This weekend it is all about retaining a place in the Currie Cup proper for Boland, and they received a nice incentive if they do.
Stephen Nell – Sport24
A Christmas bonus of R38 000.00 and a place in Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus’s squad.
These are the factors motivating George Earle to help the Boland-Cavaliers retain their place in the Premier League of the Currie Cup over the next two weekends.
Earle, who is a workhorse lock on loan at Boland from Western Province, will be a key player for the Cavaliers in their promotion-relegation games against the Pumas.
The team that gathers the most log points in the two games – Saturday in Wellington and next Friday in Witbank – will get a Premier League spot as reward.
Boland therefore have to make the most of this coming weekend’s home advantage. And that is precisely what the players want to do, with a jackpot of R1-million that will be divided between 26 players if they stay up.
“I grew a lot as a player at Boland,” Earle said about the experience of the past few months.
“I was a strong Stormers contender this year. The knee injury I sustained in the Vodacom Cup game against a Sharks XV (on 21 March) meant that I was not available when the Stormers wanted to call me up,” he said.
“Martin Muller then joined up with the Stormers. However, I’m very grateful for where I am now. It’s very good experience to play in the Premier League of the Currie Cup. You learn a lot when you are thrown in at the deep end.”
Earle (22) believes he has a responsibility to his new team-mates before rejoining WP.
“Many of the players here are breadwinners in their families, so it’s important for them to stay in the Premier League. The players are desperate and someone who is battling for survival fights hard,” he said.
Earle said the possibility of bonuses had motivated the team.
“I’ve made my sums and it’s R38 000.00 each if we stay in the Premier League. I can do with that!”
He added that facilities at Boland made him realise “how privileged” players are at WP.
The positive is that he is getting regular game time and the Stormers’ depth at lock has been expanded in the process.
“I’ll be competing with big names, but have gained a lot of experience and will give everything,” he said.
“I have many years ahead of me and will take on board what I can from the guys.”