One player in schoolboy rugby in 2016 that played a pivotal role in his team's success but who's efforts was hardly noticed is our Most Valuable Player of 2016, Regardt du Plessis. Us as rugby spectators tend to watch the players with the ball, we completely ignore the source of the ball. Those players that work tirelessly at the bottom of the rucks, or those players that turned the ball over with defence, or those players whose pass put the try scorer in the gap.
Regardt du Plessis' contribution in the success of Affies is often not noticed. It is only when he was not playing that the supporters questioned the team's ability to do the "basics". This was especially noticeable with Affies game against Grey Collge this year. Grey was leading 29 - 17 at half time but more important Grey conceded 9 turnovers to 4.
With Regardt leaving the game with an injury 3 minutes before half time, all agreed that the battle on the ground is going to determine the outcome of this battle. Unfortunately for Affies this proved to be true, with Grey targeting the rucks, eventually winning 53 - 29. Turnover count going Grey's way with 15 to 11. Was the injury of Regardt the main reason for Grey's victory? Certainly not BUT all agreed it did play a major role.
Being nominated as most valuable player it was also required that the player also had to have a major role off the playing field. Jaco Koch, 1stXV coach said "Regardt's made his presence felt on and off the field from day one. Regardt earned the respect from his team mates and opponents through hard work and commitment. Not only is he a committed and motivated team player, but his skills in defence, creating turnover ball and premonition played a major part in the Affies 1stXV successes.
Regard is one of those players that a coach can depend on, in good times and especially in bad times. On the field Regardt was a leader who led through his level of play and passion. Off the field Regardt led through his loyalty, humility, discipline, and passion."
Position : (6) Loose forward
Team 2017 : Western Province
High School : Affies
Primary School : Laerskool Goede Hoop - Secunda
Date of Birth : 12 February 1998
School : Affies
Weight : 95kg
Height : 185cm
Representative Teams : 2010 : Pumas u/13 Academy Week, 2011 : Pumas u/13, 2014 : Blue Bulls Grant Khomo, 2014 : North Vaal u/16 team to Dubai, 2015 : Blue Bulls Craven Week, 2016 : Blue Bulls Craven Week