Currie Cup clashes

2014-08-15 00:00

THE SHARKS v PUMAS (Kick-off is today, 7.10 pm at King’s Park, Durban)

THE SHARKS

Coach Brad Macleod-Henderson has opted for continuity, making just one change to his starting line-up that beat the Griquas last weekend. Lock JC Astle gets his first Currie Cup start. Big news for the Sharks is that Pat Lambie is on the bench to get some game time before joining the Springboks again next week. Lambie should get a good 30 minutes of game time, which he needs having only played one game since returning from injury. The Sharks will also look to use home ground advantage to quell a strong Pumas outfit.

Team (15-1): SP Marais, Odwa Ndungane, S’bura Sithole, Paul Jordaan, Tonderai Chavhanga, Fred Zeilinga, Cameron Wright, Tera Mtembu (c), Etienne Oosthuizen, Jacques Botes, Marco Wentzel, JC Astle, Lourens Adriaanse, Kyle Cooper, Thomas du Toit.

Replacements: Monde Hadebe, Matt Stevens, Johan Meyer, Francois Kleinhans, Hanco Venter, Patrick Lambie, Lionel Cronje.

PUMAS

The Pumas shocked the Cheetahs last weekend and impressed with their strong pack, which was complemented by some dynamic running rugby. However, the visitors are up against a big challenge at King’s Park. Their team is relatively unchanged except for a change at lock, where Giant Mtyanda gets a start. There will be a huge clash in the mid-field with both centre pairs having great games last week. The Pumas have strong, direct centres in Stefan Watermeyer and JW Jonker who will be instrumental in the Pumas attack. Coach Jimmy Stonehouse has developed a proud Pumas team that are not to be taken lightly.

Team (15-1): JW Bell, Ruwellyn Isbell, JW Jonker, Stefan Watermeyer, Jerome Pretorius, Justin van Staden, Reynier van Rooyen, Renaldo Bothma, Jaco Bouwer, Corné Steenkamp (c), Giant Mtyanda, Frikkie Spies, DeJay Terblanche, Francois du Toit, Vincent Koch.

Replacements: Frankie Herne, Corné Fourie, Marius Coetzer, Uzair Cassiem, Rosco Speckman, JC Roos, Heinrich Steyl.

WP v BULLS (Kick-off is tomorrow, 2 pm at Newlands, Cape Town)

WP

After the first round, Western Province are looking like one of the strongest teams in the competition. Allister Coetzee’s charges claimed a solid win over the EP Kings last weekend. The presence of a number of players from Super Rugby has given the side a lot of continuity and contrary to their defensive tendencies, the Cape outfit scored some good tries, showing that they are perfectly capable of playing a strong running game. Coetzee has made just one change to his starting line-up with Stephan Coetzee in for injured hooker Tiaan Liebenberg.

Team (15-1): Cheslin Kolbe, Kobus van Wyk, Juan de Jongh (c), Michael van der Spuy, Seabelo Senatla, Demetri Catrakilis, Nic Groom,

Nizaam Carr, Michael Rhodes, Siya Kolisi, Manuel Carizza, Jean Kleyn, Pat Cilliers, Stephan Coetzee, Alistair Vermaak.

Replacements: Neil Rautenbach, Brok Harris, Ruan Botha, Rynhardt Elstadt, Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman, Jaco Taute.

BULLS

The Bulls went down to a very strong Lions outfit last week and play a second succesive game away from home. They certainly have a big task in Cape Town and coach Frans Ludeke has made just two changes to the side with prop Dean Greyling out injured. The powerful young flank Jacques du Plessis returns to the starting line-up with Jono Ross shifting to number 8. Ludeke spoke of scrum accuracy during the week but also said his side want to play a more expansive running game. The Bulls will have to stick to their guns though, as Province are a notoriously strong defensive unit.

Team (15-1): Jurgen Visser, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Burger Odendaal, Sampie Mastriet, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Piet van Zyl,

Jono Ross, Jacques du Plessis, Deon Stegmann, Grant Hattingh, Paul Willemse, Werner Kruger, Callie Visagie, Marcel van der Merwe.

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Hencus Van Wyk, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Jacques Engelbrecht, Rudy Paige, Tony Jantjies, Jesse Kriel.

LIONS v EP KINGS (Kick-off is tomorrow, 2.30 pm at Ellis Park, Johannesburg)

LIONS

Johan Ackermann’s side got the Currie Cup off to a fairytale start after a strong win over the Bulls. Working off a strong platform, the whole side linked together well, playing a brand of rugby that was exciting to watch. Having home ground advantage once again, the Lions will look for more of the same against the EP Kings. The bad news for the Lions is that they have lost flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff, whose mercurial kicking and distribution will be sorely missed. Jaco van der Walt replaces Boshoff in the only change to the starting XV.

Team (15-1): Andries Coetzee, Lionel Mapoe, Stokkies Hanekom, Harold Vorster, Ruan Combrinck, Jaco van der Walt, Ross Cronje, Warren Whiteley (c), Derick Minnie, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert, MB Lusaseni, Ruan Dreyer, Robbie Coetzee, Schalk van der Merwe.

Substitutes: Armand van der Merwe, Jacques van Rooyen, Willie Britz, Warwick Tecklenburg, Guy Cronje, Kwagga Smith, Howard Mnisi.

KINGS

The EP Kings certainly weren’t whipping boys in their loss to Western Province last week. The Kings attacked with intent and their set-piece was solid against a strong Province outfit. A standout was captain Luke Watson, who was all over the park on attack and defence. There will be a huge battle between the loose forwards and Watson and his charges will have their hands full containing Whitely, Minnie and Kriel, who dominated play last week. The starting line-up remains unchanged, hinting that coach Carlos Spencer was positive that his charges can carry some momentum into the clash.

Team (15-1): Scott van Breda, Ronnie Cooke, Tim Whitehead, Shane Gates, Siviwe Shakes Soyizwapi, Gary van Aswegen, Tobies Botes, Luke Waton (c), Stefan Willemse, Thembelani Bholi, David Bulbring, Steven Cummins, Tom Botha, Edgar Marutllule, Lizo Gqoboka.

Substitutes: Albe de Swardt, CJ van der Linde, Steven Sykes, Aidon Davis, Kevin Luiters, George Whitehead, Ntabeni Dukisa.

CHEETAHS v GRIQUAS (Kick-off is tomorrow, 3 pm at Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein)

CHEETAHS

The Cheetahs were pipped by the Pumas last weekend in a cracking game. They were reeling somewhat from the loss of a number of players. The side are bolstered by the return of flyhalf Elgar Watts. They also welcome back energetic flank Jean Cook completing the two changes to this week’s starting line-up. Cheetahs will bank on some of their big names like wing Rayno Benjamin, centre Francois Venter and number eight Boom Prinsloo to lead from the front.

Team (15-1): AJ Coertzen, Rayno Benjamin, Francois Venter, Joubert Engelbrecht, Raymond Rhule, Elgar Watts, Sarel Pretorius, Boom Prinsloo, Jean Cook, Tienie Burger, Francois Uys, Carl Wegner, Luan de Bruin, Torsten van Jaarsveld (c), Kevin Stevens.

Replacements: AJ le Roux, Rudolph Botha, Niel Claassen, Waltie Vermeulen, Shaun Venter, Willie du Plessis, JP du Plessis.

GRIQUAS

The Kimberley outfit are definitely one to look out for this season. Even though they were reduced to 14 men against the Sharks, the Griquas held on and kept the game tight, which suits their style. Luckily Jonathan Francke, who was red-carded for a tip tackle, has been cleared of any wrong doing and returns to the side on the bench. He is one of three changes to the starting line-up that ran out against the Sharks. The Griquas could fancy themselves to win the match, although a trip to Bloemfontein is always tough.

Team (15-1): Nico Scheepers, Ederies Arendse, PJ Vermeulen, Wayne Stevens (c), Rocco Jansen, Francois Brummer, Tian Meyer, Carel Greeff, RJ Liebenberg, Marnus Schoeman, Jaco Nepgen, Serfontein, Van der Westhuizen, Barnes, Roberts.

Replacements: Bezuidenhout, Van Dyk, Kloppers, Schoeman, Griesel, Schmidt, Francke.

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