These two exciting prospects have the ability to change the game for their respective teams on Saturday, writes BRENTON CHELIN.
Cheslin Kolbe has been a potent attacking weapon in Western Province's arsenal already this season. His shift from wing to fullback has seen him move closer to the action, where he has been able to pick holes in the opposition defence, using the time and space provided by any aimless kicks. Despite his diminutive stature, his defence has also stood up to the task, contributing to what is the best defence in the competition at present. His kicking game still leaves a bit to be desired, but with former Bulls consultant Vlok Cilliers joining the Province coaching staff, it's an aspect which is improving every week.
His opponent on Saturday is no less explosive. Jesse Kriel falls more into the mould of a typical South African fullback and at 1.85m and 95kg, he far outscores his opponent in the tale of the tape. At just 20 years of age, though, he is lacking experience at this level. He made his full debut in the win over the EP Kings last weekend, grabbing a try as he showed glimpses of the form which made him one of players of the tournament at the recent Junior World Championship. He will need to continue his development against Province at Loftus this weekend, as any wayward kicking will almost certainly be punished by Kolbe and co.
Saturday's match will be a stern test for young Kriel, but if Province's previous matches are anything to go by, he'll get plenty of ball to make his mark. It's what he does with that possession that will ultimately decide this duel, and perhaps the outcome of the match. His decision-making and tactical kicking needs to be clinical, or the Bulls run the risk of being overrun like they were at Newlands.
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