The Currie Cup 2019 round 1 started with some surprises this weekend. If this is the trend the competition is going to take this year then we are in for hell of a ride.
We had the Sharks hosting Griquas, the Golden Lions welcoming the Pumas and the good old North v South at Newlands when the Blue Bulls visited Western Province.
Here is your Summary:
|Friday 12 July|
Griquas came to Durban as the SuperSport Challenge Champions and if anyone thought they are in the Currie Cup just to make up the numbers they are making a huge mistake.
They surprise not just the Sharks but most properly most in the country when they totally outplayed the home side and beating them 37-13 earning a bonus point as well away from home.
The Sharks were back to their old habits unable to control the ball in attack making plenty of handling errors. They were also well beaten upfront in all aspects of the game.
Two from the Griquas tries came from perfect driving mauls showing the dominance they had in the game. When it matters they put points on the board and the Sharks just could not keep up in that second half with the pressure Griquas put them under.
Although the Sharks had still a change in the second half they slowly lost grip on the game and Griquas just pulled away on the scoreboard. The perfect start for the men from Kimberley and the worst possible start for the defending champions at home.
Sharks: Tries – Cameron Wright Conversions – Curwin Bosch Penalties – Curwin Bosch(2)
Griquas: Tries – Zak Burger, Michal Haznar, Wilmar Arnoldi(2) Conversions – George Whitehead(4) Penalties – George Whitehead(3)
|Saturday 13 July|
The Golden Lions almost followed the same road at the Sharks when they had to fight back hard to squeeze out a win agains the Pumas on Saturday afternoon.
The Pumas led 17-14 at the break and with 19 minutes to go they were still 37-21 behind and looking down the barrel of a gun in their first match of the season.
The Golden Lions should have bought Madosh Tambwe a few cold one’s on Saturday after the game as the young exciting winger scored four tries in the match to help them fight back and take the win in the last few minutes of the match.
He scored two quick tries in that last 15 minutes with the two he scored in the first half to earn himself the man of the match award. The Pumas was playing some of the bets rugby we have seen form them in that second half.
They were pulling the Golden Lions defence apart with great interplay between forwards and backs as they pulled away on the scoreboard.
Defence form both sides maybe not at their best on the day but then one had to recognise the great attacking play from both sides.
Golden Lions: Tries – Madosh Tambwe(4),Tyrone Green, Shaun Reynolds Conversions – Shaun Reynolds(3),
Pumas: Tries – Carel du Preez, Le Roux Roets, Etienne Taljaard, Morgan Naude Conversions – Kobus Marais(2) Penalties – Kobus Marais
We expected a huge match between Western Province and the Blue Bulls at Newlands on Saturday and we did get that in the first half but it all went downhill in the second.
There was just too many penalties in the second half which made it a very stop-start game and non of the two teams able to get momentum.
The first half was quit even and it was some great defence form both sides that stop the two teams from adding a bigger score before the break.
When Papier scored that first try from a turnover it looked like we were in for an exciting match but there were just too many mistakes. The Blue Bulls looked the better team in that first half but handling errors each time frustrated not just the players but also their fans.
Province had their changes after that first try from the Bulls but just could not get pass the Blue Bulls scramble defence. It was eventually Nel that had to stretch over the line to get the home side first points. That even up the scoreboard at 5-all and the teams stayed that way for the rest of the half.
Province was dominating the scrums and at one stage were getting a penalty each time they went down to scrum.
The Blue Bulls had the better start to the second half and almost got over again but the handling on attack was disappointing. The home side scored fist in the second half after w poor lineout form the visitors that let to Augustus scoring in the corner.
That gave them a 12-5 lead and the scored stayed that way for a long period in that half with penalties getting the best airtime in the game. It was Marais that got the scoreboard ticking over again with a long range penalty to make it 15-5.
The game went from bad to worst as both sides just lost shape on attack. With the Blue Bulls chasing the game they were throwing the ball around in the last minute of the game and Province got a turnover which ended in a cross kick from Marias and Barry that ended the match with a try for the home side.
Not the best of games but Province will take the win specially because it was a home match and in this format you just can not afford to loose your home matches.
Western Province: Tries – Ruhan Nel, Juarno Augustus, Craig Barry Conversions – SP Marais Penalties – SP Marais
Blue Bulls: Tries – Embrose Papier
Next week sees some more interesting matchups and the first game of the Toyota Free State Cheetahs.
Log Standings after Round 1
|1||Tafel Lager Griquas||1||1||0||0||1||5|
|2||Xerox Golden Lions||1||1||0||0||1||5|
|3||DHL Western Province||1||1||0||0||0||4|
|5||Free State Cheetahs||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|6||Vodacom Blue Bulls||1||0||1||0||0||0|
|7||Cell C Sharks||1||0||1||0||0||0|