SACS 1st XV coach Graeme Wepener chats to OLLIE KEOHANE about Saturday’s away match against Bishops.
This will be the fourth and final game against Bishops for the core matric group of the side. Is a motivating factor the possibility of four wins in four games against Bishops for this group of boys, or have you guys treated it just as you would any other match in the week’s buildup?
The boys are always excited for the Bishops games and particularly the away game. There is no need to motivate them, so basically we’ve treated it pretty much like any other game.
In SACS’ last game against Paarl Boys’ the team displayed immense physicality at the breakdown and scrums. Will you be looking to take Bishops on up front or will you try to match their expansive style of play?
We’d like to bring the same level of physicality that we brought to the Paarl Boys’ match but then hopefully use the full width of the field to attack when it is on. The Paarl game became a real forward battle. While we won’t shy away from a confrontation up front, we’d like to play some more rugby than we did two weeks ago.
Injury to lock Cameron Laurenson has seen flanker Tom Robinson move to the second row for Saturday. Does fielding four loose forwards allow for a more free-flowing, expansive style or are you sticking to the same structures?
We’re not changing anything at this stage of the season. We still feel we haven’t quite produced the complete performance and that’s still one of our major goals.
Playing Bishops on Piley Rees is an honour and a motivator for SACS, but also a test. How does playing Bishops on their home turf differ to hosting them, in terms of hype and pressure?
Playing a team away from home is always more difficult, but we have enjoyed success at Bishops over the past few years so I think the boys are looking forward to it.
SACS and Bishops have had different seasons, results wise, but the derby always seems to be a leveller. Do you agree and do you think the boys go up an extra notch against their oldest rivals?
The local southern suburb derbies are always special and we are extremely lucky to have such great schools and rivals in such close proximity. The boys have often played against each other throughout the age-groups and Saturday will be the culmination of 12 years of playing against each other. Of course they will take it up a notch. It should be an epic contest!