We are lucky enough that we have two great ABSA Currie Cup matches to look forward to between all the World Cup matches during this weekend. The first of these main matches this weekend will be Western Province who will host the Blue Bulls in Cape Town on Friday evening.
The men from Cape Town got a proper “klap” a few weeks ago from the Blue Bulls at Loftus and will want to turn the tables at home at Newlands.
Western Province have been improving after the losses they suffered at the hands of the Blue Bulls and Cheetahs and look like they are playing a much better and improved game since those losses. Having the young Du Preez at flyhalf also looked like the better option last week and one could see a more constructive attack and defensive effort from the team against the Sharks.
The biggest concern still for the exciting young Blue Bulls team will be there scrums. At certain stages against the Lions last week they did scrum better but overall it is a major concern in their team. Western Province have been one off if not the best scrumming unit this whole year long and possession from scrums have become very important to attack from in the modern game.
The way that referees penalise front rows these days also make the scrums a big weapon to accumulate points through penalties and the Blue Bulls will have to be up for it to make sure that it does not get away from them.
The match up of the back three of both teams will be something most will be looking at and again Western Province back three will want to make sure the same defensive errors does happen again as a few weeks ago at Loftus.
The Blue Bulls have been one of the outstanding inform teams this year with the Lions and even playing Province at home they will be the team to beat come Friday night and Western Province will know that.
Western Province will need the pack to dominate and quicker service from Groom otherwise they will get hammered again by the Blue Bulls. Du Preez will play a key role in winning or losing for Province and his abilities will be fully tested with the likes of Stegmann and Lappies in the Blue Bulls side.
One can expect a close game and if the weather in the mother city is playing her part we should have one exciting game again this weekend.
Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Nic Groom (captain), 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Demetri Catrakilis, 22 Kobus van Wyk
Blue Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Lappies Labuschagne (c), 7 Roelof Smit, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Jan Serfontein.
Date: Friday, September 18
Kick-off: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Lourens van der Merwe
Television match official: Marius Jonker