The SA Rugby magazine team identify what they would love to see come out of this weekend’s Vodacom Super Rugby Unlocked matches.
Craig Lewis (editor) hopes to see Yaw Penxe make the most of his opportunity.
I’ll just come out and say it, I am a big fan of Penxe!
The 23-year-old has an energy about him when he’s in action, and on Friday he will make his first start for the Sharks after coming off the bench against the Pumas and Vodacom Bulls.
After an up and down start to Super Rugby Unlocked, the Sharks are looking for player who can inject some energy into their attack.
Penxe is certainly someone who can do just that, while he was also be called upon to make an impact when it comes to chasing down and contesting for the Sharks’ high kicks.
He’s got big boots to fill in absence of World Cup-winning Springbok Sbu Nkosi, but this is a fantastic opportunity for the younger.
Mariette Adams (senior writer) wants Angelo Davids to make a lasting impression on debut.
The 21-year-old will make his first appearance for the Stormers this weekend after he was fast-tracked into the starting lineup on the left wing by coach John Dobson.
The Blitzboks flyer is undoubtedly talented, but I hope he can settle into fifteens at senior professional level as easily and smoothly as his national sevens teammates Stedman Gans and Kurt-Lee Arendse have at the Vodacom Bulls.
Davids is a flashy player who can spark an attack from just about anywhere on the field, and judging by the Stormers’ static and lacklustre performance against the Bulls at Loftus last week, that is perhaps precisely what this team needs right now: a bright spark to get them going in this competition.
But while I’m happy for his call-up to the senior team, I hope the weight of expectation, especially after the Stormers’ thrashing last week, doesn’t pull him down. If ever there was a time for Davids to hit Blitzboks mode, this is it.
Dylan Jack (staff writer) hopes that Wandisile Simelane can build on his man of the match performance.
Simelane certainly made the most of a rare start in 2020 with a magnificent performance against Griquas last Friday.
The 22-year-old set Ellis Park alight with four assists and one try as the Lions romped to a bonus-point victory, their first of the Super Rugby Unlocked season.
Good news for Simelane is that he has done enough to retain his place in the Lions starting lineup for the Jukskei derby against the Vodacom Bulls in Johannesburg.
The job now for the former Junior Springbok is to show a level of consistency in his game and prove that last weekend was not just a flash in the pan.
Simelane will have a tough task on his hands defensively against the electric Bulls pair of Cornal Hendricks and Stedman Gans, but will have Burger Odendaal – who will have something to prove against his former employers – alongside him.
There is no doubt that Simelane has the talent and potential to go far in his career, so hopefully he can repay his coach’s faith with another standout performance on Saturday.