DHL Western Province will host the Cell C Sharks on Saturday in the second Carling Currie Cup to decided who will advance as the second team to this years final.
Western Province had an iffy season but then again the Sharks have not been able to replicate their early Vodacom Super Rugby performances of 2020.
Although these two sides was scheduled to clash in both the Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup last rounds, non of those matches every took place due to the Sharks that broke COVID Protocols.
This will be the first time these two sides will meet after rugby started again in September 2020.
Province will be without their standout performer this season, Steven Kitshoff who miss the playoffs due to COVID protocols.
His place will be taken by Ali Vermaak who will partner with Frans Malherbe and Bongi Mbonambi.
They will come up against a good Sharks front row in Ox Nche, Fezokuhle Mbatha and Springbok Thomas du Toit.
With Kitshoff out Province have maybe lost the edge they should have had in the scrums but as it has been all season, we will have to wait and see how the referee intemperate the laws in Saturday.
The rest of the packs have both experience and some young blood which should bring some excitement.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi will lead Province with Juarno Augustus and Johan du Toit making up the loose trio for the home side.
The Sharks have an equal good loose trio combination in Dylan Richardson, Henco Venter and Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
We expect a huge battle on the ground from these two loose trio combinations and an aspect of the game which both did not really dominated through the Currie Cup season.
The Sharks have a potent backline with Bosch playing some of his best rugby at flyhallf this season.
In the midfield it would be interesting to see how this all played out with the Sharks that have the brilliant Am back leading the coastal side.
Marius Louw will be on his inside and they will come up against Dan du Plessis and Rikus Pretorius, a combination that couldn’t fire on all cylinders so far this season.
Tim Swiel will take the number 10 jumper for Province with Willemse taking the 15 jumper for this one.
Interesting stat the last couple of years when it comes to theses two sides is that the visiting side have claim victory more often than not.
I am sure both sides fans would just want their sides to play some great rugby and that this does not get to a kicking contest playing out for 80 minutes.
Prediction: Province without Kitshoff is a huge loss and with their inconsistent performance it just feels like the Sharks have the edge in this one, Sharks by 12
DHL Western Province: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Tim Swiel, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Jaco Coetzee, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Ruhan Nel, 24 Sazi Sandi, 25 Tristan Leyds.
Cell C Sharks: 1. Ox Nche 2. Fezokuhle Mbatha 3. Thomas du Toit 4. JJ van der Mescht 5. Ruben van Heerden 6. Dylan Richardson 7. Henco Venter 8. Sikhumbuzo Notshe 9. Sanele Nohamba 10. Curwin Bosch 11. Yaw Penxe 12. Marius Louw 13. Lukhanyo Am (C) 14. Sbu Nkosi 15. Aphelele Fassi
Replacements: 16. Daniel Jooste 17. Mzamo Majola 18. Michael Kumbirai 19. Hyron Andrews 20. Thembelani Bholi 21. Jaden Hendrikse 22. Jeremy Ward 23. Manie Libbok