FORMER Brandwag and SA Schools fullback Malcolm Jaer has a great chance to shine on the big stage when he plays for the EP Kings against a Sharks 15 in a Vodacom Cup match at Kings Park in Durban tomorrow.
The under-19 star has won the admiration of Kings coach Mzwandile Stick, who says when it comes to counter-attack Jaer is the best person to have at the back for the Kings against the Sharks.
Jaer gets his opportunity after the talented Coyi Banda was dropped because he played club rugby for the African Bombers after being instructed not to do so by Stick.
“Malcolm was at Brandwag last year and played SA Schools, and I am always happy to give players a chance irrespective of their age,” Stick said.
Asked why he had selected Jaer ahead of Kayle van Zyl at fullback, Stick said: “I don’t see Kayle as a specialist fullback so better to give a youngster a chance who I know has great potential at that position.
“I want Kayle to focus on his position of scrumhalf.
“I want the guys to give their best against the Sharks and if there are opportunities they must go and run the ball. If you talk about counter-attack then Malcolm is the best person to be at the back.”
The Kings coach said the win over Boland had been a big morale-booster for his team. “That win was great for the guys. It has been a tough season for them with all the guys coming in and out so I was happy for them.
“Some of the Boland players have been around for a while, so after this win the boys will believe they have a future at this level.
“The Sharks will be tough opposition and they have already qualified for the playoffs. For us, I think it is a blessing to be in the position that we are because there is no pressure. If it was a playoff situation, and because of their lack of experience, I do not think they would handle it very well if they were under pressure,” Stick said.
After slumping to three defeats, the Kings finally got back on the winning track with a 28-21 win over a feisty Boland team.
Needing to finish among the top four sides to qualify, the Kings are languishing in fifth place and unable to make the playoffs even if they spring a surprise and best the Sharks.
After six matches the South Section logs reads: Sharks (27), Western Province (23), Eagles (21), Free State 15 (21), EP Kings (11), Tusker Simba 15 (7), Boland (6), Border Bulldogs (5). – George Byron