Currie Cup action begins

2010-07-10 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — The Currie Cup competition, the heartbeat of SA rugby, kicks off this weekend, with the early performances providing a guideline as to what the season holds, especially for the sides that have been decimated by Springbok call-ups.

In a weekend of intriguing fixtures, the big clash is between the Free State Cheetahs and Western Province in Bloemfontein today.

Another interesting showdown will be between the Griquas and the Sharks in Kimberley.

In Bloemfontein, the tight five of Western Province will be at the heart of the team’s performance. A much-improved series of performances by the grafters in the side, despite the mauling they took in the scrums from the Bulls in the Super 14 final, will give them hope of a good season. However, the Free State front row in particular will not be a pushover.

The young, tall loosehead, Coenie Oosthuizen, might be found wanting by Brok Harris, who will want to redeem himself after the Super 14 final.

Province’s forwards will have to build a solid platform, with the experience coming from the back three of Conrad Jantjes, Fabian Juries and Frikkie Walsh and flyhalf Willem de Waal.

They’ll have the two young and promising centres, Tim Whitehead and Paul Bosch, between them. Today’s fixtures (home teams first):

Griquas v Natal Sharks, 3 pm; Free State Cheetahs v

Western Province, 5 pm.

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