Coach backs WP's new pivot
Demetri Catrakilis (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - He was the man of the match in this year's Varsity Cup final after a flawless kicking performance - and has been coached by both the former All Black flyhalf Andrew Mehrtens and well-known visual skills coach Sherylle Calder.
Perhaps then there is no need to worry about how rookie Western Province flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis will fare in Friday night's Currie Cup match against the Leopards in Potchefstroom.
"Demetri will make it at Currie Cup level. He's good enough. Dewaldt Duvenage is also there this week to help him," said Catrakilis's coach at UCT, Kevin Foote.
"His accurate boot played a big role in securing our victory in the Varsity Cup final."
Catrakilis attended French club side Racing Metro's Academy in 2009 and worked on his kicking under Mehrtens.
He also worked on his visual skills and kicking technique under Calder at the University of Cape Town.
Provided Catrakilis's nerve holds, WP should have an accurate goalkicker to help secure the points on Friday night.
However, kicking is certainly not the 22-year-old's only strength.
"Demetri is a lot like Dan Carter with his off-loading. You never see him get tackled. His favourite part of the game is defence. He is a balanced flyhalf," said Foote.
"I know he's quite nervous because he's eager to establish himself in the WP team."
Both Catrakilis and replacement flyhalf Isma-eel Dollie will have to make the most of their opportunities because Kurt Coleman should be fit in the next two weeks.
Their ability to do that will depend on the ability of the WP pack to stand up against a unit that has made no secret of the fact that they will be targeting the Cape side up front.
It's difficult to ascertain how good the Leopards really are because a lot has changed since the teams last met in Potchefstroom.
Only four of the 22 Leopards that lost 23-42 to WP at Olen Park last year are in the squad for Friday night's match.Teams:Leopards:
15. George Tossel, 14. Danie Dames, 13. Joubert Engelbrecht, 12. Charl Weideman, 11. Vainon Willis, 10. Clayton Durand (captain), 9. Whestley Moolman, 8. Morne Hanekom, 7. Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 6. Philip de Wet, 5. Roan van Heerden, 4. Brendon Snyman, 3. Stephan Bezuidenhout, 2. Gavin Williamson, 1. BG Uys
Substitutes: 16. Chrisstoffel Johannes Duvenage, 17. Bêrend Botha, 18. Thabo Mamojele, 19. Christo van Niekerk, 20. Theo van Wyk, 21. Walter Venter, 22. Hoffman MaritzWestern Province:
15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Tim Whitehead, 11 JJ Engelbrecht, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nick Koster, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Rohan Kitshoff, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Deon Fourie (captain) and 1 Wicus Blaauw
Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Adriaan Fondse, 19 Nicholas Fenton-Wells, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Isma-eel Dollie and 22 Marcel Brache