High flying Valia needs a favour
Transvalia is possibly the team of the first term of 2018. Vanderbijlpark’s finest has made an outstanding start to the school rugby season.
When the Tuks-reeks pool 2 teams were decided last year, most believed it come down to a battle between Monument of Krugersdorp and Garsfontein of Pretoria to determine who would go on to win the pool and advanced to the final.
However a few weeks back the underdogs Transvalia held the rated Monnas Witbulle to a high scoring 31-all draw and over the past weekend they beat the other fancied team Garsies Bere 48-31 in another high scoring encounter. Those two unbelievable results have put Valia in a commanding position but they still don’t have any guarantees of a fairy-tale ending to their Tuks season.
This year the Tuks-reeks does not have a quarterfinal or even a semifinal playoff. The top team from each pool advances straight to the final. As things stand Valia has the all-important extra bonus point for bagging 5-tries against Garsies. Apart from ensuring they continue to claim maximum points in their remaining two pool games against Kempies and Pieties, Valia also need Garsies to do them a big favour and contain or better yet beat Monnas. That’s no mean feat! Things could still end up in heart-break mode for Transvalia as far as Tuks-reeks trophy aspirations go.
Transvalia’s success can be put down to a few important elements:
*Their structures all the way up from junior level are good.
*There is good school spirit about which feeds into the player commitment on the field.
* Their current 1st XV consists of 8 returning players from the successful team of 2017 that made it to the Virseker Big School final
*The 1st XV is a combination of two good age-groups who have been Beeld (Virseker) champions at under-16 level.
*In Jaco Kok they have an experienced 1st XV level coach who knows the players well, having come up with the team, after coaching them at under-16 level, during his stint away from the pressure of 1st XV rugby.
Later on this year Transvalia will compete against the Noordvaal big guns in the brand new format Virsekerbeker Cup competition. The new layout is set to boost Noordvaal top tier co-ed school rugby big time!
If Transvalia can retain their current form, they are set to do very well on the national rankings this year. As things are already, they surely must have secured a place in the opinion polls as one of the overachievers of 2018.