Weekend Currie Cup Clashes

2014-08-29 00:00


The men from Mpumalanga have done justice to their winning performances in the past year by winning two out of their first three Currie Cup matches. Their only loss came at the hands of the Sharks two weeks ago, but they have the benefit of home advantage tonight. The physical outfit proved a difficult nut to crack for the Sharks. Expect another forward onslaught backed up by some fast outside backs. Keep an eye for Rosco Speckman and Jerome Pretorius on either wing.

Team (15-1): JW Bell, Jerome Pretorius, JW Jonker, Stefan Watermeyer, Rosko Speckman, Justin van Staden, Dylon Frylick, Renaldo Bothma, Uzair Cassiem, Corné Steenkamp (c), Giant Mtyanda, Frikkie Spies, Vincent Koch, Francois du Toit, Corné Fourie.

Replacements: Frankie Herne, DeJay Terblanché, Marius Coetzer, Jaco Bouwer, Reynier van Rooyen, JC Roos, Coenie van Wyk.

The youthful exuberance of the Sharks has helped them produce some excellent performances but has also been the cause of a few mistakes. They have won all three matches so far and have gained one bonus point, leaving them second on the log. They have opted for continuity barring a change in scrumhalf as Conrad Hoffmann gets his first start of the season. Otherwise the backline is unchanged for a fourth week in a row. It will be interesting to see if Francois Kleynhans can add to his brilliant performance last week. His job is made easier by the presence of Jacques Botes, who becomes the first South African to play 150 Currie Cup matches.

Team (15-1): SP Marais, Odwa Ndungane, S’bura Sithole, Paul Jordaan, Tonderai Chavhanga, Fred Zeilinga, Conrad Hoffmann, Tera Mtembu (c), Francois Kleinhans, Jacques Botes, Etienne Oosthuizen, JC Astle, Matt Stevens, Kyle Cooper, Dale Chadwick.

Replacements: Franco Marais, Lourens Adriaanse, Stephan Lewies, Johan Meyer, Cameron Wright, Heimar Williams, Lionel Cronje.


Griquas have been unlucky not to win a game so far. They lost narrowly in the first two matches against the Sharks and the Cheetahs but were beaten convincingly by the Pumas last week. They will fancy themselves against the Cheetahs tomorrow. It is always difficult to travel to Kimberley and Griquas would like to hammer the point this weekend. The Kimberley outfit will be focusing on set-piece dominance. Keep an eye out for new flyhalf Dean Grant, who scored a superb try against the Pumas.

Team(15-1): Francois Brummer, Ederies Arendse, Jonathan 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.

Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Janro van Niekerk, Hugo Kloppers, RJ Liebenberg, Abraham Griesel, Gideon la Grange, Rocco Jansen.

The Cheetahs are starting to get over the loss of some key players before the Currie Cup. The side were unlucky to lose to the Sharks last weekend and can only blame a few mistakes for letting their lead slip. They have a particularly strong forward pack and their lineout drive is one of the best in the competition. Their backs are equally as exciting and they will no doubt cause a few upsets as the competition progresses. Coach Rory Duncan has only made one change to his team this weekend, with fullback Clayton Blommetjies getting another start after scoring an amazing try against the Sharks. Expect a huge clash upfront.

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, Henco Venter, Dolph Botha, Torsten van Jaarsveld (c), Kevin Stevens.

Replacements: AJ Le Roux, George Marich, Waltie Vermeulen, Vincent Jobo, Shaun Venter, Pieter-Steyn De Wet, JP du Plessis.


The Bulls have managed to turn their season around with their first win of the tournament against the EP Kings last weekend. The win was despite a number of injuries in key positions and the Bulls will be happy knowing that their younger players are stepping up. They face a tough task against Western Province who are log leaders going into round four. However, Loftus is always a fortress for the Bulls and a win over Province could be what they need to get back to their best. Youngster Jesse Kriel was outstanding last week. Bulls are waiting on Jacques-Louis Potgieter but if he is deemed unfit, U21 flyhalf Joshua Stander will make his Cup debut.

Team(15-1): Jesse Kriel, Akona Ndungane, William Small-Smith, Burger Odendaal, Sampie Mastriet, Jacques-Louis Potgieter/Joshua Stander, Piet van Zyl, Jono Ross, Jacques du Plessis, Deon Stegmann (captain), Grant Hattingh, Paul Willemse, Werner Kruger, Callie Visagie, Dean Greyling.

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi, Hencus van Wyk, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Jacques Engelbrecht, Rudy Paige, Tian Schoeman, Ryan Nell.

Province have enjoyed three wins on the trot and are sitting pretty at the top of the Currie Cup log. They definitely look like the team to beat this year and have the luxury of some big names in their ranks. This weekend Jaco Taute shifts to inside centre in a move that could have some bearing on the rest of his career. Province’s pack have been great and their loose trio have gotten through a lot of work. Out wide, players like Seabelo Senatla and Cheslin Kolbe are redefining the role of smaller, faster wings. Don’t expect a high scoring game as both teams will be focused on securing a win.

Team(15-1): Cheslin Kolbe, Kobus van Wyk, Juan de Jongh (c), Jaco Taute, 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, Pat Howard.


The Kings have had a difficult time in the Currie Cup but that is not to say that they have played badly. They are sitting bottom of the log having not won a game and will need to rally together on home turf to get back in the running. They will be without captain Luke Watson after he suffered concussion in their loss to the Bulls last weekend. It is rough blow considering Watson has been one of the standout performers for the Kings in the competition. The Kings need to provide more of a platform for their backs to attack.

Team: Scott van Breda, Ronnie Cooke/Siyanda Grey, Tim Whitehead/Ronnie Cooke, Shane Gates, Siviwe Soyiz-wapi, George Whitehead, Kevin Luiters, Aidon Davis, Paul Schoeman, Thembelani Bholi, Steven Sykes, David Bulbring, Tom Botha, Edgar Marutlulle, BG Uys. Replacements: Mike van Vuuren, C Marais, Shaun McDonald, Stefan Willemse, Tobie Botes, Siyanda Grey/D Jenner, Ntabeni Dukisa.

The Lions are their usual competitive selves this year and will be looking at nothing less than a semi-final finish. They are bolstered this weekend with the return of captain Warren Whiteley who was with the Boks last week. The only woes in the Lions camp is a string of injuries to their flyhalves, which sees Andries Coetzee shift to the number 10 jersey. The Lions have a good chance of securing an away win and will be looking for a bonus point to catch up to the Sharks and Western Province on the log.

Lions(15-1): Ruan Com- brinck, Lionel Mapoe, Stokkies Hanekom, Alwyn Hollenbach, Courtnall Skosan, Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronjé, Warren Whiteley (c), Warwick Teck-lenburg, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert, MB Lusaseni, Ruan Dreyer, Armand van der Merwe, Schalk van der Merwe.

Replacements: Robbie Coet zee, Jacques van Rooyen, Willie  Britz, Derick Minnie, Kwagga Smith, Ricky Schroeder, Howard Mnisi.

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