Tafel Lager Griquas head coach Scott Mathie was one of the happiest people in Kimberley this week, finally getting his troops together for non-contact training following the easing of COVID-19 lockdown regulations.
Mathie took the reins of the 'Poubloues' for the first time in 2020, after being the assistant coach in 2019, but had his planning interrupted when the initial lockdown regulations were announced.
Now back in training and hoping to play in some competitive matches later this year, Mathie stressed the importance of following the necessary COVID-19 return to play protocols, adding that his troops were adapting well in the first week.
“The key message to everyone was that the more adaptable we are, the better we will do,” said Mathie, who played first-class rugby for the Vodacom Blue Bulls, Cell C Sharks, EP Kings and English Premiership teams, Leeds and Sale Sharks.
“The most adaptable team will be the one that will be successful, I believe. The guys are sticking to those and it has been going well.
“All of us here in South Africa are in the same situation, so we need to deal with it the best we can.”
He was very pleased with the week's outings: “The guys are looking good and those individual programmes they followed certainly put some good mileage in their legs.
“They are all pretty excited and the energy has been pretty high. It was a good training week,” added Mathie, who said they also welcomed a couple of new players this week.
“Adre Smith linked up from the Vodacom Blue Bulls and Harlon Klaasen joined us from France in time for this opening week.”
Klaasen, who played for the Southern Kings 26 times, joined Dijon in France after the 2019 season, but has now moved back to South Africa and has signed with the Northern Cape outfit.