Coetzee pleased with Geduld’s first cap – WESTERN PROVINCE are sweating on the fitness of two key attacking weapons ahead of Saturday’s Currie Cup clash against the Lions at Ellis Park.
Electrifying fullback Cheslin Kolbe and scrumhalf Nic Groom suffered injuries in their team’s emphatic 49-14 bonus-point victory over the Eastern Province Kings on Friday night.
Kolbe injured the same knee which kept him on the sidelines at the start of the Stormers’ Super Rugby campaign, moments after scoring a wonderful solo effort when he pounced on a wayward kick by the Kings. He played on for a few minutes, but was replaced by South African Sevens star and WP Under-21 fullback Justin Geduld.
The nippy Groom injured his shoulder after coming on as a replacement in the second half against the team from the Eastern Cape. Both Kolbe and Groom will be assessed by the doctor this morning.
WP are already without the dangerous Seabelo Senatla, who injured his ankle against the Bulls last week. “It’s a hyperextension of the knee, but you never know if there is some bone bruising that has taken place. You can only see the extent of that after 24 to 48 hours,” WP coach Allister Coetzee said of Kolbe.
“Bit the knee is stable, and that’s the positive.”
Geduld will be a candidate to start in the No 15 jersey if Kolbe is ruled out. While he isn’t quite as explosive as his former Sevens teammate, Geduld is also an elusive runner from the back and has a big left boot.
He showed a few good touches in his Currie Cup debut against the Kings, and his decision-making was excellent.
“I’m quite excited about Justin,” Coetzee said. “You look at a player once he touches the ball, whether he gets you over the advantage line with his decision-making. And I was pleased with his first cap.”
Coetzee was also thrilled with his team’s performance, and especially that of the pack following their mediocre display against the Bulls.
While WP still struggled in the scrum early on, they managed to get it together as the match progressed. The linesouts were also a lot better, as the return of big lock Ruan Botha helped WP set up a good platform from their set pieces, allowing the loose trio of Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr and Michael Rhodes to run riot.
Captain Juan de Jongh was also good value on the night with a brace of tries, and showed the type of threat on attack at No 13 that the Springboks missed the morning after against Australia in Perth.
“Very pleased with the win and bonus point. Before the game you are always nervous to play the Kings, because they could be a possible banana peel,” Coetzee said.
“But we had a great response from the pack, especially after last week’s performance. Our clinical intensity was right up there, and it may have surprised them the way we got out of the blocks and scored the three tries.”
By John Goliath