Following the success so far of Danco Burger’s move from inside centre to fly-half to replace the injured André van der Berg, the former Shimlas player will get another run. Against the Kenyans, Burger has fulfilled the role to near perfection that the coaching staff has been expecting of him – naturally inclined to attack the gain line instead of playing from the safety of “the pocket”.
The addition this week of Pine Pienaar to the training field has also added a dimension, as the national team’s defence coach arrived from Pretoria where his years-long involvement with the Blue Bulls seems to be coming to a close.
SWA/Namibian teams have won only four times and drew once against the Boland since their first meeting in 1954.
However, the Western Cape team has won 12 times – including each of the four matches since Namibia’s independence.
Boland won the last encounter 26-24, on 8 October 2017 at Swakopmund, to secure their place in the play-offs of the SuperSport Challenge.
• The Welwitschias team list on page 2.
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