By: Bunny (Jacques Nortier)
The ABSA Currie Cup move into Week 9 this weekend as we get closer to the final four teams that will fight it out for this years Currie Cup.
The Golden Lions have been the inform team since the start of the season and they will face a much improved Western Province side this Friday in Johannesburg. The Blue Bulls will also face the EP Kings on Friday at Loftus to keep there hopes of a possible home semi final alive.
On Saturday the Pumas will face the Cheetahs and the Sharks will match there skills against Griquas. Super Sport will broadcast the Lions against Province game on Friday evening and on Saturday the Pumas, Cheetahs match.
GOLDEN LIONS vs WESTERN PROVINCE Friday 2 October 2015 “Live” on SS1 at 18:00
This will be the match of the weekend not just because these two team have been the form teams the last couple of weeks but because winning will be all that is on the minds of both teams to secure home play-off spots.
The Lions have suffered some big injuries to there team this year but have every single time step up and kept the momentum going throughout with there position on the log as proof. This week they lost there experience wing Combrick who will be out for the rest of the season but if you look at the team sheet the coach selected this week you know you have a quality side.
Skosan and Vomink will be on the wing with Rohan Janse van Rensberg and Mnisi in the midfield. In the forwards the Lions inspirational captain Whiteley will partner with De Wit and Kriel on the side of the scrum. With certainly the best two scrums in the competition, the rugby lover will look forward to see these two teams battle it out in the scrums and the lose. The game will be win and lost there so both teams will go into the game with no illusions.
Province have shifted a bit in the backline with Kolbe/Leyds at fullback as there captain De Jongh returns to the team in the midfield. The coach will make his final decision on from Kolbe / Leyds / Van Wyk will get the fullback and wing jersey.
The cape have been buzzing for a couple weeks now about the young Robert Du Preez at fly half and the youngster have shown that the talent is within and that he is ready to be seen as Province and maybe the Stormers next year’s number one fly half. His ability to read the game and make the right decisions has seen Province playing a great brand of rugby as well and for a change they are scoring bonus point tries with ease.
Du Preez plays a vital role in the way Province attack and he will be the key if they will want to beat this great Lions side.
Golden Lions – 15 Andries Coetzee, 14Courtnall Skosan, 13 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Steph de Wit, 6 Jaco Kriel (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith.
Subs: 16 Mark Pretorius, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Fabian Booysen, 19 Kwagga Smith, 20 Jaco van der Walt, 21 Stokkies Hanekom, 22 Sampie Mastriet.
Subs: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Godlen Masimla, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Huw Jones.
BLUE BULLS vs EP KINGS Friday 2 October 2015 at 19:10 Loftus
The Blue Bulls have been struggling a bit after there first lost for the season against the Lions a few weeks ago. They have in the meantime made hard work in winning games and also lost to Province in Cape Town as well.
The Blue Bulls biggest problem this whole year and even in the Super Rugby has been there scrums. The game has change so much around the scrums that no team can afford to keep giving penalties away in that department and this is were the Blue Bulls have struggled.
They have one of the most exciting back three’s in South Africa bit that means absolutely nothing if they do not get forward ball on attack. No one can only live on turnover balls for players like this and if that is not getting sorted out the Blue Bulls will have a huge problem if they want to lift the cup at the end of the season.
The EP Kings has draw some inspiration from there first win this year and have been given teams a difficult time when they are on song. They are a team improving and if you do not take them seriously you will stumble against them. The strong point the whole season thus far was there never give up attitude which caught a few teams a surprise or even out.
The Blue Bulls have to good a team to lose this game but if they do not picth up they will find it hard to beat the men from PE.
Blue Bulls – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Lappies Labuschagne (c), 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Corniel Els, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Marvin Orie, 19 Ruan Steenkamp, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouché, 22 William Small-Smith.
EP Kings – 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Sylvian Mahuza, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Tim Whitehead (c), 11 Luther Obi, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Enrico Acker, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Stefan Willemse, 6 Thembelani Bholi, 5 Cornell Hess, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Lizo Gqoboka.
Subs: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Paul Schoeman, 20 Tim Agaba, 21 Dwayne Kelly, 22 Karlo Aspeling.
PUMAS vs FREE STATE CHEETAHS Saturday 3 October Live on SS1 at 13:15
The Cheetahs and Pumas are still in it to make the play-offs and this could be on of those classic games of the year. Between the Cheetahs, Pumas and Sharks they will have to fight it out for the last spot in the Currie Cup play-offs.
The Cheetahs came off one of there worst defeats in years against the Lions last week in Bloemfontein and I am sure that they will come out hard to show there coach and supporters that they are better than what they showed last week.
This is almost a make or break situation for both team and the team that lose the game will most properly not make the play-offs, so this is in a sense a final for them.
The game will be played in Nelspruit so everyone can expect them to fire from the start.
Pumas – TBC
Free State Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ryno Benjamin, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 De Wet Kruger, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Francois Uys (c), 4 Reniel Hugo, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Teunis Nieuwoudt.
Subs: 16 Chase Morison, 17 BG Uys, 18 Willem Serfontein, 19 Freddy Ngoza, 20 Ruan van Rensburg, 21 Niel Marais, 22 AJ Coertzen.
GRIQUAS vs SHARKS Saturday 3 October at 15:00
The Sharks will have to travel to Kimberley on Saturday to face the Griquas. This was a season that most supporters from both the Sharks and Griquas will want to forget but for the Sharks there is still that little piece of carrot hanging in front of them to make the play-offs and we all know anything can happen on the day when it comes to finals and semi finals.
The Sharks have just had no consistency in the way they approach there games or selection and if that happens then one need to start asking the questions about the coaching staff. No player can expect to change the game-plan every week and shifting players around the whole time does not make it any easier.
The Sharks have throughout the year had the players to beat any team in the competition but a clear direction and game seems to be missing. The weekend will be an important step in the right direction for the men from Durban.
Griquas – TBC
Sharks – 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 André Esterhuizen, 11 S’bura Sithole, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Etienne Oosthuizen, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Marco Wentzel (c), 4 Dave McDuling, 3 Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Subs: 16 Kyle Cooper, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Christiaan de Bruin, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Heimar Williams, 22 Garth April.