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Hawies' Boland won't be just spectators in Bloem

INTERVIEW: The storyline for the first round of the inaugural SA Cup is intriguing, especially in Bloemfontein – where Hawies Fourie returns to his old stomping ground.

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The newly-appointed Boland coach, Fourie, will take his team to Bloemfontein to face his former franchise, the Cheetahs, in the first round of the SA Cup on Friday.

Fourie ended his four-year contract with the Cheetahs last month before officially joining the Boland on March 1.

The coach has certainly shown class during his tenure at the Cheetahs, leading them to a Currie Cup title in 2023 and a Round of 16 finish in last season’s European Challenge Cup.

Fourie admitted it is going to be an extremely challenging outing for his new team.

He revealed that Cheetahs’ forwards will be the major threat.

“It will be tough [in Bloemfontein]. I know what to expect I coached those guys [Cheetahs] for three to four years,” Fourie told @rugby365com

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“They are well drilled and a very physical team.

“Big pack of forwards that will be a big test for us.

“I want our guys to go out there and leave nothing on the field.

“Be in the fight and prove what we can do. We have a lot of talented players, so I’m excited to see how they will perform, how well they absorb pressure and how they ply pressure on Cheetahs.

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“We are not going there to be spectators, so when we go onto the field we want to apply ourselves.”

Not wanting to reveal anything, the coach said he does have a couple of tricks for the men from Free State.

“I think to know what to do and to apply it are two very different things.

“So we hope that the guys get stuck in it and execute our plan.

“Our focus has been on the Cheetahs for three weeks now.

“We do know how we want to play against them, we know how they do things, so we have a few things up the sleeve.”

*READ: New SA Cup kicks off on Human Rights Day

Currie Cup goals

Getting the best out of players has never been a problem for Fourie, whose long-term aim is to secure a place in the Currie Cup in 2025.

However, being a realist, Fourie does not underestimate the hard work required to achieve those objectives.

“First our aim for the SA Cup is to finish in the top four, this means we will have to finish above one of the four Currie Cup teams [Griquas, Cheetahs, Griffons and Pumas]. I think that will give us the confidence to do it again next year.

“Then we want to win the First Division again and if we manage to achieve both I know we are in good stead to qualify for the 2025 Currie Cup.

“We have to grow and learn and improve, so we will have to undergo a hard block of conditioning to make sure we are fit and strong to play at that level.”

Fourie said his return to Boland has been amazing.

The coach represented Boland as a player in 1994 and 1995 and started his professional coaching between 2002 and 2005 at the Union.

“It has been a very positive experience to be back in Wellington, where I learned my trade,” he told the website.

“It is great to see how excited everyone is about the journey ahead.

“There is a lot of hard work that needs to be put in to get where we want to be but it is exciting to be part of it.

“It is nice to see how everyone aspires to be better than they are currently and to know where they want to go.

“I’m privileged to be part of this new adventure that all of us are going on.”

The 2024 Boland Squad:

Forwards: Andrew Beerwinkel, Gerrit Bester, Mohammed Dioup, Nicholas Duhwa, Abduragmaan Latief, Lamla Nunu, Dayan Van Der Westhuizen, Emile Booysen, Albert Du Plesses, Kelvin Fikster, Sidney Tobias, Schalk Oelofse, Liam Tattersall, Carl Truter, Marlyn Williams, Sauleigh Arendse, Taine-Randall Booysen, Gift Dlamini, Tyreec Liedeman, Thurlow Marsh, Keenan Opperman & Peter-John Smit

Backs: Jason Beukes, Bentley Geldenhuys, Chriswill September, Garth April, Darian Hock, Jurick Lewis, Erik Lambrechts, Xavier Mitchell, Durin Nasson, Cornell Engelbrecht, Riaan Louw, Andre Manuel, Ashlon Davids & Gavern Skippers.

Management:
Hawies Fourie (Head Coach), Mornay Kurtz (Assistant Coach), Alshaun Bock (Assistant Coach), Jacquin Jansen (Assistant Coach), Iver Aanhuizen (Strength & Conditioning), Greshne Van Wyk (Physiotherapist), Grant Jantjies (Team Manager), Moses Fortuin (Logistics Manager) & Christo Hamman (Physiotherapist)

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