Whk Gym, Affies to battle it out – The Namibian

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This weekend’s Namibian Schools Rugby Union finals at Windhoek Gymnasium is the highlight of the calendar. Windhoek Gym hosts and Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaat Skool are meeting in the u19 Super League final.

WAP (or Affies) are the defending champions. They won it in 2018 and 2019, and then took a two-year break due covid. Windhoek Gymnasium has had the upper hand and should be the favourites.

They beat WAP twice this season – 16-15 in an informal match at the start of the season, and 37-17 in a league match the 20th of August. In fact, they remained unbeaten throughout their league campaign.

They also defeated Moria Private school 50-8 in their semifinals last weekend. WAP, however, had to withstand a strong challenge form Windhoek High school before they won their semifinal 21-20.

Janneman brand, the gymnasium coach, said that history would not count in the final.

“The fact that we have beaten WAP twice this year will count for nothing in the final – it will just depend which team performs better on the day,” he said.

“But the spirit in the team is great and luckily we don’t have any injury concerns. It’s an honour to play in the final, we are very excited and looking forward to a great game,” he added.

“WAP have a formidable team with strong players and I’d say they are the favourites since they are the defending champions, but they will bring the best out if us,” he said.

Windhoek Gymnasium is competing in three other finals – u14 A finals, u15A finals and u19B finals. Brand stated that they were’very proud’ and’very thankful’ while each team was focusing solely on Saturday’s finals.

WAP, however, have been plagued by injuries and had to reshuffle their team after Saturday’s semifinals. Johan Zaayman, their coach, said that Jonathan Hanekom, their experienced centre, also tore his knee ligaments.

“I feel very sorry for Jonathan, he lives for his rugby, but now he will need an operation and will be out for about a year. We’ve had a lot of other injuries as well, and it’s been very frustrating and difficult to build continuity throughout the season,” he said.

“We haven’t had the same centre combination for more than a game, and we also had to change our scrumhalf and flyhalf combinations the whole time so it’s been very frustrating, but I am positive. It’s going to be a huge challenge, but we are ready for them,” he said.

Zaayman indicated that they had completed their preparations and were ready for tomorrow’s final.

“We just had a lowkey buildup this week and on Friday night the team will go out, have supper together and sleep out somewhere, that’s how we always prepared for the final in the past,” he said.

These are the teams:

Windhoek Gymnasium:

Divan Steyn, Suramie Kambombo, William Klazen, Stefan Gildenhuys, Luhendro de Waal, JW Visagie, Elzandro van Wyk, Janneman Brand (captain), Jorick Muir, Dirk Theunissen, Zander le Roux, Handre Visser, Herman Coetzee, Hendre Schrader, Otja Auala.

Substitutes:

Kyle van Wyk, Herman Gouws, Roche Brand, Zack von Wielligh, Denver Beukes, Waldre Kotze, Rewaldo Diergaardt, Ruan Agenbag.

Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaat Skool:

Andre Siepker, Nico Tromp, Theunis van Wyk, Ben Burger, Jandre Esterhuizen, Tromp van der Merwe, Fanus Jurgens, Heinrich Geldenhuys, Winslow Olivier (captain), SG Maritz, Jandre Brandt, Walther Otto, Johan Mouton, Delano van den Berg, Gianluca Savoldelli.

Substitutes: Lian Vlok, Rudi Liebenberg, Magnus du Toit, Willem Wessels, Giann Smith, Liam van Rooyen, Ruan Janse van Rensburg, JP Rix.

Source: namibian

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