After last week’s strong performance but ultimately disappointing result, the named UCT First XV remains reasonably unchanged with only a few new names in the mix, particularly in the backline and mostly due to injuries sustained in last weeks game as the students prepare for Saturday’s battle against what is sure to be a strong Helderberg team.
The UCT forward pack has been bolstered by the addition of JJ Gagiano who returns from international commitments to reclaim his position at the back of the UCT pack, moving Harrison Edwards onto the flank and the tenacious TC Botha onto the bench. The addition of the talented Gagiano will certainly add a great deal of experience to this young UCT side that they perhaps lacked in the forwards in their last encounter.
An unfortunate injury to Varsity Cup star, Oli Braithwait sees Nick Holten fill the center berth with Doug Mallet taking the pivot role. We’ve already seen that both Holten and Mallet offer the full package and should provide Varsity with a number of attacking options. The experienced Sharif Hendricks will marshal the backline from scrumhalf with Scotty Water Meyer out due to injury and Dave Russell and Devin Du Plooy also return to the starting line up on the wings.
With UCT still smarting from their narrow defeat to SK Walmers on their home turf, there is no doubt that they will come out firing and eager to right the wrongs of last week. “We were far from perfect last week, but we know where we went wrong and we’ve had a great week training this week so I’m positive that we can take it to Helderberg” said the UCT skipper, Andre Coetzer. This young UCT side certainly has the talent and ability and last week they proved that they would not be intimidated so everything looks set for a great game on Saturday afternoon.
With a 15:30 kick-off ensuring that the game will be over by the Stormers game, UCT Rugby fans should really do themselves a favour and get down to the Green Mile for what will be an excellent game of UCT running rugby.
UCT Line Up
1. Wilke Brink 2. Blake Pengelly 3. Adriaan Botha 4. Kyle Kriel 5. Brad Bosman 6. Chop Whitehead 7. Harrison Edwards 8. JJ Gagiano 9. Sharief Hendricks 10. Doug Mallet 11. Devon Du Plooy 12. Nick Holten 13. Andre Cotezer 14. Dave Russel 15. Paul Cohen
16. Morne Smith 17. Lawerence Christie 18. Justin De Kock 19. TC Botha 20. Jet Valentine 21. Phil Taberra 22. Ross Jones Davies