Tough duel in rugby finalBy: HELGE SCHUTZ
A TREMENDOUS battle can be expected when Western Suburbs and Rehoboth Rugby Club lock horns in the MTC Rugby Premier League final in Windhoek tomorrow afternoon.
After the final was extended by a week, both teams have recovered from their semi-final victories and are confident of victory and raring to go.
In the semi-finals, Suburbs ground out a comprehensive 24-6 victory against the defending champions Reho Falcon, while Rehoboth defended superbly to beat United 22-17.
Western Suburbs coach Walter Donn said he was confident that they could lift the trophy for the first time since 2008 if they stuck to their game plan and did not give Rehoboth too much space to move in.
“We will have to keep things tight and maintain our structure. If we give Rehoboth too much space they will run us to the heavens and back, because they play typical sevens rugby,” he said.
Donn said Suburbs’ key players would be the loose trio of Brendan Walters, Victor Giggs and Harold Kasera and their centre and captain Justin Nel.
“If our loose trio can give us momentum we will keep Rehoboth on the back foot. I rate Harold Kasera very highly, while our captain, Justin Nel will be our plan maker in the backline,” he said.
Suburbs’ lock Munee Tjueza has also had a great season, both in the set pieces and in the loose, and with the heavier pack they could hold the edge in the forward exchanges.
Rehoboth however also have a fine loose trio in Yoshiro Klaazen, Huscit Visagie and Milando Titus, and victory or defeat could well hinge on the battle for the loose ball.
They have a mobile pack of forwards with players like lock Gert de Waal and captain and prop Johan Wohler both former loose forwards.
Both teams have quick backlines that can instantly turn defence into attack and here players like Shaun Kaizemi and Darryl Alcock for Suburbs, and Desmond Snyders and Chase Diergaardt for Rehoboth could be match winners.
Both teams also have reliable place kickers in Justin Nel and McGeechan Christians, although Nel probably holds the edge with long range efforts from within his own half.
Rehoboth’s team manager Marcelle Diergaardt said the extra week had helped the team recover from their semi-final and that they were raring to go for the final.
“The players showed a lot of character when they held United for more than 20 minutes without conceding a try. I must say the extra week helped to recover and we are now fit and ready for the final,” he said.
The teams only met once this year when Suburbs pulled off a surprising 25-11 victory away against Rehoboth, but in recent years Rehoboth have been more consistent.
This will be their fourth consecutive final, although their only victory came in 2009 when they beat United. Suburbs have also only won the title once, in 2008, when they beat Wanderers in the final.
Donn said their victory during the league campaign would count for nothing on Saturday.
“That match is history and Saturday will be a completely new game. It’s going to be a tough match and the team that shows more hunger and determination will win the match,” he said.
Diergaardt said they would have a lot of fans at the match and were confident of victory. ay-off betw
“We managed to get a bus sponsored by Intercape and will travel down to Windhoek with a lot of fans. There is also a great spirit amongst the players and we are all in a positive mood and looking forward to celebrate a victory on Saturday evening,” he said.
The MTC Premier League final is scheduled to start at 17h00 at the Hage Geingob National Rugby Stadium and will be preceded by three other matches.
The women’s final between Reho Pandas and Phoenix will start at 12h00, while the First Division third place playoff between Rosh Pinah and United II will start at 13h20.
The Premier League third place play-off between Reho Falcon and United is scheduled to start at 15h05.