Former Springbok sharp shooter Braam van Straaten is confident the WP Invitational side can pull off a win against the World XV on Friday night.
“The World XV have quality players from No 1 right through to 15,” Van Straaten told keo.co.za. “It will be a tough game, especially for the youngsters in our side, but it is also a great opportunity for them to rise to the occasion.”
The World XV proved in a forgettable game against the Springboks that their players are still competitive at the highest level. On Friday night they will be boosted by the inclusion of three World Cup-winning Wallabies in Owen Finegan, Toutai Kefu and Joe Roff.
Van Straaten also faces the thankless task of marking one of the game’s most skilled flyhalves in Carlos Spencer. Will he be ready for the tattoo-sporting All Black’s banana kicks or no-look passes?
“Ah, King Carlos… I suppose that the best I can do is try to keep him quiet,” he said.
The WP defenders will watch the World XV backline closely, but do not expect to see another cure for insomnia like last week at Ellis Park.
“We are definitely looking to throw the ball around, and want to make the game enjoyable for the crowd. But this game is important, especially to those who are playing here for the last game time.”
Bob Skinstad, Hottie Louw and Pietie Ferreira will join Van Straaten in Corne Krige’s last crusade at Newlands.
“This stadiium has always been a special place for me. Throughout my career the crowd has always been fantastic. I know that the other guys feel the same way, it is a great place to have a swansong.”
By Jon Cardinelli