EP target teamwork as top priority for Grant Khomo U16 Week

Grant khomo week

As they enter their final week of preparations, the Eastern Province U16 team will place a massive focus on gelling as a cohesive unit for the opening match in the Grant Khomo Rugby Interprovincial tournament in Gqeberha next Monday.

This prestigious event, featuring the cream of South Africa’s U16 players, will be held for the first time in Nelson Mandela Bay and will see action on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Grey High School.

Being the hosts, EP will play the feature match of the opening day against Western Province and coach Ashley Carolus knows that they are in for a serious challenge.

“Western Province are always a tough outfit, but we know we have to be ready to compete against the best, so our preparations are on track for that,” Carolus said.

“We have been hard at work with several training sessions held at Pearson High School and we will finalise our preparation this week.”

The coach, who was also in charge last year after serving two years as assistant coach, is happy with their progress, but understands the challenges which they face.

“The most important factor for us will be to work as group of players, so we are focusing on teamwork as a top priority,” Carolus said.

“We had some really good trial games and have a decent team, and we are excited about the week ahead of us.”

He added that they would like to feature in the main games on the remaining days, but they were not looking any further ahead than the opening match against WP.

“We have to make sure we take it one step at a time, so we are not putting any pressure on ourselves with undue expectations, but will go into the week trying to put into action what we have concentrated on during practice.”

One advantage for the local team is that they will be operating in familiar conditions on Grey High’s Kolisi Field and Carolus said they were looking forward to receiving some support.

“Having the backing of the home supporters will be important for us and the boys will be keen to shine in front of their families and friends,” he added.

The EP-WP clash on Monday will start at 3.30pm and will be preceded by the tournament’s opening ceremony at 3pm.

Action will take place on the Kolisi Field and Pollock Oval, with the first games starting at 9.20 when the Pumas take on Griquas (Kolisi) and the Free State XV face Border Country Districts (Pollock).

Those games should set the scene for a weekend of entertaining schoolboy rugby, with two high-profile matches on the opening day featuring Lions versus Boland (10.40 on Kolisi) and Free State against the Sharks (12.10 on Kolisi).

The opening day Grant Khomo fixtures are:

Kolisi Field: 9.20am: Pumas v Griquas, 10.40: Lions v Boland, 12.10: Free State v Sharks, 1.40pm:  Blue Bulls v WP XV, 3pm: opening ceremony, 3.30: EP v WP

Pollock Oval: 9.20: Free State XV v Border Country Districts, 10.40: Valke v Griffons, 12.10: Border v Zimbabwe, 1.40: SWD v Namibia, 3.30: Leopards v Limpopo