Currie Cup

Sharks pack packed with Boks

2013-10-09 12:22
Beast Mtawarira (File)
Cape Town - The Sharks will be looking to close out the pool phase of the 2013 Absa Currie Cup on a strong note with a Springbok-laden team to host Western Province on Saturday at Kings Park.

According to Sharks website Editor Michael Marnewick, WP’s five-pointer against the Lions last week saw them leap-frog the Sharks into first place on the log, with just a one point buffer separating the teams. Both teams have secured home semi-finals already, but there is even more riding on the outcome of Saturday’s match with the winner claiming top spot for the knock-out rounds and the best possible opportunity of hosting the final.

The Sharks starting line-up has been bolstered by the inclusion of Springboks Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis, Beast Mtawarira, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Marcell Coetzee, with Pat Lambie named on the bench while he acclimatises himself to the Sharks way of playing.

Sharks backline coach Sean Everitt said that with the expectation of a tight game, given the importance riding on the outcome, discipline and defence are going to be crucial. A lapse here or there could prove to be costly.

“This week our focus is on discipline because that let us down against the Bulls on the weekend and we need to get that right playing a team like Western Province. Another focus will be on defence because Province use the width of the field well, they have some dangerous runners, especially in Cheslin Kolbe and Gio Aplon.

“For both teams it’s extremely important to get a home semi and the opportunity to host the final, so I doubt either side will use this week as preparation for the semi-final when so much is at stake. We owe some success to Durban, the province and likewise they would love a home final because they played away last year.”

 Does history play any role in their planning or attitude? Not at all, he admits. Although WP won the first round match, much has changed since then.

“If you look at the match we played them down at Newlands earlier in the Currie Cup, it was a game of two halves. We conceded two soft tries in the first half, but purely because they outmuscled us at the breakdown. But in the second half we came back, we were way more physical and confrontational and I think we won those aspects of the game. We outscored them in the second half. We are aware of what’s coming this weekend from a physicality point of view.”

After equalling Helgard Muller’s record of 142 matches when he played against the Bulls last week, Jacques Botes (named on the bench) will become South Africa’s most capped Currie Cup player ever should he play. Wiehahn Herbst is also in line for a special milestone, and will play in his 50th Currie Cup game for The Sharks if he comes on as a replacement.



15. SP Marais, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. Tim Whitehead, 12. Heimar Williams, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Fred Zeilinga, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Keegan Daniel (captain), 7. Jean Deysel, 6. Marcell Coetzee, 5. Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4. Peet Marais, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16. Kyle Cooper, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Stephan Lewies, 19. Jacques Botes, 20. Cobus Reinach, 21. Patrick Lambie, 22. Louis Ludik

Western Province:

15. Gio Aplon, 14. Gerhard van den Heever, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Siya Kolisi, 6. Deon Fourie (captain), 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16. Frans Malherbe, 17. Brok Harris, 18. Michael Rhodes, 19. Schalk Burger, 20. Nic Groom, 21. Kurt Coleman, 22. Jean de Villiers

Read more on:    sharks  |  currie cup  |  durban  |  rugby

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