Enthralling Match-ups in Derby Weekend

It’s derby weekend in the Rugby Premier League with two derbies taking place in Windhoek on Saturday.

At Suburbs Park in Khomasdal, Western Suburbs take on Unam, while Wanderers host United in Pionierspark. In other matches on Saturday, Polytech host Reho Falcon in Windhoek, while Walvis Bay host Dolphins in Walvis Bay.

Unam went to the top of Pool B log after a comprehensive 50-21 victory against Polytech last weekend, but facing the defending champions, Western Suburbs on their home ground will be an entirely different matter.

Unam coach Werner Jeffrey however said they are ready for the battle.

“We know we are the underdogs because we are taking on the champions on their home ground, but that won’t deter us and we will go into the match with no fear,” he said.

“Suburbs have a fast backline and they play with passion, but we are not scared of them and we will match that passion,” he added.

Unam’s pack will be strengthened by the return of national lock Munovito Kasiringua, another lock Bradley Morkel and flanker Simon Kanime, but they might have to do without scrumhalf Bradley Klaazen who was due to face a disciplinary committee after headbutting a Polytech player last weekend. According to Jeffrey they however have a more than worthy replacement in former Kudus utility back Aurelio Plato who joined Unam this season.

Suburbs will be determined to get back to winning ways after losing their opening match 21-17 away to Rehoboth last weekend. Rehoboth raced into a 21-0 lead at halftime and although Suburbs dominated the second half, scoring three tries through Justin Nel, Victor Giggs and Thomasu Forbes, they left their comeback a bit late, and eventually fell four points short.

Suburbs’ coach Russel van Rooi however said it would be different on Saturday.

“We have some new players in the team and against Rehoboth they initially struggled to implement our game plan and lines of attack. But when we moved Justin (Nel) back to flyhalf in the second half it went much better,” he said.

“It will be a titanic battle against. Our games are always very close but history has shown that Suburbs normally pull through in the end,” he added.

Suburbs will field a g and well-balanced side with national lock Mune Tjiueza, eighthman Victor Giggs and flanker and former national U20 captain Thomasu Forbes expected to lead the assault up front, while Nel, Deveroux Jansen and the De la Harpe brothers Darryl and Sergio are their standout backline players.

The Wanderers v United clash should also provide an enthralling spectacle with both clubs under new management.

Former national U20 coach Jood Oppermann has taken over as head coach at United, while former Blue Bulls centre JP Nel has taken over the reigns at Wanderers, with former national coach Hakkies Husselmann as his assistant coach.

Nel’s presence has galvanised Wanderers, who at times struggled to field two teams last season. According to reports they now have more than 60 players while several of United’s leading players like scrumhalf Arthur Bouwer, wing Malcolm Moore, prop Shaun du Preez, centre Handre Bezuidenhout and flanker Herman Krause have also joined Wanderers.

To add to United’s woes, other star players like wing Tuna Amutenya, lock Stefan Neustadt and hooker Morne Blom are also unavailable due to injury, with the result that Wanderers should start as the favourites for Saturday’s match.

Source : The Namibian