Currie Cup clashes

2014-08-22 00:00

PUMAS VS GRIQUAS

PUMAS

The men from Mpumalanga have come into the Currie Cup hungry for success. An early season win over the Cheetahs and a good showing against the Sharks last week (despite losing) shows the Pumas are very serious about being successful. Coach Jimmy Stonehouse was disappointed with last week’s result but cautioned other teams to not be complacent when they visited the Pumas fortress of Mbombela Stadium. Their pack have been very impressive but their standout performer is eighthman Renaldo Bothma, who scored a sensational try against the Sharks and worked hard around the park.

Team (15-1):

Heinrich Steyl, Ruwellyn Isbell, JW Jonker, Stefan Watermeyer, Jerome Pretorius, Justin van Staden, Reynier van Rooyen, Renaldo Bothma, Uzair Cassiem, Corne Steenkamp (captain), Giant Mtyanda, Frikkie Spies, Vincent Koch, Francois du Toit, Corne Fourie.

Reserves: Frankie Herne, Dejay Terblanche, Marius Coetzer, Jaco Bouwer, Dylan Frylinck, JC Roos, Rosko Specman.

GRIQUAS

The Kimberley outfit will be disappointed having lost their first two clashes. However, as the scorelines suggested, the matches were close and the Griquas were edged out by less than 10 points in both games. It will be a bruising encounter upfront against the Pumas as both sides have physical packs. Set piece dominance has been a big feature in this year’s Currie Cup and the Griquas will have to watch out for the Pumas strong lineout drive. Out wide, the Griquas have plenty of experience with Francois Brummer at fullback. Meanwhile, former UCT Ikeys flyhalf Dean Grant is handed a starting berth for his debut.

Team (15-1):

Francois Brummer, Edries Arendse, Johnathan Francke, Wayne Stevens (captain), PJ Vermeulen, Dean Grant, Tian Meyer; Carel Greeff, Ruaan Lerm, Marnus Schoeman, Jaco Nepgen, Jonathan Adendorf, Ewald van der Westhuizen, Martin Bezuidenhout, Steph Roberts.

Reserves: Ryno Barnes, Maks van Dyk, Hugo Kloppers, RJ Liebenberg, Abrie Griesel, Doppies la Grange, Neil Marais.

BLUE BULLS VS EP KINGS

BLUE BULLS

The Bulls are under a considerable amount of pressure after being beaten twice and by big margins. They were given more bad news this week after flyhalf Jacques-Louis Potgieter was ruled out for a month with a rib injury.

They will be hoping that the Loftus faithful come out in their sea of blue for this weekend’s clash. However, Loftus is still a fortress for the Bulls and they have not lost there all season, which includes Super Rugby. The Bulls scrum has not looked at its formidable best this season, which is a cause for concern for the Pretoria outfit. However, they will be tough to beat at home.

Team (15-1):

Jesse Kriel, Akona Ndungane, William Small Smith, 12 Burger Odendaal, Sampie Mastriet, Tony Jantjies, Rudi Paige, Jono Ross, Jacques Du Plessis, Deon Stegmann (captain), Grant Hattingh, Paul Willemse, Marcel van Der Merwe, Bongi Mbonambi, Dean Greyling.

Replacements: Bandise Maku, Werner Kruger, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Wiaan Liebenburg, Piet van Zyl, Joshua Stander, Ulrich Beyers.

EP KINGS

Like the Bulls, the Kings have been on the receiving end of two big losses. The Kings have added some big guns to their pack to combat a physical Bulls side. Captain Luke Watson is back in action and Steven Sykes and Darron Nell make up a formidable and physical lock partnership. They will also be looking to use the pair to dominate at the lineout. The Kings backline remains the same, bar a change at scrumhalf, and they will be looking to capitalise on that continuity against the Bulls, who have lost their first choice flyhalf.

Coach Carlos Spencer has called on his charges to play with more intensity, which will be needed against a Bulls side who are looking to bounce back.

Team (15-1):

Scott van Breda, Ronnie Cooke, Tim Whitehead, Shane Gates, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Gary van Aswegen, Kevin Luiters, Luke Watson (captain), Paul Schoeman, Stefan Willemse, Steven Sykes, Darron Nell, Tom Botha, Edgar Marutlulle, Lizo Gqoboka.

Replacements: Mike van Vuuren, Charles Marais, Steven Cummins, Thembelani Bholi, Jaco Grobler, George Whitehead, Siyanda Grey.

WESTERN PROVINCE VS LIONS

WESTERN PROVINCE

After a disappointing Super Rugby season, Province have looked the in-form side alongside the Lions, who they host at Newlands tomorrow. There is no doubt that this will be the clash of the weekend and Province have made no changes to their side that beat the Bulls last weekend. Citing continuity as the main factor, you can hardly fault that logic seeing that the Cape Town side have earned bonus points from their first two fixtures and are sitting on top of the Currie Cup log with the Lions. Province have looked good in all departments, with their pack giving a great platform for their exciting backs to play off. A standout has been wing Seabelo Senatla.

Team (15-1):

Cheslin Kolbe, Kobus van Wyk, Juan de Jongh (captain), 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.

LIONS

The Lions have bid farewell to captain Warren Whiteley, who has joined the Springboks in Argentina. Coach Johan Ackermann has decided to make three changes to last week’s lineup and

Derick Minnie takes over the captaincy, while Warwick Tecklenburg and Willie Britz cracked the nod to make up a new look loose trio. The backline has not been changed and outside centre Stokkies Hanekom has to be one of the standout performers for the Lions this season. Scrumhalf Ross Cronje has also come into his own with a string of solid performances. There is no doubt that the Lions have a big task ahead of them and will have to front up to Province away from home.

Team (15-1):

Andries Coetzee, Lionel Mapoe, Stokkies Hanekom, Harold Vorster, Ruan Combrinck, Jaco van der Walt, Ross Cronje, Willie Britz, Warwick Tecklenburg, Derick Minnie (c), Franco Mostert, MB Lusaseni, Ruan Dreyer, Robbie Coetzee, Schalk van der Merwe.

Replacements: Armand van der Merwe, Jacques van Rooyen, Martin Muller, Jaco Kriel, Guy Cronje, Kwagga Smith, Howard Mnisi.

SHARKS VS CHEETAHS

SHARKS

A youthful Sharks side have enjoyed two solid wins and have been particularly good in the tight loose, despite losing a number of their large forwards to the Springboks and overseas clubs. Captain Tera Mtembu has been nothing but brilliant and has eased into the leadership role that was entrusted to him. The Sharks have an unchanged backline for the clash against the Cheetahs, which is understandable seeing how they have played with width. The side are confident in their structures and have taken the chance to run the ball when it has presented itself.

Team (15-1): SP Marais, Odwa Ndungane, S’bura Sithole, Paul Jordaan, Tonderai Chavhanga, Fred Zeilinga, Cameron Wright, Tera Mtembu (captain), Francois Kleinhans, Jacques Botes, Marco Wentzel, Etienne Oosthuizen, Matt Stevens, Kyle Cooper, Dale Chadwick.

Replacements: Franco Marais, Thomas du Toit, Lourens Adriaanse, Stephan Lewies/Johan Meyer, Conrad Hoffmann, Heimar Williams, Lionel Cronje.

CHEETAHS

Everyone has spoken about how many players the Cheetahs lost to other clubs and the Springboks this season.

However, the Free State side have banded together and looked good in last weekend’s win. The Cheetahs have had to make a few injury enforced changes, which gives exciting fullback Clayton Blommetjies a chance to show what he can do at this level.

The Cheetahs backline is settled and are always exciting outwide. Wing Raymond Rhule had a great game last week and will be one to look out for come Saturday night.

Team (15-1): Clayton Blommetjies, Rayno Benjamin, Francois Venter, Joubert Engelbrecht, Raymond Rhule, Willie du Plessis, Sarel Pretorius, Jean Cook, Neil Claassen, Tienie Burger, Francois Uys, Carl Wegner, Dolph Botha, Torsten van Jaarsveld (c), Kevin Stevens

Replacements: AJ le Roux, George Marich, Henco Venter, Vincent Jobo, Shaun Venter, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, JP du Plessis.

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