Maties will always be the big game for Tiere
CLUB rugby fixtures don’t come much bigger than Maties travelling to Florida Park to face Tygerberg.
Former Maties and Stormers star Schalk Burger touched on the significance of this encounter earlier this year when he tried to explain what it will be like for the Stormers playing their first ever match against the Jaguares in Argentina.
“It (the Estadio José Amalfitani in Argentina) is a really nice stadium and the crowd is right on top of you, and they really get it going. It’s a hostile environment – I suppose the closest I’ve been to it is probably playing for Maties first (team) against Tygerberg, when Tygerberg were a powerhouse,” said Burger at the time.
The Tiere have fallen off the radar a bit in recent years. But they have found some bite again under coach Ricky Petersen and are currently second on the log, with False Bay in pole position.
And after suffering defeat to the Bay last weekend, Maties will be desperate to bounce back to winning ways, knowing another slip-up today won’t do their chances of successfully defending their chances any good.
But they will have to front up against a determined Tiere outfit that will no doubt bank on their supporters to give them that extra edge in the encounter.
Tygerberg prop Jaybee van Ster, by far the most experienced player in both camps today, knows how important this match is and says Maties will come out fighting knowing what’s at stake.
“There are teams like False Bay and Hamiltons that are good now. But the big game is and will always be Maties. I think the stadium will be packed (today). The students are back from holiday and the Currie Cup Qualifiers are done now, so they (Maties) will be getting a number of their players back. They always have a good pack of forwards and a flyhalf that can control the game well, so they have a good balanced game,” said Van Ster.
Tygerberg will have to match their visitors up front and will look to unleash some of their quick backs if they want to cause what would be a bit of an upset against coach Hawies Fourie’s Maties.
Meanwhile, there are a host of other matches in the SLA today, with the derby at the Green Point Track where SK Walmers will host neighbours Hamiltons also promising to be a mouth-watering affair.