It has been a tricky few weeks to end off the league portion of this year’s U19 championship for coach Nazeem Adams and the DHL WP U19 side.
After a fantastic start to the campaign, injuries and loss of form came back to haunt the team who went on a four match losing streak before their final league game last weekend.
However, with several players returning from injury Adams’ men were able to put in a very impressive 76-13 victory over SWD in their final league clash. The coach said he was very happy with the result after a poor run for the side. He said: “Saturday’s win was great for us, because it gave us a bit of momentum going into the semifinals. I think the most important element though was the return of some of our injured players and giving them a run. Those guys played well and so for the first time in a while we have a nearly fully-fit squad, which is hugely encouraging.”
This weekend DHL WP travel to Johannesburg to take on the Lions. Despite, suffering a 31-20 loss at Coca Cola Park a fortnight ago, Adams is confident of pulling off victory on Saturday. “We know it is going to tough up there. We were there two weeks ago and we know they will come with a big physical onslaught. That being said, we did very well against them the first time we played at Newlands so we are quietly confident that we can come out with the victory.”
Whilst the team will be playing away, they have been boosted by the sight of the Currie Cup squad who are also facing the Lions in their semifinal clash. Adams said: “A few years ago we played in the final and we were the only DHL WP team there. It makes you feel like you don’t belong, but to have the senior team at the stadium is a big positive for us and we look forward to supporting them as well in Johannesburg.”
The U19 semifinal takes place at Coca-Cola Park with the game kicking off at 15:00. The game is a curtain raiser to the Absa Currie Cup semifinal, which kicks off at 17:05.
DHL WP U19: Craig Barry, Nathan Nel, Patrick Howard, Kobus van Wyk, Kazlo Holtzhauzen, Dillyn Leyds, Gerhard Jordaan, Rayn Smid, Cobus Nel (C), Beyers de Villiers, Gerbrandt Grobler, Lungelo Chonco, Etienne Swanepoel, Renier Marais, Justin Ackerman
Reserves: Stephan Coetzee, Neil Snoer, Tshepo Motale, Renier Ehlers, Carlo Theron, Hilton Mudariki, Warren Seals, Devon Williams