Hilton are confident of claiming a victory on home soil against DHS on Saturday despite injuries to key players.
Fullback Emil Schwarz will be out of action for four to six weeks with knee ligament damage, while his replacement Barden Snyman and openside flank Steffan Coetzee have been ruled out for the season.
‘Emil was injured against Grey PE during their Easter festival [where Hilton won two from three], and because of the location of the ligament [between the tibia and fibula] we can’t do a lot to speed up the process,’ Hilton coach Tony Richter told keo.co.za. ‘Barden then played beautifully for the first 25 minutes against Kearsney, before breaking his collarbone when he landed awkwardly.’
Richter insists their pre-season preparation wasn’t to blame for their bad injury run.
‘The players were well prepared physically. I don’t think conditioning is the issue, we’ve just been very unlucky.’
He also believes his side’s 24-15 win against Kearsney last weekend has set them up nicely for the DHS game.
‘We’ve made lots of progress since losing [26-9] to Westville,’ he said. ‘We’ve gotten the backs more involved, but also stressed the importance of getting ascendancy up front early on.
‘We’ve had to do some shuffling in light of all the injuries [scrumhalf Mark Landy is moving to fullback] but thankfully the pack is relatively untouched as it’s a cornerstone of our game. We’ll definitely make it count and look to dominate up front from the outset.’
By Rory Keohane