Boland Kavaliers coach Deon Davids believes his side will improve on their performance in last year’s Currie Cup.
The Kavaliers had a poor 2008 season, winning just two of their 14 matches in the Premier Division. However, Davids says the 2009 squad is looking much stronger and should do a lot better.
‘We’ve worked on the mistakes we made last season, especially when it comes to our tactical kicking, defence and creating opportunities in the opponent’s half,’ he told keo.co.za. ‘We’ve also focused on our conditioning, so we have improved physically too.’
Boland face the Leopards in their opening game in Wellington on Friday, and Davids is aware of the threat posed by the newly promoted team.
‘The Currie Cup is a very tough competition, so it’s very important that we win our home games,’ he said. ‘I have felt the tension in the air at training, especially this week. Hopefully, we will keep cool heads and handle the pressure, and our young guns will come through.’
Davids will look to the likes of wing Deon Scholtz, flyhalf Elgar Watts and flank Wendell Weht to shine this season, as Boland have lost many of their top players to the bigger South African unions or overseas clubs.
However, they have boosted their squad with some good signings. Utility back Mark Harris (who has played for the Sharks and Golden Lions), lock Grant le Roux (who represented Pukke in the Varsity Cup), prop Jane du Toit (Griquas and Namibia) and No 8 Carel Hoffman (Blue Bulls U19 and U21) have joined the Kavaliers. Several junior Boland players have also been promoted to the senior squad.
‘We have a very balanced team – a good mix of experienced and young players,’ said Davids.
The Kavaliers haven’t posed much off a threat in recent seasons, with only the odd upset win to cheer about.
‘Realistically it will be tough to win against the bigger units,’ admitted Davids. ‘But we have to make the most of every match, especially against the Leopards and Griquas. We never go into a match saying we don’t have a chance. We just have to do the best we can.’
Boland Kavaliers - 15 Justin Peach, 14 Deon Scholtz, 13 Cornal Hendricks, 12 Dewey Swartbooi, 11 Sogidashe Luvo, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Marnus Hugo, 8 Alwyn Bester, 7 Wendall Wehr, 6 Zolani Mofu, 5 Rito Hlungwane. 4 Frikkie Spies, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Conrad Burke (c), 1 Janro Van Niekerk
Subs: 16 Lewis Clemin, 17 Jane du Toit, 18 Grant le Roux, 19 Karel Hoffman, 20 Angelo Brinkhuys, 21 Mark Harris, 22 Hein Myburgh
By Gareth Duncan