By: Jacques Nortier
The defending Champions Western Province will want to get back to winning ways and quickly so after two defeats by the Blue Bulls and the Free State Cheetah over the last couple of weeks.
They will be hosting Griquas at Newlands on Saturday and with a new look feel to the team, coach Dobson have given some of the younger players a chance to show if they are ready for it. First notable change to the WP team sheet is the name of Kurt Coleman at starting 10 and the exciting young Robert Du Preez on the bench.
There is no Demetri and something fans was questioning Dobson about the last couple of weeks as he will be moving to Europe after the Currie Cup and many felt that the Currie Cup was the right place to give Coleman and Du Preez the opertunity to have a straight fight for the ten jumper.
Province coach John Dobson and his troops are keen to right the wrongs from their two previous fixtures.
“It’s always great to be back home at Newlands,” he said. “Yes, it’s been a tough two weeks, nobody likes losing, but we are not about to panic. Instead, we remain determined to turn things around in front of the faithful on Saturday.”
With the Springbok squad being selected last week WP aslo got there talented hooker Ntubeni back and he will start the game. Kitshoff is another Springbok returning after not being selected for the World Cup and will strengthen the already formidable front-row of Province.
“Scarra and Kitsie will provide experience and energy up front and both are deserving of their starts, despite Kitsie joining us this week only,” added Dobson.
Another player who has plenty to prove is their captain and number eight Nizaam Carr. The 24-year-old represented South Africa on their end-of-year tour to Europe in 2014 but is yet to deliver the form which made him a Bok last year.
If WP are determined to gain victory then Griquas must be desperate. The men from Kimberley are winless after four matches in the competition and languishing at the bottom of the table with just one point.
The Kimberley-based side’s coach Hawies Fourie has rung the changes after last weekend’s 46-32 defeat at home against the Blue Bulls.
Amongst the backs, there are two changes. Jonathan Francke replaces Michael van der Spuy at outside centre while Ruhan Nel takes over from Ntabeni Dukisa on the left wing.
And up front, ex-Springbok Hilton Lobberts replaces Johan Wessels on the side of the scrum while Carel Greeff replaces RJ Liebenberg at number eight. Liebenberg shifts to the other flank where he replaces Jonathan Adendorf.
The final changes are in the front row where Stephan Kotze (tighthead prop) and Martin Bezuidenhout (hooker) come in for Ewald Van Der Westhuizen and AJ Le Roux respectively.
Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr (c), 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 JP Smith, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Jurie van Vuuren, 20 Godlen Masimla, 21 Robert du Preez, 22 Dillyn Leyds.
Griquas: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Sandile Ngcobo, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ruhan Nel, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer (c), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 RJ Liebenberg, 6 Hilton Lobberts, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jaco Nepgen, 3 Stephan Kotze, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Ewald Van Der Westhuizen, 19 Jonathan Adendorf, 20 Leon Karemaker, 21 Gouws Prinsloo, 22 Jacquin Jansen
Date: Saturday, September 5
Kick-off: 17:05 local (15:05 GMT)
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Rodney Boneparte, Archie Sehlako
Television match official: Johan Greeff