WP to receive Bok boost?
Cape Town - Western Province will wait on the news of availability of Springboks Juan de Jongh and Gio Aplon before naming their team to face the Lions at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday evening.
Coach Alistair Coetzee implied that he would need all the senior experience he could get in what would be a physical encounter against a strong Lions team.
“It's an early Christmas present for us to have two Springboks available for us, but it will be a tough decision to make whether they start or not as there is only one practice left in the week,” said Coetzee.
“One thing I can promise is that they will be given game time,” he continued.
The Lions have had an extended season to their Super Rugby campaign as they have continued with the same unit under the watchful eye of coach John Mitchell, and it seems this formula has helped them to the top of the Currie Cup table.
Meanwhile, a youthful Province side has found themselves facing much stronger opponents, and have had to gain experience quickly - something which they have achieved.
They lost by six points against a Cheetahs side boasting a number of returning Springboks and then faced an experienced Sharks outfit with a virtual international backline, losing by only two points.
“We’ve really had to do a lot of work in mentoring and developing players, but our plan is to develop them into next season’s Super Rugby competition,” said Coetzee.
He said part of the Lions' success lies in their solid attacks and set phases, and the key to combat any resilient attack will be patience in that area.
“The Lions are a side who hold onto a ball and take it through many phases, we must dominate and be patient, and do it well for the full 80 minutes,” said Coetzee.
After five rounds of Currie Cup rugby, Western Province has conceded only four tries whilst the visiting Lions team have scored 23.
Golden Lions: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Joshua Strauss (captain), 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Michael Rhodes, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Jannie Boshoff.