Springbok team to play Namibia

The Springboks on Tuesday made five changes to the starting line-up for their Rugby World Cup Pool D match against Southern African neighbours Namibia at North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, on Thursday.

Wing Gio Aplon, scrumhalf Francois Hougaard, utility forward Willem Alberts and tighthead prop CJ van der Linde were all given their first starts of the tournament while Bryan Habana was recalled from injury to resume in the No 11 jersey.

Four players were unavailable for selection due to injury, while Springbok coach Peter de Villiers opted to bring in fresh legs in the hope of sustaining the team’s momentum. Locks Victor Matfield and Johann Muller, centre Jean de Villiers and flyhalf Butch James were not considered for the match.

Scrumhalf Fourie du Preez and flanker Heinrich Brüssow both dropped to the bench while wings JP Pietersen and Odwa Ndungane and tighthead prop Jannie du Plessis were rested all together. In one other change on the bench, Chiliboy Ralepelle was included in a match 22 for the first time when he was drafted in for Bismarck du Plessis, who is also rested.

Thursday’s match kicks off at 10h00 SA time.

South Africa v Namibia, 22 September 2011, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland:

15 Pat Lambie, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Willem Alberts, 5 Danie Rossouw, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 Jon Smit (captain), Gurthro Steenkamp.

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Francois Louw, 19 Heinrich Brüssow, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Juan de Jongh.

Club Champs in Stellenbosch:

Maties’ bid for an unprecedented 13th National Club Championship title received a huge boost on Monday when they blew away fellow Varsity Cup side Tuks 43-22 in an unexpectedly one-sided quarter-final at Coetzenburg in Stellenbosch.

The hosts, playing at the unusual venue of their own B field, scored five tries to three, with a first-half scoring blitz ensuring that the three-time Varsity Cup champions enjoyed a commanding 35-10 lead at the break. The Blue Bulls champions fought back in the second period, outscoring Maties 12-8, but the deficit was too big to reel in.

Maties, who last won the national title four years ago, will meet NWU-Pukke (champions in 2004, 2006 and 2008) in Wednesday’s semi-finals, after the Potchefstroom students beat gutsy Eastern Province champions Park 37-14 (halftime 25-14) in the day’s main match.

The other semi-final sees defending champions College Rovers up against UJ – a repeat of last year’s quarterfinal won 26-20 by the KZN champions.

College Rovers withstood an early onslaught from surprise package Winter Rose of Border before running out 44-6 winners, while UJ had to pull out all the stops to beat Welkom Rovers 41-20.

In the Plate competition, Shimlas beat SK Walmers 29-15 to set up a semi-final against Noordelikes, who scored in the last minute to clinch a 29-27 victory over Springs. The other Plate semi sees Progress up against Roses United.

Day 2 results:

College Rovers 44 Winter Rose 6
Maties 43 Tuks 22
UJ 41 Welkom Rovers 20
Pukke 37 Park 14

Shimlas 29 SK Walmers 15
Roses United 40 Middelburg 22
Noordelikes 29 Springs 27
Progress 22 Kimberley Police 12

Semi-finals, Wed 21 Sep:

15h15, Stadium: College Rovers v UJ
17h00, Stadium: Maties v NWU-Puk

11h45, B field: Shimlas v Noordelikes
13h30, B field: Roses United v Progress

Finals (Friday 23 Sept):

Plate: 11h00 (live on SuperSport)
Cup: 13h00 (live on SuperSport)


Louw Schabort on the charge for Maties. Photo: alliancephoto.com / Liam Hamer-Nel.