Stonehouse opts for continuity
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 12:38
Decisive game in Tbilisi Cup
South African President's XV coach Jimmy Stonehouse opted for continuity in selection in their final IRB Tbilisi Cup clash on Sunday.
The President's XV play hosts Georgia, as they look to lift the trophy in the inaugural tournament.
With two victories and nine log points - four points more than Georgia - Stonehouse's team needs only one point from the match to seal the series victory regardless of the outcome of the clash between Uruguay and Emerging Ireland.
Despite this, the coach selected his strongest possible team, with the only changes to the starting line-up that beat Emerging Ireland 19-8 being flank Jaco Bouwer replacing Brian Shabangu, Renaldo Bothma taking over from Zandre Jordaan at No.8 and Sinovuyo Nyoka coming in for Ntando Kebe.
The only change on the bench is at hooker where Ashton Constant replaces Khwezilokusa Mkhafu.
Nyoka, in particular, was instrumental in the team's convincing 37-9 victory against Uruguay in their opening match thanks to his efficient distribution, good decision-making and high work rate, and these skills will be handy against a Georgian outfit determined to create an upset on their home patch.
Bothma and Bouwer are equally hard-working around the park and are expected to form a fine loose trio with Uzair Cassiem, who has been in top form throughout the tournament.
"A victory against Georgia would be the cherry on top of what has been a great tournament," Stonehouse said.
"I am pleased with the development of the squad throughout the series and the way they have gelled. We have one match left and we want to make the most of it by winning three out of three.
"That said we realise that Georgia will be force to be reckoned with on their home turf and the forward battle, in particular, will be physical."
SA President's XV: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Alshaun Bock, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Adriaan Engelbrecht, 11 Rosco Speckman, 10 Carl Bezuidenhout, 9 Sinovuyo Nyoka, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Jaco Bouwer, 5 Brendon Snyman, 4 Eduan van der Walt, 3 Ivann Espag, 2 Frank Herne, 1 Vincent Koch.
Replacements: 16 Ashton Constant, 17 Martin Dreyer, 18 Giant Mtyanda, 19 Brian Shabangu, 20 Ntando Kebe, 21 Stefan Watermeyer, 22 Jerome Pretorius.
Date: Sunday, June 16
Venue: Avchala Stadium, Tbilisi
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 SA time; 15.00 GMT)
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