Currie Cup battle: Sharks tackle Western Province

2018-10-26 12:53
Currie Cup (Gallo Images)

Currie Cup (Gallo Images)

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Sharks coach Robert du Preez is happy with the underdog tag ahead of their Currie Cup final clash against Western Province in Cape Town on Saturday.

The clash will take place at Newlands Stadium at 4 pm and the coach has only made a few changes to the team that defeated the Golden Lions in the semi-finals last week.

Province are favourites to win the Currie Cup for the second time in a row, but Du Preez says this might work in their favour as they plan to cause an upset in Cape Town.

“I think playing at home will always put pressure on you, so we are grateful to be in the final.

“It’s going to be up to the team who performs on the day,” said Du Preez on Thursday.

Two changes see Tyler Paul replacing Jacques Vermeulen, who will play off the bench, at No 6, while Jean-Luc du Preez gains his first start in this year’s competition following a recent injury.

“Tyler has had an unbelievable season. He has played some great rugby and he is a great guy to have in your team, he does all, sometimes the unseen, hard work. And also it’s good to have Jean-Luc back in the mix,” said Du Preez.

“We know it’s going to be an abrasive battle and that’s why we selected him and we know what we have in Jacques and Luke Stringer. When they come in, they will definitely make a difference.”

Another other change is at left-wing where exciting youngster Aphelele Fassi replaces Lwazi Mvovo, who has been ruled out due to concussion last week even though he was said to be fine earlier in the week.

“He has had a great season and this hopefully will be a cherry on the cake. Unfortunately Lwazi didn’t make it but Fassi is a very able replacement,” said the coach about Fassie.

Last year, the Sharks failed to beat Province in the Currie Cup final in Durban but the coach said his side had grown since then.

“I think we must give credit to the leadership group, they’ve done a fantastic job you know, guys like Chiliboy Ralepelle has done a fabulous job, the likes of Marius Louw, Jeremy Ward and Robert du Preez junior. These guys have done a really amazing work on and off the field,” he said.

“So there’s a great spirit in the team and I think we are in a good state for this final, no doubt.”


SHARKS: 15 Curwin Bosch, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (capt), 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Tyler Paul, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Gideon Koegelenberg, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Akker van der Merwe, 1 Juan Schoeman. Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Jacques Vermeulen, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Kobus van Wyk, 23 Leolin Zas

WESTERN PROVINCE: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 SP Marais, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak. Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Caylib Oosthuizen, 18 Michael Kumbirai, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 JJ Engelbrecht



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