Ex-Bok: Bulls showed WP can be beaten

Wynand Claassen (Gallo Images)
Wynand Claassen (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok and Natal captain Wynand Claassen says last week’s Currie Cup semi-final at Newlands was an indication that Western Province can be beaten.

“WP were given a good fright and I don’t think they will be caught unawares again. However, the Bulls showed that if you can keep the ball away from them and attack well, then you can beat them,” Claassen told Netwerk24.

Western Province will host the Sharks in the Currie Cup final at Newlands on Saturday and have been tipped by many as favourites.

The men from the Cape are unbeaten in this year’s tournament but almost came unstuck against a determined Blue Bulls side last weekend, before prevailing 35-32 in extra time.

Claassen was Natal’s captain when they lost 19-9 to WP in the 1984 final. On that day, Natal were heavy underdogs but threatened an upset after leading 9-3 at half-time.

ALSO READ: A history of WP v Sharks Currie Cup finals

The former loose forward added that the Sharks should take heart from their 33-19 win over WP in the 2013 final at Newlands.

“It can be done, but it will be tough. My heart says Sharks but WP are the team to beat.”

Saturday’s final is scheduled for 16:00.

Teams:

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

Sharks

15 Curwin Bosch, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Jeremy Ward, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Aphelele Fassi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 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

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