How did you prepare for the 2016 season?
We had a very good pre-season, emphasising the conditioning of the boys and their skill levels. I’m happy to say that much of what we worked on came through in our first match against Menlopark [which they won 56-17], our handling was especially good.
What lessons did you learn from last season?
We looked back on last season to see what we could improve on because you can never be too satisfied with your performance. We decided to focus more on our conditioning during the pre-season, because we did not have a good start last year and we wanted to improve on that for this season. I am pleased with the results of the work we’ve put in so far.
What are your goals for the team this year?
A big goal we have as coaches is to help every player in the squad become a better rugby player. If we can achieve that then the team will become stronger. We want to improve our win percentage compared to last year as well as the Garsies brand of rugby.
How many players from last year’s 1st XV will play again this year?
We had 12 players return to the 1st XV squad this year: hooker Bees Ferreira, scrumhalf Embrose Papier, prop Hendre Eloff, lock PJ Steenkamp, loose forward Luke Fortuin, wing/scrumhalf Shaun Williams, flyhalf Austin Davids, centre Lincoln Daniels, centre/fullback Abner van Reenen, wing Denzel Liebenberg, lock Wicks Opperman and prop Dewald Meyer.
Who are your key players?
Our focus is on the team as a whole, so that each player can make a contribution. Experience at 1st XV level always plays a big role, and it adds a lot of value to a team. The senior players’ job is to lead the juniors and help them to integrate into the side.
What will be your biggest game of the season?
There aren’t any easy games anymore, but the game against Grey College at the Wildeklawer tournament in the first half of the season will be a big one for us.
Interview by Tyrone Engel
Photo: Kayleigh Kruger