Currie cup semi-final spots still up for grabs

2009-10-03 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Griquas will be under the hammer at Loftus today when they face the Blue Bulls as both teams aim to confirm their place in the Absa Currie Cup semi-finals.

The Bulls, who are currently in fourth position on the log, will ensure that they end the weekend in third spot if they gain the expected win at home.

Griquas, who are currently in third place on 36 points, could strengthen their position if they can somehow upset the Bulls..

“We only need four points for a semi-final,” said Griquas coach Dawie Theron.

“So it’s a simple scenario for us to confirm that possibility. We either defeat the Blue Bulls or the Sharks next weekend. But we don’t want to leave things to the last, which makes this match in Pretoria so important.

“It’s not going to be easy, but anything can happen between the four white lines on the field.”

Frans Ludeke, coach of the Blue Bulls, has selected a very strong side for this clash, with Springbok star winger Bryan Habana included in his starting line-up.

Scrumhalf Francois Hougaard will once again start on the wing with SA U20 star Gerhard van den Heever relegated to the bench.

Other current Boks in the Pretoria team include Wynand Olivier, Morné Steyn, Pierre Spies, Victor Matfield, Danie Rossouw and Gurthrö Steenkamp.

“It’s a very important game for us and we are treating this match as a final,” said Ludeke.

“Griquas are a dangerous side and we need to cut out all possible mistakes, especially when you consider that they are a team that can really punish you on turn-over ball.”

The Sharks will be hoping to cement their position at the top of the Currie Cup Premier Division when they host the Lions in Durban (5.05 pm) while Western Province, who have already guaranteed their place in one of the semi-finals, will be aiming to confirm a home playoff fixture with maximum points from their clash against the Boland Cavaliers at Newlands (3 pm).

Allister Coetzee has made several changes to his team for this weekend’s Cape derby.

ACT Brumbies flyhalf Matthew To’omua will wear the No.10 jersey for Province while Paul Bosch, who represented the SA Students team earlier this year, will partner Frikkie Welsh as WP’s centre combination.

Springbok scrumhalf Ricky Januarie and lock Andries Bekker will also earn their first starts for Vodacom Western Province in the Absa Currie Cup this year.

Coetzee has opted for a new front row with JC Kritzinger (prop), Tiaan Liebenberg (hooker) and JD Moller (prop), packing down as a unit for the first time this season. – Own Correspondent

RESULTS

Last night: Cheetahs 60 Leopards 17

Today: Blue Bulls v Griquas (Loftus, 3 pm), Western Province v Boland (Newlands, 3 pm – M-Net and SSpt 1), Sharks v Lions (King’s Park, 5.05 pm– M-Net and SSpt 1)

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