Currie Cup

Du Preez family divided for Currie Cup final

2017-10-27 08:34
Robert du Preez (Gallo Images)

Durban - The Du Preez family will be divided on Saturday when title favourites the Sharks host Western Province in the Currie Cup final.

Father Robert is a former Blue Bulls and Springboks scrumhalf who coaches the Durban-based Sharks.

His twin sons, No 8 Daniel and flanker Jean-Luc, form the Sharks' back row with veteran Keegan Daniel for the Kings Park title decider.

Among the priorities of the Du Preez twins will be harassing WP flyhalf and their older brother, Robert junior.

When the Cape Town-based side achieved a shock 31-20 regular-season win over Sharks in Durban two weekends ago, Robert scored 21 points, including two tries.

Daniel was part of that Sharks team, but Springbok Jean-Luc missed the final-round league fixture due to an injury.

"It really is time we put Robert in his place," joked his father this week during a massive media build-up to the climax of the South African domestic season.

"Robert has been playing really well for Province and punished us severely a couple of weeks ago.

"We have to limit his space and time with the ball and that is where Daniel and Jean-Luc come in. They have key roles to perform."

There is a lot at stake for the Du Preez brothers as all three could make the Springboks tour party for Tests in Ireland, France, Italy and Wales during November and December.

National coach Allister Coetzee will watch the final before naming his squad Sunday.

"There is always quite a bit of banter in the family ahead of a match between Sharks and Province," Jean-Luc du Preez told reporters.

"It seems Robert is always trying to get one over my father, and has a knack of playing very well against the Sharks.

"Apart from the Sharks, Robert was also instrumental in defeating a team coached by my dad at varsity level."

WP coach John Dobson, who hopes to guide the Cape Town outfit to a record-extending 34th title, says Robert gets teased before matches against Sharks.

"We gave Robert a hard time a couple of weeks ago in the build-up to the last match against the Sharks," he admitted after a training session.

"His team-mates were asking him if he was going to sort out his 'sisters' in Durban because we thought both Daniel and Jean-Luc would be playing."

Dobson believes the Sharks and WP are fitting Currie Cup finalists after semi-finals victories over the Blue Bulls and Golden Lions respectively last weekend.

"I believe it is the best final that you could get in terms of the players who are going to be out there and the style of rugby they produce."

Many pundits believe the front-row clash of Sharks loosehead prop Thomas "The Tank" du Toit and WP tighthead Wilco Louw could have a significant influence on the outcome.

Louw debuted for South Africa off the bench against New Zealand this month while 136kg Du Toit has made the Springbok squad without being capped.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 16:00.

Teams:

Sharks

15 Garth April, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Marius Louw, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Daniel du Preez, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Keegan Daniel, 5 Ruan Botha (captain), 4 Tyler Paul, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Thomas du Toit

Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 John-Hubert Meyer, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Tristan Blewett, 23 Rhyno Smith

Western Province

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl (captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.

Substitutes: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Werner Kok, 23 Dan Kriel

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