Same again for Valke

Valke coach John Williams is not expecting to make too many changes to the match 22 that did duty against the Pumas in Witbank on Friday night.

The Valke pulled off a comfortable 36-8 win in the end, but only after a few harsh words were spoken at the break. The Valke led just 12-8 at half-time.

“It was a good win in the end,” Williams told keo.co.za, “but we can’t afford to play like we did in the first half if we want to beat the Sharks. I enjoyed the win and I’m mostly satisfied, but we always strive for improvement.”

The Valke have a few injuries to contend with, but nothing too serious. Captain Piet Krause has a sore toe, while flyhalf Louis Strydom has a deep gash in his hand courtesy of a dishwashing accident. Front-rower Zane Killian has also been struck down by a bout of ‘flu and is doubtful.

“Piet should be fine after they had to remove the toenail, but we will have to see about Louis tomorrow. The rest of the guys are fighting fit and the mood is good after the win over the Pumas in Witbank, which is never easy.”

“I might make one or two tactical changes, but with such a small group we do not have the luxury of chopping and changing at will.”

The Valke are in sixth place on 11 points, but Williams was hoping to be one or two places higher up on the log. “We really could have been higher if we had taken our chances, but the important thing for me is that our game is improving all the time. It must be remembered that this is our first season at this level.”

The Valke have two wins under their belts – over Griquas and Pumas – but have yet to really challenge any of the bigger unions.

By Andrew Hollely