EG Jansen 1st XV coach Anton Lubbe speaks to MARIETTE ADAMS about his team’s Beeld Trophy quarter-final against Menlopark in Boksburg on Saturday.
You beat Menlopark 45-3 in the Tuks Series earlier this season, but they went on to win the competition. Do you believe you can beat them again?
I’m sure we can. We have the talent and skills in our team to beat anyone.
Your last competitive game was in June. Is your team match-fit and how have you prepared?
We are not too fazed about the lengthy layoff. We’ve been preparing for this match for the past three weeks and I think it went well. We had a midweek training match against Brakpan’s 1st XV and the boys are in great shape physically.
What threat does Menlopark pose?
They have a few brilliant individuals, especially that inside centre [Earl Douwie] who is a prodigious talent. But as a team they are not strong enough. They don’t have a strong enough pack to contain us on Saturday.
What are some of Menlopark’s weaknesses that you’ll be looking to exploit?
The aim is to put pressure on them in the lineouts. That’s one area where they’ve struggled this year. They scrum well, but when you pressurise the lineout and spread the ball wide, they tend to run after the ball instead of marking man for man.
How important will progression to the semi-finals, and ultimately the final, be in the context of Jansies’ season?
Massive, not just for the team but for the school as a whole. This a highly regarded tournament and featuring in the semis and final is excellent exposure for any school. If we go further, this team will be a marketing tool for EG Jansen to lure new U14 players to the school next year, meaning more new Grade 8 scholars.
Are all your players available for selection?
One of our players – fullback Franco van Eeden – was at the Academy Week at Kearsney and he will not play for us again. The rest will all be considered for Saturday’s game.
Are you satisfied with the team’s overall performance this year?
We can do better. There were a couple of games – against Glenwood and Nelspruit – we should have won, but we were unable to close them out. But I’m happy with where we are as a team and that we are still in this competition.
Beeld Trophy Macro Schools quarter-finals:
Menlopark vs EG Jansen
Garsfontein vs Rustenburg
HTS Middelburg vs Waterkloof
Monument vs Nelspruit
Beeld Trophy Big Schools quarter-finals:
Ben Vorster vs Ligbron
Helpmekaar vs Oos-Moot
Linden vs Vereeniging Gym
Pietersburg vs Lichtenburg
Photo: EG Jansen