Westville fire up front

Westville’s unbeaten run at the KES Easter Festival was down to their forward dominance.

The KwaZulu-Natal side met Rondebosch in their first match, a team they lost to at KES last year.

‘That opening clash was definitely the focal point of our festival campaign, and it was an important hurdle for us to clear,’ Westville 1st XV coach Mike Vowles told keo.co.za. ‘Once we’d done that, I felt we had no excuse not to win all three.

‘Rondebosch’s strength lies in their backline, so it was crucial that we maximised our strength in the forwards and took the game to them up front.’

Dominating up front is a big part of Westville’s game plan and Vowles isn’t shy to admit it.

‘Our backs scored some nice tries out wide, but the space they capitalised on was due to the hard work put in by the forwards,’ he said.

The plan proved effective, as Westville beat the Bosch boys 23-9, before going on to sweep aside Italy’s Viadana (43-0) and St Benedicts (22-0).

‘The most pleasing aspect of our play was our discipline – we stuck to the game plan throughout the festival and made the training count with good structured play,’ said Vowles.

Westville’s forwards will need to fire once again if they are to continue their winning streak.

‘We have two home matches coming up, against Glenwood and Maritzburg College,’ Vowles told keo.co.za. ‘Glenwood were the only team to beat us last year and Maritzburg are always tough, so it’s very important for us to maintain the momentum and stay confident.’

But Vowles isn’t looking too far ahead, focusing on the next task at hand: Westville’s away clash with Hilton.

‘They produce quality players every year so it’s going to be tough, but again they’re a backline side and running rugby is their strength, so it’s up to us to play a big game up front and gain some ascendancy, particularly early on. It will be hard-fought but we’re definitely targeting a win.’

By Rory Keohane