Rondebosch Boys’ 1st XV have embraced the underdog tag this season.
THEY SAID IT
‘As coaches, we had different ideas about the rugby we should be playing, so 2015 was a season where we tried to find a balance between pragmatic and romantic rugby, while playing with intelligence. And I think we got there in the end. This year I’d like the guys to maximise their competitiveness. If I can step back at the end of the season and see that the entire squad has been competitive as individuals, and as a team, I will be quite chuffed. We’re focused on our values in terms of changing the culture of the team this year. While the current matric group hasn’t won a lot, the players have set themselves the goal of winning the triple crown [beating SACS, Bishops, and Wynberg in one half of the season]. But I think it would be awesome if we could beat SACS, Bishops and Wynberg once each, beat one farm school and win 60% of our matches. It’s challenging but achievable.’ – NEW RONDEBOSCH 1st XV COACH MARK LINDENBERG ON HIS GOALS FOR THE SEASON
‘This group of players has struggled through the age-groups, but we’ve ended up with a strong team and have a great attitude going into this season. We’ve given ourselves the underdogs tag this year, which we hope will take the pressure off us and allow us to be successful.’ – 1st XV CAPTAIN GARTH SHENKER
NUMBERS THAT MATTER
15 – The number of matches Rondebosch won out of 24 last year.
98 – The number of tries they scored, at an average of four per match.
692 – The number of points they scored, at an average of 28.8 per match.
403 – The number of points they conceded, at an average of 16.8 per match.
8 – The number of 1st XV players from 2015 available for the 2016 season.
1 – The number of players selected for the Western Province Academy side last year (fullback Mike Mavovana).
COACH MARK LINDENBERG ON THEIR PLAYERS TO WATCH
ROBBIE DAVIS (SCRUMHALF)
‘Robbie is a smart player. He knows how to control the tempo and structure of our game. He’s really good in broken play and is tactically astute.’
SAM CRAGG (FLYHALF)
‘How Sam handles the game will be key for us this season. He has good distribution skills and a big, accurate boot – at goal and out of hand.’
GARTH SHENKER (FLANK)
‘Garth is one of the senior players in the side and has a very high work rate. He will bring a robust and dogged approach to our fairly young forward pack.’
VAN DER BIJL BLAKE (CENTRE)
‘Van der Bijl is fantastic at centre and can back up Sam in terms of the kicking. We’re lucky to have more than one big boot in the squad.’
MATTHEW GROBLER (LOCK)
‘Matthew is a big 112kg lock who will bring a hard edge to our pack and help Garth to lead them. He could make the Western Province Craven Week squad this year.’
MIKE MAVOVANA (fullback)
‘Mike is our X-factor player who can change a game with a moment of magic. He helps to raise the confidence levels of his teammates through his performances.’
THEIR BIGGEST GAME IN 2016
‘Bishops will always be our biggest clash,’ says coach Mark Lindenberg. ‘The school gets very worked up about them and it’s the match we really want to win. Last year, they beat us in the first game at Bishops but we then beat them 55-12 in the return fixture – it was our first win against them at Rondebosch in 15 years.’
9 April: Wynberg (h)
16 April: Hoërskool De Kuilen (a)
23 April: Paul Roos (a)
30 April: KES (n)
2 May: Windhoek (n)
7 May: Boland Landbou (a)
14 May: SACS (a)
21 May: Bellville (h)
28 May: Strand (a)
4 June: Paarl Gym (h)
11 June: Bishops (h)
23 July: Paarl Boys’ (a)
30 July: Tygerberg (h)
13 August: Wynberg (a)
20 August: SACS (h)
27 August: Bishops (a)