Keo.co.za talks to Blue Bulls U18 coach Bart Schoeman about this year’s Craven Week.
Which school has the most players in the Blue Bulls side, and has that school been the best performer in Pretoria?
Waterkloof has 14 players, followed by Affies and Southdowns with three each and Garsfontein and Pretoria Technical High with one each. Waterkloof generally has the best rugby players in Pretoria.
How many players from last year’s team will feature in this year’s campaign?
We have four and they’re all from Waterkloof: De Wet Meyer [flanker], Justin Forwood [loosehead prop], François Tredoux [flyhalf] and Shaun Robinson [fullback].
Who will be your key players at Craven Week?
Well, that’s a bit subjective, but Waterkloof’s Irné Herbst [lock], Roelof Smit [eighthman], Tredoux and Janco Gunter [inside centre] are all good players.
Who is your captain, and why did you give him the responsibility?
Meyer. He’s a leader of high quality. It was a logical appointment seeing that 14 of the players come from Waterkloof, where he’s captain. He’s also captained the Blue Bulls U16 side.
The Blue Bulls didn’t have a good Craven Week last year. Can the current crop do better?
We made a promising start to the season when we beat KwaZulu-Natal 36-3 in an inland tournament called Bondedag, which is organised by the northern unions.
What are your team’s strengths?
We’re very mobile and our forwards are very good. We’ve got versatility, which could help us.
Which team do you expect to give you a tough time?
Obviously, we will not be underestimating any side, but as far as I’m concerned, Border, Free State and Western Province are the teams that you can never take for granted.
The Blue Bulls come up against Boland in their first match. What threat do they pose?
They tend to do very well against their big opponents in Craven Week. I expect them to come hard at us.
What are your coaching ambitions?
We’re a very close-knit management team at the Blue Bulls. We have a healthy management set-up, which makes me happy to remain a youth coach. I don’t dream as far as coaching the Springboks.
By Soyiso Malati