Chance of upset for Glenwood

2012-07-28 00:00

GLENWOOD and Maritzburg College both travelled to Pretoria yesterday for their rugby matches this afternoon against Affies and Pretoria BHS respectively.

With the final trial taking place today to select the 28 players who will be in the SA U18 squad, Affies will be missing six players, all who are likely to be selected. Glenwood will have their full team and this will have evened the playing field slightly.

Replacements from Affies second XV will also be useful players, with the impact of those missing being felt more acutely in the lower open teams. Glenwood will have a better chance of an upset and pressure, particularly in the tight phases, can lead to winning more ball. This will enable Glenwood to move forward and it will be an unusual situation for Affies to have to do more defending.

The tackles will be huge and the players that can absorb the pressure better will likely come out on top. Affies are presently ranked between first and third on different websites, while Glenwood are ranked between 19th and 21st on the same websites. Without their missing players, Affies should nevertheless have too much ammunition.

At Pretoria Boys’ there will be a mighty battle. Always more difficult to beat on their home ground, the Pretoria lads will be going all out to reverse the second term result, where College scraped home 19-18.

The College game was riddled with mistakes and wrong options. These mistakes should not occur today and if the backline can use the ball more effectively, visitors College could dominate in the backline. Jesse Kriel will be a huge loss as he is also at the SA trials today, but in likely replacement, Rikki Bamber, College have adequate cover at the back.

Where PBHS were better in the first game was in the commitment of their loose forwards and if College do not keep possession in the tight-loose they will struggle again. Boys’ High lost against Affies by a similar margin to College’s loss last Saturday, but they beat KES who in turn gave College a hard time. Both College and PBHS had tough games last week, with the latter losing against Grey College.

College will have support from the many Old Boys at university in Pretoria, together with the other College boys who will have played their games before and parents who will have travelled to Pretoria. The support will be worth little if the players do not rise to the game and give of their best.

College played a touring side from England, Dulwich College, on Monday but most of the first team were rested. Six first team players started in the game and a few others were brought on during the second half. Dulwich surprised by being quite physical and they had a few backs who were nimble.

College won the game 19-15, but it was three tries apiece.

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