An injury-plagued Grey High will have to dig deep against Paul Roos in Port Elizabeth this weekend.
Grey suffered a huge setback when four key players picked up injuries in the Eastern Province Craven Week trials. Charismatic centre and goal kicker Nic Holten has torn a hamstring which will keep him on the sidelines for a number of weeks, while SA Schools flanker Siya Kolisa and SA Acadamy winger Paphya Hoya, who have been at the forefront of Grey’s victories this season, are also out of action.
‘It’s been a living nightmare this week,’ Grey coach Dean Carelse told keo.co.za. ‘We have key players out and have had to rethink our approach for Saturday’s game. The Craven Week trials, along with the Meyer Sauerman festival, have had a huge impact on our side in terms of injuries. At this stage, the demands on our players are unrealistic. However, we can’t make any excuses – we have to concentrate on the job at hand and make sure we are technically efficient on the weekend.’
In stark contrast, Paul Roos will arrive in PE with a full-strength side. After last week’s fixture cancellation in the Cape due to poor weather, the Stellenbosch boys may be a bit rusty in the opening half.
Enterprising captain and scrumhalf Rick Schroeder will be looking to ignite the dazzling Paul Roos backs. Fullback Craig Barry, who has had a splendid season for the visitors, will once again be looking for his forwards to provide him with a surplus of possession, while speedster Tshotsho Mbovana is also a player to watch with his effective running and devastating pace.
Grey, meanwhile, will rely heavily on dynamic front ranker Michael van Vuuren to make a physical impact.
In other schoolboy derby clashes this weekend, DHS host a rampant Glenwood and Bishops face a tricky encounter at rivals Wynberg.
By Gareth Wright