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Improvement Key for AAs in Final Match

Friday Aug 7, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby National Teams

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(Lineout practice near the beach. Roland Evans goes up high under the watchful eye of Luke Gross, at left.)

The All Americans have done their best to wipe clean the slate from Wednesday’s thrashing by South African Universities.

The result was a brutal lesson for the Americans on life in international rugby. Saturday, at Newlands Stadium, will be another. What, in the meantime, can they have learned?

“We have an opportunity to learn and improve,” said All Americans coach Alex Magleby. “And we are looking forward to getting on with that analysis. We are under no illusions of the challenges we have to face in South Africa.”

Magleby has said all along the tour is about developing internationals of the future. But still they have been hard at work in recovery, and film analysis, preparing for the final game.

“We have our eye on the short-term improvement of these athletes under the pressures of international play,” he continued, “With the hope of their long-term preparation for the rigors of test match rugby.”

Meanwhile South African Universities has named its side for Saturday’s match, which serves as a curtain-raiser for the South Africa v. Australia Tri Nations test.

Kickoff is 2:15 local time at Newlands.

Pukke No.8 Willem van der Wal will once again captain the team while wing Morné Jooste, center Tim Whitehead, scrumhalf Marlin Ruiters and prop Lourens Adriaanse all have been given starting places after coming off the bench on Wednesday.

Maties flanker Cameron Peverett, who was not involved in the first fixture, gets a chance in the No.7 jersey on Saturday, while newly-fit Pukke prop Jaco Koch is one of three new faces on the bench along with Maties centers Jean Stemmet and Paul Bosch.

“It's quite odd playing against the same opponents in the space of just a few days,” said the Students’ coach Chean Roux. “But it's also nice as we've been able to give all the players in the squad an opportunity in some way or another. We've got a few variations in our game to work on and I think the guys are all very excited at the prospect of playing in a Vodacom Tri-Nations curtain-raiser.”

The SA Students team:
15 Earl Lewis (UJ) 14 Morné Jooste (Maties) 13 Therlow Pietersen (UCT) 12 Tim Whitehead (UCT) 11 Ziniko Dumaphi (Fort Hare) 10 Matthew Rosslee (UCT) 9 Marlin Ruiters (Shimlas) 8 Willem van der Wal (Pukke, captain) 7 Cameron Peverett (Maties) 6 Wesley Wilkins (Maties) 5 Martin Muller (UCT) 4 Jaco Nepgen (Maties) 3 Lourens Adriaanse (Maties) 2 Stoffel Duvenhage (Pukke) 1 BG Uys (Pukke)

16 Edgar Maruthule (UJ) 17 Jaco Koch (Pukke)  18 Rob Andrew (UJ) 19 Jonathan  Adendorf (Maties) 20 Donald Stevens (Maties) 21 Paul Bosch (Maties) 22 Jean Stemmet (Maties)

- Alex Goff


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