Currie Cup clashes

2014-09-26 00:00



Last week’s loss to the Lions saw the Pumas slip to fourth on the log, and they are on equal points with fifth-placed Cheetahs (19). The Pumas will be confident, though, as they host Province in their fortress at Mbombela Stadium, where they are still unbeaten this season. Province will have to be on form to upset the Pumas at home. The men from Mpumalanga have been solid in the set piece this year, and have played some great running rugby as well. With hard-working and direct forwards and centres on attack, the Pumas have the ability to break down a good defence, and will look to do that against Province tonight.

Pumas Team (15-1):

JW Bell, Ruwellyn Isbell, JW Jonker, Stefan Watermeyer, Rosko Specman, JC Roos, Reynier van Rooyen, Renaldo Bothma, Jaco Bouwer, Corné Steenkamp (c), Lubabalo Mtyanda, Marius Coetzer, Vincent Koch, Frank Herne, Corné Fourie.

Replacements: Swys Du Toit, DJ Terblanche, Uzair Cassiem, RW Kember, Dylon Frylinck, Justin van Staden, Jerome Pretorius.


As comfortable log leaders, Province will be confident going up to Nelspruit, but will be under no illusions of an easy fixture. Their starting line-up is relatively unchanged from last week, except for Springbok prop Pat Cilliers returning to the number three jersey. Having made easy work of the Griquas last weekend, the men from Cape Town will be looking to further their lead at the top of the table. Province is one of the most solid defensive units in the competition, but they will be tested by the Pumas’ attack. They are equally potent on attack, and the likes of Blitsbok stars Cheslin Kolbe and Justin Geduld will be exciting to watch.

WP team (15-1):

Cheslin Kolbe, Kobus van Wyk, Juan de Jongh (c), Jaco Taute, Justin Geduld, Demetri Catrakilis, Louis Schreuder, Nizaam Carr, Michael Rhodes, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Ruan Botha, Jean Kleyn, Pat Cilliers, Scarra Ntubeni, Alistair Vermaak.

Replacements: Neil Rautenbach, Brok Harris, Manuel Carizza, Rohan Kitshoff, Nic Groom, Kurt Coleman, Michael van der Spuy.



The men from Bloemfontein are still in the running for a top-four finish with three games left to play. Rory Duncan’s charges have played some good rugby in recent weeks and will welcome a home clash against the Bulls. The Cheetahs have stuck to their expansive approach, and it has produced some great tries. Scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius, in particular, has been potent on attack for the Bloemfontein outfit, and can turn a game on its head — which he proved in the 30-all draw against the Sharks two weeks ago. The Cheetahs have a chance to knock the Bulls down while they are still getting up from their loss to the Sharks this weekend.

Cheetahs Team (15-1):

Clayton Blommetjies, Rayno Benjamin, Francois Venter, Joubert Engelbrecht, Raymond Rhule, Willie du Plessis, Sarel Pretorius, Jean Cook, Pieter Labuschagne, Tienie Burger, Francois Uys, Henco Venter, George Marich, Torsten van Jaarsveld (c), Coenie Oosthuizen

Replacements: Hercu Liebenberg, Caylib Oosthuizen, Werner Lourens, Neil Claassen, Shaun Venter, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, JP du Plessis.


The Pretoria outfit huffed and puffed, but couldn’t blow the Sharks down last weekend, and are now languishing in sixth place. Their Currie Cup title hopes may be over, but they have a proud tradition which they will look to uphold while they build an exciting new team. Going down to Bloemfontein will be a tough ask, but the Bulls will back themselves to get a win. The likes of Jono Ross, Grant Hattingh, Bongi Mbonambi, Burger Odendaal, William Small-Smith and especially Jesse Kriel have shown glimpses of what the Bulls are capable of. If they can use their scrum dominance to launch their attack, they could be tough to stop.

Bulls team (15-1):

Ulrich Beyers, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Burger Odendaal, Sampie Mastriet, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Piet van Zyl, Jono Ross, Jacques Du Plessis, Deon Stegmann (c), Grant Hattingh, Paul Willemse, Werner Kruger, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Dean Greyling.

Replacements: Callie Visagie, Morné Mellett, Nico Janse van Rensburg, Wiaan Liebenberg, Rudy Paige, Tian Schoeman, Jesse Kriel.



The men from Durban got back to winning ways, beating the Bulls in Pretoria last weekend, and are now third on the Currie Cup log. Their work at the line-out and resolute defence gave them a well-earned win, and they will need to keep the performance at that level for the remainder of the competition. Their attack has also been more fluid. Khaya Majola seems level-headed, and looks likely to hold on to the number 10 jersey for the rest of the competition. The Sharks could also score more tries if they continue to dominate the set piece, and they have pace to burn out wide with Lwazi Mvovo back once again from Springbok duty.

Sharks team (15-1):

SP Marais, S’bura Sithole, Paul Jordaan, André Esterhuizen, Lwazi Mvovo, Lionel Cronje, Cameron Wright, Tera Mtembu (c), Etienne Oosthuizen, Khaya Majola, Marco Wentzel, .JC Astle, Lourens Adriaanse, Kyle Cooper, Dale Chadwick.

Replacements: Franco Marais, Danie Mienie, Stephan Lewies, Johan Meyer, Conrad Hoffmann, Tim Swiel, Tonderai Chavhanga.


The Kings are the only team not to win any games after seven rounds in the Currie Cup. The men from Port Elizabeth have struggled to deal with the loss of big-name players to injury, and a lack of depth has found them wanting. However, they have played some good rugby at times, and the results have not always been a true reflection of their performances. Coach Carlos Spencer has said the latter part of the tournament is harder to prepare for, but he is still looking for his charges to put up an all-round performance. The Kings are likely to stick to their running game, but they will also want to pilfer the Sharks’ ball at breakdowns.

EP Kings team (15-1):

Siviwe Soyizwapi, Ronnie Cooke, Tim Whitehead, Shane Gates, Ntabeni Dukisa, Gary van Aswegen, Tobie Botes, Paul Schoeman, Devin Oosthuizen, Stefan Willemse, Darron Nell (c), Steven Cummins, CJ van der Linde, Martin Ferreira, Charles Marais.

Replacements: Albe de Swardt, Charl du Plessis, Cameron Lindsay, Thembelani Bholi, Tim Agaba, Kevin Luiters, Scott van Breda.



The men from Kimberley were hit by injuries this week. Their regular flyhalf and acting captain Francois Brummer is out, along with eighth-man Burger Schoeman and flank Marnus Schoeman, while their front row has lost prop Steph Roberts. While the Griquas have able-bodied replacements, it will be difficult to find cohesion. Dean Grant will captain in Brummer’s absence. The Griquas are out of the running for the Currie Cup, but will play for pride in front of the Kimberley faithful.

Griquas team (15-1):

Gouws Prinsloo, Ederies Arendse, Jona­than Francke, Wayne Stevens (c), PJ Vermeulen, Dean Grant, Tian Meyer, Carel Greeff, Jaco Nepgen, Ruaan Lerm, Hugo Kloppers, Hilton Lobberts, Maks van Dyk, Martin Bezuidenhout, Janro van Niekerk.

Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Simon Westraadt, RJ Liebenberg, Marnus Schoeman, Abrie Griesel, Jacquin Jansen, Danie Dames.


The Lions are second on the log and just four points adrift of Province going into the last three games. This clash could be crucial in their build-up to their date with the Sharks next week. The Lions have chosen to rotate a number of players, and ex-Griquas centre Howard Mnisi will start at 12 against his old team-mates. The Lions have also shuffled their pack, with some loosies on the bench. The Lions will look to use their set pieces to soften up the Griquas pack before they unleash their potent backline.

Lions team (15-1):

Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe (c), Howard Mnisi, Courtnall Skosan, Jaco van der Walt, Ross Cronje, Willie Britz, Warwick Tecklenburg, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert, Martin Muller, Ruan Dreyer, Armand van der Merwe, Jacques van Rooyen.

Replacements: Robbie Coetzee, Schalk van der Merwe/Julian Redelinghuys, Derick Minnie, Kwagga Smith, Mark Richards, Marnitz Boshoff, Stokkies Hanekom.

P W D L PD Points

WP 7 6 0 1 116 29

Lions 7 5 0 2 83 25

Sharks 7 4 1 2 25 20

Pumas 7 4 0 3 14 19

Cheetahs 7 3 1 3 8 19

Bulls 7 3 0 4 -38 14

Griquas 7 2 0 5 -60 11

EP Kings 7 0 0 7 -148 1

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