Border need to up the stakes now
THE Border Craven Week team will be looking for a big response when they take on the Limpopo Blue Bulls in their second game of the 2017 Coca-Cola Craven Week at St Stithians College in Johannesburg today.
The team were soundly beaten by the tournament hosts, the Lions, 44-8, in their opening match on Monday afternoon and they will be looking to bounce back in style today.
“The spirit in the camp is really good. The guys want to make amends for the first match and they are looking forward to correcting some of the wrongs against the Limpopo Blue Bulls,” said Border Craven Week coach Mark Farnham.
“The guys are going to hold nothing back. They are going to stick to our plan and make the Border region proud of us.”
The team will look to rotate a few players so as to give all the squad guys a good run out. However, they will also have to overcome a blow that has seen two players ruled out of the rest of the week and another out of today’s game.
“We have lost three players to injury which is a shame. Two of our players have been ruled out of the rest of the week with concussion and another has a shoulder injury that we are monitoring,” said Farnham.
The players out of the week are locks Stephan Nieuwenhuizen and Morne Coetzee, who both took knocks and will have to follow concussion return to play protocols before they can play again, while the other player who so far is only out of the Limpopo game is wing Sibabalwe Xamlashe.
“We have just shuffled the squad. We don’t want to bring in one of the Academy guys unless we absolutely have to, because we don’t want to bring a guy in and then he doesn’t get much game time,” said Farnham.
The Border Academy week side, however, got their national rugby week off to the best possible start with a solid 35-15 win over the Leopards yesterday afternoon.
Both teams struggled initially in a bit of a tame first half that saw the sides go into the break without having scored a point. However, the game burst to life in the second half.
“It was a typical first game, lots of nerves and a number of mistakes from both teams, but we managed to pick it up nicely in the second half,” said Border Academy coach Reinhard Gerber.
“The defence and set-pieces were solid. I think that was key in us winning the match in the end, but our attack really came to the fore in the second half.”
The team only found out their next opponent last night and will be in action again tomorrow, where they will hope to pick up another win after a positive start.
“The guys are gelling well and they are very confident in whatever comes next,” said Gerber.
The Border Craven week team take on the Limpopo Blue Bulls at 12.05pm today and the match will be live on SuperSport1, while the Border Academy team will play their second game of the week tomorrow.