Grey College 1st XV coach Wessel du Plessis speaks to CRAIG LEWIS about his team’s season and Saturday’s match against Glenwood in Durban.
You’ve won 11 games this season, all by a comfortable margin, while losing just the solitary game. How happy are you with your season?
I’m very happy, particularly with the points we’ve scored and the fact we haven’t conceded very many. It’s been a long season, but we’ve had a few guys selected for the SA Schools and SA Schools A sides, and good representation at the Craven Week and Academy Week. So I think we’ve done well, except for that one loss against Paarl Boys’ High.
Which result has been the highlight of the season?
Beating Affies on their home ground, and scoring over 50 points was a special effort. We played really good traditional Grey rugby, we spread the ball nicely and played to our strengths, which is a strong running game. It came together nicely on the day.
Where did things go wrong against Paarl Boys’ High?
We had a few injuries to key players, but credit must go to Boys’ High. They’re a classy outfit and just beat us at the breakdown on the day.
You bounced back with a win over Grey High School. How pleasing was that result?
It was a difficult game played in wet conditions with a slippery ball and tricky conditions underfoot, but I think we did well under the circumstances to come away with the win.
What do you expect from Glenwood this Saturday?
They’ll definitely come hard at us. It’s always a tough encounter, especially when playing against them at Glenwood. I think they’ll be on a high after beating Maritzburg College last weekend, so I’m sure it’s going to be a big match. It’s their last game of the season, so they’ll definitely throw the kitchen sink at us on their home ground. They also won the Sanix tournament in Japan this year, so there’s no doubt that they’re a quality side.
What have you been working on this week in terms of Grey’s aims for the game on Saturday?
We’d like to keep the ball and play in the right areas of the field. Quick ball and getting go-forward will be key for us and, as always, the first phases and breakdown are sure to be important aspects of the game.
You have one more regular-season clash still to come against Paul Roos. How important will it be to take momentum into that encounter?
That’s definitely going to be a big game in Bloemfontein, with two traditional boys schools going up against each other. So it’s certainly the plan to produce a powerful performance before going into that one. But there’s no doubt this Saturday’s game is going to be another big one to contend with first. That’s our only focus for now.
Photo: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images