The two biggest ‘dogs’ in the history of the Vodacom Cup, the Golden Lions and Griquas, take on each other in Kimberley on Friday in the grand finale of the competition in 2014.
Between these two sides they have won the Vodacom Cup nine times since its inception in 1998. That means more than half of all the titles have gone either to Johannesburg or Kimberley.
It’s the Lions’ second visit to Kimberley this year. They lost their Round Five encounter 18-33.
This will also be the third time these two sides face each other in the final of the Vodacom Cup.
Both previous finals ended in complete blow-outs – in 1998 Griquas won 57-0 and a year later, in 1999, they were smashed by the Golden Lions, 73-7.
Griquas coach Peter Engledow has two players in his match-22 who were part of the Griquas team which last won the title in 2009.
They are Steph Roberts (prop) and Simon Westraadt (replacement hooker).
Four more members of the Griquas squad have been part of Vodacom Cup-winning teams. They are Francois Brummer (flyhalf) and Rocco Jansen (wing), both with the Blue Bulls, as well as the former WP duo of Ederies Arendse (wing) and Hilton Lobberts (lock).
In Johannesburg, Lions coach Russell Winter has selected two players who were part of their title-winning side last year in Hugo Kloppers (lock) and Michael Bondesio (replacement scrumhalf).
Vainon Willis (fullback) was a member of the Blue Bulls team which won the competition in 2010, when Brummer kicked a last-gasp drop-goal in Pretoria.
Only seven teams have won the Vodacom Cup – the Golden Lions (five times) Griquas (four), the Blue Bulls (three), Western Province, Free State XV, Falcons and Pampas XV (once each).
Vodacom Cup Final
Griquas v Golden Lions
Date: Friday, May 16 2013
Venue: Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe and Francois de Bruin
TMO: JJ Wagner
Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Wayne Stevens (captain), 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Burger Schoeman, 7 Jaco Nepgen, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Hilton Lobberts, 4 Jonathan Adendorf, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Janro Van Niekerk, 18 Stephan Greeff, 19 RJ Liebenberg, 20 Dustin Jinka, 21 Howard Mnisi, 22 Danie Dames.
Golden Lions: 15 Vainon Willis, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Selom Gavor, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Ricky Schroeder (captain), 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Stephan de Witt, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Thabo Mamojele, 3 Charles Marais, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Replacements: 16 Mark Pretorius, 17 Nico du Plessis, 18 Lourens Erasmus, 19 Thabo Mabuza, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Marais Schmidt, 22 Caswell Khoza.