Having noticed the tendency for the Valke to rely on their forwards and the big boot of their flyhalf, Vodacom WP expect plenty of Gary Owens tonight.
Coach Kobus van der Merwe has publicly praised the homeside’s flyhalf Louis Strydom for his kicking efforts this season. The inclusion of five forwards on the WP bench also indicates the expectations of a 10-man Valke game.
“Besides attacking through the forwards, they do try to put pressure on the opposition through their kicking,” Van Der Merwe said.
“We will stick to our gameplan and structures, but won’t be afraid to play the situation. We didn’t have a lot of possession last week, so we will be also looking to keep hold of the ball.”
Amongst the three quarters, Zhahier Ryland gets a start in the absence of Joe Pietersen, who is still recovering from concussion. Ryland will view tonight’s match against the lowly Valke as an opportunity to prove himself to the WP management. On dealing with Louis Strydom’s high bombs in the thin Highveld air, he is supremely confident.
“He’s a flyhalf who likes to kick over the wingers heads,” Ryland said, “but I have no doubt that we will be up to the challenge.”
Although many people expect this to be a boring sort of match that is eventually won by the visitors, Van Der Merwe said that his side have no intention of reverting to the conservative approach.
“We are playing well at the moment, and are hopefully producing the type of rugby that our fans enjoy,” he said.
By Jon Cardinelli