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Premier Division
Xerox Golden Lions 10 10 48
Vodacom Blue Bulls 10 8 39
DHL Western Province 10 7 35
Toyota Free State Cheetahs 10 3 24
Cell C Sharks 10 4 22
Steval Pumas 10 3 17
Eastern Province Kings 10 2 12
ORC Griquas 10 1 8
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Currie Cup 2015: Round 1


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content on 6 Aug 2015 at 15:42
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Let’s have a look at the Round 1 action in the eagerly-awaited 2015 instalment of the Currie Cup Premier Division.

The first match tomorrow sees Western Province travel to Kimberley to take on Griquas, where the clash kicks off at the rather anti-social time of 3pm. Trying to pick winners and losers with no form to guide you is a mug’s game at the best of times and this sort of game is especially tricky. Province have a new coach and feel a little “new look”, with a number of debutants in their team alongside veterans like Juan de Jongh, Demetri Catrakilis and Rynhardt Elstadt. Griquas, on the other hand, haven’t been quite as formidable against minnow opposition this year – even managing to somehow lose to the Border Bulldogs! A lot will depend on how a relatively youthful Province tight five fronts up against the hard men from Kimberley – and there’s also the ever-present threat of Riaan Viljoen at flyhalf for Griquas who can win a match on his own when he feels in the mood.

It should be rather tight, one feels, but Province have the class to take it and will probably win by around 5 points.

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Juan de Jongh (captain), 12 Jaco Taute, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Marius Fourie, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Chris Cloete, 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Kurt Coleman, 22 Johnny Kotze, 23 Charlie van Jaarsveld.

Griquas: 15 Gouws Prinsloo, 14 Ederies Arendse, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Michael van der Spuy, 11 Ntabeni Dukisa, 10 Riaan Viljoen, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Nardus van der Walt, 6 RJ Liebenberg, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jonathan Adendorf, 3 Ewald van der Westhuizen, 2 Abraham le Roux, 1 Danie Mienie.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Stephan Kotze, 18 Jaco Nepgen, 19 Leon Karemaker, 20 Rudi van Rooyen, 21 Jacquin Jansen, 22 Ngcobo Sandile.

The Sharks are against the Pumas in the second game, kicking off in Nelspruit at 6pm. I’ve already eaten my share of humble pie for predicting it would be cold (in fact, it’s likely to be 20C!) so I’ll make no further silly comments about how the weather will affect the game. Rather, I feel it’s going to come down to how well the Sharks forwards play; some youngsters in the back row will need to show how good they are, but with a strong tight five, they should be able to get on top and provide their backs with something to work with. There is no shortage of fire-power out wide for the Sharks, but the Pumas also have some frighteningly good broken-play runners and will punish any sloppy work on defence.

This will probably be a high-scoring affair, but I reckon the Sharks will take it by 7 or so.

Pumas: 15 JW Bell, 14 Bernado Botha, 13 Jerome Pretorius, 12 Stefan Watermeyer (captain), 11 Rosco Spekman, 10 JC Roos, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Lambert Groenewald, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 4 Rudi Mathee, 3 De-Jay Terblanché, 2 Frank Herne, 1 Khwezi Mona.
Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Marius Coetzer, 19 Jason-Colin Fraser, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Justin van Staden, 22 Hoffmann Maritz.

Sharks: 15 Joe Pietersen , 14 Sibusiso Sithole, 13 Wandile Mjekevu, 12 Heimar Williams, 11 Andre Esterhuizen, 10 Lionel Cronje, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Khaya Majola, 5 Marco Wentzel (Captain), 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Monde Hadebe, 1 Dale Chadwick.
Replacements: 16 Franco Marais, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Dave McDuling , 19 Daniel du Preez , 20 Francois Kleinhans, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 SP Marais.

In simultaneous Saturday games (both starting at 14h15) the Lions take on the EP Kings in PE, while the Bulls travel to Bloemfontein to face the Cheetahs. I’ll not say much about the first game (since Pierre will give us his views in due course) but I’d be very surprised if the Lions don’t walk away comfortable, bonus-point winners there. The other one is going to be a very interesting tussle indeed – probably the clash of the round. Both sides have new coaches and a fresh look, the Cheetahs, under Franco Smith, handed the Super Rugby bulls a hiding with a team not too dissimilar to the one that will play on Saturday, though, which must make them strong favourites.

Then again, nobody knows what to expect from the Blue Bulls under Nollis Marais and the former Tukkie has already pulled out a good few shocks in terms of the exciting team he’s selected. Will these Bulls prove to be a new breed, or will it just be more of the same dull bashing, even under a new coach?

The Cheetahs will win, but I’m not giving it to them by more than a few points and I think the Bulls may well surprise a few people watching.

EP Kings: Still to be announced

Lions: 15 Ruan Combrinck, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Martin Muller, 4 Franco Mostert, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Ruan Dreyer, 18 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 19 Steph de Wit, 20 Lohan Jacobs, 21 Stokkies Hanekom, 22 Jaco van der Walt.

Free State: 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Clayton Blommetjies, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ryno Benjamin, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Neil Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Gerhard Olivier, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys (captain), 4 Willem Serfontein, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Doit, 17 Maks van Dyk, 18 Burrie Uys, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Tiene Burger, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Fred Zeilinga.

Blue Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 William Small-Smith, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Lappies Labuschagne (captain), 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Dean Greyling.
Replacements: 16 Bandise Maku, 17 Nqoba Mxoli, 18 Rudolph Snyman, 19 Roelof Smit, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Louis Fouche, 22 Dries Swanepoel.



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