Quintin van Jaarsveld
The two top teams in the First Division South Section will collide when the Riversmead South Coast Warriors host Hillcrest at Douglas Mitchell Sports Grounds on Saturday.
Hillcrest top the table and are unbeaten, while the Warriors sit in second place, their lone defeat coming at the hands of Hillcrest in the side’s first fixture in April.
After lighting a fire under his troops, senior players answered captain Chris Mitchell’s call which saw a full-strength Warriors side secure a 31-26 away win over Westville Old Boys at the weekend.
The visitors led 24-12 at half-time and while Westville narrowed the gap with two intercept tries, the Warriors were too strong for the hosts.
Mangwe Marubellell, Rameez Ali and Brandt Fields crossed the chalk, while Tienie Viljoen (pictured) scored a double and kicked three conversions for a personal tally of 16 points.
Jade Nyman (forwards) and Donovan Horne (backline) earned the Man of the Match honours.
“It was a very physical game, but the boys showed character and stepped up,” skipper Mitchell told eHowzit.
“Being at full-strength made a big difference. We made a few errors which kept them in the game, but we had the upper hand throughout.
“They punished us in the first 10 minutes of the second half but then we bounced back and took control. Some hard calls prevented us from scoring more points but that’s how the game goes.”
Meanwhile, the Warriors second team went down 45-7 to their Westville counterparts, who showed why they’re at the top of the log.
Sam Nkwentsha scored the visitors’ try, which Spider Ndlazi converted. Man of the Match honours went to Dryk Breytenbach (forwards) and try-scorer Nkwentsha (backline).
Consultant coach MG Roscher said, “It was a hard day at the office. The boys tried their best but it just wasn’t our day. We’ll work hard to prepare for our next game at home this week.”
This Saturday’s showdown is the biggest game of the year. Despite suffering defeat in the previous encounter between the teams, and having two matches in hand, the Warriors’ knack of accumulating bonus point wins have them breathing down Hillcrest’s neck, and a win on home soil will see them move into top spot.
Someone’s 0 will go as the Warriors put their undefeated home record on the line against the unbeaten streak of the men from Hillcrest.
“We’re pumped and ready,” said Mitchell. “We’re going to need all the support of the locals to end their winning streak. We don’t lose at home and we owe them a beating, so the boys are fired up.”
The action will kick-off with the second team clash at 1.30pm followed by the blockbuster first XV showdown at 3pm.