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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
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ORC Griquas 10 1 8
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Currie Cup 2015: Round 7


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content on 18 Sep 2015 at 07:19
Tagged with :

With this week set to be dominated (and rightly so) by the start of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, let’s not forget a few critical matches in the good old Currie Cup, the rugby world’s oldest inter-provincial competition.

The Pumas host the Kings in an unusually early match at 5pm today. The visitors are likely to be high on confidence, having unexpectedly recorded their first win of the competition against the Cheetahs last week. The Pumas, on the other hand, are licking wounds a little after an equally unexpected hammering in Kimberley. Always strong at home, the Kings are unlikely to find the Nelspruiters in particularly charitable mood and while this is likely to be pretty close, it’s hard to see any outcome other than a Puma win.

Pumas: 15 Hoffmann Maritz, 14 Jerome Pretorius, 13 Wilmaure Louw, 12 Stefan Watermeyer (captain), 11 Rosco Spekman, 10 Justin van Staden, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Jason-Colin Fraser, 7 Jaco Bouwer, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marius Coetzer, 4 Lubabalo Mtyanda, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Frank Herne , 1 Corné Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Simon Westraadt, 17 Marné Coetzee, 18 Jannie Stander, 19 Uzair Cassiem, 20 Reynier van Rooyen, 21 Hennie Skorbinski, 22 Marcello Sampson.

Eastern Province Kings: 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Siyanda Grey, 13 JP du Plessis, 12 Tim Whitehead (captain), 11 Luther Obi, 10 Karlo Aspeling, 9 Enrico Acker, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Steven Sykes, 4 Stefan Willemse, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 Cornel Hess, 20 Jacques Engelbrecht, 21 Dwayne Kelly, 22 Elgar Watts.

Province then host the Bulls in the weekend’s big match, this one kicking off at 7:00pm today. Nollis Marais’s team suffered their first loss of the tournament against the Lions last week, but will have taken much from that defeat, particularly given their stunning second half fightback that very nearly turned the tables on the Lions after the visitors had run up a big early lead. If you’re only as good as your last half, then this should be an exciting match indeed, with Province also stepping up a gear against the Sharks after a turgid opening period of play. This clash really will be season-defining for both of these sides; for the Bulls, they simply have to win to keep any hopes of top spot alive, while Province can do their own chances of a home semi-final no harm at all should they prevail. I’m backing Dobson’s boys to kick on from Durban and thus call a narrow WP win.

Western Province: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Nic Groom (captain), 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Chris van Zyl, 19 Nizaam Carr , 20 Jano Vermaak, 21 Demetri Catrakilis, 22 Kobus van Wyk.

Blue Bulls: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Burger Odendaal, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Louis Fouché, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pieter Labuschagne (captain), 7 Roelof Smit, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jacques du Plessis, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Werner Kruger, 18 Rudolph Snyman, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Ivan van Zyl, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Jan Serfontein.

Saturday’s action gets going rather early, with two almost simultaneous games. The Lions will look to cement their top position on the log against the Sharks in the earlier (2:30pm) game. Havingg lost structure and composure in stages at Loftus, last year’s runners up did enough to regroup and close out the game against the Bulls, while the Sharks – again – suffered numerous defensive lapses in a soft period against Western Province. Despite being very competitive up to that point, the combination of a creaky scrum and few ideas on attack left them unable to close the gap once Province got more than two scores ahead.

A lot can happen in a week, but it’s hard to imagine that the Sharks will have progressed enough to be considered serious contenders against the Lions; a healthy Lions victory is the only likely outcome here.

Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Ruan Combrinck, 13 Stokkies Hanekom, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Fabian Booysen, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Jaco Kriel (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Lourens Erasmus, 3 Julian Redelinghuys, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Ruan Dreyer.
Replacements: 16 Robbie Coetzee, 17 Jacques van Rooyen, 18 Luvuyiso Lusaseni, 19 Stephan de Witt, 20 Jaco van der Walt, 21 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 22 Antony Volmink.

Sharks: 15 Odwa Ndungane, 14 Wandile Mjekevu, 13 Paul Jordaan, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Sibusiso Sithole, 10 Joe Pietersen, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Francois Kleinhans, 5 Marco Wentzel (captain), 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Gerhard Engelbrecht, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit.
Replacements: 16 Monde Hadebe, 17 Dale Chadwick, 18 Dave McDuling, 19 Daniel du Preez, 20 Michael Claassens, 21 Heimar Williams, 22 Garth April.

The other game, kicking off between the Cheetahs and Griquas in Bloemfontein at 3pm, could actually be a very interesting one indeed. Griquas have not come anywhere near their usual Currie Cup standard in this campaign, but found their voice last week against the Pumas and like nothing more than putting one over their neighbours, especially in Bloem. The Cheetahs were pretty dire in their last outing and it seems that whatever other good Franco Smith has been able to do sine taking over there, brining consistency to the Cheetahs’ level of performance remains an unrealised goal. It’s quite possible – given that a semi-final spot is very much up for grabs, that the Cheetahs will bounce back and record a good win, but I have a sneaky feeling this one will go the other way, hence calling a narrow Griquas upset victory.

Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 BG Uys.
Replacements: 16 Theunis Nieuwoudt, 17 Neil Rautenbach, 18 Reniel Hugo, 19 Freddy Ngoza, 20 Zee Mkhabela, 21 Tertius Kruger, 22 Sias Ebersohn.

Griquas: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Ruhan Nel, 13 Jonathan Francke, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Jacquin Jansen, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 Carel Greeff, 7 Jonathan Adendorf, 6 RJ Liebenberg, 5 Hugo Kloppers, 4 Jaco Nepgen, 3 Stephan Kotze, 2 Abraham le Roux, 1 Steph Roberts.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Danie Mienie, 18 Jonathan Janse van Rensburg, 19 Wendal Wehr, 20 Dylon Frylink, 21 Gouws Prinsloo, 22 Ntabeni Dukisa.



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