Tomorrow at 14h00 exactly one day short of one year Waterkloof pulled off one of the biggest upsets in 2018 schoolboy rugby. Monnas at that stage set for a top 5 position on most of the rankings while Waterkloof's season was, to say the least horrible. They lost 6 from 9 games and was dismissed on TV by Monnas captain Morne Brandon. The rest is history 80 minutes later Waterkloof celebrated a 28-26 win at Monnas.
2019 and Monnas are again the overwhelming favourites, they won 8 out of 10 matches and returned from Wildeklawer unbeaten after wins against Boland Landbou 42-33 and Drostdy HTS 28-20. Waterkloof admittingly is looking a lot better winning 7 from 10 games and also returning from Wildeklawe unbeaten with wins against Diamantveld (38-5) and Welkom Gim (39-20).
Monnas has an even better team that in 2018 with captain Henco van Wyk scoring tries almost at will. A big pack of forwards that is able to carry the ball better than most packs in South Africa with a backline to use all the quality ball to great effect.
Waterkloof must be said is also not a bad team either, with their pack of forwards not that bad and captain Theunis Pretorius also at 12 a great player that is also the decisionmaker at the back. Divan Roelofse at nine simply brilliant and can turn the game around in a split of a second.
Personally, I do not think Waterkloof will stand a chance tomorrow against a powerful Monnas team who will be out to take revenge, add to that the return of Izaan Esterhuizen at number 8 for the last 20 minutes and you have a recipe for a big score.
However, Monnas has shown a tendency to take their foot of the petrol after establishing a comfortable lead. At Wildeklawer it happened against Boland Landbou when Monnas allowed Boland Landbou to score 21 points in the last 15 minutes to scrape home 42-33. Against Drostdy HTS, also at Wildeklawer Drostdy HTS dominated the second half after Monnas lead 28-06 late in the first half to win with 28-20.
Will Waterkloof be able to come back if allowed? Definately. Waterkloof is improving with every game and like I said they maybe are just good enough to cause another upset although a win tomorrow won't be that a big upset.
Monnas: JJ van der Walt; Richard Collins, Henco van Wyk, Byron-Lee Wentink, Reuben Barnard; Herschelle Goodman, Franco Hallatt; Kayle Schoultz, Ethan Snyman, Rynard Mouton, Corné Pennals, Tiaan de Klerk, Heiko Pohlmann, Franco Prinsloo, Dehan Niemand. Replacements: Brandon Beukes, Jan-Hendrik Bessinger, Dian de Jongh, Izan Esterhuizen/Cameron van Niekerk, Dewald Holtzhausen, Aiden Robberts, Armand van Noordwyk, Jonathan Ackermann.
Waterkloof: Marcus de Kock, Jean du Randt, Polla Melamed, Theunis Pretorius, Malcolm Langa, Ian Trollip, Divan Roelofse, Armand Fleidl, Joshua Appelgryn, Zander de Jager, Monty Loubser, AJ Smith, Franco Groenewald, Jandré van Zyl, Dima Lebelo. Replacements: Stefan Botha, John Cory, Albert Benade, Jan-Micael Meyer, Lourens de Beer, Johan Swarts, Séan Grobler, Simeon Scholtz. (As played against Diamantveld Hoërskool)