Home Carling Currie Cup Carling Currie Cup SF1 – Bulls v Western Province

Carling Currie Cup SF1 – Bulls v Western Province

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It is semi finals weekend in the Carling Currie Cup and first up is the Vodacom Bulls hosting DHL Western Province in Pretoria on Friday night.

Province got into the playoffs with an impressive bonus point win against the Sharks last weekend in Durban but will have to step it up again at Loftus to upset the tournament favourites in their own back yard.

Against the Bulls you need to be able to be in the game for the full 80 minutes and that is something the men form Cape struggle to do all season.

They have come under heavy criticism from their own fans the whole season for being inconsistent and mostly did not look like a team with a game plan.

Coach Dobson has also been criticise for the lack of continuity the team showed on attack. He said in the week that he wants his team to show the same passion as they showed against the Sharks.

Unfortunately passion along do not win big games and they will have to stand up against a Bulls side who has a great pack and some of the most dangerous backs in the competition. Then they have the Goosen factor, who has been playing brilliant rugby since joining the Bulls.

Province will have their Springbok, Scarra Ntubeni back in the starting XV which will help a lot. He has been named as the starting hooker with Leon Lyons and Sazi Sandi next to him.

Andre-Hugo Venter and Neethling Fouche will cover on the bench.

Dobson showed some constancy at least in his selection this week  as he went for Johan du Toit and Ernst van Rhyn in the second row with van Rhyn leading the side again.

With Roos still out injured, Hacjivah Dayimani, Marcel Theunissen and Deon Fourie will again form the loose trio for this one.

At the back Tim Swiel and Paul de Wet will again run out with the number 10 and 9 jumper onto the field. Swiel has been the unsung hero for Province this season. His boot has been the saviour a few times for the Cape side.

In the midfield Juan de Jongh and Dan du Plessis gets another crack with Petersen at fullback and Van der Merwe and New on the wings.

Warrick Gelant will again play off the bench this weekend.

Accuracy and taking their opportunities against the Bulls will be crucial for Province if they want to win this one.

The Bulls fans will be happy to see their captain Marcell Coetzee back in the team for this crucial one. He replace WJ Steenkamp in one of four changes Jake White made to his team that beat the Cheetahs last weekend.

In the front row Schalk Erasmus is back at hooker next to Mornay Smith and Gerhard Steenekamp.

Elrigh Louw, Arno Botha and Marcell Coetzee will form a quality loose trio for the home side. This may be the game changer for the Bulls and something which will leave Dobson a little bit worried.

White has also brought back the talented Zak Burger at nine and he will form the halfback combination with Johan Goosen. In the midfield the Bulls have the quality of Lionel Mapoe and Harold Vorster.

Hendricks will again play on the wing this weekend with David Kriel at fullback and Madosh Tambwe on the other side.

The Bulls always bring a physical battle, specially against Western Province and we expect nothing less. They are the clear favourites but we all know by now in playoff matches it is how good you are on the day and what happen in the season counts for nothing.

This first semi final will be live on Friday night on SuperSport at 19:00

Teams:

Bulls: 15 David Kriel, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Madosh Tambwe, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Zak Burger, 8 Elrigh Louw, 7 Arno Botha, 6 Marcell Coetzee (captain), 5 Ruan Nortje, 4 Janko Swanepoel, 3 Mornay Smith, 2 Schalk Erasmus, 1 Gerhard Steenekamp.
Replacements: 16 Jan-Hendrik Wessels, 17 Simphiwe Matanzima, 18 Jacques van Rooyen, 19 Jacques du Plessis, 20 WJ Steenkamp, 21 Keagan Johannes, 22 Chris Smith, 23 Stravino Jacobs, 24 Joe van Zyl, 25 Reinhardt Ludwig, 26 Jaco Labuschagne, 27 Marco Jansen van Vuren, 28 Stedman Gans.

Western Province: 15 Sergeal Petersen, 14 Ruhan Nel, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Marcel Theunissen, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Johan du Toit, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Sazi Sandi, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Leon Lyons.

Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Justin Basson, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Rikus Pretorius, 23 Tristan Leyds, 24 Warrick Gelant.