SARugbymag.co.za chats to Paarl Boys’ High School 1st XV coach Sean Erasmus about the upcoming season.
How have have you prepared for the 2016 season?
We haven’t managed to assemble the full squad yet because of summer sports. We’ve been doing some conditioning work in the mornings and trying to train after hours, while keeping in consideration the workload of the boys. We’ve been trying to get some skills work done, and focusing on fundamentals and principles of the game.’
What lessons did you learn from last season?
Although we didn’t lose games last year we felt that we made a lot of mistakes, so we’ve placed a lot of emphasis on the finer details of our phase play, and the basics of the game. We’ve been working really hard on that.
What are your goals for the team this year?
Our focus this year is on detail, and that good people make good rugby players. We want to work on respecting each other as a family and a solid group and hopefully through that maintain good results on the field. But, ultimately it’s to continue building a good rugby culture that everybody’s proud of.
How many players from last year’s 1st XV will play again this year?
We have 12 players with 1st XV caps returning to the squad: Props Reece Bezuidenhout and Adam Neethling, hooker Daniel Jooste, lock Salman Moerat, No 8 Khanya Ncusane, flankers Ruan van der Merwe and Charl Sardyn, flyhalf Riaan Lombard, centres Manuel Rass and Hanri van Heerden, wing Jurgen Johannes and fullback Nicolaas Carstens.
Who will be your key players?
I don’t want to name any individuals as I think it puts extra pressure on them. We’ve got a rule in the team ethos that we don’t do that because we’re a team. It’s going to be another massive team effort this season from 30 boys.
What will be your biggest game of the season?
The Western Cape season is very demanding. Four or five of the schools are, traditionally, always in the top 20 and top 10 in South Africa. The Paarl Gym game might be important for a lot of people, but our approach is to play every game on it’s own merit. We know teams will want to play their absolute best against us so that makes every game important for us.
Interview by Tyrone Engel
Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images