Ahead of their match in Vanderbijlpark against the Falcons on Friday starting at 3:00 pm EP Rugby welcomed one of our own back to the fold.
Wayne van Heerden jetted into Port Elizabeth a scant 10 days before the terrible tsunami struck Japan on 11 March 2010. Wayne had just spent two years playing rugby in Japan for the Suntory team alongside the likes of George Gregan. Wayne’s team, Suntory Sungoliath beat Sanyo Wild Knights 37 – 20 to clinch a win in the 48th All Japan Championship Final.
See the highlights from the game played at Tokyo’s Prince Chichibu Memorial Rugby Ground on 27 February and attended by 14 477 people.
- 1st try by Hiroki Onozawa at 0:44 – nice anticipation for the gap.
- 2nd try by Tusi Pisi and he throws the ball into the crowd at 1:24
- Huge overlap at 1:36 sees Ryu Holani (a big boy with suspected rage issues!) over the line and ‘evading’ three players in his quest to score under the poles.
- A great run by Sanyo from inside their half and an inside pass to Sam Norton Knight for the try at around 2:20 in the video.
- Wayne van Heerden passes ball from ruck in final movement at 3:00
- Wayne celebrates with team, mates at 3:19
Before playing in Japan the 32 year old Wayne van Heerden played 75 games for Eastern Province, around 85 games for Griquas and some games for another union who shall remain nameless until we ascend to the height and whup their asses giving him a total of close to 200 1st class matches.
Wayne said that the rugby style in Japan is different to here with an emphasis on tackling low, less kicking and more of a running style which was good for fitness levels coming back to South Africa.
Wayne comes into the Eastern Province team as a utility forward equally capable of covering the lock and loose forward positions and will be wearing the number 18 jersey on Friday.
The EP Kings team to play the Falcons shows 7 changes – 6 players new to the starting line up and one positional change:
- Ronnie Uys
- Hannes Franklin (Captain)
- Andre Sclechter
- Lugelo Payi
- Ross Kennedy
- Devin Oosthuizen
- Boetie Britz
- Darron Nell
- Boela Abrahams
- Jaco van Schalkwyk
- Marcello Sampson
- Matthew Tayler-Smith
- Siyanda Grey
- Norman Nelson
- Tiger Mangweni
- Frank Herne
- Jaco Engels
- Wayne van Heerden
- Morne Hanekom
- Jacques Coetzee
- Monty Dummond
- Jaco Bekker
More about Japanese Rugby http://www.jrfu.org/
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