Golden Lions U18 head coach Wynand Moolman believes his players’ national and provincial experience will be pivotal in PE.
The Lions were the unofficial losing finalists in Kimberley last year after falling to a 28-17 defeat against Free State. However, Moolman believes his charges can build on to 2011′s momentum with the experience they have in their squad.
While there are only three survivours from last year’s tournament in flyhalf Jako van der Walt, captain and flank Chris Massyn and looshead prop Dylon Smith, there are several graduates from the U16 and U18 Academy teams. Some players also featured at national level.
‘We have a very good balanced side, especially when it comes to experience,’ Moolman told Schoolboy Derby. ‘Guys like [wing] Suprise Mayekiso, [lock] Stefan Vermeulen and [hooker] Malcom Marx played for the SA Academy side last year, while Jako was selected for the SA Schools squad but had to withdraw due to injury. Our captain Chris will also be a key as a leader, playing in his second Craven Week tournament.’
Moolman adds that a strong start against Border on match day one will be vital in their title pursuit.
‘We’ve looked good during our trial games, beating the Leopards, Valke and Limpopo Blue Bulls. We also had a training camp at St Benedict’s,’ he said. ‘We will need to deliver a strong performance in our opening game against Border, and carry that confidence into our following matches. We are there to compete for the No 1 spot.’
Golden Lions U18 – 15 Erwin Harris (Florida), 14 Surprise Mayekiso (KES), 13 Koch Marx (Alberton), 12 Innocent Radebe (St Stithians), 11 Allistar Mcquire (KES), 10 Jako van der Walt (Monument), 9 Bradley Janse van Rensburg (KES), 8 Revo Mabunda (Parktown Boys’), 7 Chris Massyn (Monument, c), 6 Ruan Mcdonald (Monument), 5 Victor Sekete (Monument), 4 Stefan Vermeulen (Queens), 3 Clinton theron (Florida), 2 Malcom Marx (KES), 1 Dylon Smith (KES).
Subs: 16 Emmanual Morowane (Jeppe), 17 Frans van Wyk (Monument), 18 Cyle Brink (KES), 19 Thapelo Rapelwane (St John’s), 20 Eric Botes (Florida), 21 Wanele maholwane (KES), 22 Barend Herbst (Monument).