Currie Cup clashes

2014-10-03 00:00



After a fine six weeks in the Currie Cup the Pumas found themselves in third place but went down to Province in Mbombela last week, which put them into fourth place, although they are tied with the fifth-placed Cheetahs. The loss was their first at home all season but they will no doubt fancy themselves against the visiting Bulls. The Pumas have had some standout performers in centre Stefan Watermeyer and eighthman Renaldo Bothma and they will need to deliver this weekend. They have what it takes to dismantle the Bulls with a strong pack and hard, fast running backs.

Pumas Team (15-1): JW Bell, Ruwellyn Isbell, JW Jonker, Stefan Watermeyer, Rosko Specman, Justin van Staden, 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, Coenie van Wyk, Jerome Pretorius.


The men from Pretoria have had a season of ups and downs. Following last week’s win over the Cheetahs, the Bulls have edged closer to a semi-final spot as well, being just one point (18) behind the Pumas and Cheetahs (both 19) on the log. That makes tonight’s clash with Pumas do-or-die as they have an outside chance of finishing fourth. The Bulls have not made use of their dominant set piece like other sides may have. But it must be said that they have arguably the best scrum in the tournament and they need to use it better. Their lineouts have been uncharacteristically poor of late though.

Bulls Team (15-1): Ulrich Beyers, Akona Ndungane, JJ Engelbrecht, Burger Odendaal, Sampie Mastriet, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Rudy Paige, Jono Ross, Jacques Du Plessis, Deon Stegmann (c), Grant Hattingh, Paul Willemse, Werner Kruger, Callie Visagie, Dean Greyling.

Replacements: Mbongeni Mbonambi, Morné Mellett, Nico Janse van Rensburg, Wiaan Liebenberg, Piet van Zyl, Tian Schoeman, Jesse Kriel.



The men from Durban have cleared their heads after Jake White’s departure and are focused on a huge test tonight at the Shark tank. Recording a 53-24 over the Kings last weekend helped the Sharks gain more confidence in their running game and they will take that into the game this evening. The Lions will be a different task though, as they have a water-tight defence and a hulking forward pack. The Sharks will have to work hard in the set piece and be cautious to not be too ambitious on attack. They’ll also want to win for Jacques Botes, who plays his last game at home should the Sharks not progress.

Sharks team (15-1): SP Marais, Sibusiso Sithole, Paul Jordaan, Andre Esterhuizen, Lwazi Mvovo, Lionel Cronjé, Cameron Wright, Lubabalo Mtembu (c), Etienne Oosthuizen, Jacques Botes, Marco Wentzel, Stephan Lewies, Lourens Adriaanse, Kyle Cooper, Thomas du Toit.

Replacements: Monde Hadebe, Dale Chadwick, Matt Stevens, John-Charles Astle, Khaya Majola, Conrad Hoffmann, Fred Zeilinga.


The Johannesburg outfit have carried great continuity from Super Rugby into the Currie Cup and are looking like favourites to win the cup alongside Province. They ran riot over the Griquas last week in a similar fashion to the Sharks’ performance against the Kings, so both teams come into the clash with plenty of confidence. The Lions will be wary though, if they lose to the Sharks and lose again next week, they could forfeit a home semi-final. They have a strong pack and their loose trio is probably the best in the tournament and they will look to dominate upfront before using their useful outside backs.

Lions team (15-1): Andries Coetzee, Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe (c), Stokkies Hanekom, Courtnall Skosan, Marnitz Boshoff, Ross Cronjé, Willie Britz, Warwick Tecklenburg, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert, Martin Muller, Ruan Dreyer, Robbie Coetzee, Schalk (FS) van der Merwe.

Replacements: Akker van der Merwe, Jacques van Rooyen, Julian Redelinghuys, Derick Minnie, Kwagga Smith, Mark Richards, Howard Mnisi.



The Free State side are unlucky to face the tournament leaders this late in the season, especially when they need a win to get into the semis. They will be licking their wounds after a narrow loss to the Bulls. They will have to take a big step up to compete with Province who seem to only get stronger and more polished as the tournament progresses. They have suffered a couple of injuries but still have a very strong side.

Their backline is especially potent and if they can gain ascendency upfront, they have the potential to cause an upset.

Cheetahs team (15-1): Clayton Blommetjies, JP du Plessis, Francois Venter, Joubert Engelbrecht, Raymond Rhule, Willie du Plessis, Sarel Pretorius, Lappies Labuschagne, Neil Claassen, Tienie Burger, Francois Uys, Werner Lourens, George Marich, Torsten van Jaarsveld (c), Coenie Oosthuizen.

Replacements: Hercu Liebenberg, Caylib Oosthuizen, Henco Venter, Vincent Jobo, Shaun Venter, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, AJ Coertzen.


Province are not top of the log for nothing. They have often been streets ahead of other teams in both the set piece and open play. Their defence is as solid as ever and has often led to mistakes from opposition sides which they then capitalise on. Considering the way the Cheetahs kicked last weekend against the Bulls, Province may well be licking their chops at the prospect of running the ball back at them with fast runners out wide. Their forwards have been strong at scrum time and in the lineout. A win will further their lead on top of the log going into the final round next week.

Western Province team (15-1): Dillyn Leyds, Kobus van Wyk, Juan de Jongh (c), Jaco Taute, Patrick Howard, Demetri Catrakilis, Nick Groom, Nizaam Carr, Michael Rhodes, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Manuel Carizza, Rynhardt Elstadt, Pat Cilliers, Siyabonga Ntubeni, Alistair Vermaak.

Replacements: Neil Rautenbach, Brok Harris, Oliver Kebble, Jurie van Vuuren, Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman, Michael van der Spuy.



The Griquas looked very promising in the opening stages of the Currie Cup but haven’t been able convert good play into wins. They have a very competitive pack and their set pieces have been dominant at times — their mauls are particularly good. The stronger unions just seem to put open play to better use and the Griquas defence has somewhat let them down in that regard. They will fancy themselves to down the Kings, who are the only team without a win in the Currie Cup.

Griquas team (15-1): Gouws Prinsloo, Danie Dames, Johnathan Francke, Wayne Stevens (c), PJ Vermeulen, Dean Grant, Tian Meyer, Ruaan Lerm, Carel Greeff, Marnus Schoeman, Jaco Nepgen, Hugo Kloppers, Maks van Dyk, Martin Bezuidenhout, Janro van Niekerk.

Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Simon Westraadt, Jonathan Adendorf, RJ Liebenberg, Dustin Jinka, Ederies Arendse, Jacquin Jansen.


After their loss to the Sharks last weekend, Kings coach Carlos Spencer said that his side need to sharpen up on their defence and they will find themselves with a first win this season. Despite their dismal results, the Kings have been competitive and have some real X-factor on attack and boast a powerful scrum.

They ran in two decent tries due to defensive errors last weekend — showing that they can capitalise on point-scoring opportunities.

Kings team (15-1): Siviwe Soyizwapi, Ronnie Cooke, Tim Whitehead, Shane Gates, Ntabeni Dukisa, Gary van Aswegen, Tobie Botes, Tim Agaba, Devin Oosthuizen, Paul Schoeman, Steven Cummins, Cameron Lindsay, CJ van der Linde, Martin Ferreira, Charles Marais

Substitutes: Albé de Swardt, Charl du Plessis, Darron Nell/Steven Sykes, Thembelani Bholi, Kevin Luiters, George Whitehead, Scott van Breda.

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