Maties will al­ways be the big game for Tiere

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE - DUD­LEY CARSTENS

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.

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